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Apparatum: a digital interface for analog sound

panGenerator, a new media and art collective from Warsaw, have built a beautiful sound installation that invites its users to engage with a digital interface to produce purely analog sound.

The APPARATUM uses analog sound generators based on magnetic tape and optical components to reproduce ‘graphic scores’ composed on the digital interface.

Of particular interest is the visual language used to compose the score; Bogusław Schaeffer is a Polish composer, musicologist and graphic artist who, amongst many other things, conceived his own symbol-based visual language to communicate the production and sound requirements of a composition to the sound engineer responsible for producing the piece.

The piece was inspired by the Polish Radio Experimental Studio, using magnetic tape to produce experimental sounds.

The physical form is inspired by the general aesthetics of the Studio’s famous “Black Room” designed by Oskar Hansen. The electroacoustic generators and filters were arranged in a modular fashion inside two steel frames – the construction element that we’ve referred to in our design.
Magnetic tape was the primary medium used in the Polish Radio Experimental Studio. We’re also using two types of “tape samplers” – two 2-track loops and three one-shot linear tape samplers. To obtain noise and basic tones we’re utilising purely analog optical generators based on spinning discs with graphical patterns.


The machine also prints a sort of receipt of your composition, allowing you to retrieve it online.

Learn more here: