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VGA Synthesizer V 1

Discussion in 'A/V' started by pixelform, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. pixelform

    pixelform Electron Wrangler

    http://music.calarts.edu/~pstearns/electronics/VGA-synth.html

    Thanks to the inspiration from Brian McKenna and his VS-001 I managed to figure out how to hack a standard VGA signal and build a circuit which converts raw audio to RGB signals. There's a little switching matrix in there to break up the levels of signal going to the RGB channels plus a feedback network and 3 oscillators to generate the vertical banding. I'll have more thorough block diagrams, schematics, and plans for updates in addition to more vids up on that site in the next month or so.

    Cheers!

    Pixel Form
  2. lowRes

    lowRes another member

    rock on!! i mean, bent on!
    looking forward to see more!:lick:

    thanx for sharing!

    r_x
    * )
  3. LEVLHED

    LEVLHED gear whoreder

    yes, thats nice. I am also looking forward to how it develops!

    I was going to ask you if you knew of videobrian's work.....I guess thats a YES!
  4. kris8

    kris8 New Member

    wow this looks really interesting i really look forward to seeing how this developes
  5. glitchism

    glitchism Posts: 10,593

    phillip stearns is the man, man.

    are you going to sell them? as you did with the sony video painters?

    http://www.art-rash.com/pixelform/videobends/sony/index.html

    "
    a circuit designed to hack a standard VGA signal and use the synch information to clock standard audio signals into the RGB channels of a VGA device."
    it doesn't generate vh-synch.... so you need a signal to feed, right?


    cool, nice one, give me more!


  6. pixelform

    pixelform Electron Wrangler

    VGA synth Update

    I've put some more information up on the link at the top of this thread.

    New Info : schematic and a new audio/video piece

    I'm not sure if I'm going to develop this. The temptation is always to fabricate (eventually manufacture) a circuit board, then house these things into boxes, and sell them. I realized, through the process of experimenting and designing this thing that it was a community based project. I got a start on the idea from Brian McKenna and developed it into my own thing. I've now posted the results and enough information for the rest of the community to take it up and make it their own. I realize that it seems like a lot of work to really put one of these things together but look at it... it's sitting there on a breadboard... it took me a week to design and assemble and I haven't changed a thing about the design since April, and I've toured Europe with it.

    Keeping the circuit on the breadboard serves three purposes:

    1. To keep the circuit open to a wide range of readily accessible hacking
    2. To signify the notion of free and open information (hide nothing)
    3. It looks bad ass!

    If you'd like to have one of these types of synths, please explore the possibility of making one. It's really a lot easier than you think! I don't really intend to make a commodity and I don't intend to simply build things for other people. I'm more interested in helping people build things for themselves. Sure it seems daunting to get into electronics at this level but there is a level of creativity and expression and customization that can happen at this level that is completely lost at the higher level of commercial design. There are also numerous resources that are available to get started. If you have questions, you can always ask me. If I don't have the answer, I can probably direct you to a place where you can find what you need.

    The overall aesthetic resulting from working this way is different than something you might be able to buy but then it becomes your aesthetic. It's much more intimately tied to a process and method of working that is uniquely you. To me, there seems to be something counter intuitive about using a particular software package or piece of hardware design, with their own pre-built aesthetics, in order to find one's own aesthetic. The aesthetic you will achieve is always going to be preset and always by someone else. There are ways of getting around this, chaining or combining tools, rewiring (circuit bending), and feedback, which all offer new aesthetic possibilities. These methods though deal in a realm outside of direct access (perhaps with the exception of circuit bending or hardware hacking). Building custom instruments from the ground up gives you a chance to explore possibilities outside of the norm and in this terrain, one can find a path to one's voice.

    In the end it's a process. You'll come away with a deep understanding of how things work and how you can make things work for you. You may also just give up frustrated but it's just the beginning to a new path.
  7. robotfunk

    robotfunk Feed your Machine

    You toured Europe with a breadboard with electronics and wires sticking out? I assume you moved by train rather than airplane then :)
  8. pixelform

    pixelform Electron Wrangler

    Touring with wires and breadboard

    If you have the gumption to bring something like that through security, you're probably not carrying a bomb. Those guys don't know what the hell they're looking for anyways (peroxide and acetone? please...). Besides, I don't think that I looked like a terrorist... my beard wasn't that big at that point. Those security alerts are ridiculous. They are deterrents and probably used to make the work of their under-paid-off-the-street-minimum-wage TSA employees brainless. It's funny though, telling people that I'm an audio video artist and that this mess of electronics is my hardware.
  9. Floorlord

    Floorlord New Member

    Pixelform, thank you for the public service you have done in posting your schematic, I'm going to give the building of this thing a shot. I completely agree with your "aesthetics" philosophy as well. I know that this may seem contradictory given that I will be building off of your work but trust me, my lack of electronics knowledge guarantees that they will be quite different from one another.

    While I am a musician myself I am more interested in perhaps room mic'ing for my audio input. Any problems/challenges you can imagine from taking this approach?

    I will post any progress. Wish me luck!

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