LZX Industries Modular Video Synthesizer

This 2012 NAMM Show video, via Sonic State, features LZX Industries and their line of Eurorack video synthesis modules.

If you’re not familiar with video synthesis, here’s what LZX has to say about it:

A modular synthesizer is a type of analogue computer which is programmed by connecting the inputs and outputs of various functional modules to each other, typically in order to produce or process audio signals. The advantages of a modular synthesizer are its expandability and flexibility, since a system can be designed around goals the user wishes to achieve, and easily reconfigured (or patched) for multiple uses. Video synthesis is another application of the modular synthesizer, and while the application is different, the same principles of analogue signal paths and voltage-controlled parameters still apply.

While many functional modules are useful for both audio and video, some new module designs must be introduced which deal with the special requirements of video signals. The LZX Visionary modular video synthesizer can function as a traditional video mixer, keyer, or special effects unit, or delve into experimental territory such as the creation of abstract patterns with voltage-controlled oscillators, complex color space modulation, audiovisualization, and many as yet to be discovered techniques.

Their current line of Eurorack video synth modules includes:

  • Color Video Encoder
  • Video Sync Generator
  • Video Waveform Generator
  • Triple Video Fader & Key Generator
  • Video Blending Matrix
  • Voltage Interface I
  • Video Ramps
  • Triple Video Processor
  • Voltage Bridge

9 thoughts on “LZX Industries Modular Video Synthesizer

  1. I am stunned this has been made? What is the point?
    I admire the geeky nature but what practical use is this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6
    • I think video synthesis is a really cool subject – and this thing is basically a hardware version of software tools like Jitter, vvvv or Quartz Composer.

      And just like these software tools, I guess that it will be most interesting for visual artists who perform synchronous to music shows, or artists who create interactive exhibitions and so on :-)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  2. I liked Sonic State a bit more before they started putting advertisements on their videos.

    Though should really let them know that “Genuine deadmau5 loops – by deadmau5!” are just not going to be a big hit here on Synthtopia…

    Then again, I did break out laughing/crying as soon as I realized that “deadmau5 loops” was a real product and not a joke. It is a real product, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  3. I could do without the big pre-roll ads, but they have to support what they do – and nobody does NAMM videos better than Sonic State.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  4. I also wonder what this machine is actually for. I see some wobbly lines and think it would need a whole lot more than that to be interesting. Even if it is real time driven, if it only produces waves and squiggles it’s pretty 1960s. You can easily do rhythmic stuff in Motion, AfterEffects, etc that are so much more interesting.

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  5. This truly is a new tool offering a new way to arrive at a truly unique moving visual end product.

    Sure the demo video you just watched might not have been attention-grabbing enough for you to “see the point.” I quickly made similar assumptions upon first finding out about it a week prior to finding this post. And that knee-jerk reaction to early video FX may or may not be appealing (Video Toaster anyone?)

    Figured I’d share what I found with a little more digging to better understand the capabilities for such a unique device.
    Check the following demo clips out to go beyond Lars introductory examples:

    http://youtu.be/SbeTXMWXblg
    http://youtu.be/BWrt5xMK9cM
    http://youtu.be/TlTgpQ-Hscc

    A more artistically specific example (tapping into the experimental animation IMO):
    http://youtu.be/526IgKDcd8U

    I believe, like Lars suggested, this is a kind of reinvention of hardware modular synthesis, now letting a person tweak, play and contort the fundamentals of pre-digital video systems. Keep in mind that we are seeing something in its infancy here. I share in Lars and the early adopters excitement for seeing how this could grow beyond the earlier experiments of video pioneers and academic institutions with LZX’s efforts (reaching through the 60’s into 2012).

    Now the next hurdle…the money, time, and attention to join in exploring and finding new and interesting ways to create visual media.

    I look forward to seeing what LZX and it’s users produce and have added them to my list of regularly visited bookmarks.

    Thanks for sharing this interview!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  6. Thanks for posting the interview, Synthtopia! And thanks for the discussion y’all. The “why” behind an analogue video synthesizer has to do with both process and result (in much the same way as analogue audio modular synthesis.) But I’d argue, mostly process. Using a video synthesizer to produce an abstract animation is a vastly different creative process than using a computer — it’s more exploratory, and immediate. But most importantly, it’s a “brush and a pigment” that some video artists have wanted access to for a long time, but that’s been ignored. It’s not for everyone, of course. We’re just dedicated to reintroducing the technology and taking it to new places. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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