Craft & Design Photography & Video
Synkie, a Modular Open Source Analog Video Processor


That also happens to look totally rad!

The Synkie is a modular open source analog video processor, developed by Michael Egger, Flo Kaufmann and Max Egger.

Like the venerable modular Moog synthesizer it lets you toy around with the signal using patch cables – but this time not producing sound but images. It is an instrument for video, a playground, a platform to explore new ways to transform a video signal.

Synkie’s main goal is playability not image quality, even though we try to design each module as best as we can. But patching is done with 2mm laboratory cables – not shielded 75Ohm BNC cables as one would normally use for video. No, you can even use any blank wire and tinker around with the signal in real time on the sk90-breadboard module…

The laboratory plugs can be stacked, so you can easily divide the signal into multiple paths, feeding multiple modules at once and change the configuration on the fly. The resulting image can get quite messy down the road, but that’s part of the fun, or maybe even the main goal…

12 thoughts on “Synkie, a Modular Open Source Analog Video Processor

  1. Lovely images! This is a good time to be interested in analog video synthesis; the current synth craze and the affordability of components have made modular video synthesizers both readily available and relatively affordable. LZX Industries in Austin, TX has a cool new system that you can start assembling now – http://www.lzxindustries.net/, and Dave Jones has one module and more planned as well – http://www.jonesvideo.com/. Aforementioned LZX Industries also has a much smaller and very affordable video synth in kit form that would probably be a good start without the major investment any kind of modular system will demand.

  2. Anyone interested in analogue synthesis should also visit the scanimate blogs http://scanimate.zfx.com/
    A vintage synthesizer that reached the peak of that odd, analogue computational scene, it was responsible for many of the images from your youth. (Not my youth, I ran the thing). There were several, all over the globe, with, I think, one still working. In their heyday, the usage fees ran around $10,000/day. Good times, good times.

  3. Although not the Synkie, but I’ll be presenting another project of mine in New York first week of October 2011: the Videobass, an open source instrument that plays images instead of sound. This one’s digital, but can be used as a signal source for the Synkie.
    Custom made strings are like giant potentiometers and let you choose a clip and play it in rhythm on playstation joysticks… check it out:

    http://anyma.ch/research/videobass

    new york schedule: http://www.anyma.ch/2011/info/videobass-in-new-york-october-2011/

    and here’s a video of the birth of the latest videobass: http://vimeo.com/29731802

  4. Although not the Synkie, but I’ll be presenting another project of mine in New York first week of October 2011: the Videobass, an open source instrument that plays images instead of sound. This one’s digital, but can be used as a signal source for the Synkie.
    Custom made strings are like giant potentiometers and let you choose a clip and play it in rhythm on playstation joysticks… check it out:

    http://anyma.ch/research/videobass

    new york schedule: http://www.anyma.ch/2011/info/videobass-in-new-york-october-2011/

    and here’s a video of the birth of the latest videobass: http://vimeo.com/29731802

  5. Although not the Synkie, but I’ll be presenting another project of mine in New York first week of October 2011: the Videobass, an open source instrument that plays images instead of sound. This one’s digital, but can be used as a signal source for the Synkie.
    Custom made strings are like giant potentiometers and let you choose a clip and play it in rhythm on playstation joysticks… check it out:

    http://anyma.ch/research/videobass

    new york schedule: http://www.anyma.ch/2011/info/videobass-in-new-york-october-2011/

    and here’s a video of the birth of the latest videobass: http://vimeo.com/29731802

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net

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