What are your backgrounds?

I promise that this is my last topic I’ll post today. But I’ve been adsorbed in the LZX Forum trying to learn as much as I can from you guys. For example, yesterday I wanted to learn how to create a circle using ramps and Lars was generous to offer three recipes for patching them. BUT he said some math stuff, like the word “subtract,” and totally lost me. Ok, yes I can subtract but everyone’s math and understanding of these arcane concepts is so far above my mental capacity. I think maybe I’m learning disabled. I try so hard to understand this stuff but I can’t most of the time. I can, for example, be told to patch the Hatch output to the input of Passage but I don’t understand when you guys explain why.

So, what are your backgrounds? Are you mostly engineers, mathematicians are just smart guys? I’m an artist who use to be a lawyer and majored in Finance undergrad (my math sucked though).

I’m just really interested in your backgrounds because I want to learn much more and need direction. My boyfriend owns Error Instruments and this stuff is so simple for him but he’s a genius. I’m more akin to Simple Jack doing video synthesis.

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The cool thing about video synthesis is that you can see the result directly.
So even if you don’t understand all the math behind it, you can experiment and figure it out by looking at the results.

My background:
I’m an audio visual artist . I used to make interactive installations, but now I mostly make visuals and noise. As ‘work’ I make audio and video modules, help other artists with hard and software and sometimes do workshops (programming, soldering etc)

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That’s exactly what got me here as well: I turn a knob, I see the result of that action and then try to figure out how that happened.
I don’t know how long it took me to understand that when the gurus say ‘amplitude classifier’ it means that I can get one image and put it to the light parts and another one to the darks. But once you learn those new concepts, then you’ll never forget.
I have no idea about electronics, but my method of learning was always by doing. So somehow im having fun with the synthesis while trying to learn something.

As of background im an environmental scientist, but I changed career and since 10 years work as a ‘creative coder’ for events and design.

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I’m a nobody from nowhere who just likes pretty pictures.

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you make a good Swedish meatball though

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“Beensy-Bouncy Burger”! I love that bit!

Very cool id love to see some of your events programming , a very unique job!

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I am a broadcast engineer , with some software experience , however i don’t think I’m particularly good at it. Music wise , toured and record experience , lots of gig , played drums for around 10 years. DIY electronics for around 7/8 now. Aspiring to be a hardware engineer in music tech :slight_smile:

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I graduated a couple of a years ago with a masters in electronic engineering, my course had a music technology and audio specialism which was great! I now work as a graduate project/electronics engineer. I properly got into video synthesis through the excellent Lumen app as an affordable introduction and used that to do live visuals for parties and club nights we were running while at University.

Started building LZX DIY stuff in October when I got my first proper graduate job and could afford LM6172s! I’ve been playing noisy and ambient music and playing guitar and synths since I was a teenager.

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When I read stuff on this forum and consider your backgrounds I feel like this picture:image

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haha I totally get that! There are a lot of actual professional/educated people around here.
I do not count myself as one of those people haha.
I don’t think about the math of video synthesis too much. Join in the next study group and ask any and all of your questions! I think it ended up going for over 5 hours today.

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Little of this, little of that. Synthesis in general as a hobby has actually resulted in me learning more math, I find this is a great way to see and hear and understand mathematical concepts that are often abstract. To help with understanding I recommend picking up a Mordax Data. With a scope you can see exactly what you’re doing so that you can do it again next time. We all like visuals here, so having an oscilloscope is a natural choice.

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Is the mordax data able to scope video frequencies?

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Yes. Data will also scale input signals down to 1v, so you get a precise euro to lzx converter too.

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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!

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I have a bit of an artist and a bit of an engineer in me, as I’m a photographer and videographer with an engineering degree. Got into video modular through audio modular.
Say hello to Paul from me!

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Great to meet you all. I’ve been doing video game sound design for over 15 yrs, currently at Activision. I’m a bit obsessed with lo-fi graphics on CRT displays, particularly the mystique of games I played as a kid. This eventually lead me to programming “games” that control audio and video modules.

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Background as a painter and mixed media artist. I was also an art dealer for about a decade. Still am a little for certain clients.

My background is in video production/post production, and I currently work as an editor/motion-graphics-maker and occasional animator.

I am (comparatively? maybe?) on the younger side so all of my school/professional experience has been essentially limited to digital video. A number of video synthesis concepts function very similar to their digital video counterparts - keying and color mixing work essentially the same way… and most video software lets you control various parameters with keyframes which fundamentally is pretty similar to slower lfo/envelope control voltages.

BUT. The whole foundation of analog video as a single data stream where the frequency of a signal determines if it appears horizontal or vertical or some combination of crazy shapes was all very theoretical. I guess digital video still exists as a single data stream, but the idea of something happening more than once per frame doesn’t really make sense if you’re working with digital video in a conventional way.

While it’s exactly these bits of video synthesis that are the most math-y and brain breaking for me, I’m also finding that the immediacy of analog video signals makes learning about this stuff a lot easier/more intuitive for me. In the digital video world that I’m used to creating animated/moving shapes or processing an image takes a fair bit of setup work, and usually some render time before you see a smooth result, and any iteration on the work you’ve done often means going through the same rework/render/wait process. By comparison I find being able to continuously see the video signal you’re making means that wandering into unknown territory/pushing past your intuitive understanding of how something is going to work is both easier and more rewarding.

Also keeping notes has helped me a ton! Plus, as an added bonus, the less I understand why a patch is doing something, the more I get to feel like an alchemist putting together a book of arcane knowledge.
:mage:

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I am an engineer of sorts. Or at least somebody at work decided to give me that title. Lol I’m a QA engineer. I do automated testing for the largest cable company in the US, on the streaming service side of the company. Like you though, math isn’t my strong suit either, my background consists of mostly communications (networking) and finance, on the software side of things. Here, just like in my day job, I do things through trial and error. It helps that in my day job, I’m basically paid to break shit.

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