Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

Bent 2010 / Video Mess Tool / Color Me Baddly Breakdown

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

So, Bent 2010 is over, and as such my arbitrary deadline and excuse for spending time and cheddar on this particular device has been pulled. The above are the final circuits I presented with at the lecture.

The thing on the left is “Color Me Baddly” from the Gerbers below. It’s a color video synth (based on PLLs) which takes a CV in for the color generators (which is peculiar about its input range, to be sure). It also takes a CMOS level input which can invert the color carrier phase by 180 degrees. On the output side it spits standard composite video as well as a CMOS level color carrier (with no sync, blanking, or burst).

The PLL color tracking is pretty good! But not perfect. The PLL keeps lock over a range of a few volts in, and tracks as high as 30+ kHz, which is better than I’d hoped. It took a lot of fudging the loop filter, although the RC calculations weren’t very hard. The invert is a cool input, which originally I just made for the proto because I needed it to to get 360 degrees of color. But in general (not suprisingly) I’m finding that the more inputs you have to things like this the more weird interactions you can get between modulating signals. So I think the invert is here to stay.

The thing on the right is the “Video Mess Tool”. The circuit is different than I originally intended w/r/t the clamping circuits, which had to be made active. The crap you see over in the far right side in the proto area is that new clamp. The clamp ranges changed a little, too. The LT1203 and AD828 and AD8561 are all pretty great ICs and basically do EXACTLY what you’d expect. Even using the opamps in unity gain for the clamps (not recommended) worked without any hitches.

I think this circuit would look a lot cooler with a window comparator — something which muxed many different mess or non mess signals and was smarter about selecting when, and which had a _still_ better series of clamps for restricting signal range. A HSYNC+burst specific monostable following the comparator would also probably not be amiss, although some of the glitchiness would be eliminated. This could be selectable — “sloppy sync” vs “Teutonic Sync” or the like.

The thing in the back is a color synth I made for Christams 2009. It uses varactor diodes instead of a PLL and is its own weird animal. There are pics of that here.

So before finally throwing these guys into the mothballs for who knows what/how long, I made a couple more videos. They showcase some of the more complicated waveforms that can be generated. Neither has any audio involved; both use input from function generators. The above uses the mess tool to mux in a rainbow from the color synth into golf. The lower one is basically two synths being muxed together and inverted all around multiples of 60 Hz, which makes the trippy horizontal band.

Naturally, all this stuff looks better in person; taping an LCD screen with a webcam is not exaclty the height of majesty. And there’s a couple more tech notes on the Narrat1ve youtube channel.

This might be it for this project for awhile, so feel free to write to me or get on the forum if there’s anything else you’d like to know about!

[NOTE: Collin Cunningham of MAKE took a pretty kickass video of my lecture at Bent, and one day I’ll put it up here. Thanks, Collin!]

Xoxo, TB

Video Mess Tool Lives!

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Video Mess Tool Version 0.9 is up and running! Peep the videos! There’s one here and more on teh yootoobz. No promises on revolutions/revelations — there’s still lots for me to do to make this device generate cooler output, but the concept seems to be sound.

More nerd details once I’m out of lab mode.

WTPA v1.01 Sales Video, or, Fisher-Price: My First Video Camera

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Sometime right around this date I made the following crappy video to show off some of WTPA’s less-exciting features and also to figure out how to use all these newfangled “digital cameras” and whatnot. Though it was a resounding flop, it features Pavement remixes, a peep covered in Urethane, and a very bad buzz.

This doesn’t show off any MIDI, on-the-fly editing, multi-timbral sampling, or not sucking in general but is included for posterity.

WTPA v0.95 Sampling, Jittering

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008


Today is momentous. It samples; from the shoulders of giants it does. I even made a snarled up little video of the first experiment in the act. Scandinavians vs. USA in the bass-less wastelands of Camcorder Flats. Or perhaps holding hands: Glasnost or whatever the equivalent is with stank cheese, progressive design, and socialized medicine.

I tell you, I am a sentimental mess like Lawrence Sterne never made. Honestly, when the first phrase of music kicked out of this thing I almost peed. And then I had a beer or two, which explains the tone here. However, I will stand by this: The New Version Sounds Great Or At Least Slays The Shit Out Of The Old One. I think this mostly has to do with the noise floor not gumming up the quiet parts and _maybe_ some improved amp design.
It’s not perfect by any stretch: I still haven’t hammered out anything in the way of new features, and it isn’t benchmarked yet (I’m very curious to see how much time it spends in the audio ISR) but it IS bumpin, and this test has been great fun. The jitter generator works and sounds weird in an exciting way BUT is tweaky and needs to be tuned in both the analog and firmware domains. I think it’s a keeper, though, just from the initial listening.
As I had hoped the noise floor is pretty good! It’s not annoying, or really even noticeable! I can still see some gnarls on the scope, though, and will hunt them to their holes and Make Reckoning. Like “Reckoning” was “Clean” or “All”.
AND there’s more than enough sample time to hang yourself with the new RAM. Booyah.
Next: MIDI, and ferreting out any remaining hardware bugs and revving the board to the FINAL VERSION!

First Goofy WTPA Video, Book Deal, Update Progress

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

OK, so here’s a thoroughly goofy video I made of the sampler at work — it’s for an new version of a book by Nic Collins on Hardware Hacking!
But I figured the right thing to do was to share it with you, my people. The 2 people who come to this website. That I don’t date.
It’s big — 93MB. I’m accepting applications for video editors. Here she is. [Wed Oct 8 19:20:03 CDT 2008 — I’ve changed this to the smaller file that RKH sent me. Thanks!]

Arguably more importantly, I’ve been laying out the version 1.0 boards and they’re going to be a million times better. Better analog section, 16 times the RAM, lower noise floor, harder better faster stronger etc etc.
The four brave beta testers from the springtime got their kits built and gave me an earful and the new kits have taken out a bunch of useless crap and added a bunch of (hopefully) kickass features. Time will tell…