Cell screenshot

Clean, straightforward, with a US$99 price tag, Cell could be the basic, cross-platform (Mac/Windows) live visual app many have been looking for. And it could be the entry-level app that still seems to elude some of the bigger manufacturers. We’ll be watching it.

Not everyone wants loads of advanced video processing, compositing, custom programming visual tools in their software. For dedicated visualists, a tool you can grow into has major advantages. But some people just want some straightforward video triggering. I regularly get questions about what a simple, cheap solution is. In the past, I tended to direct people to Vidvox’s Grid, but that tool has been effectively replaced by their new application, VDMX. I love VDMX, and think it could be a great choice to “grow into.” But for people who want a basic but flexible solution, I’ll definitely be taking a closer look at Livid’s Cell, which clearly fits a Grid-like niche:

Livid Instruments Cell

US$99 gets you a nice set of bread-and-butter tools:

  • Basic grid playback of various video formats
  • Integrated, OpenGL-accelerated video effects
  • Full MIDI control
  • Automated triggering and sequencing
  • Included clips

It sounds like just the right combination of ingredients for someone adding live visuals to an existing music or DJ set, or who needs just the basics, without lots of more advanced features and customization to get in the way. The interface also seems to be nicely laid out. We’ll take a closer look soon.

Incidentally, back to Grid, note that one of the really nice things about VDMX5 is that you can use a window layout to get all the simple video-triggering properties of Grid, but with the added flexibility of customizing the interface to exactly what you want — or switching to a more “advanced” mode for sets that require it. We’ll be looking more at this soon, as well.

  • Brother Kaif

    This looks great! I was pretty gutted when I heard that grid was no longer being supported, couldn't really find an app to move to. This is exactly what I was after, grid + effects + cheapness 🙂

  • I had been using older versions of VDMX and then Grid for my live VJ work. With VDMX 5 still in process, I recently looked at Modul8. That and the new VDMX are both layer based. I think both these programs are fantastic for use in content creation and also good sratch pads for ideas that may require layout later in a motion graphics program. but the idea of sitting there in a live situation with so much going on and actually bothering with multi layer comps on the fly seems wasteful. So I agree, an application that is non layer and cheap and gives all the basic functions for mixing with some effects is really what is needed. I do acknowledge that VDMX5 and Modul8 can be run in simpler modes and still get the same function, however I think that for somebody new who hasn't already had experience that these are far too complex to get started with. So it's good to see a simpler tool for the basic task at hand of presenting live visuals.

  • Just got a copy of cell to use with my secondary school students. Looks dead easy and seems to deliver what it advertises. We'll know more soon and I'll keep taking notes for cdm.