Excited to say that I just ordered some Syntonie boards to put together. Also pumped for the underscores webshop releasing some boards on the 16th. Also, LM6172’s are pricey! I’m spoiled on how cheap audio IC’s are.
i’m looking to get my feet wet with analog video synthesis, but less in the glitch-art vein and more in the gentle, large swaths of colors and textural gradients way (a la Nikita Milano for example) - i’ve gotten close to things like this through some Processing sketches, but i think i’m missing the feedback that analog video could provide (and i like the idea of using hardware more than code these days). does anyone have any recommendations for some entry level ways into this sort of thing? i took a look at a few lzx modules but felt in way over my head, but maybe i’m missing some basic starting points for this sort of direction
two new instruments are trying to digitally recreate the analog feedback patterns: Hypno and Positronic Recursive Studio. Maybe it’s a good place to start. If you don’t want to get into the world of analog feedback that is, using feedback loops, cameras, mixers, screens, projectors etc.
The lzx memory palace is a wonder in the realm of feedback.
Vidiot was nice as well, but both are hrs to find nowadays.
To start off, maybe the vga route is cheaper/faster.
I really like this project for example:
Inserting your own circuits in the feedback loop is fantastic, as well as mixers/effects.
Andrei Jays video synths are good places to start: video synthesis ecosphere DSKP — andrei_jay_creative_coding
There’s no question it’s been a tough couple years for getting into analog video synthesis; the challenges plaguing boutique electronics manufacturers have hit the small pond of video synthesis pretty hard. The good news is that after the 2-year drought it recently became possible to start a new video synthesizer with modules available at retail.
LZX has a brand new getting started guide / introduction to the format:
Getting Started — LZX Modular 0.1 documentation
The two-module rig they show in that guide is a pretty powerful shape generation system. If you want to do camera feedback, you need at least one more module, an input decoder. Unfortunately LZX’s current-series input encoder isn’t available yet, but you can get one from Syntonie, the VU003B.
Adding more modules like a keyer or a mixer would increase the directions you could go, but just those three modules (input decoder, analog waveshaper, output encoder) would be a pretty powerful analog
feedback-processing kit. You could also substitute similar modules from Syntonie instead if you want to go all-DIY.
All-in-one digital systems like the ET Structure and the previously mentioned Hypno & PRS are also pretty neat if you are looking for a self-contained solution. Structure has a video input and the other two can connect a USB video capture dongle, so it’s possible to use them in a camera feedback workflow as well.
working with lines in touchdesigner the past couple days
two patches at play here
one for variable rate auto outlining
another for a standard putt extra type effect
a couple pieces from the first day with my new capture card (ultrastudio mini HD) and a small gen3 LZX system
I recently ordered the Syntonie VU003b and VU007b since they seem like the closest thing to the LZX cadet series since those became unavailable. Side note, I always wanted to build a cadet system and the moment they announced they were discontinuing the line every single diy minded person bought the remaining stock immediately- still bitter. In any event, those two modules seem like the entry point.
We’ll see how all this shakes down. Eventually I’ll have to bite the bullet and buy way too many LM6172s. Btw, has anybody ordered any LM6172s via a source like eBay and they not be fakes?
When I finally assemble this system I’ll share some shots. I’ve got a Ming Mecca world core I build 5+ years ago that needs a permanent home.
You probably already know this but for anyone else reading, the Cadet modules are open hardware so it’s still possible to make them if you’re willing to fab/order your own PCBs (an ability to open/convert Diptrace files might also be necessary.)
Oh snap!!! I literally wrote to them about open sourcing the project, had no idea they did. This is fantastic news to hear, thank you for sharing!!
Edit: Quick question-anyone considering building any lzx cadet modules now that they’re open source?
this is the latest video to go into our long form video synth playlist.
just working on some quick and dirty mixes of the good stuff from recent recordings. Trying to work out different effect/compositing workflows. Playing with audio from our archive.
This is our new system that we just put together after selling a bunch of stuff.
one we get the TBC2 and ESG3 back we’ll be able to actually incorporate our LZX video stuff again. There is a lot of reprocessing going on as that was one of the latest things I’ve added to the system.
below is the full playlist.
I’ve recently been modding a video enhancer for glitch art and up to now have believed that glitch art and video sythesis are different paths and from a hardware perspective this seems definitely the case. However having looked at the LZX getting started link posted above by @Dewb it mentions a display with composite video in.
So if I sent a vhs tape through a circuit bent device and then into a video mixer and had say an LZX cadet hooked up to another input on the video mixer…would that work ? (both ouputting to the same crt)
Yes, you can totally combine glitch devices and synthesis workflows, as long as you have a good TBC to clean up any glitched signals you want to take into the synthesizer. (Most still-popular analog video mixers would qualify.) Mixing the two signals side by side as inputs is even easier. Glitching synthesizer output is also great!
However, one interesting thing I’m noting is that with the LZX gen3 modules, people are able to do really clean feedback workflows that can produce a lot of glitch-style looks without having to mangle the sync signal. I don’t know if that means more hybridization of workflows, or a decreased reliance on sync-glitching over time. More options is always good, though, and glitch devices are probably going to remain more accessible (until vintage hardware supplies start to run out…)
On the hybridization front, it’s also worth noting that BPMC and Syntonie make glitch devices that can process either composite video signals or LZX 1V modular signals.
That’s good to know. The video mixer with TBC has made a massive difference to what the crt will/will not display. Is a basic setup achievable with just Syntonie modules ? I read that syntonies sync generator is a good replacement for CR 1 from the cadet. I ask because syntonie modules look much more available at the moment.
State of my work bench over the past 3 months now. At this point I’ve got the VU003b, VU007b, and one of two VU009s completed but not yet tested. Also, a pile of almost done castle modules.
going to have to order a couple 100 dollars worth of opamps in order to finish these builds.
My plan for capturing/viewing at the moment is to snag a bunch of cheap component to HDMI converters, and vice versa, as well. I’ve had good enough results with the cheap 1080p30 HDMI capture dongles to get rolling with those without having to shell out big bucks.
Opamps have gotten so pricey. In 2019 I ordered 20 TL072s (dip package) for $6.80, or $0.34/opamp, from Tayda and currently they’re $1.49 at Tayda; Mouser is around $1.11 if you order 25+. It really has me wondering if DIY really is a viable way to still save some bucks. At this point I’m invested and I have a relatively substantial number of common components that I’ve gathered but the whole situation does kind of knock the wind out of my sails.
I have zero knowledge on video creation, so I am wondering if getting an EYESY and glitching it out via one of the statikstramentz you linked to is the best way forward. Seems like such a fun combo, but the more I read about the statikstramentz devices the more it seems they don’t work with most newer things.
It’s a wider issue than just that brand: all analog video glitch devices are capable of breaking apart the signal to the point where the final step in the chain can’t display it.
With a fully analog CRT TV the window is large but not endless, eventually even a great quality monitor won’t understand how to display what is being sent.
For a converter from analog to digital, eg RCA to HDMI, that window is smaller and the effects of glitches will also look different.
Putting a time based corrector between glitch and conversion/display can help retain a coherent signal but even TBCs have their limitations.
I think the Eyesy is a great video source and running the bold shapes and bright colours it produces into glitch gear creates since really interesting effects. Adding loads of nuance and self modulation to the colours. You might just have a smaller range of sweet spots for glitching when displaying with modern equipment.
Thanks for the detailed reply. I’ve just finished building the 3B and the 7B is up next.
I’m looking forward to building this beast too
does the MAINBOW also accept Eurorack CV or does it only work with LZX 0-1v?
There’s a manual here. It does say that all signalling is LZX 0-1v compatible but beyond that I don’t know