ELBOW is a portable cassette player reduced to the core.
XXI century has been a hard time for an audio cassette. The rise of cheep and convenient digital formats has made all physical media ,outdated”, if not altogether extinct. Still, there remains a niche audience willing to appreciate the tape medium, with all it’s intricacies and flaws. The Matta intimacy of physical formats is dearly missed. Theta the reason behind the resurgence of vinyl, and also motivation behind ELBOW.
How It works
A typical cassette player uses a capstan and a pinch roller the magnetic head at a constant speed. Additionally, sep take-up and supply reels to manage the tape. As tape relocates from one reel to another, mechanical clutches, belts and springs adjust the speed of both pulleys. Alternatively, capstan and reel pulleys can have separate motors. All of this result in a quite complex device and takes up a lot of space.
In ELBOW, a single pulley is used to drive the tape. To maintain constant playback rate, tape speed must be tracked by optical sensor and used as a control parameter for motor adjustment.
Optical sensor would track the movement of tape surface.