Vixid Talks About Making a Creative Hardware Mixer – And Wants Your Input on Next Gen [Video]

What should a hardware mixer for real creative applications, live performance, and VJing look like? Vixid’s Vincent Julien answers that question in the latest video interview from our friends at He talks mainly about his philosophy and why this hardware went the direction it did. But he also reveals what the next generation might incorporate, including multi-head output for panoramic displays and mapping. Beyond that, the person who can decide what Vixid’s next hardware should be is you. Today, Vixid announced a call for input on what you want from their next mixer: This form allows you to tell …


The Era of Hardware Mixing for Laptops Cometh: SPARK D-FUSER Available

*spark d-fuser: demo from toby*spark on Vimeo. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s nearly here. The first hardware mixing for laptops that’s practical and affordable for the visual community has arrived. And it should be just the tip of the iceberg. Back in 2009, we celebrated Toby Spark’s community-led video mixing, and bravely (perhaps bravely and prematurely) declared that the era of high-quality hardware mixing was at hand. It is, of course, a simple premise. You’ve got one laptop, and you want to crossfade to another. And you don’t want to use an analog signal – least of …


Love Letters to Chroma Key: Network Awesome Kicks Off Four-Week Series on the Green Screen

“Chromatoast” is a new series devoted to chroma key from Network Awesome, the site that builds a network out of carefully-selected, often strange and wondrous finds from YouTube. Entirely focused on the compositing technique, the four-week series kicked off yesterday (Thursday June 7) and will continue on upcoming Thursdays. Network Awesome chief Jason Forrest tells us it the episodes will be “full of magic both arty and absurd.” See a first look at that above. Then head to the Chromatoast “collection” on Network Awesome for more: As part of that page, Kristen Bialik writes an extensive history of the …


With DJ Tools, the iPhone as a Companion to DJs; How the Developer Uses It

What would you want in your pocket for DJing? How about some key recognition and tracking, key mixing aid, BPM tap — and a flashlight (torch)? For the DJ who cares about mixing songs together in key and precise tracking of BPM, automatic recognition may just not cut it. One DJ and developer, Pete Simpson, decided to solve that problem – and like a lot of software ideas, initially built that solution for himself. He turns the ever-popular iPhone into a handheld, pocketable companion for DJ sets. I asked Pete to explain not only what the software does, but what …


Op Ed: What Do “Mastered for iTunes” and “Sound Check” Do To Music Listening?

One way or another, Apple is involved in a whole lot of the music to which people listen. Here, writer David Dodson considers what that means (and similar issues with other digital music listening beyond Apple, like Spotify. Photo CC-BY) Yutaka Tsutano. What does it mean to “master for iTunes?” Apple tripped that question with the launch of a suite of utilities and sound-processing algorithms intended to master music for their codecs and software, rather than more generically as would be done with the CD. More significantly, what does it mean that an increasing number of music listeners experience all …


The Live Mixer, Reimagined, in a Futuristic Touchscreen Device from Line 6

Photo: Marsha Vdovin, snapped for CDM in the mood lighting of the Line 6 press room at the NAMM show. Few things are as essential to music making as the experience of a live show. So it’s about time someone took some risks to see if there’s a better way to run live sound. Line 6’s new StageScape M20d is important because it does just that – it finally says the mixer as you know it doesn’t have to be sacred, and tries to build a better one. Traditionalists might be skeptical – and with good reason, as we see …


Apollo: UA Adds Low-Latency Effects in Audio Interface, Proves FireWire, Thunderbolt are Cool

Universal Audio has long had a successful business selling hardware DSP effects, many of them carefully-modeling classic analog gear. These products use dedicated DSP hardware for number-crunching, requiring that you connect an extra box to your computer. UA has certainly had their loyalists, and for fans of the products, the dedicated gear is simply a convenient way to get all of these sound-processing goodies. But it’s fair to ask the question, as many producers have who read this site, what’s the advantage? Why not simply use native processing on your computer? Apollo, UA’s new hardware, answers that question more emphatically. …


iPad Gets a Desktop-Style, 48-Track DAW with Plug-ins: What it Means, Answers from a Developer

I like to do six impossible things before breakfast. You? This is either the first death knell for the traditional desktop DAW, or an ill-fated attempt to squeeze a desktop DAW onto a tablet. Or, more likely, it’s somewhere in between. Auria isn’t the first multitrack production studio for a mobile platform, but without question, it’s the first to look and function in the way you’d expect only a computer Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to work. The track count is the first banner feature, but perhaps what will turn heads most is actually the support for conventional plug-ins. Updated: You …


Roland R-MIX App Selects Parts of Music Visually, on Mac, PC, and iPad

Here’s a software release I don’t think most observers saw coming: Roland has new software for computers and iPads that lets you edit visually. The underlying VariPhrase technology is familiar from other Roland products, though combined here with something Roland calls V-Remastering. The upshot is this: you begin with a heat map-like visual of a sound’s spectrum, then pull on components of a mix, isolating the volume levels of different parts of a track. Think visual mash-ups and karaoke tracks, as well as clean-up. What can you do once you have those components? Isolate components, adjust their mix, and add …


CoGe 1.0 Mac VJ Software Hits Prime Time; Extensive Syphon, Quartz Composer Support

CoGe is an upstart VJ app on the Mac, built on the foundations of Quartz Composer as a standalone VJ app. It’s been winning over some converts already – as indicated in our recent survey. But here’s the big release: version 1.0, a ground-up rewrite, which in turn debuts the app as a commercial tool. For the best overview, see the brand-new version 1.0 quick start video at top. Highlights new in this release: Native support for Syphon (for interconnecting with other Mac visual apps) Arbitrary layers Effects Mixer chains Speaking of Syphon, for you projection mapping fans, here’s a …