VIDVOX Workshops at Mapping Festival 2016

Next week we'll be heading to Geneva to join Mapping Festival to teach a few special workshops and presentations.

If you'll be in town for the festival we'd love to get a chance to say hi! Leave a comment below or send us a message to let us know who to look out for, or just show up at one of the events listed below.

On Wednesday, 4th May:

VJing: WTF is it? – a brief history and introduction to the world of VJing and its related fields.

On Thursday, 5th May:

VDMX Master Class – a two part class that will cover the basics of performing, producing and manipulating visual media with VDMX and advanced tips for pro users.

Writing ISF Shaders For Live Visuals – for this class we will look at the possibilities offered by the GLSL coding language to create live visuals (some examples can be seen on sites like and

ProjectMilkSyphon – Free MilkDrop Music Visualizer to Syphon App For VJs

ProjectMilkSyphon is a free app to create sound reactive visuals from an audio input to your computer such as a built-in microphone or line in and mixed into your favorite VJ software over Syphon.

This tool is possible thanks to the projectM community who did all the years of hard work that are behind this project and generously made it available under the terms of the LGPL.

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VIDVOX at VJ London April 2016 Meetup and Showcase

If you happen to be in London next weekend we'll be joining VJ London for a special meetup to talk about VDMX. They've also lined up some excellent AV sets of local talent to keep us entertained!

The event will be on 10th April 2016 starting at 7:30 PM at the Westbank Gallery (3-5 THORPE CLOSE London W10 5XL GB) – see flyer below, VJ London website and facebook for more details.

Hope to see lots of you there!


Open Source At VIDVOX

In addition to VDMX and several related free utility applications, one of our major focuses at VIDVOX is open source software. We have found that open source code and open standards are especially important for creative communities such as ours where interoperability between tools is often crucial for artists to achieve their visions. We encourage other developers of creative technology and artists themselves to share their low-level knowledge and support the adoption of open standards in their work.

Below you can find links to some of the significant projects that we are particularly proud to maintain and sponsor.

Much of the low level code for VDMX can be found in the VVOpenSource project which is maintained by our own Ray Cutler. In particular you can find the code for our MIDI, OSC and OpenGL backends to use in your own Mac and iOS apps. This project also contains several example applications such as the OSCTestApp and MIDIviaOSC tools that are also useful for non-developers.

The Hap video codecs are an open standard for high performance movie playback originally created in collaboration with Tom Butterworth. Today Hap is supported cross-platform by over 20 different applications and creative coding environments.

Related to this, our free AVFBatchExporter Mac app utility for converting movies into Hap and other standard formats is also open source.

Interactive Shader Format (aka ISF) is an open format for GLSL based video generators and image filters that we created for use in VDMX. ISF based shaders now can be used in a handful of VJ softwares, as well as with OpenFrameworks and on the web. Developers looking to add ISF support to their Mac and iOS can applications can find example code in the ISFKit portion of VVOpenSource. Artists can get started with ISF using the online editor or Mac desktop editor.

In collaboration with several other developers, OSCQuery is an extension to the already popular OSC specification, the OSCQuery Protocol makes it possible for client applications to remotely browse a remote OSC address space. The intent of this goal is to provide baseline functionality that other developers may take advantage of to construct impromptu or improvisational interfaces for dynamic environments. Our open source implementation of OSCQuery is available for developers looking to support the protocol in their own software. This repository also contains several useful sample projects and helper tools such as ‘MIDI OSCQuery Helper’ and ‘OSCQuery Helper’ which can be used to enable OSCQuery capabilities in apps that already support MIDI or OSC.

The code for our FreeFrame plugin loader can be found in the VVFFGL project. This framework was commissioned by VIDVOX and written by vade and bangnoise.

We are proud sponsors of the Syphon framework for video sharing between applications on OS X. The introduction of Syphon into our community has reshaped what is possible for visual artists working on the Mac and we are looking forward to continued support of its future development.

Lastly, there are several open source libraries that we are unaffiliated with but do make use of in our own work. We'd like to additionally thank developers like Mike Ash, Dave DeLong, John Engelhart, the libartnet team and the countless others who have shared their code online for us to benefit from.

New Years Sale – Get VDMX for only $249 until January 16th, 2016

Happy New Year Everyone!

To celebrate 2016 we're running a special sale on VDMX through January 16th for a special price of only $249!

And as an added bonus, during the sale, students and starving artists can apply to get VDMX for as little as $99! Visit the buy page for more details, or send us an email with a scan of your school photo ID or a proposal for the starving artist rate.

