Video Synthesizers
VERY IMPORTANT: If you know of any Video Synthesizers or related items that are not listed (or if you have built something in this realm yourself), of for that matter have ANY INFO AT ALL, please CONTRIBUTE it!
- A big thank you to DAN SLATER, DAVID JONES & Jeffrey Siedler for their extensive contributions to this area!

Video Synthesizers usually refer to analog devices from the early '70s driven by oscillators, similar to analog audio synthesizers. They create and modify video in realtime. Click on headers for detailed descriptions and pictures.

Introductory Article

Video Synthesizer & Related Hardware Creations
( Sorted by timeline )

b4 1960 - Early synesthesic instruments

1962 - Lee Harrison iii's ANIMAC
-(Hybrid graphic animation computer) - predecessor to the Scanimate

- Dan slater's custom vsynth's
-Dan Slater has built a number of custom homebrew vsynths over the years, & worked with Douglas Trumbull on various films.

1969 - Bill Hearn's VIDIUM
-(Analog XYZ driver/sequencer)

1969/70 - Glen Southworth's CVI Quantizer & CVI Data Camera

1970 - groove & VAmpire
-(Generated Real-time Output Operations on Voltage-controlled Equipment)
-(Video And Music Program for Interactive Realtime Exploration/Experimentation).

1970 - Lear Siegler's vsynth
-Unique Hi-Rez video processor used in the film "Andromeda Strain" and by Douglas Trumbull & Dan Slater

1970/71 - Eric siegel's EVS & Dual Colorizer
-Electronic Video Synthesizer (Analog), & Dual Colorizer (Analog)

1970/74 - steven beck's Direct Video Synth & Beck Video Weaver
-The ever-versatile hardware genius, Steven Beck created some early 70's synths that had no video inputs. They made video purely from oscillations.
-He also modified a few Paik/Abe units.

-Brief info: Very early video synth....DIY modular, -Built by Dan Sandin of Chicago.

1972 - Rutt-etra Video Synthesizer
-Co-invented by Steve Rutt & Bill Etra, this is an analog computer for video raster manipulation.

1973 - Paik-Abe Video Synthesizer
-An early creation, residing at the Experimental Television Centre
-Click on the heading for a dedicated page, w/extensive Real Video Clips

1974 - VSYNTH's by David Jones
-Many creations, the most famous being the Jones Colorizer, a four channel voltage controllable colorizer with gray level keyers.

1974 - EMS Spectre
-Innovative Video Synthesiser using analogue and digital techniques.

1975 - Don McArthuR's SAID
-Don McArthur developed the SAID (Spatial and Intensity Digitizer), an outgrowth of research on the black and white time base corrector

1976 - DENISE GALLANt's vsynth
Briefly: Created a very advanced analogue video synthesizer in the late 70's.

1976 - Chromaton 14
-A fairly small analog video synthesizer, w/color quantizers & can generate complex color images without any external inputs.

Wicked huge thing for broadcast industry

1979- Chromachron
-One of the first DIGITAL VSynths. - Designed by Ed Tannenbaum.

1984 - FairLight Computer Video Instrument
-The Farilight CVI was produced in the early 80's, and is a hybrid Analog Digital video processor.

Video Synthesizer & Related Hardware Creations
( timeline not known at present )

-The Electric Music Box can be configured to serve a variety of applications, including electronic music composition and performance, music education, psychoacoustic studies, environmental control, special effects generation, bio-feedback research, and video synthesis.

Rich Brewster
-He developed sequencing modules,based upon voltage controlled video amplifiers.

-info coming soon

george brown's vsynth's
-Created a quantizing colorizer & a multi-level keyer.

Hearn Videolab

Ric Hornor
Built a video synthesizer in graduate school.

Innisfree Picasso CRT Image Synthesizer
-dedicated page & info coming soon

The SuperNova - 12
-An innovative prototype from Steven Jones of Severed Heads.

Woody Vasulka
Worked with Jeff Schier, building computer based modules in Buffalo.

Jeff Schier
Worked with Woody Vasulka, building various computer based modules in Buffalo.

The Arlunya Video processing system is a processing amp and sync pulse generator

Optical Electronics, Inc. raster processor
===Dedicated page coming soon===
More info needed, submit it to us please!
Known owners: CalArts VideoGraphics Lab

Prominent People in the VSYNTH FIELD

David Hillel Wilson - ( Needs new heading: ROLE/USERS )
DAVID HILLEL WILSON, the present Curator of the New England Synthesizer Museum:

Jim Wiseman
Worked with Paik & Sandin, built a ton of hardware, check this guy out!

Walter Wright
-Worked extensively with the Paik/Abe vsynth, DJones & Brewster equipment & more!

Nik Williams
-Built a Paik/Abe with J.Wiseman & Shuya Abe himself.

Michael Scroggins
He studied video under Nam June Paik and Shuya Abe, with whom he worked on the construction of the historic Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer.

Tom Sherman
In 1974 he invented the Art Style Computer Processing System, a digital video synthesizer for interactive cable television.


Prominent Places in the VSYNTH Field

Experimental Television Centre
-Pioneering VideoArt Access Centre with tons of rare equipment.

CalArts Videographics Lab
-Owns: a Hearn Videolab & an Optical Electronics, Inc. raster processor


-The guy who started Computer Image Corp (the company that made the Scanimate) did some early video synthesis in the mid 60's.
- , - owns a Pioneer PX7 MSX video computer, Intel Take 2 video processor - what is this?

1990's - Current Video Synthesizer & Related DevelopmenT

AudioVisualizers VSYNTH Development
-Public domain circuitry and schematics, mixed with custom designs, brought together! Kits available, & A Design Contest coming soon!!

the NTSC-34
-From "Dan" - 12 modules provide for an external audio signal internally generating syncronized abstract video or realtime processing on another source. Among other possibilities...

Transkameleon of Vform
-Christian Amoretti is "Transkamelon" of the UK VJ group: VForm. He invented a dedicated hardware device that creates fantanstic kaleidoscopic imagery from a sound input, in realtime.

Unsorted Notes & Ideas for VSynth Design
-A smorgasboard of surprises!

Individuals interested in custom vsynth design - David plans to build a simple "re-colorizer"device, so that he can do 120 degree color phase shifting ( color negative )

Misc Related TecH

Video Toaster

Amiga w/Live image processor
-Amiga 500 with 'Live' board-a realtime video synth that takes video in and
shoots video out in brilliant psychedelic colors--wheee!

Atari Jaguar VLM
-A sound to light hardware/software combo that is intrinsically part of the Atari Jaguar CD-unit.

1978 - Atari Video Music
-Atari's original sound to light device, a wicked retro abstract image generator.

-A company called "Electroharmonix" made a sound-sensitive light tube or something like that.

Contacts with interest in VSynth Stuff

-Robert Verberkmoes [] interested in Atari and other video synth stuff
-synchro [] familiar with EMS spectrum and light tube
-Umair Haque [] knowledgeable on electroharmonix's sound to light tube
-Woenig, Benjamin Michael - WOEBM001" [] interested in video synth related stuff
-Solenoid [] owns an Atari video music
-Daryl [] wants visual music ideas for live show
-Michael Muggli [] built an abstract laser generator
-MORPH of Clan Analogue , , , ICQ# 17398184 (Fairlight CVI & More) sks further tech info on vsyn, and to chat w/others in the know

Click above to find some obscure equipment!

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