Intro

Fermata Positronics is a practice in electronic Kintsugi, whereby the hidden spirit of ancient home video and prosumer video enhancing devices is conjured from beyond the veil and brought to the surface for your creative exploration.

In designing these instruments, it is my intent that they serve as glitch platforms where you may discover novel effects suited to your creative desires. I view them as a mutant painter's palette, or a looking glass through which raw input is spellbound in ecstatic entropy.

To glitch is to openly investigate and welcome the unexpected, to serendipitously probe beyond the normative sheath and traverse the membrane between dream and reality. Come, let us dive.

Devices

FAQ

⚡️ Is a step-down transformer necessary to operate Fermata devices?

Yes. All of my designs utilize units from Japan, where electronic devices operate at 100V.

If the devices encounter a voltage that is higher than 100V, there is a high risk that the internal electronic components—in particular the power circuit—will be damaged. Thus, a step-down transformer is required to safely operate all Fermata units, and ensure their longevity.

Here is a selection of step-down transformers that I recommend for use in different regions:

⚡️ Which regions will Fermata devices operate within?

All Fermata devices use the NTSC video standard, and will work with any composite video equipment from NTSC regions.

If you reside within a PAL region, you will likely need to have NTSC to PAL / PAL to NTSC converters on hand for optimal operation.

⚡️ Is a Time Base Corrector necessary to operate Fermata Devices?

It depends on the setup that you are using your device within. If you are sending the device’s video output directly to a CRT, you will find that it operates well, with minimal dropouts.

If you want to record heavily glitched video to VHS, or capture directly using a video capture card, you will find that a Time Base Corrector can help to stabilize the signal, and allow for a cleaner capture. Be aware that using a TBC will alter the colour and texture characteristics of your visuals—sometimes in a subtle manner, and at other times more drastic.

Many composite video mixers also feature a frame synchronizer at the core of their design, and will provide a similar level of stabilization to that of a dedicated TBC. If you want the cleanest possible signal at the end of your signal chain, a dedicated TBC is the way to go.

⚡️ Do you accept requests for custom knob and paint colour schemes?

Yes. All of my devices are built to order, and I am happy to work with you to create a custom colour scheme for your device(s).

⚡️ What is the order process like?

When I have base units available to build upon, I make spots available in my build schedule. The order process is as follows:

For Dragonfly & Firefly orders: When you have reached out to me, and confirmed your interest in a device, I will ask for an initial deposit of half the cost of the device. Once I have completed your device, I will then ask for the second payment which consists of the second half of the device's cost, plus the cost of shipping.

For Hither Dither & Spectraloom orders the process is similar, but I will ask for the full cost of the device up front, and then the cost of shipping once I have completed your device.

Occasionally, I may have pre-built Hither Dither and Spectraloom units in stock and available for purchase. Orders for in-stock units consist of a single payment, which includes the cost of the device plus shipping.

If I have no base units in stock for a device that you are interested in ordering, and you are on the waitlist, I will reach out to you to confirm if you would like to proceed with your order when I have acquired an operational base unit, and am ready to build your device.

⚡️ What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept payment in Canadian dollars via PayPal. If you reside within Canada, I also accept payment via Interac e-Transfer.

⚡️ Where do you currently ship to?

I currently ship to Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and European Union, using Canada Post. Be aware that the cost to ship a device to the UK or EU is fairly high.

I can potentially ship to locations outside of the aforementioned areas, though the cost to do so may be high. Feel free to send me a message to discuss options.

All devices ship from Ontario, Canada.

⚡️ What is the wait time like?

When you are on the waitlist for a particular device, it can take upwards of a few months for me to source a base unit, if I have run out of stock. All of the units that I build upon are uncommon, and thus their availability is somewhat random, though I consistently search for all of them every day.

If I have a supply of base units in stock, the time that it will take for me to complete your device, from the time of your initial deposit, can be up to approximately one month. For efficiency, I schedule builds in monthly batches; the larger a batch of orders, the longer the wait will be.

⚡️ Can I send in my unmodified unit for you to modify?

Yes. If you have a JVC/Victor JX-C7, JX-W9, or JX-E3, I am able to transform it into one of my existing designs.

I can modify both 100V and 120V units, provided that they are NTSC standard devices. The PAL equivalents of these units feature a different circuit design, and thus my designs will not work with them.

When you send in your own base unit, I offer a discounted price.

⚡️ Why do you recommend your devices for studio use only?

The quality and stability of electrical currents at live venues can sometimes be less than optimal, and unwanted ground loops can be created, which could put your device at risk of being damaged. Due to the age of these units (approximately 40~ years old) such damage may be difficult to reverse.

In a residential studio environment, you will likely have a stable, clean supply of electricity with minimal risk to your device. If you are to use your device in a live situation, it is highly recommended that you use a high quality power conditioner, and ensure your setup is properly isolated to prevent ground loops.

In designing these devices, I have prioritized the discovery of precise sweet spots for the user to linger on and explore in fine detail, rather than creating drastic and sudden changes more suited to a high-energy live performance.