Armin van Buuren Talks About SMPTE, Visuals and Resolume

A while back, DeadMau5 stirred up some controversy with a ranty post on his blog about the current debate about skillz in DJ'ing.

It's a good read and he hits the nail on the head overall. Let's face it, who cares how many records you can juggle if your show sucks? But we did raise our eyebrows on some other points he brings up. Especially where he says he's constrained to work on a set timeline because the lights and visuals cannot be synced otherwise. In fact, we went so far to scratch our heads.

Syncing your Ableton Live setup via midi over wifi in such big venues is indeed unreliable. But surely there are more ways to sync up lights and visuals, while keeping room for creativity? In fact, we know for certain there are other ways. Eyesupply was doing it every night in stadiums and festivals all over the world. But we bit our lip.

Now finally we can speak freely about project Nimra, which was the SMPTE synchronization specifically built for Armin van Buuren's 'Armin Only' world tour setup. He has released a video on YouTube, showcasing how his CDJ decks are controlling a trusty computer running none other than Resolume Arena on a SMPTE input, powered by Eyesupply.

What's amazing about it? They've created a reliable system which can be built-up and tore down night after night. Sometimes even three to four times in a single night. All the while leaving room for both Armin and the Eyesupply crew to improvise where they feel like it and be tight in sync where they need it. And that's what a live performance is all about.

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Quick Tip: Crossfader

I can't think of anything funny to say about a crossfader. Who's got some good crossfader jokes?

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Artist profile: Media apparat

Austria has a really awesome visual scene. We've been lucky enough to experience the good vibe and great people there a few times. And always the experience was rewarding and enlightening (and also there may have been a schnitzel or two). So we'd like to introduce you to one of the major players in the Vienna scene: Media Apparat.

Birthday Video: Media Apparat 2008-2012

Can you explain a bit about the history of Media Apparat?
Following several workshops in 2008 with and first gigs via the eye-con Label (4youreye), the collaborating DJs Matose & Flobert, VJ Sito Sun and Mister Pink founded an event called Media Apparat. VJ-Setups, which enable the audience to sense music in a space-consuming way, were focused.

Due to a lot of positive feedback the event was quickly turned into a collective for trans-medial Arts:
From stage designer to fashion designer, from producer to 3D modeler; many creative individuals encountered at the same place. Colleagueship and networking became our main principals. Countless gigs in clubs all over Europe provided us with the experience to win further commercial contracts.

Our tireless work on different techniques as well as the club-crowd itself made experimental projects possible. Most importantly: We were not afraid that anything might have gone wrong. Things did go wrong in the beginning. Our first mapping show turned out to be a fiasco; nevertheless this is how we managed to land our first major contract: The complete staging and production of the biggest Austrian science award. Through this engagement the Media Apparat became an Enterprise: Media Apparat Company + Network
Today, one and a half years later, we work for the biggest event agencies in Austria and have positioned our work as follows: We offer an All-In-One Service for agencies. We own a small film-studio and grow with every project. It is our ambition always to move ahead: To become more efficient, to design more impressively and to reduce mistakes to a minimum.

Eventually nowadays our clients spend enough money for the projects so that we can meet with our main principle which is networking on a trans-medial level. Out of the collective and networks therefore arose: Media Apparat Frameworks.

Biggest Austrian congress for Startups
What about the tech? What sort of gear do you lug with you for a show?
We are now in the fortunate position to being able to work without limits to our equipment. Every project has its proper profile of requirements. We have worked with several media servers, yet we mainly count on instruments that we are familiar with: A self-arranged computer with a 16 Gigabyte Ram, i7 CPU, ASUS EAH6970 graphic board, SSD as our work disc and if necessary Matrox-boards. For software we exclusively use Resolume Arena and as a plugin for mapping we use IRMapio. For backups, or if we deal with a high number of signals, we synchronize two systems, that’s it!
Controller: Launch-Pad + VCM-600
Is working commercially very different from a VJ gig?
One leads to the other. In the Club one gets the opportunity to learn about techniques, to test them, to experiment. What we learn there forms the basis for our commercial work. 

