Isadora has a loyal following among visualists and live visual artists, thanks to the fact that it strikes a balance between modular, interactive programming and ease of use. Its killer feature: written by someone who actually does live performance, it allows you to structure your live set in a linear way with scenes. (That feature, incidentally, impressed me many years ago when I used Mark’s first app, Interactor, especially as I was learning the blank-slate Max/MSP and struggling with its lack of a usable timeline.) I’m not really an Isadora user, but I respect it nonetheless. And how it is that no other app seems to have tackled this basic issue still amazes me.

TroikaTronix has posted a series of tutorial videos if you’re interested in learning the program.

The series:

Tutorial 1 – The Basics

Covers the basics; after an introduction to the main editing window, learn how to play and view movie by adding actors to a scene and linking them together.

Tutorial 2 – Compositing Images

Builds on tutorial one by showing how you can quickly resize, reposition multiple movies on the stage. Includes tips on the most efficient ways to change values to get the results you want, and using the mouse as an interactive controller.

Tutorial 3 – Using Scenes

How to use Isadora’s "Scenes" feature to organize and structure your performance, how to transition from one scene to the next, and how to use keys on your keyboard to trigger those transitions.

Tutorial 4 – Performance: Best Practices

Important tips on getting the best performance out of Isadora.

Tutorial 5 – Using Effects

How to use video effects to manipulate images within Isadora, how to interactively manipulate those effects, and how to chain one effect into another.

Tutorial 6 – Value Scaling (Part 1) | Value Scaling (Part 2)

Fine-tuning the way values are scaled as they pass from one actor to another is the key to sophisticated control over media with Isadora, especially when creating interactive environments. These tutorial sare required viewing for those who wish to get the most out of the program.

Tutorial 7 – The Self Generating Patch

Reinforces your understanding of Value Scaling as presented in Tutorial 6 with a self-directected exercise that features two key actors: the Wave Generator and the Envelope Generator.

There’s also a new update for Isadora, which offers some interesting features, including improved integration with two other patching environments on the Mac, Quartz Composer and the also-underrated audio and multimedia tool Plogue Bidule. It’s in prerelease now, but on its way to version 1.3 for both Mac and Windows.

You can read about all the updates there, but some of the key ones are: eight serial ports instead of four, new actors to manipulate text, better Quartz Composer support, and, for those using the Core version on Macintosh, compatibility with the Plogue Bidule audio environment.

It turns out there’s nothing special about the Bidule support other than a fix for Audio Unit hosting, since Bidule (on both Mac and Windows) can run as a plug-in.

Isadora users, let us know how this works for you.

Previously featuring Isadora here:

Ableton Live + Isadora: Slicing, Syncing Audiovisual Tutorials