LZX Gen3 Modular Releases 2021

Hello everyone!

Here is a preview of the six modules we’ve had in development this year. Two of these (FKG-3 and SMX-3) are in production now. These six designs extend directly from our Gen3 design efforts; which are a complete redesign of the system’s core circuitry from the ground up.

This design era includes Chromagnon, and the release of Topogram from Expedition series was our transitional module into new design practices using discrete OTA cores, 6-layer PCBs, ultra-low noise integrated power supplies, and direct 9-18VDC input power (from EuroRack or any other DC power supply.)

Developing these modules this year was only possible through the dedication and growing skillset of my design partner Jonah Lange – the rest of the R&D team (myself and Ed) have been thoroughly tied up in firmware development for TBC2 and Chromagnon – so it’s a testament to Jonah’s ability to tackle a long string of PCB layout projects independently that we’ve had bandwidth to make these modules a reality.

While we would prefer to save all stock of these modules until Chromagnon’s shipment date, we may be in the cashflow position to need to offer some up for sale earlier, so we can keep things running. Maybe you have an opinion about this, and if so I’d like to know it.

So with that out of the way, here they are:

  • ESG-3 Video Encoder & Sync Generator
  • DWO-3 Dual Wideband Oscillator
  • FKG-3 Fader & Key Generator
  • SMX-3 Summing Matrix
  • DSG-3 Dual Shape Generator
  • ART-3 Affine Ramp Transform

All modules are 12HP and priced at $399 each.

DSG-3 and ART-3 both feature a new analog HV ramps generator core which auto calibrates to the incoming video standard. The DWO-3 has some automatic range switching when genlocked to HD vs SD standards. So these are all ready to go for your analogue HD workflows!

NOTE: These frontpanel designs were revised after reviewing user suggestions in this thread. The titles to each module previously only included the model number with no accompanying functional description. This version has additional descriptors added to the right of the model number.

Please keep discussion in this thread if possible, so that I do not overwhelm our sales/support team with answers to questions about features or availability that they may not have answers for yet.

Thanks Team Video. This has been a tedious year but y’all keep us going!

Lars

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On the ART-3 you have two YY knobs but I think maybe the second one is supposed to be YX, if they’re supposed to match the jacks below.

I love and want them all, btw! Really excited about these!

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Thanks! Looks like I grabbed the wrong PNG in my export folder. Fixed now.

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My body/vessel is ready! Looking great there!

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This is really exciting!
Cheers to you all and your endless strive to innovate and adapt and provide.

One love.

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Available for pre order?

I would buy a esg today if it gives me a way to get video into my mods. Sold my cortex and vidiot to fund my chromag and tbc2 preorders so really need a video in option.

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Fkg-3 it s what I need for my setup as vj with 2 mp, are you guys read my mind whyle I dream about module?

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We’re not taking any sales yet – probably on the other side of a Chromagnon demo video push, in September. Right now I just want to give a preview of what is coming, as it has been a dry spell for our modular community!

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Thanks for sharing that thought – it helps us gauge what to do next. We’re getting close on Chromagnon/TBC2 as well.

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If I understand fkg, it is like a matrix keyer between two sources + the key source (if for example I wanted to keyer source 1 with itself on source 2, I have to insert source 1 in the keyer as well).
but is there the possibility to make an alpha or luma matte too (like the visual cortex key input)?

FKG-3 is at its core fairly simple.

Think of the input columns as singular inputs. You can patch in either an RGB color image or a monochrome source (a ramp, a shape, etc) via the top jack. So there are three input images: Foreground, Background, and Key.

The Source (for the keying between FG and BG) can be selected from either the FG, BG, or the Key channel. So for example, using this as a wipe generator, you can patch your shape into the “Key” and use that to wipe between two separate RGB sources (like your Memory Palaces.)

The “Mode” has four options: Luma Key (extracts luma channel from selected source), or Chroma Key Red/Green/Blue. The chroma keys are color channel exclusion based, on analogue MIN/MAX circuits. So for example, the Chroma Key Green is based on a “Green And Not Blue And Not Red” analogue minimum value. If you are patching a monochrome source to the input of the “Key” channel, then the luma key behaves as an “Alpha Key” or just direct external key input.

You can also repatch and misuse this in any way you can think of, scrambling up color channels, sharing source components across inputs, feeding individual color channels back to CV inputs, etc, or using it as a general purpose “triple fader w/ common drive control” function in any other part of your patch.

FKG-3 is really a single channel of an infinite-layer priority mixer / colorizer as well, in multiples, due to the Windowing mode.

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Doesn’t really affect me, but prioritizing the ESG-3 in the timeline would seem to make sense, since it seems there are a fair number of people who cannot start their system (or have started a system but cannot use it yet!) for lack of an encoder module.

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Here is a doctored screenshot from Wikipedia’s page on Affine transformations that shows how the ART-3 parameters work. This is an analogue implementation of what is typically a graphics function. It is the maths behind much of Chromagnon’s transformations and it’s predecessors (Navigator, Shapechanger) presented as a singular, low HP transform (the Transform CV works like a Dry to Wet control for the entire transformation.)

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Definitely, ESG-3 is most important. If other modules are available before ESG-3, it would only be because ESG-3 is not ready yet. Generally speaking, these 6 are a core set that are part of the same production/release batch, whether or not there is any intermittent staggering. We are planning 18-26 modules in total for our core modular system – this is the first set, and the second set would be Q2/Q3 2022.

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I’ve been wishing I had another sync source for a while now. Will definitely pick up the ESG-3. Will there be a DIY option for these?

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We will be offering a DIY option with pre-assembled SMT sometime after the initial production run. There is a new OEM/DIY catalog coming, with some of the sub assemblies too.

All six of these are triple PCB stacks with low profile SMT headers on the rear – populating all that SMT by hand would be quite a challenge. But we have said that bare PCBs could be made available for advanced DIYers with SMT experience.

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This is some fkg exciting news :star_struck:

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we have tbc2/chromagnon pre ordered and wouldn’t mind pre orders for any of these modules going up before tbc2/chromagnon are shipped.

It is exciting that this line is able to be developed while TBC2/chromagnon are moving forward.

There is a lot to like here but the ESG-3 is particularly striking

Is the dip switch on the front dealing with resolution/sync?

the shape gen looks like it will end up being a good partner for a doorway/Escher sketch/memory palace painting workflow.

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