Audrey Zheng-Looking Outwards-04

Apparatum – Inspired by the Polish Radio Experimental Studio

I am using 1 of my grace days for this late submission.

For this week’s Looking Outward, I chose to read up on the Apparatum, created by panGenerator. In a nutshell, the apparatum is a custom made apparatus with digital interface that emits purely analogue sound.

It’s a tribute to the Polish Radio Experimental studio. This studio recorded electronic and utility pieces. The studio was established in 1957 and operated until 2004; it was one of the first studios in the world producing electroacoustic music.

I think it’s cool how multifunctional this installation is. Apparatum is equipped with optical analog sound generators and tape samplers. It has seamless UI design and a touch screen to allow users to compose their own music.Then it print’s the user’s score and uploads the audio file.

I also admire the black and white minimalist aesthetic of the physical design. The physical form of the apparatus is inspired by the general aesthetics of the Studio’s famous “Black Room” designed by Oskar Hansen. I think it suits the tempo and range of electronic sounds the apparatum produces.

I enjoy the mixture of old technology and new technology. The new tech: Software used to create the interface/GUI is electron (node.js) and microcontroller elements are c running on teensy 3.2. The older tech:  the panGenerator team decided to use two types of “tape samplers” – two 2-track loops and three one-shot linear tape samplers. To obtain noise and basic tones they are utilising purely analog optical generators based on spinning discs with graphical patterns.

See more here.

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