One of the things I admire about audiovisual duo Eclectic Method is the way they work with audiovisual materials, slicing and mapping visual materials as though they’re sonic loops, all within the rhythmic grid. They’re also, as visualists go, able to carry a party on their own in a way that’s truly rare. So even as I hope that the term “visualist” will come to mean far more than the audiovisual cut-up and a video translation of what VJs (and DJs) have been, there’s no less to learn from Eclectic Method.
They also do things with Sony’s software that’s utterly insane.
You see, before ACID and Vegas were Sony projects, they (along with the awesome Sound Forge) were Sonic Foundry products. And Sonic Foundry, more than any other developer before or since, treated music and video interchangeably in their software design. Resolume Avenue in their ground-up Resolume rebuild has started to try things for live performance, and Ableton has tacked-on video features, but Vegas at its inception was revolutionary. It was always meant to handle both sound and video, and it was always meant to deal with them in rhythmic time and beat-match them. It was the first — and, rather oddly, so far the last — product to be built for a new audiovisual age.
Not only have developers too rarely noted the importance of Vegas, but users have, as well. Eclectic Method, happily, instead spent years becoming masters of Vegas and sister program ACID, and now do audiovisualism better than about anyone currently on the circuit. (For more of the roots of this style of work, of course, don’t miss the earlier collective Emergency Broadcast Network. Oh, and ACID, for its part, was GarageBand before there was a GarageBand.)
Eclectic Method use this approach to a specific end. But there’s no reason you couldn’t use this same editing approach with your own footage and music as well as found footage, or to develop a different rhythmic style all your own, or to work with an entirely different aesthetic, or to apply this to other editing tools not made by Sony, or to build your own tools…
You get the idea. It’s well past time for the audiovisual age to take off.