Here's What a Record Painted With Conductive Ink Sounds Like

Conductive paint is incredibly cool—it lets you create a circuit on virtually any material, from human bodies to a concrete wall. But a record? That’s new.


Feild Craddock and Shruti KNR, two researchers at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, uploaded a video explaining how they used the paint to create music. They started with simple, record-sized pieces of white paper. Then, using the metallic ink and plain old graphite, they drew the “sounds” that would act as circuits. “Conductive paint and resistive graphite were used to draw functioning circuits on paper disks,” they explain. “When the synthesizer completes the circuit its pitch is changed by the varying resistance of the graphite strips.”

In the video, which was featured on Prosthetic Knowledge this week, you’ll see that the needle stays in the middle of the record, where the label normally is. You’re basically seeing a simple circuit on paper, with the arms providing the pitch. It’s a pretty neat effect—if you want to try it for yourself, you can buy some of the ink yourself.

[ Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design on Vimeo; h/t Prosthetic Knowledge]

Contact the author at



Just so we’re all on the same page here, they’re not using the phono pickup at all; as you point out, it stays in the middle. They’ve clipped what look like two pieces of conductive foam to the tone arm, and those are making contact with the conductive strips on the disk.