Neon Captain, founded by laser artist Christopher Short, electronics expert Andrew Kilpatrick and designer QP Tharmviboonsri, has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of the Radiator Laser Synthesizer.
Radiator comes with audio, MIDI and control voltage (CV) inputs, allowing you to control your laser show in many different ways. You can trigger laser effects with MIDI directly from your sequencer or drum machine, or simply with an audio signal. Control voltage inputs allow control from an analog or modular synth.
It also features an audio output, so you can incorporate the sound of the laser signal into your performances.
Radiator is designed to work like a music synthesizer, and is designed in part by Andrew Kilpatrick, creator of the Phenol synthesizer. It contains modules that will be familiar to both electronic musicians and computer graphic artists alike:
- Shape Generators – This is where beams, abstract and other shapes are generated. The most basic settings give you the traditional sine and cosine waves that started the laser show craze back in the 1970s! Mix two waves together to make beautiful cycloid or Lissajous patterns. Other shapes give you even more complexity, and we hope to allow you to design and import your own shapes and line-art animations as well.
- Color Generator – The color generator selects the beam color, either a single hue or complex cycling color patterns. The Color Generator knows how to synchronize with shapes and other modules to create images with smooth fades and evolving colors.
- Transformer – This is where 2D becomes 3D. Shapes and colors are mapped into three dimensions allowing you to add motion, depth and rotation.
- Clones – It allows images to be repeated in various ways such as in grids or radially. The result can then be moved and rotated to create dynamic and stunning images that appear to have a life of their own!
- Modulators – Each of the three modulators can affect controls on any other module. Want to have a shape get bigger and smaller? Or how about make the brightness fade up and down while also rotating the image? You can do it all with the Modulators. External MIDI and CV sources can also be used as modulation sources.
- Master – Safety is of the utmost importance with lasers. The master section offers direct control of the size and brightness of the beams. A blackout button kills the beam instantly. If you need to step out for a moment, the safety interlock key switch ensures that nobody will activate the laser when you’re gone.
Pricing and Availability
Production of the Radiator is being funded by a Kickstarter project. It is available to project backers starting at about US $500.