Audio Visual

The term audio-visual may refer to works with both a sound and a visual component, the production or use of such works, or the equipment involved in presenting such works. Films and television programs are examples of audio-visual presentations.

I am currently working on a live set of instrumentation and video mixing. Audiovisual Performance in this context is the combination of sound and video into a single experience. For every musical element there is a complementary (or contrasting) video counterpart. Colours resemble notes, timbre resembles brightness, rhythm corresponds to form and so on…

In terms of Audiovisual Performance thus far i have been running the STRAX soundtracks DJ night for a number of years. I started off using VJamm VJ software to trigger classic movie clips with sound in time with Traktor 3 DJ Studio software and Resolume 2 (another VJ software – incapable of sound)  all synced via MIDI clock. So put simply, that’s DJing and VJing at the same time, with some clips appearing over both the sound and video that’s already playing. Effects are applied to those clips’ sound so, for instance, the delay effect on a movie clip echoes in time with the music. This was a really functional setup but unwieldy with the amount of equipment involved (both in terms of logistics and setup):

Audio Visual Rig

Hover over the equipment for a short description.

MIDI Keyboard for triggering video clips Preview Monitor KAOSS Pad audio FX unit DJ audio Mixer Vision mixer Laptop running Resolume 2 PC running Traktor & VJamm MIDI controller for Traktor controls

More recently I have been using the Modul8 VJ software, having bought a Macbook Pro laptop which is powerful enough to simultaneously run it and Traktor Pro perfectly well.  Here is a sample of a Disco DJ/VJ set (i did fresh for this page!) I don’t tend to record my sets live, because I’m usually too busy playing…

Which brings us to the future, where i will be using the music I have been making for AV… Seeing as it’s of my own creation I feel I have license to chop it into as many pieces as necessary to fit with the video, start off the video and sound creation process at the same time or even make music to fit an existing piece of video…

Tools for this will be, primarily:

  • Ableton Live – Grid based DAW software for triggering loops with an emphasis on live performance.
  • Akai APC40 – Hardware controller specifically designed for triggering the loops in Ableton Live.
  • Modul8 – VJ software that i use as an animation engine for graphic design elements.
  • Resolume Avenue – VJ software with a layout similar to that of Ableton Live. Audio visual loops are laid out in a grid for ease of access.
  • VJamm – Audio visual performance software with a very accurate timebase.
  • Kaoss Pads 1 & 3 for effecting the audio. Also useful for MIDI control, e.g. video effects at the same time as audio.

There is also an element of performance i have been developing, please see this post for more info.

MIDI Keyboard for triggering video clips Preview Monitor KAOSS Pad audio FX unit DJ audio Mixer Vision mixer Laptop running Resolume 2 PC running Traktor & VJamm MIDI controller for Traktor controls

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