Structure vs. Memory Palace

I am looking to expand my modular synthesizer into the visual realm and as such find the ethos and workflow of LZX products to be very appealing. My primary objective is to manipulate recognizable visuals in tandem with audio modulation.
From my understanding, the Frame Buffer of the Memory Palace would allow me to access images for manipulation without any external equipment yet there are some clear limitations to this capacity (# of files etc.). The Erogenous Tones Structure can also store images, not to mention short videos with (seemingly) no such limitations, yet its online documentation isn’t exhaustive.
My question is: Does the Memory Palace provide any features that the Structure lacks?
I have come to this forum with the assumption that participants are LZX users and as mentioned above, I appreciate and even gravitate towards the LZX methodology (not being a user myself). However, I have a hard time justifying the investment in a Memory Palace when the Structure suggests so much more capability, Am I wrong?
Will the Chromagnon or TBC2 add even further complication?
Any thoughts? Convince me otherwise?

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i delved into visualizing my noiz with videosynths a while back.
my needs are to be able to construct things that look like my noiz in a quick manner.
(i’m primarily focused on making the noiz)

i had a Memory Palace for a few days but ended up returning it.
it’s an interesting thing but you do need to delve pretty deep for the really cool results.
i have seen some amazing results with it!

you really don’t need much instruction with Structure.
as someone mentioned in a review…the programming of Structure is “elegant” in its workflow and design.

as far as your specific question…
the two are quite different in execution and complexity.
my personal experience is that Structure has a fast ease of use with amazing results.

i currently own three Structures that i use with several other videosynths.
if you would like to see some of their use here’s my playlist:

I appreciate the response and specificity of what opinions are influenced by your personal workflow and objective.
I must admit, part of my aversion to Structure is my lack of understanding of GLSL Shaders, they just don’t gel with the way my mind works as opposed to the building blocks of analog video that LZX modules tap into. But this is somewhat of a digression, considering that that methodology is not featured in the Memory Palace, nor do I see myself pursuing the pattern-oriented outcomes of analog video synthesis.
Is most of the work featured in your playlist shader-based? And if so, could you give a brief rundown of the shader workflow?
Ultimately, I believe my work will incorporate more symbolic images with quite simple modulation, even at times just image changes triggered by gate. Is the use of shaders even necessary in Structure with this objective?


the newest version of structure (out today 2.8) has added live keyboard input to the text node

just load up a font that is full of the symbols you want :slight_smile:

or you could load up individual images and then skip between them using CV

the question of what is necessary is a dangerous one but structure could do this for you pretty easily

if you don’t want to get into working with shaders you could spend a whole lot of time with structure and never even think about a line of code no problem

Memory Palace and Structure are different instruments and are hard to compare to one another.
I have spent many a joyful hour manipulating short (64 frame) loops with Memory Palace and using no other inputs or sources. Each Memory Palace slider does something really unique to the image, so it is very hands on and easy to find a wide range of possible effects. If you add TBC2, you will add two distinct video inputs (or images/loops from TBC2’s media loader). Adding Chromagnon to Memory Palace will result in a powerful analog/digital hybrid modular video synthesizer, with a single external video input and multiple outputs.

I did see that announcement, like the notion of live text, and can certainly see applications, however I don’t want my use of the term ‘symbols’ to be taken too literally - I guess I more meant recognizable images as opposed to Wingdings.

It is exciting to see the how firmware can expand the possibilities of a product but I guess I’d like to see a more definitive list of what is currently possible in Structure for example what can actually be manipulated by CV.

Yes, one of the things that draws me to the Memory Palace is the amount of hands-on control, or perhaps how dedicated and therefore understandable the controls are as opposed to the more esoteric front panel of Structure.

You mention 64 frame loops, what route are you actually taking to achieve these? Through still images? The user manual states “Up to 32 subfolders and 32 images per subfolder are allowed (others are ignored)” Has this been expanded?

As for the TBC2, has its media playing capabilities been confirmed? Will it be able to play images and even videos from the SD card? Will the limitations be the same as that of the Memory Palace?

i don’t dig into the GLSL code and such.
even though i have seen some VERY simple manipulations of code…programming code is not really my thing.
things tend to break rather quickly if i mess with code.
if i am using Structure…i tend to rummage around through a horde of node sets and then tweek it’s file choices to dial it in to visually represent what i am hearing.

sometimes i get lucky hitting the Random button to get a foundation that i can start with.

I use images and a lot of the times i use a sigil set i made into a font in order to get simple line art into a TEXT node set that can be manipulated.

you of course can use images and you can just feed it images with a P-10 or some other source if you wanted to.
i do that from time to time.

as @Z0NK0UT stated…
they are two VERY different beasts.

Memory Palace has a lot of immediate hands on controls and you can go CV crazy with everything.
for me…it seemed that Memory Palace can be a mega heavy lifter when integrated into a more broad and supplemented modular video synth.

i don’t have that sort of thing.

i just have a whole horde of videosynth generators that i warp and mix together.
like all of the Critter & Guitari doodads, DU-NTSC, Hypno, BitVision, P-10, Gieskes and so on.

Structure has CV, Audio and MIDI control.
i send all three of those sources into Structure simultaneously almost all the time…and now with 2.8 you can hook up a USB computer keyboard and live type stuff right into it!
(i test drove that last night and it’s pretty awesome.)
so it’s an immediate result.
it also has Composite vid IN and OUT so again…it’s an immediate signal flow for my setup.

hope that answers a few of your questions.
feel free to ask me about anything else!
glad to help!

