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Thread: CYGN-B

  1. #411
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    From Brian:

    Yes that's the master encoder from Studio A. There were a number of encoders, but only the one in Studio A encoder had the filters and stuff to generate signals from the sound track, etc. The others were just a variation on the theme on the part in the photos with the sliders and switches. The 351 data channel consisted of 20 bytes of data repeated every every 25 milliseconds. Some of the DOG routines were triggered - like popcorn. It allowed you to jump to a new offset on each drum beat.

    It turns out the Laserium business model of a single laserist performing live wasn’t the way Laserium began. In the beginning Ivan (Dryer) and Charlie (McDanald) had 4 friends controlling the x and y axis sliders to control the gain for each image used in the Blue Danube. If they had to pay six laserists to do each show – well, forget commercial success. Charlie once told me that one of the smartest things Laser Images' did was the decision to emulate those other hands. They couldn’t record the relatively high bandwidth imagery, but they could record the low bandwidth voltages the sliders generated. This left the laserist to control imagery, color modulation, joystick, and intensity modulation. It turns out the recording of those ghosts moving the sliders complemented not just the imagery originally intended, but often complimented things nobody had thought of yet. The recorded portion of the show became something akin to the score in an interpretive dance piece. (An interpretive dance score tells the dancers where to move on stage - not how to dance. Some people who have studied music visualizations talk about painting with light, Laserium was more about dancing with light.) The data track adjusted the size and position and other important things that allowed the laserist to focus on the things that made the show a SHOW. So, meta choreography is one the things Laserium did right.
    The 351 data for Laserium '79 has been decoded and reviewed. This show, which I never saw, is stuffed full of great 351 choreography. In some parts rapidly changing values are used to add to the variety of effects achieved with just the minimal gains and offsets scheme.

    Attached are a few more photos I have of the encoder. It would have been really fun to learn how to operate these decks. For example, I'm curious how effects where the four color channels are rhythmically chasing each other's sizes were set up.

    I thought the CYGN-A thread concluded with some respectful tribute posts to some of the original crew. Those posts seem to have been removed.

    I'm currently working on the wiring chart for the Audio Compressor and Amplifier section of the Audio Mod Card.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails laserium_deck1.jpg  




  2. #412
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    St. Louis, MO


    Those are all pictures of the stuff that made Studio A's encoder the master encoder. John Tilp, then Scott Anderson, and Darryl Davis were the principle choreographers from my time. If Jon Robertson could find the documentation it would be fun to figure out what everything did, but I'm not sure there was a documentation package for those boxes. I never saw one.
    "There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun." Pablo Picasso

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