I’m absolutely fascinated with the stuff I’m doing with my new LZX modules, and loving how organic certain interactions with my Eurorack rig can be. But I’m really twiddling knobs without understanding what I’m doing. A big part of my love of Eurorack is the community of genius engineers who offer amazing insights for the layman. This is a whole other level, and it’s incredibly inspiring. Can anyone point me to some really great resources online or in book form to learn more about what we’re doing here?
Well you’re looking at it, at the moment!! Video synthesis doesn’t have the same history of learning resources, since traditionally in its legacy years it was not accessible enough to the larger community of artists or people who would have wrote a book on patching and technique. We opened this community site with the hope that we can keep threads focused on useful information, guides, patching resources, etc. in order to build a contextual library of information for new users. The best thing you can do is keep posting threads and asking questions – We’ll do our best to reply thoroughly – it’s a good investment for the whole community, so much lost in old e-mails.
a potential source of some information may be the lumen manuals - not that they’re complete, nor are they about physical modules - but they do have a reasonable amount of information in them
it’d be really nice to see something like Patch and Tweak but for video synthesis
BUT I don’t expect to - based on Lars estimate for the number of video synthesists out there - between 500 and 1000 (owning lzx modules) - which I suspect is the majority of hardware video synthesists - no idea how popular other things like oscillatoscope and etc, etc are - the market for a book is very small - much much smaller than the market for Patch and Tweak - I guess there must be at least 10-20 thousand eurorack users out there - if maths is one of the most popular modules and had sold 5000 a couple of years back and is still selling quite strongly
Let’s not forget about a healthy second hand market! There may have been 5000 Maths sold, for example. But I bought mine used and only had it temporarily. I also bought one of my Cadet oscillators second hand. It’s difficult to judge how many video synthesists, or more specifically LZX customers, there are out there. But who wants to be on a list and catalogued anyway, right?
There are less than 1000 of us out there, but probably more than 500-600 (I can count the total number of core modules out in the world to get an estimate.) This is just people using LZX modules – the number of people using consumer video gear for feedback and other techniques is much larger. But to do a book specifically on video synth patch technique it would necessarily be focused on the LZX component, since a discussion on technique beyond just “how to be a visual artist” excludes most other things.
It’s pretty incredible though… when you look at historical video synths, I don’t think more than 40 or 50 of any of them were ever produced (of the Sandin IP, there were only ~20).
I would love nothing more than a year to write a textbook on patching techniques, maybe in the form of “100 patches” with lots of notes and ideas for exploration. I just perpetually don’t have the time; we’ve been getting a ton of modules out into the world over the past 3 years – and I’ve only been without another job for the past 18 months now. My hope is that sales will be strong enough in 2019 that we can rest on our existing product line for a while without all my time going to new release R&D and just managing a volatile new business. I’m a project guy, so I need a couple months to mostly focus on a larger documentation/tutorial effort. I’d love to team up with Jason (Lumen) on this, as he’s great at it – we’ve talked about it a lot before.
There are these texts, which are great! But more on the history angle:
There do exist some good tutorial videos on YouTube, Sam was doing them for awhile. They might be for modules you don’t have but they can provide some level of understanding even if you don’t have access to the modules they’re explaining. I think LZX Industries channel has em as a playlist or sum’n.
There’s no substitute for patching though! I start off near every patch as research, building around some oft-neglected module or some hair-brained interaction between 3 or 4 modules. Plenty of the time it just plain doesn’t work in any useful way, and that’s as valuable to learning as the times it comes out brilliant. Expound upon the winners and hit the drawing board after the losers, that’s my strat. More patch hours = more understanding. Early on there’s insane value to just focusing on one or two modules & seeing what you can get. Hell, the cortex by itself is good for 20-50hrs of fuggin around.
Befriend some old timers, they’re walking tomes of knowledge. The community is our biggest asset!
cskonopka has a great series called video painting which covers modules and techniques in detail: