Synth by Steve Belovarich: A Contemporary Rutt/Etra
Browser based video synthesizer which emulates the classic Rutt/Etra raster manipulation effects using Google Chrome and a webcam via prosthetic knowledge:
Synth is a modern day Rutt Etra. After getting to use a Wobbulator at the Experimental Television Center, I became fascinated with the ethos behind Nam June Paik’s work. I wanted to make something that was accessible for everyone, like how Paik’s performances were accessible to anyone watching PBS. I don’t see any sense in trying to reproduce the original aesthetic of the analog synthesizer in an Internet Browser.
Synth is referential of the Analog synthesizers, but technically it it much different. Synth distorts 3D geometries with a live video feed and then amplifies that distortion with audio. The current release is an alpha build of the project and over the next year Synth will gain more features as I continue to develop it. Anyone with Google Chrome and a webcam on a desktop computer can use this synthesizer. Synth is free and licensed under GNU.
More information can be found here and if you’re using Google Chrome, you can try it out for yourself here.
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I began working with Steve Rutt and Bill Etra’s video synthesizer around 1978 at the Center for Media Study @ SUNY / Buffalo. This synth produces great great raster manipulation effects like the RE, but I was not able to see much connection between the original, patch-programmable RE and this tool. Here’s a picture of an RE http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2129/2212832926_a2f32a9613.jpg It basically was a highly resolution 5" TV monitor that allowed you to modulate the X and Y deflection with other signals. The topographic effect comes from modulating the usually orderly horizontal scan with the actual video (brightness) signal. Brighter things create peaks, Dimmer things create troughs, and so on.