RIBBONS 3-Bit Digitizer Discussion


Ribbons is a 3-bit digitizer module for your EuroRack video synthesizer. Slice your video sources and waveforms into eight discrete bands which invoke the look of primitive digital graphics and video colorizers from the 1970s and 1980s.

Implemented with 9 high speed analog comparators and CMOS logic, the digitization technique employed by Ribbons lack any pixel clock or quantized time base. This reveals a surreal and silky quality to the image under modulation, which we feel is absent from modern digital video.


  • Hard edged binary 3-bit ADC and Window Key outputs
  • Positive and negative 3-bit DAC outputs provide stepped analog waveforms
  • Center and Span controls and CV inputs allow modulation of sampling offset and scale
  • Enable and Disable inputs extend utility for masking and compositing in the patch


  • Our first 3-bit digitizer module was 2012’s 8 Stage Video Quantizer & Sequencer, which was loosely inspired by the Amplitude Classifier module from the Sandin Image Processor.

  • In 2018, we released Castle 000 ADC and Castle 001 DAC as part of the Castle DIY module series

  • In 2019, we released Fortress, the first module to integrate ADC and DAC capabilities in the same module.


  • 8HP EuroRack Module
  • Powered via 12V DC barrel or EuroRack power header
  • Max Depth: 32mm
  • +12V Power Consumption: 120mA

Facebook question:
I’m guessing the lower left jack (arrow) is the input to be digitized? And D0, D1, and D2 are equivalent to the similarly named outputs on the Castle ADC. And I’m guessing that Center and Span are equivalent to Bias and Gain from the Castle ADC so the CV inputs are CV controls over that. But what do the other jacks do (EN, ~EN, ramp up, ramp down, and key)?

Lars answer:
You have the input and D0-D2 output correct. The center & span controls are a bit different. They are a new analog CV processor design with thru-zero modulation of span. The outputs of this internal circuit generate upper & lower thresholds. The area between the upper and lower thresholds is sliced into 8 equal bands, and then encoded to a 3-bit number. When Span goes negative, it inverts – allowing you to create ADC patterns that compress and expand under modulation (to do this with Castle or Fortress, you needed external VCAs). The Ramp up/down are DAC outputs (stair step waveforms) and the Enable/Disable inputs are video rate masking inputs to enable or disable he outputs (so it’s like having a compositor built in, so that you can combine or exclude the outputs from an external key/mask source.)


Facebook question:
How would you say this fits into a setup that already has Fortress in it?

Lars answer from FB:
Ribbons has some more advanced features than the Fortress ADCs, and focuses just on the ADC/DAC part of the workflow.

Lars answer from Discord:
Ribbons should play great with fortress and castle in the same way [as Castle and Fortress work together]. Castles are discrete functions. Fortress encapsulates a full voice. Ribbons encapsulates a component of a voice, it is a complex function with driver circuitry and voltage control.
In patch context, Ribbons is the first way in Gen3 to generate a 3-bit number. Other modules will receive 3-bit numbers. Together, that’s how you achieve Fortress style patches in Gen3.


wah, can’t wait for this! I love that early digital look


Really keen on this. Looking forward to a demo video.


There should be a stream on the LZX Twitch account really soon that’ll be Ribbons centred.

If you’re not on the LZX Discord, I recommend joining as it was announced on there. A couple of people have received their Ribbons orders already but I haven’t seen anyone post any video on there in the Gallery channel.


I am, thanks Robin:)

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