What is a Modular Video Synthesizer?
A video synthesizer is an electronic instrument which creates or processes video images in real time. A modular video synthesizer is comprised of one or more electronic modules. Each module performs a specific function, such as shape generation or color mixing. Modules are connected to each other with patch cables in an open ended manner which encourages experimentation and offers a wholly immersive creative experience. A large system of modules may be purchased at once, or it may be built up over time as modules are added according to an artist’s specific creative goals.
Below you will find a list of core components required to begin.
LZX EuroRack 101
- We offer a complete product line of EuroRack format video synthesizer modules.
- Our modules are compatible with the same EuroRack cases, power supplies and patch cables used for audio synthesizers.
- External video inputs and outputs follow broadcast video standards: 480i/576i YPbPr Component, NTSC/PAL Composite & S-Video.
- Signal levels are lower (1V) than most audio modules (5V-10V), but inputs are tolerant of any voltage produced by a EuroRack system. Level scaling between video and audio modules can be handled by the built in attenuators on the modules, or by a scaler module such as Bridge.
- Our modules draw slightly more power on average than audio modules. A good budget for your EuroRack power supply is 10 mA per HP unit width of your case, per +/-12V power rails. The list below includes case and power supply recommendations that will perform well when full of our modules.
- Our modules use wideband video components throughout. This means voltage control inputs are capable of very high frequencies, allowing signals such as camera images to modulate oscillators or VCAs.
EuroRack Case & Power Supply
Doepfer A-100LC6 (with PSU3), $390-$450 USD.
More recommendations on EuroRack Cases & Power Supplies.
Standard Patch Cables
We recommend a variety of lengths. A good rule of thumb is to have as many cables as the number of patch points in your system divided by two. 3.5mm patch cables are available from any of our dealers.
Our modules are designed to expand organically from Visual Cortex as a starting point, so there are no wrong answers when it comes to what modules to get next. Our System Examples page provides several examples of both small and large system configurations. You may also want to check out our lists of useful Peripherals & Accessories.
If you have exhausted your initial budget or feel like you don’t have enough knowledge to start adding more modules immediately, that’s okay. Visual Cortex is a small video synthesizer in itself, and the perfect learning laboratory. Peruse the documentation and follow the video tutorials to get acquainted with your new gear and expand at your own pace.