Using the OSCQuery Helper tool with Processing

In our introduction tutorial for working with Processing and VDMX we examined how to manually configure sending OSC messages from VDMX interface items to control properties of a Processing sketch running in the background. For this follow up lesson we will look at how the OSCQuery Helper tool can be used to publish the OSC address space for a sketch so that they can be remotely accessed by other software like VDMX or the OSCQuery Browser tool.

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Using the OSCQuery Helper and MIDI OSCQuery Helper tools with Max

One of the most powerful tools for working with MIDI and OSC control data is Max, which is widely known for its easy to use interface for “patching” and working with data streams. While Max does not yet support OSCQuery natively, it is a great example of how the free OSCQuery Helper and MIDI OSCQuery Helper tools can be used to publish OSC and MIDI parameters from Max patches so that they can be remotely accessed by other software like VDMX and the OSCQuery Browser.

In this set of tutorials we’ll look at the process for adding basic MIDI and OSC inputs in a simple Max patch and then creating a JSON file that describes the routings. Once those are prepared we can see how to access these parameters using other software in the OSCQuery ecosystem.

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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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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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Show Production: From Mood Boards to Technical Riders

Along with the technical tutorials on how to use VDMX and other software tools, one of the main focuses of this site are topics related to the field of performing live visuals. In this post we'll be looking at some of the techniques that are used to bring a show from an idea through to an actual production, covering the areas of:

Mood boarding: A primer, or “mood board,” is used to gather ideas for the overall style and palette for the visual design. This may include a collection of colors, graphics, textures, image references, screen grabs and sketches.

  1. Mood boarding: A primer, or “mood board,” is used to gather ideas for the overall style and palette for the visual design. This may include a collection of colors, graphics, textures, image references, screen grabs and sketches.

  2. Storyboarding: A storyboard takes the elements derived from the mood board and places them in time, typically matching up events such as style changes with important moments in other elements of the show production, such as the music or theater scene changes.

  3. Pre-production: During pre-production any prepared material, such as video files, still images, interactive generators, custom FX, that are needed for the show are created and arranged in the performance software for rehearsals.

  4. Technical riders: Technical rider documents are often created as a way to clearly describe the broad technical aspects of a show production, including details like equipment lists, wiring diagrams, stage layouts, venue requirements, and contact information for people involved.

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Blair Neal's Survey of Alternative Displays

For anyone currently working in the field of live visuals, one of the most exciting areas of bleeding edge technologies is on the side of displays – the place where people look at to see the amazing imagery coming out of our computers. There are a lot of new – and ancient – techniques to learn about and along with that a lot of new information to take in – all of which our good friend Blair Neal covers in his recently updated blog post “Survey of Alternative Displays

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Loops – Performance, Production, and Progression

The heart of almost every VJ / Visualist performance is the loop. There are lots of techniques and training for the production of loops, but there are some common approaches and methodology of creating a “pack” that are explored in this guest tutorial by Colin Evoy Sebestyen. To demonstrate these ideas Colin breaks down a project he created with musician Nonagon for a performance series at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.

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How to create a retro Halloween visual style in VDMX

Creating the right look for Halloween and other spooky themed events is one of those tricks that every visual artists needs to have in their go to bag of tricks. There are lots of different techniques that can be used and in this guest tutorial we are joined once again by Colin Evoy Sebestyen for a demonstration of how to use a combination of LUT based FX, real-time video generators and logo images to create a retro horror film graphic scene in VDMX. In particular this look is inspired by intro sequences like the one from The Gate and more recently Stranger Things.

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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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How to do a NYE Countdown

One of the biggest nights for live visual performers is New Years Eve and in particular there is responsibility in particular that can be unexpectedly tricky to get right. That is handling the countdown to midnight. Often it can mean coordinating with other performers or workers at the venue. Depending on what is required of you during the show there are a few different approaches you may want to take when setting up your projects. It also helps to have an idea in advance of what your options are for running a visual countdown.

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