Recent LZX entrant asking/musing about a couple things

Hi everyone, I’m a very fortunate recent entrant into the LZX ecosystem, in that I acquired a Visual Cortex, and have been enjoying exploring it. :star_struck: I found Shawna Lee’s VC/Vidiot video, and was taken with quite a few of the patterns, shades, and textures in it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sZ2DDvdkvk I’m sure the Chromagnon could accomplish this and more with the VC, though I’m interested in expanding my LZX set sooner. If I were to choose some Gen3 modules to do similar things, do you think the DWO3 and maybe the FKG3 would be the first choices? A few time markers that caught my fancy were at 2:00, 3:00, 5:30… I’d like to be able to CV some of those sections that she was adjusting via knobs, especially the 3:00 one. This seems to be adjustment of oscillator frequency–gentle FM of DWO3 might do this?

When I first saw what the DSG3 could do, I wanted to smoothly transition between the various settings that the switches select–a smooth morph instead of the hard cut the switch delivers. However, the more I read about analog video synthesis, it seems my desire would require a ridiculous amount of extra circuitry added to the module–is this correct? I thought maybe the FKG3 could be the morphing function, mixing between the two separate DSG3 generators, with their respective settings set to the patterns I want to morph between. If this is correct, it makes me think two FKG3s would be even better, like VCAs in audio modular. And furthermore, with the multiple outs on the DSG3 and ins on a FKG3, various very happy morphing accidents would result. Do I have any of this right?

A little of my background is I’ve been doing eurorack audio for around 6 years, and got into it with a specific idea of what I wanted to explore. I’d like to do the same with analog video synthesis, and start by exploring the shifting of patterns and colors. Who knows what the future will bring, but at this time this is what compels me and what I want to focus on.

A bit of what I’ve done so far with the VC: I’ve gotten a big kick out of sending all 4 of VC’s ramp outputs into a modulated 4 channel VCA, sometimes with an offset, into various ins in the colorizer & compositor. I’ve tried amplifying a sync out from the VC to get an analog oscillator to sync to it to varying degrees of success, one of which was getting my Synchrodyne+Expand to make (amusingly wiggly) verticle lines. I still don’t grok the animation and key gen section, but I’m giving myself time with it.

Thank you if you’ve read this far! If someone’s interested I can share the audio modules I used in another post since this is a book.

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Sorry, don’t have time to look at specific time stamps of the video at the moment, but if you’re looking for pattern synthesis and have a Visual Cortex (which has both basic ramps and mixing/keying — somewhat analogous to DSG and FKG, respectively, though less feature-rich than either), the next module I’d probably recommend is Stairs, since that plus ramps can do a lot of fun stuff. Especially if you already have LFOs.

Then probably a DWO, yeah, to get some video-rate oscillators into the mix. Or a DSG, if that more symmetrical look is your jam.

But to answer your question about DSG, rather than trying to mod it, you could just put some outputs into Channel A of the VC and others into Channel B and voltage control the mix/fade between them there. …And, yeah, you could also do this with an FKG.

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Yes, you are spot on. This is exactly in line with how these modules are designed to be used together, and the right thought process to explore sculpting video shapes with them. The functions of the modules are specific as a prompt for understanding their functions – but the patch is entirely freeform. If you look at FKG3 and DSG3 as a pair, you have 8 outputs on DSG3 and 11 inputs on FKG3 – that’s an enormous number of patterns and configurations, that are entirely defined in the patch, with no wrong answers.

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Yes, this is correct. It’s often nice to have things like interpolators/faders, multipliers, etc on separate modules – that way they can be patch programmed to make whatever transition you want, rather than fixed to a specific processor/function. It’s exactly the same as “never too many VCAs” and “modulate the modulator that modulates the modulator” principles in audio synthesis.

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Welcome @scuto!

Riffing on the great suggestions already presented, another possible way that you could smoothly morph between DSG3 outputs would be by using a crossfader:

PROC would be another useful tool for dialing things in and for processing your DSG3 outputs in a more specific way:

Have fun and let us know what you discover along the way.

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Stairs looks interesting, then I watched the three patch video on your suggestion. Short-listed! The self-feedback was an unexpected perk, and has led me to consider other modules’ self-patching/feedback.

With your and others’ replies, it seems DSG is more the way forward for me for a foundational shape-maker, though I am intrigued by the potential patterns and shapes it and a DWO interacting could make.

Good suggestion to make more intentional use of the features on VC–I’ll get to know it better while ogling the next module or two.

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The LZX twitch streams (though at times a bit, uh, meandering) can also be a useful way to learn what does what.

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Thank you for this feedback and clarifications! It feels good to start to understand the rationale behind the structure of the Gen3 framework–seems like a good fit for me to both learn the concepts and functions while having fun exploring them. (The VCA analogy makes a lot of sense.) Plus, that 8>11 situation is appealing, plus the VC (and Stairs!) I could have a lot of fun! I feel I’m better understanding patch programming in video modular so far compared with audio, possibly out of pure ignorance of “proper” signal flow in video. In audio I already had certain notions that I’ve been chipping away at with the help of patching modular.

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Thanks for this lead! I’ll check this out. I just found the Discord, which I’ve only “skimmed” so far.

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Thank you for the welcome, and the interest!

I’ll have to look into Channel, it seems feature-dense.

Interesting about Proc–the benefit of it over an audio module with the same features is the 0-1v range, and it can handle video frequencies? From the module page with the front panel legend I wasn’t clear on its offset function–if one of the two inputs marked with the same color are unpatched, that one adds an offset to the signal in the other one?

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Ramps are the landscape, Oscillators are the weather…
Ramps are the harp, Oscillators are the harpist’s fingers…
Oscillators are the escalator, Ramps are the passengers…

Lots of ways to think about how to define the relationship in a given patch.

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Proc is a very handy block for situations when you need to create manual voltages, attenuate a signal, invert a signal, offset a signal, or sum two signals (like a source with a modulator). Having three in one module makes it easy to patch for RGB workflows, or you can use the 3 functions independently. Generally a useful utility function block.

It can also be used as an expander for other modules. For example, 3x Proc + 1x FKG3 could create an extended color processing subsystem system where you have Gain + Offset knobs for all 9 color inputs on the FKG3.

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This just made Proc the top module on my wish list!

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I think I’ve already stumbled upon a visual related to this! It seems Gen3 modules would give me more control and predictability than I have now for this kind of visual.

I appreciate the Proc description! However I’m still not clear on how it creates an offset–whether the first or second column is dedicated to offsets (and the other atten/invert), or if it comes about via patching in a certain way. 3 Procs plus a FKG3 would be a remarkably detailed system for RBG-fests!

Edit: Just watched the Proc video, and it’s the column of C knobs that provide the offset, if anyone in addition to me was unclear!

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The output function is A + B + C.

A is a direct input.
B is an input with it’s level/inversion controlled by the corresponding B knob.
C is a bias voltage generated by the corresponding C knob.

In general if you see knobs with outlined triangles these are controlling the level of a specific input jack that’s on the same panel.

Knobs with solid triangles are a bias control or related to some other function.

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Nice–I appreciate that, and the conventions of triangle types is a good call!

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