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our vintage hardware:

more info and pics coming one day...



video cameras

Sony TRV330 CCD Video Camera - Digital 8. Had this for years, excellent sturdy camera. The "super nightshot" and "low lux" blur in an interesting way. A lot more noise in low-light than our other video cameras, but still a great old camera for daytime use if you're looking for an inexpensive second-hand video camera. We mostly use this as an output screen these days - sad, eh? Has standard-jack S-Video in/out as well as AV in/out, unlike newer consumer video cameras which usually only have video-out.

Panasonic NV-RX20EG Analogue VHS-C Video Camera - Jasper's owned this since he was about 13 and used to use it to record his rollerblading exploits. We've recently pulled it out and discovered that it behaves much better in low light than most modern digital video cameras. In addition, it's much better for funky analogue-looking video feedback when pointed at the TV as an output from our video desk. It's difficult to get VHS-C tapes any more and they're not the best quality, but as it has RCA out, we can go live out of camera into our DVD or mini-DV recorders. Not such a great option if you were shooting outside, but no problem when you're recording feedback on the TV :)

still cameras

Diana and Holga Toy Cameras - Medium-format (120 film). These legendarily bodgy, all-plastic (even the lens!) toys produce beautiful, vignetted dreamlike photos. See jaspercook.com for more info about these.

video mixers

Fairlight CVI (Computer Video Instrument) "Black Rack" PAL, 1984 model. CVI's were the first commercially produced live-video effects processing units, produced in Australia from 1984-1994 and revolutionised television with affordable chromakeying. Although can also be blamed for many of the horrible gimmicky effects in 1980's music videos ;)

What happy bunnies we are to have found a Fairlight after years of searching! We paid a lot of money to have this restored and then it blew up the first time we used it at a gig. Luckily, we found a much better repairer ettrick audio visual who replaced all the aging capacitors etc, charged us a lot less than the first company and really understood our passion for this piece of VJing history.

Fairlight CVI "White Wedge" model, PAL, 1994. Marked as "Entertainer" model but actually has "Producer" model firmware and was used as a demo by local distributor, who sold it to us in-box. As it was the last model before production was stopped, and a friend of ours Morph has the same model with the same incorrect firmware, we think it was never actually sold... hard to find out for sure though. Unfortunately it means that the extensive user-manual we got with it doesn't actually relate to it's operation. We'll write more about our much-loved Fairlights when we get a chance, and also try to scan the manuals since we keep getting asked (such a time consuming job though)...

Panasonic WJ-AVE7 Video Mixing Desk. A good, inexpensive workhorse and great mixer for newbs - See review on VJ Central or a review from 1993!

Hama DVM1000 Video Effects Mixer. Very cool toy when working with video, although doesn't have TBC so you need to also work through a desk with TBC (such as the AVE7) or use a TBC. The invert modes are unusual, not just your usual negative. See review on VJ Central.

VEP2 Video Effects Mixer. Bought this on eBay but haven't used it yet :P

input peripherals

mostly games consoles - details coming soon

projectors & monitors

NEC Multisync MT1030 Digital Projector (900 lumens). Lovely projector, nice colour definition, easy to use. Bargain ex-university auction win, with very low bulb hours and got it for about 10% of it's market price. Pretty low lumens so we don't use it for gigs, but great for parties at our place. Projector Central say it's good, and we agree :)

Commodore 1084S monitor - Used in conjunction with the iBot for getting excellent quality analog-video type feedback. Nice portable little monitor with a good range of inputs and outputs. Leftover from the days when Kat used an Amiga! Will have to fish the old Amiga out and try using it in some way in the rig :)

scan converters etc

Scannies are NOT worth buying second-hand, we've discovered. The price has come down so much, and the supported resolutions and frequency ranges have improved massively in recent years. Buy one new on eBay. Also, if you have a newish laptop with a really good graphics card, you may have Overscan built in and not need a Scan Converter. We don't use them any more, since we both have good laptops now.

GrandTec USA PC to Video Cable aka Grand Hand View Pocket Scan Converter. This is USB powered - yay! So you don't have to lug a power supply to gigs. So tiny and portable it's hard to believe it's really a fully functioned scan converter with really good Overscan function (the main reason to use a scannie as a VJ, if your graphics card won't overscan output by itself). Can cope with resolutions up to 1280x1024 at 60Hz or at 1024x768 will work at 60-85 Hz. All for under a hundred bucks. The odd thing is that they don't call them 'scan coverters' (although that's what they are) so if you're looking for one of these on eBay etc, seach by brand.

CorioScan Select Scan Converter - Does 1024x768, overscan, etc. Semi-pro scan converter, now just our backup as we can't be bothered taking a power supply etc to gigs. See Vine Micros at corio.co.uk

Digital Video Stabiliser - aka Black Box. We bought this generic little unit on eBay. They're not expensive and are very useful for cleaning up video signals (oh, and also getting around most copy protection systems, not that we'd do that). We especially use this when we're dubbing cruddy old vintage VHS videos to DVD to rip for sampling.

TV View external video conversion unit. Useful for converting from video to USB, can also be used as a TV receiver in conjunction with the lappie, which I guess could be handy when travelling.

copyright all material 2005 kat black & jasper cook