Creative Code Project: Vinyl Hero

When faced with the task of creating an interactive gallery exhibit, two girls banded together with a shared love of music and went on the create Vinyl Hero. This interactive piece consists of a real vinyl record on a turntable and a screen to portray what the user is interacting with. A song plays in the background and as the user spins the record different effects are overlayed on top of the song. The whole idea of this project is to get the user to feel like they are a DJ, and people seemed to have a lot of fun with it!

– Sommer Montenegro & Jennifer Stank


We started this project with some concepting and sketching. Once we solidified our idea we moved into the computer to work on branding for our game as well as establishing a color palette. We also designed and created stickers for the records.


It all started with learning how to work an arduino. It didn't take us long to figure out we would need one to make our project a reality. The hardware needed for this project was the arduino, and a fun little thing called a rotary encoder, and a computer of course! Once we learned how to plug everything in the right way then the coding part of this project began.


Once we had all of the hardware figured out it was time to move onto the coding part of this project. We wanted different things to happen when the record was at different positions, so we decided to break it up into quadrants. Because the rotary encoder could read 360 degrees both in positives and negatives, it was very easy for us to program commands when it was between a specific range of turn.


After everything was coded and functioning, it was time to test our projects full scale in class. We set up on the counter with our computer and arduino and after about an hour of troubleshooting we got everything running smoothly. At this point we didn't have our turn table but we found that a roll of masking tape sufficed. After class we packed everything away safely until December when we would have our first gallery opening.


Well December finally rolled around and it was time for the big gallery setup. At this point we got our hands on a turn table and had everything we needed to get our project ready for the public. We spent the morning setting up all of our equipment, which included Sommer ripping apart a turn table and connect more wires than I thought could exist in one place at once. Once everything was together we tested it and naturally it wasn't working. However, with more persistance we got the project up and running, good as new.

Video Documentation