Super Quick Review: Samson Conspiracy

As you all know, Resolume stacks layers vertically. To us, it always felt a bit weird to control those layers with a midi controller that puts its faders horizontally. So we got this little guy in the office because we liked the vertical fader layout, and wanted to see if it was a good match for Resolume.


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Review: Showjockey Art-Net devices

Arena 5 made outputting to LED strips a piece of cake. Arena can sample the video pixels and output RGB values to the strip via DMX.

DMX is great, because it’s been around since forever and has become an industry standard that most devices will be able to work with.

The downside is that it has the concept of ‘universes’, which is basically a fancy term to describe all the lights that are on a single control line. A universe is limited 512 DMX channels. This is fine for conventional lighting setups, and was more than enough when the protocol was established way back in the eighties. But with every RGB pixel taking up 3 channels (1 for Red, 1 for Green, 1 for Blue), you can only control a maximum of 170 pixels per universe. With LED strips becoming super cheap and more and more high-res, building anything fancy can quickly require 10 or more universes.



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Performance Benchmarks

'What computer do I need to run 12 layers of HD?'

'I need to send 3 videos to 3 outputs, what graphic card do I need?'

We get these questions a lot and there is no easy answer for them. Performance depends on a lot of factors, and any recommendations we make are usually outdated a week later.

So we thought we'd try a different approach: the Resolume Benchmark, patent pending.

Click here to view the results in a handy spreadsheet!


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Onwards! To 4K and Beyond the Infinite

Club3D is a hardware company that, aside from making AMD and Nvidia graphic cards, make a lot of useful adapters, dongles and gadgets. For instance we’ve been using the Club3D USB to DVI dongles quite a bit to add an extra highdef output to a laptop setup.

So when we heard that they make a dongle which can extend a single Displayport output to 3 Displayport outputs, we just had to order a few units for testing. We simply can’t resist a fancy new dongle.

Here’s the nitty gritty on this little gadget.

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Review: Hands On with the Spark D-Fuser

By now we all have figured out that analog video connections are not the way forward. Being limited to SD resolutions is just one thing. Those of you that ever tried to do a pixel mapping on a LED wall via a scan converter and an Edirol V8, you will know that pixel perfect digital connections can be better than free beer and pizza under a hot shower.

Trouble was that up until last year, there was no hardware mixer available that could mix between two digital sources. None that a normal person could afford anyway.

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New Resolume MIDI Controller with Video Buttons and Monitor

SINCE WE ARE STILL GETTING EMAILS ABOUT THIS, THREE YEARS AFTER IT WAS POSTED: THIS CONTROLLER IS NOT REAL. IT'S AN APRIL FOOLS' JOKE. IT'S JUST A TRICK USING PROJECTION MAPPING. THERE'S A PICTURE AT THE END SHOWING HOW WE DID IT.

Which is the best Midi controller for Resolume? If we had a penny for every time we are asked that question, we would be sipping caipirinhas developing Resolume on a sunny beach island resort.

But now we can finally answer it. This one!



This is a prototype of the upcoming custom Resolume controller that we have developed together with Akai.

It’s got full support for the Midi protocol, but the truly great thing is that it also has video feedback. The buttons are custom OLED buttons, that receive video data via OSC. So you can actually see what’s playing, and see a preview of your clips, with the active clip in full motion. Thumbnails are even updated in realtime when effects are applied.



All this OSC is actually controlled by the processor of an AR.Drone helicopter. After Bart ’accidentally’ broke ours (by landing it upside down from a first story building), we found out its internal motherboard actually runs Linux. We took this out and put it in the Midi controller with our own custom Linux distribution on it. This allows the controller to receive pixel data wirelessly with little to no delay.



We truly believe that this is the future of controllerism!

//EDIT April 2nd//
So to prevent people from sending emails asking about this controller two years from now, here's a little making of shot. Check out that duct tape action.



So yes, it was a hoax. Hope you all had a good laugh about it, and see you next year ;)

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Coming Back From the Dead - Night of the Living HD Mixers

Just when you thought it was safe to drag out your old analog MX50s again...



A little while back (okay, a big while back), we posted about the current state of affordable HD mixing using the TVOne box. At the time of writing, only one of those projects was in an actual released state. The iMixHD is a great piece of software, not in the least because it's free and open source. But deep inside, the idea of a physical standalone mixer with a T-Bar was still nagging.

Flash forward to a year later, all of a sudden there's not one but two such projects that are both finished and actually in production!

First off, there is of course Toby's Spark d-Fuser. The d-Fuser is an elegant piece of kit, both the functionality as well as the box itself are amazing. It is a clutter free interface that does what it needs to do: mix between two sources. Being fans of intuitive design that doesn't get in the way of your creativity ourselves, we have to tip our hats to Toby on this one. Currently the first run is sold out, and the latest news is that the casings have arrived and look beautiful.

Then, out of the blue, the boys from CarrotVideo come with their own take on the TV-One, the tentatively titled 'HD Rabbit'. Focussing more on giving you access to everything the TV-One has to offer (it actually does a lot more than fade or key between two sources), they've made what Edirol should have done a long time ago: an HD V4.

In their own words:
The HD Rabbit is a HD mixer and controller based on the TV-One 750.

We know what you're thinking now: 'Really? Another TV-One based mixer project? Really?'.

And we feel you on that one. There have been some awesome projects based on that little gadget, some of which turned into very well designed, thought out, and most importantly, very real products. So who are we to come up with yet another one?

Truth be told, we feel that you can do a lot with the TV-One. The AB mixer and keyer are its primary functions, but it has some very powerful scaler and image adjustment functions as well. It's just that its interface is so ridiculously clunky.

So we designed a more user friendly interface. All the useful functions of the TV-One are accessible in a more human way. Having grown up bashing our V4s to bits back in the 90s, all we really wanted was a similar experience, but not limited to crappy PAL resolutions. Let's face it, there was something innately satisfying about spamming those cut buttons, or strobing the output until the light engineer gave you the evil eye.

So we were dragging this piece of kit with us to shows, where it took up valuable space on our already crammed table. It did the job, but it was lacking something. Then it hit us. Why not make it a software controller at the same time? Besides OSC input for the main TV-One functions, we added fully customizable OSC and DMX output from the buttons and rotaries. Basically we made one big box with the flexibility to mix and control our favorite applications.

No more eighties looking hardware effects, instead we're controlling realtime effects in glorious HD at 60fps. No more overtaxed CPUs, instead we're cutting back and forth between two HD sources like it's going out of fashion. What more could you ask for?

We don't know either.

That's why the HD Rabbit is currently being produced in its 0-series run, contact us at http://www.carrotvideo.com for more info.




Especially interesting for Resolume users is the customizable OSC output. As you can see in the video, the HD Rabbit is preconfigured to send BPM info to Resolume already, but all its other knobs and buttons can be assigned OSC commands as well. This could very well be the next step in hardware controllerism.

We've actually been lucky enough to see this gizmo in action, and have pounded those cut buttons to see if it they held up. We were pleasantly surprised so rest assured that we'll be following this one with great interest.

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