The Evil Eye optical synth

Belgian collective Indianen created the “Evil Eye” with a unique method of printing up sonic data, represented as black-and-white images on 12-inch optical disks.

The disks are played on a turntable that uses light-sensing hardware instead of a needle.

Tim Knapen, who designed the system says:

We use a simple light-to-voltage converter that doesn’t do any processing. An iPhone app would require some visual processing but more importantly also some kind of synthesizer. In the setup we used, all the sound is encoded in the disks and there is no need for anything digital.

The optical disc system also allows for a unique kind of musical performance – By running multiple turntables and alternating between different “tracks” on the disc using the handheld optical sensor, you can turn it into a type of audio/visual performance art.

Here’s what it looks/sounds like in action: