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Silent Way/Ableton + LZX Visionary
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Video Synthesis  
Author Silent Way/Ableton + LZX Visionary
lizlarsen
Something I've been neglecting to experiment with much is the use of my MOTU UltraLite MK3 and Ableton + Silent Way plugin used to send modulation and control voltages to my video synthesis rig using LZX Visionary modules.

One fantastic feature about Silent Way and this setup, is that within the plugin you can quite easily pre-scale the outputs to 0-to-1 Volt signals expected by the Visionary modules, allowing very easy direct patching of signals from the DAW straight to the modules.

I'm very interested in exploring other methods for integration, such as high quality video "send/return loops" to and from digital and analog environments , both in performance and production contexts, and would love to hear any techniques or ideas you guys have.

I'm planning to record a more involved demo very soon using a Silent Way + Ableton modulation/sequencing setup for a video patch. With a proper scan converter or video card with video out, I know Ableton can also host video clips and trigger them to an output window, so I presume there are probably a million awesome ways to set up or route Ableton and various controllers to create a live video event controller/sequencer for the analogue system. And of course, managing audio at the same time!
johnnywoods
Another interesting item of note:
Today I realized Silent Way will load in Final Cut Pro (!!!)
Unfortunately, my Motu 896 has some serious sync issues with FCP, but I'm looking forward to seeing if I can get acceptable performance out of the "print to tape" mode.
Just imagine: keyframeable analog video effects tightly synced to an edit...
lizlarsen
Woah!!! Yeah, if you could get frame-accurate automation envelopes out of FCP this way, the potential is pretty mindboggling. I haven't tried hosting Silent Way in premiere.

We'll be releasing a series of sample & hold and logic modules that will be very useful for things like locking external modulation at frame rate, etc.
amsonx
Isadora from troikatronix (in his core version) can host AU and has the capabilities to send video via firewire
kjellb
Johnnywoods, could you tell some more about the way you use Silent Way with FCP?
johnnywoods
kjellb wrote:
Johnnywoods, could you tell some more about the way you use Silent Way with FCP?


so far, I just got it to load and display parameters. I haven't tried actually outputting anything yet. I'm hoping to do some experiments soon. The big test is if it performs consistently in print to tape mode.
Matos
So now that I have a minimal lzx setup and oodles of audio euro to play with, I'm curious to hear how others have been using silentway for video. I know it can scale to 1v to directly interface with the lzx, but I'm curious what creative avenues have already been explored? Ive read that silentway can record cv in too. Could this be used to record the output of a video oscillator to be feedback to the lzx system as an additional layer? Is it possible to make a video oscillator in a vst form?
lizlarsen
Audio interfaces won't be suitable as sync'ed video oscillators for 2 main reasons: 1) the sampling/frequency rate isn't high enough and 2) the DAW would need to be timed/in phase (basically genlock'ed) to the video clock to avoid jitter. You can definitely create audio-rate modulations though.

For unsync'ed audio and LFO-rate modulations, there should be lots of fun you can have, though! Primarily it's useful to get all sorts of tempo-locked LFO-rate sequencing and modulation going on though.

I think Silent Way have hinted at releasing an Envelope Follower plugin for it as well too, which could be very useful (there may already be ways to do that without a plugin, though.) If you had a multi-tracked recording this would be an excellent way to get multiple modulation inputs into a video system.
Matos
An envelope follower would be the jam! Looking forward to your audio module too. I have a a-119 that I'm about to explore after I refuel. I'm slowly making my way through all my euro to see what I get from each piece. So far all my oscillators give me some pretty dope results. The sound of shadows was not as interesting as I had hoped for video, but I need to explore more. What does ring modulation do on a video signal? Hmm, I have a wooglebug and moddemix to try out later.
lizlarsen
Cool! Remember, with video, it's IMO very good to mix an original signal back with a processed signal in the high bandwidth domain (like with your TVP) -- especially when you're processing with lower bandwidth modules. Johnny Woods' video with the borg filter is a great example of that:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lDJh075laA
Matos
Can you explain high and low bandwidth signals? Is this similar to the difference between and lfo and an audible signal? Or is more like old realplayer video vs hd? Would low be more like multiframe animation type signals like an audio oscillator before it reaches a high enough frequency to sync?
lizlarsen
It makes sense, when dealing with raster synthesis like we do, to split things up into 3 different frequency ranges: LFO/Animation, Audio/Y-Axis, and Video/X-Axis. There's an article I wrote about it here that may help:
http://www.lzxindustries.net/video-sync-guide

"Bandwidth" refers to the frequency range at which a circuit can pass a signal. All the LZX modules can pass signals up in the tens of Megahertz, whereas most audio modules can only pass signals close to 20KHz (the upper range of human hearing.) So when you process video thru an audio module, you basically can't see all of the high frequency content in the signal.
Matos
Got it, I read that before but wasn't sure if frequency and bandwidth were referring to different things. I've been watching and rewatching anything related to lzx on YouTube, and I'm slowly asssimulating all this information. I really love the individual module videos and hope you continue them for the new modules as they're released. The live patching series is also great and hope you put a few more up. I plan on making some videos once I get my Canopus advc100 this week and learn how to edit. nanners
johnnywoods
Matos: the Moddemix can do some very very nice things to video. Just be aware that the modulator input needs to get bumped up to greater than 1v in order to have an effect. But you can get some really nice patterns out of some ramps and audio-rate oscillators.
Matos
Yeah, I'm learning how valuable the voltage bridge can be. Thanks for encouraging me to get one. I've been mainly using my moddemix as a vca in my system so I'll have to reacquaint myself with its other talents. And thanks for making all those videos. I've watching them way to many times.
daverj
Matos wrote:
I read that before but wasn't sure if frequency and bandwidth were referring to different things.


Bandwidth is the distance between two frequencies. Audio goes from typically 20Hz to 20Khz, so has a bandwidth of about 20Khz. Video goes from 25 or 30 Hz (depending on what country you are in) up to around 5.5Mhz or 6.5Mhz for SD (much higher for HD). So SD video effectively has a bandwidth of around 5.5Mhz to 6.5Mhz. That's considered a very high bandwidth compared to audio.

The fine detail in a video image is up in that very high frequency range at the top of the video band. Modules designed to generate audio typically don't make it past the audio range (many don't make it past about 1/2 of the audio range). But other modules designed to process audio might go much higher just because of the nature of the op amps used. So audio mixers, ring modulators, VCAs, etc... might go as high as several hundred Khz, and maybe even as high as one or two Mhz. So they might not pass fine detail of a video image, or might greatly attenuate it, but they might still pass a blurry video image.
Matos
Thanks. That really helps clarify any confusion I had. That explains why a module like the Borg smooths out video, removing detail present in the higher frequency spectrum.
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