This is also a great time to review some of your favorite tutorials or get started with learning the general fundamentals of VJing.

Patricio's Book of Shaders: GLSL in the Classroom

Last week I had a chance to be a special guest for the final presentations in Patricio Gonzalez Vivo's GLSL class at Parsons. One of the big take aways from the class was how versatile the language is, with students presenting projects ranging from web based mapping to 3D Unity worlds, realtime data visualizations in openFrameworks, and of course for live visual performance, all driven using GLSL.

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VDMX 64-bit now available, plus the El Capitan upgrade guide

Hi everyone!

Some exciting news over at VIDVOX today – as you might know the last several months Ray and I have been immersed in changes for the 64-bit conversion of VDMX – and now it is ready for some testing!

How many changes can you spot in this screenshot?

A more detailed change log is linked below, but here are a few highlights and notes before you try it out:

1. The new 64-bit update requires 10.10 or later!

2. If you'd like to keep this and the older 32-bit versions installed at the same time, simply rename the existing VDMX on your computer to something else (eg VDMX b8232 or VDMX 32bit) before running the new installer.

3. Various old movie codecs are no longer supported by AVFoundation. PhotoJPEG, Hap, and h.264 are now generally recommended for use in VDMX. ProRes is also supported.

(For other codecs such as Apple Intermediate you may need to install the latest pro video formats from Apple)

4. That's right, you can use h.264 movies! To get the best performance while scrubbing / adjusting playback rate make sure to set every frame as a keyframe when encoding.

5. Movie Recorder can capture to h.264 with hardware acceleration on supported GPUs. Recorder can also capture to PhotoJPEG / Hap / ProRes.

6. Vuo support! See the release notes for full details, but essentially Vuo compositions can be used as sources, FX, text sources and plugins.

7. Lots of bug fixes, performance improvements and time saving workflow tweaks.


Full release notes and additional discussion on the 64-bit update can be found on the forums here:

Additionally, today is also the date that Apple released its new OS update, version 10.11 also known as El Capitan. For VDMX users looking to upgrade their Macs we've written up an upgrade guide to cover frequently asked questions:



Spirals and Loops: New Free Video Clip Pack!

Download Spirals And Loops in Hap Alpha

Today we've got a new free clip pack courtesy of Herry, one of our recent visual performance students from Dubspot who was using his motion graphics skills to make his own video loops to use at live gigs.

One of the useful techniques discussed in class is creating several variations on a theme or style to have in your clip library during a live show. This can be in the form of having different color palettes, or exporting individual parts of your compositions with included alpha channels. Often this is normally part of the process when creating clips, but often instead of trying to create several clips, people focus on making one 'perfect' version which can actually be less useful in a live setting.

By having multiple similar versions of a clip you can quickly select the best one to match the needed energy level. It can also allow for creating more interesting performances where mixes begin simple and have new elements layered on along with the music.

This set of clips is designed for just that purpose. Each clip is in Hap Alpha so you can layer them on top of each other and there are several variations that can be switched between. They also serve as a good example of how simple changes in style can influence the feeling of a loop. The intention for a live mix was to start with the simple black and white outlines and then introduce the ones with color, but you can use them any way you'd like.

Here's a few examples from the collection:

PS These clips are totally free to use!

Behind the Scenes with Brian Randall Projecting Mapping onto Pasty Bodies for Sun Drug's "Wildman" Video

In case you had missed it last week, the newest music video for Sun Drug titled “Wildman” premiered over at the Creators Project. Along with being awesome to watch and listen to, the process behind it has some pretty interesting behind the scene details that co-director Brian Randall shared with us via an excited set of emails and photos.

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Minneapolis VJ Hang Out At Slam Academy On June 1st

Slam Academy hosts DJ, Ableton and other music production classes.

This year the VDMX crew is heading back out to the wonderful Eyeo Festival and as a bonus this time we've lined up a special VJ hang out session hosted by our friends at Slam Academy.

The plan is for something informal – a chance to share some drinks, pizza and stories with other performing visual artists. And of course we'll have a projector set up for impromptu demos or jamming, so bring along laptops for showing off.

This event is free and open to the public – hope to see you there!

