Ahead of a demo video to show what Chromagnon can do, and in response to questions about how it works, here are some notes from Lars about the new LZX standalone synthesizer.
So to explain it compositionally, in a no-input case, it starts with ramp shape selection as the “scene”. You reach over to the right, set it to “triangle ramps” or whatever you like and then you select “Vector” if you want to process the ramps natively or “Shape” if you want to process them as a quadrilateral (4 quadrant mirrored AKA triangle ramps) space. Then you have XY controls, edge softness, etc. like a typical Navigator/Shapechanger based patch.
To change that shape, you modulate it either directly (with ambient motion generator or directly patched source) or you use the Modulation Vector, which allows you to define a 2D rotation for the ramps in parallel and then use that to displace the original ramps thru a mod matrix (the 5 buttons on the lower left). Imagine if you had a 2D staircase and that 2D staircase had dual VCAs feeding the rotation angle of Navigator–that’s what the Modulation Vector section is.
Now if you want something a little more wiggly, like an oscillator pattern, that’s what the “Fold” button does (Fold button on = Super Staircase = Chromagnon is complex shape generator).
Fold will add more density to the pattern (like Staircase does), whereas fold off allows for dimensional displacements (like this is where you’d patch luma for your Rutt Etra effect).
Right side buttons in order…
- HV/Ramp shape select (8 ramp shape options)
- XY Mode – this sets the main function of the instrument: Chroma gen/proc, Luma gen/proc, Vector (for ILDA or XY displays), and HV (for shape/pattern generation with ramps)
- Luma output source (these go thru a YUV to RGB converter, and then into the Porter-Duff Compositor as the Top Layer/Foreground)
- Chroma output source
- Porter-Duff Compositor (12 modes). These settings change the way the processed output and the input source are blending together, like a wet/dry composite. There’s a lot of analog logic and dual key generation trickery here, to achieve the complex RGB logic.
To break down button 2 a bit more, you can think of it like 4 different patches. You effectively have two modes for external source processing (Luma and Chroma), one mode for pattern synthesis (HV), and one mode for vector/laser synthesis (Vector). It changes the context in which the signals interact. Vector and HV mode are almost identical–just different ramp settings and VCA/Gain strategy. For example, in Vector mode Edge controls raster size. In HV mode, it is a high gain clipping function.