Video synth workshop

This workshop with La Diagonale at UP Saclay is a simple circuit to begin playing with code and screen patterns. 

Here is the github:

Arduino Coding and Video Synthesis Workshop

Lean to code in C with Arduino, solder and assemble a custom printed-circuit board made in the Fablab, and make your own algorithmically-generated video art!

This workshop is inspired by the improvisational music of Live coding ( and the burgeoning minimalist Bytebeats movement (

Our video synthesis kit plugs in to the Arduino (, a reprogrammable embedded micro-controller that can interact with the world through code, and uses the VGAX library ( to generate funky video.

Meet other creative technologists and sharpen your expertise in computer sciences and electronics soldering!

Here are some initial sketches :

The functionality that is important is :

-being able to select between different programs (with button and leds to indicate)

-to be able to take audio in and have it modify the patterns on screen

-to be able to change the colors on the go

-I have since phased out the brightness changeability but I could add an LDR easily ?


Because our lasercutter is not operational, I am trying to make this circuit with the vinyl cutter using 5cm wide copper tape. 


I am worried about the headers getting pulled out when plugging/unplugging. I will try adding some hot glue to fortify them. The other option is potting the circuit in resin but that would get messy and expensive. 


-button too close to headers when glue is applied

-remember space for audio in jack plug 

-the two columns of headers for the Arduino should not be continuous, also unclear what is first and last pin. Also they should be SMD headers. 

-don’t mess with RX and TX pins on the Arduino. 

-make a version with VGA plug?

-add text but have it cut onto plastic not made from metal

-audio offset thing doesn’t work

I also want to think about expandability, how could people take this project further by themselves afterwards ?

-Having a knob  or two knobs / LDR connected to an analog in on the Arduino…

-Be able to control the program based on voltage control levels at an input. This could mean it could even be attached to the polyphonic synth !



Here is the next version called the Spaghettini:

-It respects the height of the 50mm wide copper tape I have on hand.

-It makes more sense for the audio in cable to plug in at the side and not interfere with the capacitive sensor. 

-It uses curvy lines just for the capacitive sensing functionality and straight elsewhere which feels honest. 

-It has the ability to modify the brightness of any of the three channels, one at a time. 

-It has a potentiometer for analog in in adition the capacitive sensor. 

-I’m experimenting with different patterns on the left portion.

-The sensor works with the Arduino library CapacitiveSensor 

And here’s what it looks like all plugged in ! (But I need to add hot glue to make it really usable)