Date: June 1st, 2015

Time: 2-5 PM

Location: Slam Academy, 1006 S Marquette Ave, Minneapolis

VDMX Workshop At Dubspot NYC Featuring Ben Krall On March 29th

VDMX co-creator David Lublin hosts this visual performance workshop with special guest Ben Krall on content creation and performance with VDMX5. Ben will discuss his approach to building the video design for The National's 2013-2014 Trouble Will Find Me international tour and share some of his experiences from video and lighting designs for concert tours, theatrical shows, and architectural / fine art installations. Together Ben and David will discuss approaches to live design, production planning and fabrication, freelancing, and visual art. 

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GifToSyphon: Free Giphy Search To Syphon Tool for Mac VJs

Download GifToSyphon (requires Mac OS X 10.9.5 or later)

GifToSyphon is a free Mac utility that combines two things that VJs love – Animated GIFs and Syphon.

Giphy + Syphon = Instant kittens in your VJ set

Powered by the awesome Giphy search engine, a Mac VJ with an Internet connection can now instantly pull tagged GIFs from a huge online library and use them directly in their favorite Syphon enabled video application.

When not connected to the net GifToSyphon can also still use images from its local cache or using any of your own animated GIF files. These downloaded GIFs can also be loaded into most VJ software for remixing alongside your other media files.

For a quick introduction to using GifToSyphon with VDMX watch this new video tutorial:


(using the 4 channel mixer example via the Templates menu if you're trying to reproduce at home)


Remix GIFs in VJ software.

Search the huge GIPHY library.

Caches downloaded GIFs.

For those who are interested in seeing how GifToSyphon works behind the scenes we've also open sourced the code on GitHub:

Lastly a huge thanks to Giphy team and community for letting us access their repository of GIFs!

Mike Latona with Jeff Mills: Shaping Times

Falling into the category of using all the tools at your disposal to make something awesome is this video from Mike Latona and Sean Caruso working with Jeff Mills for some classic techno mayhem in Montréal.

Recently we had the opportunity to take Montréal on an inter-galactic journey alongside techno pioneer Jeff Mills. We transformed the Studio St-Ambroise using over 50 meters of LEDs, a massive video-mapped elephant, moving lights and more, all controlled in real-time using CoGe, VDMX, and the Madlight feature of Madmapper. Our mission during the voyage: to have both the lights and video move harmoniously and seamlessly along with music, while still allowing us to perform with them live. For the lights, Quartz Composer patches with published parameters for each fixture were loaded into CoGe and syphoned to Madlight. Video animations were created in Cinema4D and After Effects and mixed live with VDMX. We also mapped the accelerometers of two Numark Orbit controllers and used audio react on various parameters for both the lights and the video to give them a more organic feel when mixing.

Hap Codecs now working in 64-bit AVFoundation

Hey all!

We wanted to make this an especially Hap-Hap-Happy Holiday for all Mac VJs (not just the VDMX-ers) and what better way is there than with another awesome open source code release for the hardware accelerated Hap video codecs?

It looks like 2015 will be the year that Mac VJs move to 64-bit and to help make that a reality for everyone we've updated our GitHub repositories to include new source code and documentation for developers to use the Hap video codecs with AVFoundation in their 64-bit applications.

Developers can find the new repository here:

Hap playback and encoding through AVFoundation works with the same classic .mov wrapper so all of your old Hap encoded movie files will work just the same, and likewise any new Hap movies created will be backwards compatible with older 32-bit application (and cross-platform with Windows).

Hap 64- bit example app running AVFoundation in Yosemite.

Hap 64- bit example app running AVFoundation in Yosemite.

As a recap on the technical details and history of the move from 32 to 64-bit processing, for a long time on the Macintosh most video processing software has relied on using a technology from Apple called QuickTime for movie playback. Over the last few years Apple has been trying to transition everyone to use their new modern movie playback engine known as AVFoundation which has several advantages, but was also lacking in certain pro capabilities needed for fully featured real-time video processing applications like VDMX.

In particular one big limitation for VJs was the lack of support for 3rd party pro video codecs such as Hap...

Thankfully as of a few weeks ago it became possible to use Hap in AVFoundation, taking care of our big stumbling block on making VDMX a native 64-bit application. 

Though we still have a more work to do to fully realize the larger goal of having a 64-bit native version of VDMX, including further optimization and bug testing, we wanted other developers stuck on this same problem with their apps to be able to get their software working with Hap as soon as possible.

We'll be posting more information and details about the next round of VDMX updates in a few weeks so stay tuned for more announcements!

So once again, happy holidays to all and looking forward to seeing you in 64-bit land in the new year!

- Dave & Ray

ps. Devs don't forget that you can also use the Hap codecs on Windows too!