Latest Mapping Show
How does Resolume fit into all this?
Resolume is a Live-System. On stage things don’t always go smoothly; often we must improvise. It enables us to react faster to external sources of error. I don’t know any other software with which I can map and arrange complex Setups with screens and projectors so fast as with Resolume.
What's your favorite show of the last four years?
Without a question: Amon Tobin- isam
And what about the future? Where is Media Apparat headed?
More and more we receive international enquiries, for which we are very pleased as in Austria complex shows usually are not within the budget. We continue to develop ourselves permanently. Elements like the stage-interaction between audience and artists are very promising for the future. The markets where we operate are subject to constant changes to which we try to adapt to. We increasingly rely on solid knowledge about classic live-direction and on existing systems (for example the Congress-technique). We try to develop those techniques without loosing our traditional playground – the stage-management of shows. We enjoy our diversified work a lot, it’s a lot of fun.  The journey is the reward. We are looking forward to further projects. What they’ll look like, time will show.

Vienna Awards for Fashion and Lifestyle

Check out the site for more visual goodness:
Media Apparat

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Resolume Quick Tip: Piano mode

Use the piano switch for key and midi maps to add a punch to your visuals.

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VideoPong competition: And the winner is...

In our humble opinion, is one of the nicest footage sharing sites on the web at the moment. Instead of being a vault of footage that is regularly being raided by everybody and their grandma, users of VideoPong are actively encouraged to participate in a community.

First of all, after joining VideoPong, you have to give before you can take. You need to share some of your own clips in order to download those of others. But even better, you can remix other people's clips. It was this feature that we liked a lot, and it became the basis for the Resolume/VideoPong competition.

Long story short, you could win a boxed Avenue 4 license, simply by remixing this clip:

(Lines moving across, by Joris. "it's beauty moved me to tears")

In the end, the winner was decided by VideoPong user votes, and a jury combined from the folks from VideoPong and Resolume:

Grand winner:

Lines moving across, by Paul Power

1st Runner up:

Stripe Remix by Zweck

2nd Runner up:

_stripeScraper by fredVJ.

As in all competitions, the decision was very hard, so aside from the top three we'd like to name a few honorary mentions as well. Be inspired!

Flowapowa by Biolume

white stripe_ deconstructed by patrick

Asp THE GreAt - RMX by Asp

1.6-15.7 win a resolume avenue4 license for best remix by Salil

FANCY TREES UP THE HILL (remix contest) by fapol

Them blades. by Biolume

_20´s style dead of a stripe Part 1 by fredVJ

So, congratulations to the winner, and thanks to everyone to participated. You laid down more lines than a game of tetris.

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Exquisite Motion Corpse

From the creator of the popular “Touch Resolume” controller comes a new and creative art installation called Exquisite Motion Corpse. A fun and interactive work based on the surrealist parlor game Exquisite Corpse. This four-channel video installation features a life-size tower of screens controlled with an iPad running TouchOSC. Users can swap out body segments that are synchronized with loop-based music and sounds.

The backbone of the installation is a Mac Pro is running Resolume 4 Avenue. Resolume controls the timing and playback of the video clips and does all the heavy lifting need to make this installation work. Instead of having to program a unique video application using Max/MSP and jitter, the creators of Exquisite Motion Corpse were able to use audio/video playback functions built into Resolume to do everything they needed. Be sure to check the how-it-works section on the projects' website for more techy goodness.

At the Ann Arbor Film Festival their installation was running 10-13 hours a day without crashing, clocking over 21,000+ measures on the BPM counter! A stress test of Resolume’s stability in a performance environment.


Now the project is being ported into an iOS application called “Bodies and Beats.” This will be the first audio-visual mashup app seen for the iPad and iPhone! Check out their Kickstarter campaign and help make this app a reality.

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3 New Footage Releases, 2 New Artists

We're very proud to welcome two new members to the Resolume footage label. Daniel Knight blasts on the scene with his first footage pack. No less than 33 high powered clips, with a sparkling color scheme and amazing sense of depth. And with great pleasure we give to you the amazing graphic skills of Zeplab! All eyes to centre stage for this 3D Circus extravaganza!

TunnelVision VJ Loops by Daniel Knight
Rest assured it's all killer, no filler. Every single clip a banger, they will burn out your LEDs and rip your projector screen to pieces. You've been warned.

Circus VJ Loops by ZepLab
Death defying are the dazzling depths he delves into, awe inspiring are the twists and turns of the psychedelic kaleidoscope he hypnotizes you with.

RaceStars VJ Loops by Space Monkeys
Strap on your seat belt and put the pedal to the metal with these high contrast retro clips. This isn't a race, it's a showdown!

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