New guy help needed

Total new guy that has been standing on the edge of the video synth pool for 2 years and struggling bad! So I built up a complete GEN3 system and have been trying to get anything on any screen. At this point I wanted to see if anyone can give me some ideas before I blow out my amazon account!
What I currently have:

  1. Full LZX gen 3 system DSG3 and ESG3 with one of all the current gen3 other modules. LZX - Eurorack Modular System from pagoda-100 on ModularGrid

  2. VILTROX DC-70EX (thinking it would be wise and easy to use the same setup in the new LZX “docs” Problem is that the one in the docs has way more connections than what I got shipped. Same model number but not the same…

  3. Piles of RCA and BNC / adapters

  4. Blackmagic Design Mini Converter - Analog to SDI (Purchased hours before Lars posted it being a known problem device…)

  5. Thinking this would let me use a TV in the house. Blackmagic Design Micro Converter BiDirectional SDI/HDMI 12G with Power Supply. It is on the way to me now so I don’t yet know the results.

So far I can’t get any signal to the VILTROX. I have tried lots of dip switch settings and toggle switches on ESG3. Also tried dip switches on the BM. I hope this is just a matter of the know problem with the Analog to SDI but I am thinking it is not? My sync lights on the ESG are green, I can get the little white light on the BM to flicker (guessing that is good but cant find anything in the manual about it). The Viltrox shows “no signal” using all the input settings.

I have a synth meetup this weekend and one of the members is a diy’r with a big LZX system (Red modules) and he has a bunch of gear that I can test with. Plus he knows how to swim in this pool vs me sinking to the bottom!

Any tips on how I can get something going? I was doing my best to just use known good new gear to get started and dive into the mucking about with old used stuff later as it looks like that is a game of try it and see.

At any rate, Thanks for reading!

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First: have you tried going directly from your ESG3 to the TV?

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You mention the LEDs on your ESG are green. Is this the case no matter what dip switch settings you have on the ESG? Do you have anything plugged into the rear RCA sync input? Do the LEDs ever light up yellow instead?

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Currently I don’t have a TV with anything other than HDMI in.
The Viltrox does have a 3.5 mm input called AV so I was going to try and grab a RCA to 3.5 cable from the camera shop up the road. They also have a Elgato ELG Video Capture Mac/Win That I was thinking of trying but I am trying to avoid a massive box of junk that I will not use after I figure out how to tread water!

I am sync’d via RCA on the backs DSG>FKG3>ESG (double and triple checked ins / outs…)
I don’t think I can change the lights on ESG by flipping the dip switches. I can try when I get home.

It appears, due to always green LED, that your ESG is not booting the onboard firmware. Email and we can get you sorted.


just to be clear on proper sync chain configuration…
ESG out > DSG in > DSG out > FKG in


In this setup, your sync setup should flow from ESG3. So make sure your ESG3 is sending sync out to DSG3 and through to FKG3. You can swap the order of the modules following ESG3, so long as you make sure it is always the source (until you get TBC2, Chromagnon, or another video decoder to provide sync).

EDIT: @eyesnoface JINX!


Ahhhh… I think I have it reversed! I think my dyslexia may have kicked in while looking at the photos in the “getting started” doc. That and my preconfigured left to right patching brain must have kicked in. Looking back at the doc it is clear. So when this system gets TCB2 will it be the start of sync or part of the chain?

I will go fix this is soon as I get home and report.

Thank you so much for the help. I can’t wait to get past this so I can ask some “fun” questions!


In addition to what others have already mentioned, it’s a good idea to have a tv/monitor that takes composite input, at least for testing purposes. As technically complex as a composite signal is (combining sync and video and color info all in one wire), it’s often a lot easier to troubleshoot with a direct-to-composite signal chain (two possible points of failure: source, destination) than with a signal chain that relies on converters (three possible points of failure: source, converter, destination). So be sure to pick up that A/V cable even if you end up figuring out this issue without it.


