How to control an Ableton Live project from a web browser (and other software) in about a minute

The OSCQuery Protocol is a new specification that allows live performance tools to automatically communicate its parameters for rapid setup and improvisation between performers. Along with native support within VDMX here at VIDVOX we have developed several useful utilities that make it possible for people to take advantage of these new capabilities with software that support MIDI and OSC.

In this introduction tutorial we’ll be looking at how to use the free (and open source!) MIDI OSCQuery Helper utility to publish parameters from an Ableton Live project so that they can be accessed as browsable OSC parameters from other software such as VDMX. The MIDI OSCQuery Helper also includes its own built in Interactive Web Interface which can be loaded in web browsers on desktops, laptops, smart phones and tablets to remotely control any published controls.

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Sending NDI® Audio/Video streams from VDMX

The NDI® protocol from NewTek is a way to publish and receive audio / video streams over a network as a way to share live feeds between systems. From within VDMX, any number of video streams can be both output to the network and input from other applications.

In this tutorial we'll looking at taking layers in VDMX and publishing them for other NDI® enabled software to access. More information can be found in the VDMX documentation in the NDI® Output plugin section.

Tip: For a quick demonstration try the "NDI® Output Example" option from the Templates menu in VDMX.

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The OSCQuery Client Plugin

The OSCQuery protocol makes it easy for software that supports OSC to access each others parameters for remote control, without a lengthy setup process. Within VDMX there are a few ways to take advantage of this and in this tutorial we will focus on using the OSCQuery Client plugin which can be used to browse the address space of a server and add UI controls that are automatically configured to send to it.

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Using OSCQuery In The Control Surface Plugin

The Control Surface is one of the most widely versatile plugins in VDMX, making it possible to create sets of custom interface elements that can be used to control nearly any aspect of your workspace or send MIDI / OSC / DMX to other systems. The Control Surface plugin also has the ability to publish its list of parameters over a local area network using the OSCQuery protocol so that other software can remotely browse and control almost any aspect of your VDMX project.

In this video tutorial we'll be looking at the basics of using OSCQuery protocol from within the Control Surface, and three ways that those parameters can be accessed from software running on other devices: using our free OSCQuery Browser utility, another copy of VDMX and a web browser running on an iPhone.

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Creating a 'Falling' audio level data-source using number FX chains in VDMX

Along with the basic controls of inverting values and applying basic math equations, number FX chains can used to adjust the values of data-sources before they are applied to sliders. In this example the 'Fall' FX will be applied to an audio analysis level to create a falling style before being applied to a VU meter generator.

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Mixing, Adjusting and Generating Complementary Color Data-Sources in VDMX

While Quartz Composer is mainly used for creating interactive video sources and FX, one of of the other powerful ways it can be used in VDMX is to create your own custom plugins that can generate values or manipulate data-sources that can be used to drive other parameters in your setup. Another great thing about this feature is that once these compositions are created they can be shared and easily installed on different computers so that other people can take advantage of the new functionality.

For this tutorial we'll be looking at three very simple Quartz Composer compositions can be used within VDMX for manipulating color data-sources in particular.

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Using Ableton Link in VDMX

One of the common questions for VJs working alongside musicians is what is the best way to keep the tempo of all of the software being used by the different performers perfectly in sync. Ableton Link is a new technology developed by Ableton that answers this by synchronizing musical beat, tempo, and phase across multiple applications running on multiple devices, including VDMX.

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Introduction to The Timecode Plugin

When designing preplanned shows and working alongside other software, one of the common tasks is keeping the timing of everything in sync. Within VDMX there are two main ways of working with time – the Clock plugin which is used for working in measures and beats and the Timecode plugin which counts in SMPTE time.

In this set of tutorials we'll cover the basics of using the Timecode plugin which publishes several data sources in VDMX, and is capable of both receiving and sending SMPTE timecode in a variety of formats.

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Gesture Recording With the Data Looper

The Data Looper plugin in VDMX lets you create tracks that record data (values) from a data source, and then loop that data back, publishing it to the track's data source. Recording and playback is always quantized to the chosen clock, and the plugin also has a built-in editor that allows for quick and extensive modification of the recorded data, including scaling, warping, translation, and deletion.

In this tutorial we'll be looking at how to use the Data Looper to record incoming MIDI data and loop it quantized to the VDMX clock. 

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Using VDMX as a Syphon Mixer

One of the best things about being a VJ on the Mac these days is Syphon which makes it possible for all of the different tools that are available to work together in countless ways. Within VDMX it is possible to have as many Syphon inputs and outputs as your computer can handle, which allows for it to be used as a source, mixer, FX processor or final output for other software you may want to work with.

In this video tutorial we'll look at a simple use case for connecting several Syphon enabled applications to and from VDMX by creating a two channel mixer that fades between two Syphon sources and publishes back out for other applications to use.

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Analyzing multi-track audio from Live in VDMX using Soundflower

For musicians working in Ableton Live or other multitrack production software one of the most useful tricks for driving real-time visuals is to output each sound track on a different set of audio channels before they are mixed together to get more accurate results for each sound when performing audio analysis in VDMX.

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More Fun Audio Analysis Techniques

Using individual plugins to directly automate the control of different aspects of a video performance or interactive installation can create some pretty awesome results, but one of the most powerful capabilities of VDMX is the ability to connect these plugins to each other to create more complex behaviors and visual effects that can be switched between during live VJ performance.

For this set of tutorials we'll look at a few ways that the Audio Analysis plugin can be used alongside the LFO plugin and standard interface controls as a demonstration of this technique.

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Using a Step Sequencer to trigger media clips

Along with being able to control any standard UI elements like sliders, buttons and color pickers, tracks in the step sequencer plugin in VDMX can be used to automate the changing of the media files playing back on a layer and create visuals rhythms. This general technique can be useful for a lot of projects such as VJ performances and building interactive video installations.

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