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.
So last SAT Armin was at the club where i work and have my lasers, i saw the whole setup and the talked to the guys that did the show, good things was they still needed me to do the laser show. Video was all controlled via SMPTE with Resolume on a PC not MAC, which i was surprised. They requested CAT5 for the SMPTE feed into Resolume as well to chat with the stage to the FOH. They basically run the same setup in terms of software I have at the club too, other i run a MAC not a PC. Btw great guy Armin has they where easy to work with.