Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

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In ableton, midi, vjing on August 31, 2012 at 01:44

Manchester MIDI School‘s Tom Lonsborough, takes us through how to set up your Mac’s IAC Driver for transmitting MIDI to other programs internally. Visit www.midischool.com for more information on their online courses.

Your first music video #2

In resolume, software, vjing on August 31, 2012 at 00:51

In my first post of this series I sketched, which applications I will use to create a video clip for one of my songs. You may remember my lengthy and perhaps confusing description of a workflow, which finally results a movie file, that I can upload to Youtube or Vimeo. For this first try, I will check out the third way. Let’s go on.

Keeping the goal ever present means in this case, what video format and compression should I use? Many websites agreed that these settings are useful:

  • Dimension: 1280 x 720 pixel
  • Format: Quicktime movie
  • Compression: H.264
  • Frame rate: 25 per second
  • Audio: AAC, 44.1 kHz

Maybe a dimension of 1920×1080 or 1440×1080 is better for HD video. I learned, that it is useless to set the frame rate to 29.97, because Vimeo converts all HD videos only up to 25 frames per second in order to optimize playback performance. Ok, that means our goal is clearly formulated and we can create a video. Please refere to my first post, if not everything is clear.

We have to activate Syphon in Resolume Avenue. Go to the Preferences/Video dialog and check Syphon Input & Output.

The default dimension of your Resolume project could be not correct, so open the menu “Composition/settings” and set the dimension to 1280 x 720 pixel.

After that start the Syphon Recorder and open the Preferences. Change the Video settings like in the list above. The shown dimensions are just an example. This depends on the power of your system.

Now we are are almost finished. Press Syphon Recorder’s Record button and start Resolume’s visuals. Stop the recording and you will find a move file on your hard disk. Yeah!

Unfortunately, my video didn’t contain any audio. I don’t worried about that, because something just had to go wrong. It was clear to me, that I have to postprocess my recording, for getting the right starting and ending point of the final video.

So, the postprocessing is the last step. I don’t own Final cut, but I helped myself using iMove 11, it came with my iMac. I imported the silent video and audio file into the application. It takes a bit time to find the settings, in order to get the result I expect: Go to the menu Shared/Export using quicktime... Press the Options.. button, than the Settings.. respectively Size.. button and enter the values from above again.

That’s it! You got your first video ready for upload to Youtube or Vimeo, but this is only the beginning. To be continued.


Your first music video

In resolume, software, vjing on August 29, 2012 at 23:35

Today, I have decided to realize a long cherished dream. What about making visuals for my music? It is not my intention to start vjing, I would like to create music videos. I have in mind abstract pictures, so processing computer graphics and effects should be the right starting point. The beginning is, as always, the most difficult, for that reason I would like to share my experiences by some posts and this one is the first.

What do I need for my first music video? Software is always a good answer, when you don’t know how to start.

My prefered DAW is Ableton Live. I would like to trigger, sync and control my visuals directly from Ableton. I read that VDMX 5 or Resolume could do this job. Both are known VJ software programs and regarded as equivalent. Don’t ask me my, I decided to use Resolume Avenue. I found out, that there is a full functional demo version. That is the way things should be.

Resolume supports Quartz composer patches. So I installed the Apple‘s Quartz composer. That was not so simple. You have to know that the Quartz composer is delivered as part of the Developer toolset for Graphics and Animation. I’m running Mac OS X 10.6.8, so I had to search a while on Apple’s developer website in order to find the right version. And I was forced to register myself as developer, but it’s free of charge. That means the second step is done.

The next step should be rendering the visuals to disk. Unfortunately, there are three possibilities. For a beginner like me it is hard to identify, which approach is the best for my purposes. Since Avenue 4 there is a internal recording function, but my first tests and studying the Resolume Forum raised doubts over this feature – in a later post more about that.

The second alternative, buy a HDMI video capture card – in order to get the file – is for a start to expensive. But there is a third solution: The open source software Syphon Recorder it records video from any Syphon supporting application. Unfortunately, the recorder is in beta state. And there are more risks: It’s not a good idea to record to disk while reading video during a performance from the disk, because frame dropping can happen. We will see how good it works.

But, how can Resolume stream into the recorder? The name of this solution is called Syphon. This free application routes the visual output of one program to another.

So, these are my first steps to make my first music video. For my taste there are to many application involved and chained. Wait and see how it works. To be continued.


Continue reading with Part #2.

Freeze sidechained tracks

In ableton, audio effect on August 11, 2012 at 15:39

Ableton’s compressor, filter and gate supports sidechaining. It is a great feature, when you are looking for a more cohesive mix, fixing mixing issues or just looking for interesting sound effects. Especially when you work with products from Native Instruments you get a too high CPU load and as you probably know, that does compromise the timing of your DAW. Unfortunally Ableton don’t allow to freeze the tracks, which are used for sidechaining.

And here is a simple workaround. Maybe you like to control a filter by a drum beat, in order to modulate the sound of a synth. First of all listen to the drums and synth without sidechaining.

I added an Auto Filter to the synth track and enabled sidechaining from the drum track.

It sounds as expected – the drums do contol the filter:

And here is the problem: When you try to freeze one of the tracks, Ableton reject this with the message, that the track “cannot be frozen because of the routing”.

My workaround depends on Ableton’s routing. I create two new audio tracks and rout the audio from the old tracks to the new tracks by changing the Audio To in the In/Out Section. Know you have to switch the Monitoring of the new tracks to In, otherwise you will hear nothing. And the last two step are moving the Auto Filter to the corresponding new audio track and set the Audio From to the appropriate new audio track.

That’s all! Now you can freeze the old audio tracks and just the filter will calculated in real time. Personally, I prefer using groups instead of new audio tracks, because this approach is simpler and keeps the clarity.

I hope that’s help. alexander