Iced In

January 19, 2024 · Lars Larsen

Hello visual artists and Chromagnonites -- this week has been a bit crazy.  Here in Portland we have all been iced into our homes since the holiday on Monday, so the typical workshop crew is working abroad.  We've focused that on getting ahead on content creation for new videos and social media posts -- a project that is going well and should buy us some free days in February.  I'm thankful everyone in the shop also has systems at home, or else this would not have been possible.

On the Chromagnon front, we reached a firmware milestone this week, with the updates to account for pin mapping changes in the latest board revision. That clears the way for the rest of the hardware review.  The hardware review task list is 42 items long, 12 of which are now done.  I'm hoping to be done with the rest of them sometime next week -- so next week's post can be focused more on those details.

Here is some more Q&A!  Don't forget to write in your questions using the form at

Ian asks "With things moving steadily towards the HD future, should we expect to see a firmware upgrade for Memory Palace?"

Yes!  Expect a Memory Palace update after Chromagnon starts shipping. We will be combining development efforts there with development of Memory Palace Mk2. Memory Palace doesn't support HD modes, but will support some of the other revisions and bug fixes in the Mk2 firmware.

Joshua wrote in and said "No questions, as I'm reasonably new to this LZX thing you've got going on, and I'm sure the answers exist somewhere... But I must say, even with (understandable) delays, and much OPM wrapped up in the Chromagnon project, you leave a helluva pretty wake behind online.

For months, I've been combing forums for tidbits of DIY video synthesis info, building my own open source bits, and collecting vintage mixers... All the while coming across these 'Lars is a genius,' posts along with claims that 'Lars is the hardest working man alive.' Etc etc...

And now here I am making a choice not to buy a pre-order second-hand and skip the line, just to feel like I've contributed a new bit of energy to your company. I'm sure to get my own dopamine squirt as I watch y'all push through the last bit. Congrats, my guy, and more power to you."

You are very kind (and thanks for the preorder!)  It's impossible to accept these nice comments without pointing out that I often get the credit for work which is the result of a team of very dedicated and talented individuals. We all wish you success in your video journeys ahead -- pop in our Discord channel and say hi if you've got anything we can help you with.

Martijn asked "How is it going with the proposed new DIY line of modules?" I learned so much of the Cadet ( and Castle) series.. they inspired me to start making my own modules because learning from your open schematics kickstarted my way into combining ideas and idea blocks to get to new concepts. I can't wait to see your next (open source) designs!"

It's great to hear there is continuing interest in open source and DIY designs!  Currently we do not have any active DIY designs in development, but there are some ideas on the backburner.  We are also offering our power and FPGA subassemblies via our webstore.  With some better documentation, I think these could be employed by DIY projects.  I think one of my interests here is to document some low parts count, single-supply designs that focus on really maximizing what you can do with ICs that are quite expensive, but make very low parts count implementations possible.  You are one of a few makers who really took off with the initial proposition of the Cadet series:  take these building blocks, and build on them.  Many compliments from us to your work, which we would love to see more of.  (Check out Martijn's projects at

Casper says "First of all: love the new format. I wonder what it is in relation to cashflow and keep a business running why you don't do another run on good selling products. If I look at Memory Palace or with some older Vidiot, gear prices reach astronomical hights because the demand is so much higher than supply. I know there where some revision ideas for MP, but if you're clear in what you sell and what the future will bring nobody will curse you. Call it the boutique synths if you ask me."

Thanks for the practical suggestion -- you're not wrong, and in part this is what we've been trying to do over the past couple years of delays in general.  Part of the issue is that even though we own the designs you're mentioning, we still have lots of parts cost and labor in assembling them -- everything is assembled with in house labor -- and any resources we have, we need to split across both Chromagnon and maintaining our existing modular lineup.  Right now we have a good strategy, I think, and it's mostly up to the strength of the overall synth market regarding our cashflow.  Sales of our existing modular catalog are the main push forward to getting the job done faster rather than later.  We have some new accessories to that effect that will be available this quarter, and hopefully that will help.

Until next time,