Rozmanova ulica 12
1000 Ljubljana
Prostori: osmo/za

CHA/V synth

Build your own CHA/V (Cheap, Hacky, A/V) video synthesizer! Workshop is part of Vector Hack Festival.

CHAV wrkshop.jpg

DATE: 7 October | 10 AM – 2 PM
MENTOR: Jonas Bers
LOCATION: osmo/za, Slovenska 54, 1000 Ljubljana
REGISTRATION: delavnica@ljudmila.org

About the Workshop

CHA/V (Cheap, Hacky, Audio/Visual) or how to build an analog DIY video synthesizer on the cheap is a simple, inexpensive, DIY alternative to costly and complicated video synthesizers, providing artists and amateurs a low-cost, low-barrier introduction to audiovisual synthesis. Participants will build, customize, and take home a battery-powered micro-modular audiovisual synthesizer based on VGA hacking. CHA/V is an ideal entry point into analog video synthesis for electronic musicians, circuit benders, and tinkerers but also appropriate for absolute beginners with no electronics background.

For very thorough description of the project click here.


Q: "Will I be able to plug this into a projector?"
A: You can plug it into anything with a VGA jack, like a computer monitor (no computer required) or most projectors.

Q: "But can I also plug it into a TV?"
A: With an adapter, yes, but it feels most at home when it's connected to a VGA monitor.

Q: "It says battery-powered. Could I also plug it into the wall?"
A: No problem. It can also be powered with a 7-12v DC adapter (400ma is fine).

Q: "Cool! Does it also make sound?"
A: Yes. There's a hack we can do for sound.

Q: "OK, but how many oscillators does it have?"
A: Six adjustable square wave oscillators, and you'll be able to customize them at the workshop.

Q: "WHAT?! I bet you can't control it with light, like a theremin.."
A: We're actually going to do that too.

Q: "Yeah, but can I plug my guitar into it?"
A: The sound hack would let you plug in pretty much anything you want. Your guitar would just need to be amplified, and then no problem. You could use a microphone like that too."

Q: "What about my modular synth?"
A: That would be perfect -- it will even sync your VCOs. A handful of people have built DIY CHA/V Eurorack modules.

Q: "I don't know what any of that means, can I just use my computer?"
A: That would also work really well, especially if you have a soundcard with multiple outputs, but again, you don't even need a synth or a computer. A CHA/V will work just fine on its own.

Q: "This sounds awesome but I don't know how to solder, can I come anyway?"
A: This is a relatively easy project for people with a little experience soldering through-hole components to a PCB. There's a tiny bit of fiddly wiring, but nothing really difficult. None of the parts are very fragile or sensitive. If you are an absolute beginner, you will probably not be able to finish the project at the workshop, so soldering experience is highly recommended. If you don't know how to solder, but you are brave, and really interested in this, please drink a lot of coffee and then come anyway. We might be able to get you through it and you'll learn A LOT -- probably enough to finish it by yourself later.

About the mentor

Jonas Bers is best known for his video sonification performances, in which salvaged VHS-era editing machines, surveillance cameras, military surplus and lab equipment are modified and repurposed into instruments. His work is concerned with connections between technology, sensory perception, and the physical universe; and the phenomenological aspects of intense audiovisual stimulus. Bers has performed and exhibited internationally and in numerous NY cultural institutions. Career highlights include sold-out shows at Lincoln Center, performing analog audiovisual synthesis on the world’s largest plasma screen, at 3LD Art and Technology’s .ZIP viral immersive media installation, and at LaMama for ReFEST using a custom-made anaglyph 3D hybrid digital/analog system.



Due to massive interest and not enough spaces at the Vector Hack workshops, attendance per participant is limited to one workshop. With that we can offer as many people as possible equal opportunity to participate. We Thank you for your understanding & collegiality.

The participation fee for the workshop is 15 € and needs to be settled before the start of the workshop on-site. The fee covers expenses for materials, the workshop product remains in your possession. The workshop will be held in English. The number of participants is limited, so please apply/announce yourself at delavnica@ljudmila.org. Participants can bring their own power supply (7-12v center positive, 400ma).

Workshop is part of Vector Hack Festival, which is produced by Radiona in co-production with Ljudmila Art and Scinece Laboratory and Projekt Atol Institute. The Ljubljana edition is supported by the Slovene Ministry of Culture and MOL – Department for Culture.