One of the things I love about analog video synthesis is it’s so experimental and chaotic that it gives you a lot of great original source material for your creative projects. I have a small setup of three Critter and Guitari video synths being run into an Edirol v4 mixer, and the mixer running out to an old Sony television. This setup allows for a lot of fun, but I thought to myself the other day wouldn’t it be great if I could run this analog setup through some of the digital effects I have on my laptop.

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So after doing a little research I started working on a solution. I found the Elgato Video Capture adapter/software first and was able to record my analog video experiments into the computer, but I still wanted realtime. So I looked into whether you could syphon video from the Elgato software into any vj software. You can, there’s a program called OBS that people use for game streaming.

OBS allowed for me to syphon inject my video stream into CoGeVJ. Now that I had the video stream in CoGeVJ I was able to apply whatever effects I wanted to my hearts content. Then I just used CoGeVJ’s fullscreen mode and output to my television through HDMI as a second monitor.

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Here’s a breakdown of what I had to do for the technical setup:

Elgato

  • Hook up the adapter and open the software for Elgato Video Capture
  • Confirm that video is showing up within the Elgato video software

OBS

  • Open up OBS, and look in the bottom left for sources, if there are none listed add one by clicking on the little plus button and selecting Game Capture (Syphon)
  • Right click on the Game Capture (Syphon) source and go to Properties
  • From the properties menu select Elgato Video Capture from the source dropdown
  • Make sure the checkbox beside “inject” is checked and then click launch syphon inject
  • Then “OK” out of or close any dialog boxes open in OBS
  • You should be able to see your video in OBS, if it’s really tiny right click the Game Capture (Syphon) and go to “transform/fit to screen”

CoGe VJ

  • Now open up CoGeVJ and go to interfaces and create a syphon source
  • On the syphon server select your source and turn on the fx chain
  • Right click in the diagonally lined area of the fx chain and add any effect
  • You should now see you analog video with effects applied

From here its pretty open as to what you can do next. You can record videos with your smartphone, webcam or even syphon recorder as I’ve detailed in a previous tutorial. For more articles on video synthesis check out Using CoGe VJ for Video Synthesis, Create a Video Synthesizer with Vizzie & Max MSP or Create a Video Synthesizer with VSynth & Max MSP.

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