Anton Marini AKA “Vade” has been working with Bill Etra on a software version of the Rutt/Etra Video Synthesizer. The app, created as a Quartz Composer plug-in, is now available:

I’m Bill Etra and this is the Mac version of the Rutt/Etra Video Synthesizer.
In 1970, I spent a year with my partner Steve Rutt building a video synthesizer that let me have complete plasticity with the raster, which, incidentally, will disappear in February when analogue television broadcasts cease. After two years of very hard work, we had built the Rutt/Etra video synthesizer. I was sure that after some work with Bill Hearn to colorize the Rutt/Etra’s black and white signal using the Videolab, I would be finished and have the tool I wanted. It’s now forty years later and, thanks to Anton Marini and others who are kind enough to assist and do all the hard work, we have the beginnings of what I had dreamt of.
The dream was to create a compositional tool that would allow you to prepare visuals like a composer composes music. I called it then and I call it now “the visual piano”, because with the piano the composer can compose an entire symphony and be sure of what it will sound like. It was my belief then and it is my belief now after 40 years of working towards this, that this will bring about a great change and great upwelling of creative work once it is accomplished. This software is one step closer to that since, once we’re on the computer, things can be developed and repeated reliably.
I now live on disability and we no longer have corporate budgets to support this development. I would like to spend the rest of my existence working on the project that I thought I would finish in 1972. If you find this software useful, please make a donation in whatever amount you feel is appropriate.
– Bill Etra, October 26th, 2008


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