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Thread: Lasers and synthesizers...

  1. #51
    Bradfo69's Avatar
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    I have occasionally looked at a theremin and thought about getting one to play with. Truthfully, I have a DZ Z-5c analog console that should satiate pretty much any desire to make swirly light and I don't use it anywhere as much as I should. So, the idea of getting into the whole Eurorack thing as a means of using synths with lasers and the lzx cyclops probably doesn't make a ton of sense for me at the present time. What "has" caught my attention though, might be starting off with a $499 Korg MS-20 mini just to play around with a synth from the music side of things. Like I have time.... Or am a musician....
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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    Damn ya'll. I was completely ignorant of Eurorack or any of this until trying to figure out what this thread was about. I saw the one at SELEM last year and had no clue what I was looking at. So now you've made me fall down the rabbit hole of reading and searching around the internet about this...... aaarrrggghhhh...
    So I guess I ask the scary question.... you buy a rack to mount the stuff in. What's the first module you buy in order to begin playing with this? Feel free not to answer!
    Don't do it. Here is a basic setup, it will be less capable than your Z-5. I wouldn't recommend buying just one module because you will find yourself very disappointed in whats possible with only a part of a complete system. If you are still convinced you want one, you will need a case. Here is what I would recommend, its still in the preorder phase, but worth waiting a bit for it. This particular case is supposed to be shipping this month.

    But seriously, don't do it. I originally intended my system to be for both lasers and music. The split focus means that it didn't do either well. Now I am just focusing on creating music with my eurorack system and running the Z-5 and various software for laser. The next big step for me is writing some light software to take control voltages from my modular as inputs/modulation for my abstracts.

    Eurorack modules are designed to make music (if you can call it that ). If you go that route, you will miss out on things like multi-turn pots (there are alternative methods for fine tuning, but that would require another module or two), Z-rotate, and super stable oscillators (most drift with temperature).

    Again, don't... just don't, but if you do I would say research the heck out of it BEFORE you buy anything.

    -Sal

  3. #53
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    However, the musical tesla coil may very well still be in my future. Because she likes them.
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    And... if my friend Sabrina LIKES them....
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    then, who am I to say no?
    Last edited by Bradfo69; 05-07-2018 at 10:42.
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  4. #54
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    The ms20 is disappointing. My favorite tiny toy is the new beringher mini moog clone. Itís spot on.

    I have an access virus ti desktop gathering dust. Have a Roland system1 itís ok. Jp-08 ju06 are fun toys.
    ARP oddesy is confusing to patch. Sequential circuits six track ...ehh. My fav was the Jupiter-4. Sorry itís no longer with me. The moog motherís are ok. I have three. Of all of them the mini moog clone is most fun. My moog modular us 44 modules strong and not that impressive. Itís the artist not the synth.

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    I've been playing with a Cyclops and 1010 Laserbox (toolbox with different firmware) for the past few months, and I wanted to share what I've learned. I'll be bringing my full setup to SELEM 2019 if anyone wants to try it out.

    Edit: LZX just started a thread on their forum, all about Cyclops.

    Cyclops notes:
    1. The switch on the back for 20k vs 30kpps is a low-pass filter. With the filter engaged, nearly all detail is lost. I do not recommend this for a scanner <30kpps.
    2. Color is unipolar, 0-5v. X/Y are bipolar, -5/+5V. These can be switched to 1V p/p for compatibility with video standards.
    3. You can always multiply (and invert) CV signals to additional Cyclopses for more outputs. Buffered multiples and inverts are super cheap (<$75).
    4. I wouldn't recommend ordering the Cyclops new unless it's in stock. I waited 5 months for mine because of production delays.

    1010 Laserbox notes:
    1. The newest beta firmware, v0.2.0, is essential. Prior versions had bugs in external modulation assignments and would crash if you left it on screensaver for too long.
    2. SAVE EARLY, SAVE OFTEN! I constantly save my patches and tend to use the same modulation sources so I can scroll through presets smoothly to create more coherent shows.
    3. Color modulation on the built-in programs (XYZ, RAZ, live) is not per-channel, it's a color wheel that accepts up to 3 modulation sources each for hue and saturation. It's very fiddly trying to get consistent color patterns with external modulation unless you're working with minuscule modulation amounts or a very fast sequencer. I fully admit that my conclusion could also be due to lack of experience/practice with it. Due to the limited number (4) of modulation inputs on the 1010 series 2 hardware, it's not likely that this will change to independent RGB in the future.
    4. It supports 5-channel, XYRGB WAV, but it does not record to WAV or convert from any other format. Laserboy is extremely helpful here. I like to switch back to toolbox mode and record X/Y patterns from CV to 2ch WAV, especially Lissajous curves and Lorenz attractors from the O&C Quadraturia and Low-rentz.

    General notes for laserists:
    1. Owning a Eurorack is a DEEP rabbithole. Gear Acquirement Syndrome (GAS) is a real problem in the Eurorack community. Don't believe me? See my case plan for the next 5 years. The price is at the bottom, and this system would be approximately 65x36" (164cm x 93cm)

    Question for other Cyclops owners:
    When you hit the interlock switch, do your scanners reset position before drivers shut off and throw a rogue beam at an odd angle? I don't know if this is an issue with the scanners or controller in my old X-Laser Sapphire RGB or if it's the Cyclops. I have to use a mechanical shutter on mine, so I don't play for other people because of this. SELEM will be my first opportunity to try this with another projector.

    I'm happy to try to answer any other questions or run experiments for most requests, but my setup is extremely limited with a 15kpps scanner for now.
    Last edited by Afturmath; 07-21-2019 at 19:16.

  6. #56
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    Andrew (Kilpatrick Audio) and I have been developing a Laser Synthesizer that might be useful. It speaks CV/MIDI/Audio and is based on the old planetarium style laser controllers. It is designed with the mod synth crowd in mind.

    Here's some video of it in action:



    More information here:

    https://www.neoncaptain.com/
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamidog View Post
    Andrew (Kilpatrick Audio) and I have been developing a Laser Synthesizer that might be useful. It speaks CV/MIDI/Audio and is based on the old planetarium style laser controllers. It is designed with the mod synth crowd in mind.

    More information here:

    https://www.neoncaptain.com/
    I was backer #8. Can't wait to try this thing out!

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afturmath View Post
    I was backer #8. Can't wait to try this thing out!
    Oh thank you! I hope you love it
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    However, the musical tesla coil may very well still be in my future. Because she likes them.

    And... if my friend Sabrina LIKES them....

    then, who am I to say no?
    Tesla coils are definitely fun and something any science nerd should have the opportunity to play around with. I built one with my dad back in high school from a design in Radio Electronics magazine. They are a quite loud and smelly (ozone), though.

  10. #60
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnYayas View Post
    Tesla coils are definitely fun and something any science nerd should have the opportunity to play around with. I built one with my dad back in high school from a design in Radio Electronics magazine. They are a quite loud and smelly (ozone), though.
    Loud and Ozone for certain, but I love my larger one. This one is DRSSTC so no transformer and it plays music.



    [img]https://i.imgur.com/D8Lqced.jpg[/img]
    leading in trailing technology

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