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Thread: Z-5 Analog Abstract Generator

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    I'm relieved to finally see this post, as it gets us one tiny step closer to another run of ILDA splitters.
    Funny you should say that. Just about an hour ago I received a phone call from the company that I use to make the panels. While on the phone I asked them about rack mount enclosures and aparently they can make those as well. So, whenever I can get back to the splitters, I should be able to make a rack mount version.

    Also, added another video showing the features of the Quadrature Oscillators!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserist View Post
    You seem to be confusing making something more accessable and making something better...
    This elitist attitude is exactly why it's so damned hard for people to get into this hobby. Here we have a member (DZ) who has worked very hard to make something that everyone here can benefit from, and you're acting as if it's a bad thing. What have YOU done to help the community lately?

    Doc's suggestions are valid - it is very difficult to understand how the console operates by just looking at it. How do I know? Because I got the chance to play with it for about 4 hours last Saturday, and I mentioned more or less the same thing to DZ that Doc did. As a result of my experimenting, he plans to add a few extra labels to further define what certain controls actually do.

    Increasing it's usability does not take away any of it's functionality. There's no danger of making it "worse". Unless, of course, you think it's bad that other people might actually learn how to use the damned thing, thus producing more cool content for the rest of us. And if that's really your attitude, then you can fuck right off.

    Sorry for the rant, DZ, but after seeing this awesome piece of work running in my own living room last weekend, it really grinds my gears to see someone else shitting on it.

    Adam

  3. #13
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    swamidog is online now Jr. Woodchuckington Janitor III, Esq.
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    dz is also doing an excellent job on the videos explaining how the box and the abstracts work. his videos should be required viewing for anyone interested in making laser abstracts in hardware or software.
    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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    Hi Chris;

    Good point. DZ has put a ton of effort into this project. And he's gotten really good at explaining how the thing works. But the part that blows me away is the amazing build quality of this project. Seriously, if you had seen this thing in person, you would have shit yourself.

    I can't believe a hobbyist assembled something this complicated... And the wiring inside is commercial-grade. It looks like something you'd purchase at a music supply house!

    I can't overstate how incredible it looks. It's also a lot cleaner (and even a bit smaller) than the original P4 console. Instead of a backplane and a host of individual cards, the entire circuit resides on a single board. And it definitely makes some amazing abstracts!

    Adam

  5. #15
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    Bradfo69 is offline Pending BST Forum Purchases: $47,127,283.53
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    Ok... PM officially sent. lol



    Spec... can you turn off my ability to see the Buy/Sell thread? It might soon become a necessity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    Spec... can you turn off my ability to see the Buy/Sell thread? It might soon become a necessity.
    They have doctors for this sort of thing.

  7. #17
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    I think DZ has outdone himself with the Z-5 analog console. Over the years, we have heard from a handful of members on PL that had some version of a console, but closely guarded these and it looked like these were as rare as hen's teeth. DZ was able to access the original plans, obtain an early console (as seen at SELEM) and then update and improve upon the P-4 to make this a reality. I can only imagine how many hours that DZ spent on this project to bring the console back to life. IMO, it's a rare opportunity to own one.

    David - Thank you for working this to completion!

    I was going to ask about a rack-mount version of the splitter, so it's good to hear that this could be a possibility in the future.

    Greg
    "Information not shared, is information lost forever"

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    I will be saving my nickels and dimes... Nice work David!
    Support your local Janitor- not solicited .

    Laser (the acronym derived from Light Amplification by Stimulated Emissions of Radiation) is a spectacular manifestation of this process. It is a source which emits a kind of light of unrivaled purity and intensity not found in any of the previously known sources of radiation. - Lasers & Non-Linear Optics, B.B. Laud.

  9. #19
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    Damn.... number two in the que. Somebody is a faster addict than me! I don't feel so bad now.

  10. #20
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    I think he might have been trying to dump on me, rather than on DZ's machine. That aside, my work on PhaseMod (a polyphonic synthesiser), shows that in many situations using simple maths to generate forms, aliasing and odd relations with irrational numbers can show up in digital systems. Where speed might mask it in one situation, it may be glaringly obvious in slow rotations, fine detuning, slow moving complex Lissajous figures and the like.

    In other words, DZ's work is not some throwback to an earlier age, there will always be scope for true analog generators like this, and the better scanners get, and the finer diode beams get, the sooner a 12 bit digital system is going to show strange quantisation noise in unsettling detail when not entirely expected. In audio there are cases where 32 bits is not enough to eradicate this! (Specifically PWM of phase accumulation oscillators, requiring a lookup table for each PWM variant to gain accuracy at expense of displacing digital discontinuity to less obnoxious form, but you can never eliminate it.)

    If you really want a pure fluid analog form, then DZ's box is maybe the only game in town, and anyone who can afford it will be lucky that it is such a good one.

    Edit:
    Swamidog, point taken about videos. it's just that many of us knew an age where such things didn't exist, and if we bought a synth, we had three things only: The manual. The panel. And 'have at it!'. The DX7 is a notorious bitch of a synth to understand, but when I learned it I had no manual. I sat in a music shop where they let me poke around before I had much hope of affording it. For the first 45 minutes I was waiting for a guy to get a manual for me, because he had better priorities... In the end I did not need it. By the time he appeared with it I'd found the controls manageable, even though it's like wallpapering the hall through a letterbox in the front door! What really helped was those little graphics on the instrument's control deck. They're simple but they give immediate cues to a brain about how level scaling and complex envelope generators work. And the only reason I didn't need more help was that the basic signal flow order is the same as the older synths anyway. But in any new and unfamiliar architecture, a map IS highly useful. It can be crude, but should be immediately obvious to sight. Like arrows on walls of hospital corridors, it just needs to keep people from getting lost easily. Less text, more visuals... That way it reaches more primal bits of brain.

    More edit..
    Thinking about it, DZ's price is actually cheap, and he should be able to sell many of these, as many as he can find ways to make in time to supply. Compared to the MiniMoog, the price is very good in current real worth of a sov. New analog synths are built at times, and are rarely this good value. And the laser industry is where the synth industry was forty years ago. Its legends are old. Lasering history, and its legends, are still being made now. It might be forty years before people look back at this like they look back at the old analog synths. DZ, in making this look a bit like those early instruments, has probably figured that out.. If I hadn't blown all my money deciding to make diode modules, I'd buy one. If I sell enough modules to spend easily, I'll do it anyway, especially if it gets MIDI like audio gear, to allow automation... Like the old SCI SixTrak, a pure analog machine that had MIDI control change (rather than slower and more awkward system exclusive messages) to control every parameter. Imagine that in a laser controller...
    Last edited by The_Doctor; 10-16-2013 at 23:04.

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