Colored Cubes Light Up in Responsive DJ Stage for “The Paranormal Unicorn”

So, you probably think that you can bring out a massive array of colored LED boxes, have them pulse hypnotically to your music, and dazzle us, because we love color and light. You’re probably right. CDM reader Stefan Yazzie writes: A few friends and I created this audio-visual DJ stage to accompany our live shows. We are the visual collective ‘The Paranormal Unicorn’ and this is our new baby. It’s made of wood, plexiglass, some custom programming, a lot of electronics and even more love. DJ duo Skitzophonics plays the music atop the stage, which involved, say the creators, “hundreds …

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Mobile, Smartphone Videos That Doesn't Suck: Video How-to, How it Helps

Amidst all this smartphone and iPhone hype is a simple, painful truth: a lot of us are shooting pretty poor-quality content on phones. Inadequate lighting, shaky handheld footage, and woefully-poor sound from internal mics that badly lag the improved image sensor quality all contribute. Fundamentally, the device’s lightweight, handheld, um, phone-ness work against you. Reader Paolo Tosolini sends in a remedy. At first, I was skeptical: tacking on this extra gear requires some extra cash and reduces some of the mobility of the rig. That is, why not just use a camera? But having a look at his solution, there …

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Mobile, Smartphone Videos That Doesn’t Suck: Video How-to, How it Helps

Amidst all this smartphone and iPhone hype is a simple, painful truth: a lot of us are shooting pretty poor-quality content on phones. Inadequate lighting, shaky handheld footage, and woefully-poor sound from internal mics that badly lag the improved image sensor quality all contribute. Fundamentally, the device’s lightweight, handheld, um, phone-ness work against you. Reader Paolo Tosolini sends in a remedy. At first, I was skeptical: tacking on this extra gear requires some extra cash and reduces some of the mobility of the rig. That is, why not just use a camera? But having a look at his solution, there …

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Epic Space Invader Audiovisual Installation, a Profile in MadMapping

The MadMapper blog this week looks at a brilliant Space Invader-themed project from this Bogota, Colombia-based artist: One of my favorite and iconic projects done with MadMapper to date is the Space Invader project directed by the Bogota based A/V Director and VJ, Laura Ramirez Leal l (aka Optika VJ). The simple concept of the classic icon of a Space Invader reproduced on a grand scale screams fun for the eyes. The technical specifications of the Invader: – 2 x 20K Christie projectors stacked – Modul8 and Madmapper – 20 mts wide – 14 mts high and 6 mts deep …

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What You Don’t Need to Make Music: With A Poly 800 and Renoise, Dkon Talks Music Making, New Label

Deceptikon morphs into Dkon — and talks to us about doing more with less. Photo courtesy the artist. Artist Zack Wright, for a handful of followers of what we used to call IDM, will be a blast from the past. Recording as Deceptikon on labels like Merck and Daly City Records, Zack is back. His name is now Dkon, and the story is more than just him: in the absence of a Merck to release adventurous music, Dkon is helping launch a new label entitled Tokyo Ghost Island, with an EP to be followed soon by new records from Jemapur, …

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Turntable Meets Cello, Sax, Laptop: How Archie Pelago Uses The Bridge and Ableton Live

With laidback, exotic grooves and richly-coordinated interlaced cello, saxophone, turntable, and electronics, Archie Pelago’s music relies on some serious technological savvy. To be sure, all you really need to play instruments and computers and turntables together is to get into a room and start jamming. But to realize their specific musical vision, the trio of Hirshi, Cosmo D and Kroba have turned to an advanced Ableton Live rig, centered around The Bridge to couple Serato and Live. Here’s a look at their music – and all the gory details that combine to make their setup tick. Grab the free EP …

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Touchscreen or Tangible? Use Both: A Practical, Affordable, Playable PC Rig with Usine

Touchscreens? Good, old-fashioned faders, knobs, and pads? Why not just use what suits the job – especially when you can choose both on the cheap? Nay-Seven shares some of his latest work with Usine, the brilliant, modular and touch-centric tool for Windows. It’s a futuristic rig that’s also down-to-earth. Touchscreen monitors can be had for around US$300 street, and the Akai LPD8 and Korg nanoKONTROL controllers each figure under a hundred bucks. Usine, the software, is a bargain for its depth at EUR120, and free and educational versions are available. Cost aside, though, this also puts sound making directly under …

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Guitars, Mysteries, and Magic: Inside “Tiger Flower Circle Sun” with Christopher Willits

How do you allow musical ideas to flower – technically, creatively, and when finding your musical voice? The floral images reflected in visuals and sound in Christopher Willits’ “Tiger Flower Circle Sun” are evocative imagery, but also an apt metaphor for Willits’ artistic process. The composer and artist spins unique, organic ambient worlds with layers of sound and pattern, transforming the timbres of his guitar. He’s also known for making custom software to craft his results, a prolific patcher in Max/MSP with a regular series on Ableton Live, Max, Max for Live, guitar recording, touring, and other topics translated to …

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Mobile Video Out Everywhere: iPhone 4, HTC Evo, and Droid X

All hail HDMI! Photo (CC-BY-ND) Sam Catchesides. We’ve been waiting for this a long time: handheld visualism is finally here. Whereas once digital VJing and live visuals were the exclusive domain of laptops with video out, today various pocket-able devices come with video out. In fact, it appears we’re close to getting live visuals as standard feature. Just expect some bumps along the way. Why does this excite us, aside from having more video sources to use live? One big reason: expect HD-quality, analog and digital video mixing, cheap enough to be accessible to mere mortals. (See last week’s preview …

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faderTouch: Pico-Powered Mobile Multi-touch Projection Controller

VJ Fader faderTouch Processing – BeiJing studio 1 from VJFader on Vimeo. Multi-touch projection is now easy to do with free software, a projector, and a projection surface. The trick is making a controller that is more portable. VJ Fader has a nice, home-built rig, seen here controlling Processing sketches. It uses a 10-lumen pico projector, and a mirror to shorten the throw distance required. I might be inclined to go slightly larger than the pico, as there are now ultra-compact projectors in the 100-lumen range (or even greater) that add only a little size but a lot of brightness. …

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