Digitizing the Glitch

When working with analog signal glitching, the resulting output is too corrupt for digital devices to understand. They will most often blank out and say lost signal, especially when the glitching becomes too extreme. In order to correct this, you need to use a device called a Time Base Corrector. This video on Youtube does a good job at explaining TBC and gives examples of some of the more popular ones.

Based on his recommendations, I was able to snag a Sima SFX9 off eBay. They’re rather hard to come by now, so I was happy to find one in working condition.

The SFX9 has some pretty cool features for video mixing. I got it setup going into my CRT first just to make sure it worked. Using the two channels, I created a loop for the glitching so that the dry signal went into Video1 and then used that to make the wet signal in Video2. This allows me to mix, wipe, and key the signal as an overlay.

I didn’t capture my initial tests but I was very happy with the results. The SFX9 has no apparent delay on the effects and it handles the glitching wonderfully. However, the resulting output is different from when I go straight into the CRT from my circuit bent equipment.

Analog glitch straight into the CRT
Analog glitch through the SFX9

Even with the differences, the ability to use the setup on digital devices such as projectors and digital capture cards, I’m happy with the trade off. This mixer gets me one step closer to performing live visuals.

Cultures surrounding the AIs

I’ve been very fortunate to be involved early on with 3 of the latest AI text-to-image art systems. First was MidJourney, second was Dall-e 2, and now I’ve been able to get in on early access for Stable Diffusion. From a tech perspective, each of these generate different styles of images and have their various strengths and weaknesses. What is more curious is to observe the cultures each of these tools has surrounded themselves with.


When I got on MidJourney, there was a sense of exploration amongst ourselves. We seemed to all be getting in on something new and unique and we were all seemingly working together to explore this new tool. MidJourney attracted enthusiasts who wanted to learn and explore this new tool, together. There was a lot of collaboration and openness as we experimented with different prompts and getting what we wanted out of the system.

Dall-E 2

When I first got access to Dall-e and started to get into the surrounding unofficial communities, there was a striking different tone compared to the folks who were using MJ. From the restricted access, there was a lot more scams showing up where people were taking advantage of this lack of access. People were charging money to run prompts, they were charging money for invites(that didn’t exist), and there was a much bigger sense of trying to use Dall-e for commercial purposes.

Stable Diffusion

SD is the epitome of tech bro culture. Everything surrounding their release was all hype. Folks who had requested beta access were granted the ability to get in on their Discord server, but we still had to wait over 24 hours before the bot even came online. During this time, the mods, founder, and server staff continually teased us with SD’s generations and kept on building the hype. It seemed like they were focused more on growing a user fan base first instead of making sure the product was refined before launch. The founder’s messaging about bringing in “influencers” and making statements about how “well funded” they are further exemplified this opinion.

Dall-e 2 and Glitching

Combining glitch art with the AI was only a matter of time. With my early experiments, I used the AI output through my glitching process. With Dall-E 2 producing incredibly photorealistic renderings, I decided to give it a try to produce glitched images.

Turns out Dall-E 2 can produce some really nice glitch images! Just adding the words “glitch, data mosh” to the prompt will get the AI to produce it. Combining those terms with “vaporwave” or “synthwave” can also produce some dynamic color ranges with a variety of distortions

In the limited time I spent experimenting, the resulting renderings were very stunning. In addition to creating glitch images, Dall-E 2 does a great job of generating variations on existing glitch images.

I’ve found myself using Dall-E 2 to produce variations of existing images more than I am using it to create new ones. While it is extremely powerful at image generation, the ability to make variations on existing images makes it stand out from any of the other text-to-image AI systems.