OK, Sync cables are now corrected. And I had a nice moment when I realized the naming of ESG… Oh well, my subject title is accurate!

Now getting:
2 green lights on ESG
No signal on Viltrex
White light in the BM analog to SDI box flickers when everything is connected

I guess I will try and grab the RCA to 3.5 cable to try AV in on Viltrex. Analog to HDMI box delivers Sunday.

Dip switch 4 in up position gets me a signal but I can’t get anything other than the photos when patching DSG3 or just ESG3 on its own. ESG on its own will produce clean solid color. Adding DSG is all “lines” no matter what i do to the modules.

Hurray for some progress!

You may want to check the DIP switches on the DSG now. Theoretically, if the 5th one (from the left) is down, that’ll enable autodetect mode and it shouldn’t matter what position any of the others are in. I think this should be the factory default setting, but you never know, so I’d check it.

If that doesn’t do the trick, you can also try setting the 4th and 5th ones (from the left) on the DSG to up and the rest to down, and that should match the mode you have set on the ESG. (Note: The switch positions for that mode are not the same on both modules.) As far as I know, this shouldn’t be necessary since the autodetect mode should work, but maybe this will help in your particular case. I think the results of this test will probably be useful for further diagnostics.

Yet another thing you could try if you happen to have any eurorack audio oscillators is to plug the oscillator output into one of the ESG inputs and see if you can see anything. Lower rates on the oscillator should make the screen flicker, but if you go to higher rates (nearer the top of the oscillator’s range) you should be able to get some horizontal bars. You likely won’t be able to get them to stay perfectly still, but with some very care adjustments of the frequency you’ll probably be able to get some scrolling bars, at least. This kind of a test should help to show that at least another part of the ESG is working correctly. (Plus this kind of source will let you play around a bit with your whole video system in the meantime while trying to get the DSG or sync issue resolved.)

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4th switch up on DSG does indeed produce a better ramp (I think that’s what it is called!) but it is scrolling slowly across the screen and not centered. Unlike the static results in the beginning of the video that was recently posted. Ill run an audio OSC into ESG and see what I get.
Thanks again for all the help. This is way more confusing than learning to patch Serge for the first time! But that just makes the rewards of figuring stuff out all the better.

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White light in the BM analog to SDI box flickers when everything is connected

This should be a steady light when the unit is operating correctly and means it is having trouble syncing to ESG’s output. This explains the erratic behavior you are seeing downstream on the display as well.

It’s always best to simplify your signal chain in these scenarios. Remove any converters and patch directly into a tv with a composite video input (or the AV in on the Viltrox). Set your ESG to NTSC and start with the CVBS output on ESG.

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White lite in BM converter is solid now.
Tried a bunch of dip switch combos but this is the best so far. Trust me, I am on the hunt for a non converted display.
this is the current results test - YouTube

Without any new hardware or cable options today I guess I can unload all the other modules and see if that does anything. EDIT: pulled all but DSG and ESG and the ramp is now stationary on screen. Power issue? The Konstant Lab power has parts of the bus filtered as well. I guess I could move these two over to that section and start adding modules back in to see what happens. I had a feeling I would be needing to go the 12v barrel route. Just something else to order and wait on I guess!

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Guessing its a power issue at this stage. I now am just running ESG DSG FKG and Matrix mixer with good results. I am still getting issues with the signal just dying for a sec and then it will return. Lights on ESG and converter do not change when it goes out, Just the signal at the monitor. I ordered the DC Distro and some cables and plan to offload all or most of the LZX modules to that. Hopefully that makes my signal more stable because now I’m having a blast!
first cruddy patch

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I’m hooked…
Hopefully the power distro makes the signal more stable. Not surprised, but I am already addicted to anything that has CV. I only have audio modules to use right now but I am sure some video specific cv tools will be way better. Time to start working on capture…


Thanks for the update. I hope DC Distro is the solution to all your troubles.

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