Vortex Sound Research

Full Version: Atari C-240
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[Image: vmgirl.jpg]

By interpreting an input musical waveform, the Video Music translates the levels of musical intensity and mellowness into colors and shapes that are output to a graphical display. The console is attached to an audio source and then operated by an adhesive-backed switch box that is glued to the back of a television display. Audio signal visualizations take the basic form of a two-part diamond. The outer part represents the left audio channel while the right channel is represented by the inner part. Varying colors and shapes provide a wide variety of patterns, designs, and images depending on the audio sample played.

After the unit is powered on, a toggle switch may be used to select between "TV" (music visualization inactive), and "Game" (music visualization active). When in the "Game" position, visual data is broadcast on VHF channel 3 by default, but may be set to channel 4 Unlike Atari's previous video game systems, the Video Music system's switch box featured a 75 Ohm pass-through F connector allowing the television antenna or cable to remain attached and thereby eliminating the tiresome process of detaching and reattaching the cable every time the user switched from watching normal television broadcasts to using the visualizer. Any audio source may be used for visualization including Atari's video game system audio, and visualizations can either be watched "live" on a television screen or recorded on a VCR by using a balun converter.

he Video Music hooks up to a TV through an RF switchbox. The other hook ups are left and right RCA jack inputs that hook up to an audio amplifier's RCA outputs. The face is a brushed metal plate and the sides are particle board with walnut veneer. The unit is turned on by pushing a power button, and visualization is controlled by five potentiometer knobs and 12 additional push-buttons.[
The knob controls are as follows:[6]:66–67
  • Gain
  • : Two knobs controlling the left and right audio input signals strength. These increase the size of the visual pattern.
  • : One knob controlling color. This increases the number of available colors from a solid color to a rainbow of colors.
  • : Two knobs controlling the left and right audio input signals visual representations shapes from soft to geometric. These act to soften shapes or increase geometric complexity of the design.
The push button controls are as follows:[6]:67
  • Power
  • : Turns unit on and off.
    Shape (solid)
  • : Any Shape or Image that is displayed will be solid
    Shape (hole)
  • : One stereo channel controls the outside with a hole in the center controlled by the other stereo channel.
    Shape (ring)
  • : Both stereo channels will represent two outline shapes that retain their thickness with the pulse of the music
    Shape (auto)
  • : The system automatically cycles at random between the different Shape settings as well as the next eight buttons:
    Horizontal 1
  • : Displays one generated image.
    Horizontal 2
  • : Displays two horizontal generated images
    Horizontal 4
  • : Displays four horizontal generated images
    Horizontal 5
  • : Displays five horizontal generated images
    Vertical 1
  • : Displays one generated image
    Vertical 2
  • : Displays two vertical generated images
    Vertical 4
  • : Displays four vertical generated images
    Vertical 8
  • : Displays eight vertical generated images
The last four buttons have an auxiliary function when the "Auto" button is pushed. In this mode, three of these buttons represent Solid, Hole and Ring. When the unit is in auto, it will retain the shape of one of those three shapes. The fourth button is "Auto All". This sends the unit into semi-automatic mode, cycling through shape, horizontal and vertical options but not affecting the user-set gain, color or contour settings.

[Image: vm-sidea.jpg]
[Image: vm-sideb.jpg]