Apparition Adds Video To Your Modular Synthesizer


Folktek and BPMC (Big Pauper = have introduced Apparition – a video camera for Eurorack modular synthesizers.

Here’s a video demo:

Apparition is designed around a camera sensor board, and lets you output and alter what the camera sees.

Video can be altered within the module and sent straight to a monitor or projector or passed deeper into video synth modules and devices..

On board controls include two knobs which introduce the abstract; phantom and mirage, as well as a CV input to further alter the signal and synchronize with your sound. In the end, what the lens ‘sees’ can become a drastically altered version of reality.

Apparition is initially being made available via a IndieGoGO project, priced starting at US $220.

12 thoughts on “Apparition Adds Video To Your Modular Synthesizer

  1. I do like video synthesis. Yet these kind of video modules always seem very limiting.

    When I see stuff like this it makes me realize how acute the sense of vision is compared to sound. Nobody would ever reason the virtue of a 80’s analogue video signal over a modern 4k digital signal, as the variation of quality is easy for all to sense – it is plain to see that you could warp and degrade a modern signal to emulate anything an old analogue signal can do, but you can’t make a dirty old signal do a fraction of what a modern digital signal can do. Which makes me think how many people never hear this with sound? It is almost comical how old analogue sound signals get placed on a pedestal by senseless automatons that spout this ill-informed dogma – a twisted circle of ignorance that is all too happy to gorge itself to death on the nonsensical. I just wonder if we will ever reach a point when such dogma will be laid to rest?

    1. i get your point. but – sorry – you’re assumption is not correct: digital is not per se better quality. actually, it is the other way round.

      any camera sensor is analogue, be it an 80s device or a modern 4k chip. it converts light into voltages. these voltages are then digitized for processing and recorded on tape or chip.

      in the 80s, we could still record analogue voltages because video bandwidth was rather low. 4k analogue, though, would be too much. so we need to digitize it for compressing and storing.

      which is my point: the physical world is always analogue, any sensor (camera CCD, microphone…) is analogue. digitizing a sensor’s signal will always (!) reduce quality – sometimes just a tiny little bit, sometimes a lot, simply because the original signal is always better than its copy: the digital signal is quantized (ie crunched into some finit numbers), while the analogue one is continuous (ie infinitely complex).

      so, a virtual analogue synth cannot reproduce the full complexity of a minimoog. and a 4k picture cannot reproduce the full panorama of the grand canyon. they just can come pretty close. science. 😉

      1. Sorry – but you both are spouting complete nonsense.

        The idea that analog is inherently more accurate can be disproved by listening to two different copies of the same record. Both, may sound nice, but they’ll have distortion, pops and skips in completely different places.

        These flaws, which are inherent in analog reproduction, are a key element that makes it interesting. But don’t pretend that analog is in any way more accurate at reproduction.

        Meanwhile, a CD can be copied a million times, and every copy will sound the same. And every digital audio copy will more accurately reproduce the original signal than any common analog format.

        Just as importantly, a digital reproduction of sound will more accurately capture the micro-variations of sound than vinyl or tape. And it’s easy to record and reproduced audio digitally at a resolution that is beyond humans’ abilities to perceive.

        If you don’t like lo-fi video…it’s because you just don’t like the aesthetic of lo-fi video! There’s no need to talk pseudo-religious dogma to support your opinions.

        1. You’re not quite getting what mdesignffm is saying; Theoretically, analog data will give the best reproduction of the oregional audio/video signal, as both of these are inherently analog; an audio signal can take an infinate number of different amplitudes, and an infinate number of frequencies, and a single dot of colour can be any one of an infinate number of colours. A digital representation of these signals will always have to round it off to a close approximation, the nearest value it can produce based on the amount of bits being used to store the value. To perfectly store an analog value, the digital system would have to use an infinate number of bits. Therefore, in a perfect world, a high-bandwidth analog is more accurate. However, reality has a habit of getting in the way. Analog systems tend to be more suceptible to noise, and are harder to error-correct and compress. Therefore, for practicality’s sake, digital is used. While, in theory, you would get a better video quality if you recorded HD video to analog tape, provided you ran it through fast enough, and had high enough quality circuits handling the data, the reality is that the tape reels would be about the size of an average bungalow to store a youtube cat video, you’d need a V8 to run the tape through, and the circuitry would A; be around the size of an average living room, and B; require a rather large amount of money to manufacture. And, after all of this, you’d probably have the tape tangle up on itself. That’s why digital is used; It’s theoretically less perfect than analog, but it’s realistically a lot easier to handle, and a lot more reliable.

        2. The issue here is that you all seem to be comparing a clear analogue signal to a highly compressed digital signal. Theoretically, a 35mm film strip still has more information than than 4k digital video, before being compressed or using lossless compression – but it is perfectly digitally reproduced at this point. But before a 35mm reel can be used it needs to be made into a master reel, which is then turned into a positive master and then made a copy for reproduction, and then another copy made from the edit, and film mastered edit copy – so 3 or 4 generations down the road it is degraded to a point that the 4k video would stand up better. And the 35mm stock is limited to that chemical process used and the grain produced within the context of that, it has a limit, and a very fine balance that can be destroying in the making, mastering and storage. And 35mm isn’t going any place new, and hasn’t in 50 years or so. Yet the pros are shooting 6k video with lossless compression, and the digital range still has legs and is only really held back by cost and storage, which is corrected with the fullness of time.

          As pointed out here analogue seems better if you live in a theoretical world, the problem is that we do not live in such a world – you live in a real world with practical limitations regarding size and cost. We could build a machine the size of a house that records on gold tape, that would blow digital away – but goes beyond the most established budgets of money, time and space. You do not live in a world were anyone is doing that kind of futility anytime soon.

          Look at the SM58, a great mic. But it was designed for recording music in 1966, and has a very poor frequency response 50-15,000 Hz. If you ever see a review of a SM58 compared to other modern mics of similar cost and design the SM58 always comes off bad. So why is this the case, why was the quality of recording equipment in the 1960’s poor by modern standards if they were recording on a better analogue system? The answer is that they weren’t recording at a higher quality – if you do not believe this to be true, maybe try listening to something because it is all poor by modern standards.

          The debate here is that, over the last 150 years humans have evolved and progressed on every conceivable level. But for some odd reason they failed to advance sound recording, reproduction and synthesis. It sounds totally f**king stupid when we express it in those terms. Yet many people are clinging to that stupid dogma that is completely wrong. Whenever someone uses the lynchpin that ‘things were better in the past’ then it is a debate that will ultimately get loss – nothing was better in the past, it is called progress for a real reason – we progressed. It is really an excuse for under performance, for you to embrace why you aren’t as good as your hero. How can you ever sound like Hendrix when he had an analogue 4-track, while all I have access to is unlimited digital channels? Really? Maybe talent and skill in terms of playing and recording would be the real differential.

          Then you have issues of cost and accessibility, what was the cost of shooting a 35mm film 10 years ago, compared to shooting a 6k film today – millions of dollars verses thousands of dollars.

          The counter debate to this doesn’t stand up on any level. So again, I ask, will we ever reach a point when such dogma will be laid to rest?

          1. problem is, you’re already locked into your own dogma…

            its probably why you hate other peoples dogma so much

  2. Useless. $220 for video static interference? It seems as though the modular market is becoming the dumping ground for half-assed circuit bending projects. .

Leave a Reply