I do have a technical background, but long before I was in college I was making cool Max and PD patches, so that’s where a lot of understanding of modular synthesis came from. It wasn’t until a while after college that I realized a physical modular synth was something I could get and was exactly what I wished those modular softwares actually were. I fell into modular audio synthesis hard and it was great.
Then after a while I started paying attention to this interesting little company that was making all these modular video synthesis things (LZX of course!) and I was intrigued! I lurked online anywhere they were discussed and watched as many videos as I could and read as much as I could about the stuff, but I still didn’t understand it! This would have been shortly after the Expedition line first came out, I think. There weren’t any of the wonderful 3 Patches videos, and while there were various LZX videos around, there weren’t a lot that I could find that clearly showed what single modules could do. So much of the video terminology was so strange to me since I’d never dealt with any video production ever. Terms like “keying” and “video ramps” were some sort of magic I had yet to unlock. Eventually I got to the point where I at least understood how a VCO can make bars on the video output, so with that knowledge and not a whole lot more, I dove into building some Cadet modules, figuring it’d be a taster of sorts to let me fool around and see if I’m able to do anything fun without diving into the much more expensive manufactured modules (that I still didn’t really understand too well). So I started with just a Cadet Sync Gen, Cadet Encoder, Cadet Ramps, and a Cadet VCO. With those three and various parts of my audio modular synth, I could have some fun. It didn’t look very near compared to what everyone else was posting, but it was fun to play with! And playing with it helped me understand them better.
At some point somehow, from playing with the modules I had and from reading things online, some things kind of clicked in a way they hadn’t before for me. Then when the 3 Patches videos came out, they helped things further click for me. I’d say I understand quite a bit about the whole analog video synthesis thing now and I’ve even started designing some video modules myself, but there’s still plenty I don’t understand. Especially reading about the next generation of LZX gear, the ramps-based synthesis kind of confuses me (but also really intrigues me!). Hopefully it’ll make more sense when that stuff starts coming out.
TLDR: Even with a technical and modular audio synth background, video synthesis can be hard to understand, so don’t feel bad!