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Idiot trying to figure this out
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Video Synthesis  
Author Idiot trying to figure this out
Revok
So I tried to convinced my girlfriend that she should get into video synthesis and to my surprise it worked!!

The only issue is that I don't know much about it all and she knows even less.

I'm trying to put together a barebones system to just get her started and as she starts learning more, she can add to it.

What is the cheapest way to get into video synthesis? Is it worthwhile to hold out and try to buy used modules or are those few and far between?

Thanks!
revmutt
In terms of used modules, I have not seen too many. I think it's too soon and there aren't enough products out there yet.

If you are thinking of building a system I would look at LZX's site. There are a number of configurations.

If simply experimenting with colors and that sort of thing, there area number of visualizers that are listed in a sticky here, I would think carefully as there are some limitations to that route, although many people use both a modular and something more simple and combine the two with a video mixer and a projector
barto
if you want to learn about video synth stuff id recommend checking out the LZX youtube channel and watch some of the module demos
http://www.youtube.com/user/lzxindustries?blend=4&ob=0

video synth stuff has only been available to consumers for not too long so its mostly LZX as well as a number of other guys that make stand alone devices for generating/manipulating video signals so you probably wont find a lot of stuff used
barto
also check out this thread

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25360
Revok
Awesome. Thanks so much.

I'm completely sold on LZX Industries. Vector rescanning was a big selling point but neither of us have the kind of cash to pick up that big of a system just yet.

I see the minimal system suggested includes the Video Sync Generator, the Color Video Encoder and two Video Waveform Generators. Would a system with only one VWG be too limited?
Revok
I'm checking those out now, wcfields.

I'll see what she thinks. She was really into the idea of patching the video synthesizer with my audio synth so as much as my bank account would love her to get the Edirol, I'm not so sure she'll bite.

That Canopus sounds like a great tool to have.
She uses final cut for video stuff already so something like that will be pretty necessary as she wants to send edited video out to the synthesizer.

edit: typo
MrDys
I got started in video by getting a bunch of video boxes (color correctors, contrast/saturation adjusters, titlers, key generators, low-end video mixers) off of ebay for $50 a pop and connecting them in different configurations and feeding them back into themselves. Like a bunch of video stompboxes.

Lots of good stuff to be had from that route.
lizlarsen
I will definitely second any of these guys suggestions on various entry points but if you are set on modular video synthesis I can offer some specific suggestions if you can help me out by answering some questions. What is your budget for an initial modular system purchase? Do you already have a EuroRack case or setup? What other CV/audio/video gear do you own already? And lastly, what are you most interested in? Shape synthesis, video processing, etc...? Vector rescanning isn't necessarily that difficult to do -- Matos here has a fairly minimal LZX setup and is doing rescanning with his oscilloscope.
lizlarsen
I'd also like to note that the first two Sandin Image Processor modules for the LZX system (Differentiator and Function Generator) will be for sale at AH by the end of the month. They are $149 each assembled or $99 each for kits. Great ways to augment a starter system on a small initial budget.

With the LZX system, you pay a lot of upfront cost with the sync gen, color encoder and case. Once those expenses are out of the way, the rest really starts to expand possibilities.
lizlarsen
This wiki page shows a very minimal, 3-module system used for vector rescanning/synthesis...
http://www.lzxindustries.net/wiki/index.php?title=Oscilloscopes_%26_Ve ctor_monitors

You could have lots of fun with this setup, feeding in external CVs into the matrix, etc. The downside of this arrangement is there's no color video encoder, so driving a vector monitor is your only option -- and also, finding a monitor, and a monitor that's suitable and works the way you want it to, can be a whole adventure all by itself.
giorgio
do you even need the matrix for that setup? seems like you might be able to, with the right scope/monitor & a bit of luck, do it with just the VSG and ramps???
lizlarsen
Yep, you could do it with just the VSG and Ramps! But then you have no way to sum the signals with each other or mix with modulation signals, which is where all the magic happens.
daverj
There's also the Jones MVIP

Stand alone video processing module for $595 plus some kind of case/power (Doepfer mini case will work).

http://www.jonesvideo.com
Revok
creatorlars wrote:
What is your budget for an initial modular system purchase? Do you already have a EuroRack case or setup? What other CV/audio/video gear do you own already? And lastly, what are you most interested in? Shape synthesis, video processing, etc...? Vector rescanning isn't necessarily that difficult to do -- Matos here has a fairly minimal LZX setup and is doing rescanning with his oscilloscope.


I'd like to try to cap it at $1200. I'm amidst building my own 5u system with 2 MOTM-300 VCO's, CGS Psycho LFO, CGS Serge VCF, MOTM-190 dual VCA and a few more modules to come.

I'm not too worried about the case and power supply for the video synth and will likely pick up a Powerone power supply and DIY the case. Either that or pick up one from Tiptop Audio.

Video processing is definitely the main goal of it all. She does experimental film stuff and really fell in love with the idea of using a modular system to take her footage down new avenues.

Edit: Definitely planning up picking up at least one of those kits!

daverj wrote:
There's also the Jones MVIP

Stand alone video processing module for $595 plus some kind of case/power (Doepfer mini case will work).

http://www.jonesvideo.com


Big fan of the MVIP. I can't wait to see the full system!
lizlarsen
Okay, cool.

With some external LFOs, VCOs, and VCAs you should have some good options for voltage control and modulation. With that in mind, a $1200 budget and video processing as the main goal, the most bang for your buck is going to be bypassing the Video Waveform Generators, and here I think:

Color Video Encoder
Video Sync Generator
Sandin IP Differentiator kit
Sandin IP Function Generator kit
Video Ramps
Voltage Bridge
Triple Video Processor

That comes out at ~$1250. Alternately you could go with:

Color Video Encoder
Video Sync Generator
Triple Video Fader & Key Generator
Voltage Bridge

That comes out to ~$1200.

Video Blending Matrix is pretty important too, but it's going to be difficult to do that one with your budget, but maybe the next expansion. Guys, let me know if you'd recommend anything different.

If you've got external distortions, effects pedals, or anything really, you can have lots of fun with CVE+VSG+TVP. Use the TVP to blend the distorted video back with the original before re-encoding it. That would be a good $800 price point just to start yourself off with and experiment, if you're unsure of what you want beyond that.

The MVIP is also a good option for your budget and goals.
Matos
I started with an fairly small system. Just a cve, vsg, ramps, bridge, tvp. I had a stack of euro which helped as if you read the euro as video thread, there's tons of fun to be had. With a small system, your going to be limited with your real time complexity. Using a computer and a cheap video mixer really adds a lot of options on a small budget. You can get very creative with reprocessing, mixing, and feedback. I've recently added two vwg's and I'm thrilled. the MVP looks like a great start to dip your toes in and explore. With the right source material I can envision great things with it.
Matos
If your not anti computer I'd grab silent way and an old motu 828 for some nice sequenced lfo action. Or a Maths or sport modulator.
lizlarsen
That looks good!

For LFOs (and audio-rate sources, which are important too!), my Doepfer A-143-9 Quadrature VCLFO and MATHS see the most usage -- almost every patch. MATHS is nice with the output level attenuators -- I usually don't run it through Voltage Bridge, etc. for that reason.

Also, don't underestimate the importance of the Video Blending Matrix. Without it you're going to be limited in the amount of color/RGB mixing you can do with that setup, and it's ABS outputs are very powerful for getting more psychedelic difference-mode based color schemes. Typically I recommend TVFKG if you have to pick one or the other, but I know Johnny and others would recommend VBM as a first choice (although having TVP alleviates that slightly.) Just saying see how you go with this setup -- but you may end deciding to expand with VBM rather than the VWGs, depending on if you're still mostly focused on processing.
Revok
I'm waiting on a B&K Precision 1540 I grabbed off of ebay for $10. Hopefully it's working. If it is, I'm thinking about just going for the basic patch shown on the vector rescanning wiki: VSG, ramps, VBM, and then picking up a couple cheap cameras as well just to get started.

Will the Sandin modules do much in this setup or will I need the CVE to get any use out of them?
lizlarsen
The Function Generator would be awesome in a rescanning setup. So would differentiator (you could do z-axis displacement based on just the edges of the video source, rather than overall brightness.)
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