A Retro Oscilloscope Gets a Digital Update for Electronic Music Video

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Hans Lo and Jack Featherstone didn't just create a music video for electronic music duo Simian Mobile Disco (SMD). They created a whole oscilloscope-based visual system with the intent of generating all of the visual elements for SMD's new album--including album art, live show visuals and more.

The Creators Project explains, "Initial visual research was heavily focused on looking at analog visual synthesizers and testing their capabilities. Ultimately, the two were underwhelmed with video synthesizers of the past, which were also cost-prohibitive, so they moved on until they came across the classic Rutt Etra Video Synthesizer. Co-invented by Bill Etra and Steve Rutt in the '70s, Rutt/Ettra allows real-time video manipulation, resembling an ancient, scanline-based relative of today's amorphous, RGB+D Toolkit-made3D video textures.While Rutt/Etra isn't truly reproducible in the digital realm (it's analog, after all), Lo and Featherstone thought they could emulate it with code and an oscilloscope. The upside, they told The Creators Project, is that their system didn't just spit out randomly generated imagery. Instead, they had a measure of control over the process, ensuring that their visuals would be tied to the “heart or text of the music.”

Watch their system in action in the music video below and read more here.