Concentric Circles

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Bordow, D | Peske, E.

Music 250a | Fall 2013


Our controller will consist of stacked concentric disks acting as rotational controllers.

(Current) Design

Using a combination of rotary encoders, gears, and flanged bearings, we will create a stacked concentric disc design. The encoders will be off-center and rotated via gears rather than directly under the spinning point of the discs.

Elevator Pitch

We are designing a user-friendly set of nested turntables that allows a user to use different modes to effect live sound just by spinning the various turntables in different directions at varying speeds. Modes can include playing with tone, tempo and pitch of an instrument, mixing live or pre-recorded music or just making sounds. The controller will be very approachable and so simple that a 5-year-old could walk up to it and use it immediately.


Bordow 1.jpg Bordow 2.jpg Bordow 3.jpg Peske 1.png Rotary diagram.JPG

Progress Photo

IMG 0631.JPG IMG 0632.JPG IMG 0633.JPG IMG 0634.JPG IMG 0635.JPG IMG 0636.JPG IMG 0637.JPG IMG 0638.JPG IMG 0639.JPG IMG 0640.JPG IMG 0641.JPG IMG 0642.JPG IMG 0643.JPG CC Gears.JPG CC Box.JPG

Examples of Similar Works

Dj cat.jpg Stacked tt.jpg Kalichord.jpg



  • Nested concentric discs capable of controlling parameters separately.
  • Simple but effective control parameters
  • Portability
  • Enclosed console


  • Incorporated looper
  • Durablily for live performance
  • High resolution performance
  • Different modes
  • Interactions between the different discs


  • Slim enclosure with nice accents
  • LED signaling
  • Polished housing
  • Motorized discs

Desired Sonic Effects

  • Rotating discs act as modulators to effects
  • Ideally, we would like to have modes with our device:
    • Sampling Mode
    • Synthesis Mode
    • Playback Mode

Materials List

  • Rotary Encoders
    • 3 High Quality Rotary Encoders
      • COM-10790, 200 P/R
    • 3 Low Quality Rotary Encoders
      • COM-10982, 24 P/R
    • 3 Rotary Encoder Breakouts
      • BOB-11722
  • Stainless Steel Tubing
    • 1x 1/2-OD
    • 1x 1/4-OD
    • 1x 3/16-OD
    • 1x 5/16-OD
    • 1x 1/8-OD
  • Duron
    • 2x 3x5 foot sheet @ 1/4" thick
  • Acrylic for final products
    • various colors/thickness

Minimal Viable Product

  • Finalize design of device
  • Prototype with cardboard/duron
  • Order components
  • Redesign with components
  • Cut duron for enclosed and wheels
  • Assemble components
  • Test
  • Iterate on design
  • Cut new wheels
  • Reassemble prototype
  • Test
  • Finalize final design
  • Order final necessary parts
  • Cut high quality wheels
  • Assemble
  • Test
  • Last minute tweeking
  • Present