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Avenue 4.5 and Arena 5


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Resolume enables you to manipulate both the audio and video by using plugin effects. Each effect is a small program that changes the audio or visual in some way, controlled by some parameters.

Resolume supports audio effects based on the VST standard.

For video effects, Resolume supports the Freeframe 1.5 standard (also known as Freeframe GL or FFGL as it supports OpenGL acceleration for effects). Note that this version of Resolume only supports plugins that use hardware acceleration - it does not support old Freeframe 1.0 plugins that do their processing on the CPU.

To use either an audio or a video effect, just drag the effect from the Effects tab onto the area of the Composition, Layer of Clip tabs where it says 'Drop effect or mask here or directly drop it onto a clip, layer or composition area.

Tip! If you already know the name of the effect you're looking for, simply start typing the name of it while the effect browser is in focus. The browser will then jump to the effect automatically.

Clip effects are applied to the individual clip when it is playing.

Layer effects are applied to whatever clip is playing in the layer, after its clip effects have been applied.

Composition effects are applied to the final output, after the layers have been mixed together.

Effects can also be applied to an empty clip, creating an Effect Clip, which has some special properties. For further info, see below.

All effects can be temporarily bypassed (B toggle) or removed (X button).

Using Audio Effects

Audio effects may provide any number of parameters but there is one that they all share. You can use Dry Wet to control how the affected version for the audio is mixed with the original.

When this parameter is moved over to the left, the effect will not be heard at all. When it is at the far right, the original audio will not be heard.

Using Video Effects

Similarly to audio effects, video effects always provide at least one parameter - Opacity. You can use this to mix the effect with the original video. As with mixing layers, you can select one of the mixing modes to use.

Aside from this, this manual is too short to tell you what every parameter of every effect does or how you should use it. You can try them out and wiggle a few of the controls to find out yourself. You'll figure out which ones you like soon enough.

To get you started though, there is a list of all included effects and their descriptions in Appendix 3. Some of our personal favorites are: Vignette, Hue Rotate, Stingy Sphere, Dot Screen, Goo and Particles.


Both audio and video effects support the creation of presets. Each preset contains all the settings for an effect - enabling you to quickly activate an effect with a set of settings that you like.

To create a preset, first get the effect working how you want it. Then use the Preset drop down above the effect parameters and select the Save As… option. Enter a name and hit return. The new preset will now appear in the effects list, under the name of the effect itself.

To use a preset, drag it onto the Composition, Layer or Clip in the same way as you would for the effect itself. 

If you make any changes to a preset, you will need to use the Preset dropdown Save option to save the changes. You can also use the Presets dropdown to rename presets, delete a preset or reset the effect settings to their defaults.

Render Order

Effects can be stacked together by dropping more than one into the same place. If you do this, they will be applied in order, starting with the top one in the slot. Each effect will be applied in turn, affecting the output of the previous effect. You can change the order of the effects by dragging them by the three horizontal bars on the right of the effect name.

Tip! Changing the effect order can dramatically change the resulting output. For example, apply the Fragment effect on a clip, followed by Edge Detection. Probably looks cool, but now see the difference when you drag the Edge Detection above the Fragment effect!

In Resolume 4, clip transformations such as scale and position can be applied before and after the effects. By default, Resolume will apply any effects first, and then apply any changes in the properties.

If you want an effect to be applied after the changes in properties are applied, simply drag the Transform tab above the Effects tab (you can drag it by the three horizontal bars, in exactly the same way as you drag effects).

Tip! This way you can first scale a clip to 50% and position it to the far left, and then apply a flip effect set to horizontal flip and 50% opacity to achieve a widescreen mirror effect.

Flip effect applied first, then scale and position transformations

Scale and position transformations applied first, then Flip effect

Effect Clips

You can also add an effect to an empty clip. In doing this, you will effectively (ha! see what I did there?) create an Effect Clip. If you're used to working with Photoshop or After Effects, you'll know this feature as Adjustment Layers.

Any effect(s) applied on an Effect Clip will be applied to all the clips playing in the layers underneath it. This way you can very quickly create a sequence of different looks and effects, while still being able to swap out the footage on the fly.

Even better, this will allow you to assign MIDI or keyboard triggers to effects, or even fade from one effect to the other using the automatic transitions feature! Like Sources, Effect Clips can be assigned a duration as well, so you can use them with the Auto Pilot too.

Of course, you can stack as many effects in an Effect Clip as you want (or until the output turns to an unrecognizable soup).

Tip! Creating an Effect Clip in fact creates a “carbon copy” of the clips playing underneath. So after first creating it, you can actually delete the effect, and then use the Transform controls to create all sorts of zooming, picture-in-picture and mirror effects. Because the world can always do with more picture-in-picture effects.

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