Ah, “32” was a typo. You can auto cycle (or trigger cycle) through 64 images in a folder, thus creating an animation. There is a good example in the last Memory Palace video.

Just here to give my two cents. I came into video synth modules with a desire to make visuals I could enjoy while tweaking my audio modules. I quickly got addicted to exploring the world of live video construction, and that kept me fascinated for a couple years (even with a very small budget and only a few modules). However, I found that I have two main workflows I find myself following due to my limitation of only having two hands: [1] setup a cool, semi/quasi-generative video patch while I noodle with audio; and [2] The opposite… get some mind-numbing musical ostinato going that I kind of like and then explore the videoscape with knob twiddling and patching. For the record, I would love to own a Memory Palace, but I don’t know if that’ll ever happen. However, I do own a Structure, and it changed my video life – I find I have to force myself to use other modules because it is so rewarding and easy to make something that evolves slowly without needing a massive inter-patched rig to do so. In the last two years, I’ve been doing weekly video gigs for bands (before covid crapped on everything), and when I got Structure, it was a serious game changer. The main ways it helped me are: [1] it is very versatile (lots of different flavors can be coaxed from it easily); [2] can save presets, so its easy to change things up quickly for a different feel; and [3] I can tweak (and save) interesting patches/presets so that they evolve over minutes or longer. That last point is huge for me in a performance setting because it allows me to take my focus away from Structure for a minute or two in order to reconfigure other parts of my performance… examples: cue a different clip on r_e_c_u_r, switch input to a camera, rearrange some patch points, get something else ready to mix in, etc.
I should say, the first two nights I had Structure, I kept thinking… hmmm… this isn’t for me… it’s too different from my old ways. But then it just clicked and I loved it. And since then, the firmware updates just keep rolling out with new features/shaders, and its at-least doubled in its capability since I’ve owned it. Such a treat.

I like the clarity of that video, this was one of the things that initially got me interested in Memory Palace.
I guess this brings us to the nuts and bolts of my question @SPIKE and @drumasaurusrex you may be well equipped to answer this: The Memory Palace certainly has a lot of clearly defined patch points whereas Structure has those 5 undedicated CV inputs. Could you theoretically assign parameters like Scroll, Key, Rotate, Saturate, etc. to be modulated through any of the 5 cv inputs?
On a somewhat unrelated note, we’ve clarified that the Memory Palace can contain 64 images per folder. And Structure’s Clip Node has the following limitations:
*320×240 or 640×480 clips (and only 1 size active at a time)

  • 320×240 allows 1600 frames total
  • 640×480 allows 400 frames total
  • Max clip length can be set in system menu (like 20 frames per video)
  • Max of 16 clips supported

Are there similar limitations on the IMG Node? It says in the manual “720x480 and 24 bit color.” but does not specify the number of files or folders supported.

I really appreciate everyone’s input thus far, I think we are getting to the crux of my question!

yes the cv inputs on structure are for assigning to different parameters within shaders

assign them to whatever you want

structure is on 1024x768 max for img node now
max amount of pictures is up to the size card you have I don’t know that there is a limit other than that at least that I’ve run into yet

So I could have a series of photographs to create a cycling animation?

And if I wanted to adjust contrast for example, would this be done via a shader?

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like i mentioned…everything is freely assignable.
since there are five CV ins, three gate INs and one gate OUT…i use all the MIDI CC i can feed into it.

not that i know of.
i have yet to run into a limit.

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contrast is one of the macros over the output so you could CV that
or I’m sure there are shaders that also have contrast

my three macros are setup for
(three knobs on the top right)

Alright, thanks for all the info, you’ve all been very helpful. One final clarification: Image change is possible via CV, correct?

Why not simply add the laptop for infinite content? Probably will need a converter from HDMI. By the way Memory Palace is awesome.

More complicated to control via CV.
But in the end my entire eurorack system could easily be replaced by a laptop but it’s really not about capability, it’s about tactile enjoyment and the experience of use

Structure and Memory Palace are the only two video modules I have - and while I absolutely adore the Memory Palace, I would definitely recommend Structure as a sort of starting module. You don’t really need anything more than that to make some really, really interesting visuals. It’s extremely powerful with a ton of shaders and node sets and Erogenous Tones keep on updating the firmware pretty much every month. You can also add your own shaders (which is easy enough), images, videos and hook up external sources to it. I can’t recommend it enough! It’s an absolutely brilliant piece of kit. I love it to bits!

The Memory Palace is way more specific, but although I’ve only had mine for a few days (and only use it with still images at this point), seeing as you can load still images into it - the potential is pretty much limitless. Lots more patch points than Structure, so more possibilites for cv control, which is ace - and you know, it’s made to make feedback - which is just … the best fucking thing when it comes to video synthesis, in my opinion, haha. And it does it really well. I can’t wait to hook a Chromagnon up to it.

I wholeheartedly recommend both, but I’d personally start out with a Structure, you simply get more options and more of a “full” package. Structure also has lots of feedback nodes, which can do somewhat what Memory Palace can do, but not quite as well, and not as specific, in my opinion, and obviously not with the level of control you get with the MP.

Check out my Instagram for some audio visual stuff made with just Structure (I haven’t gotten to upload any which uses the Memory Palace just yet):

Also, be sure to join the ET Facebook page, Rick and James (the makers) are in there daily answering questions and requests - they’re just top top guys! Really so helpful and kind, I don’t think I’ve seen that level of support anywhere else, to be honest. :slight_smile:

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Actually i was only saying to use the laptop for picture and video clip storage, maybe also editing images.