Now, even your browser can produce elaborate, production-grade eye candy using just some Ableton Live MIDI clock. The question of how to generate visuals to go with music starts to get more and more interesting answers.
And really, why not? In that moment of inspiration, how many of us see elaborate fantastic imagery as we listen to (or dream about) music. It’s just been that past generative solutions were based on limited rules, producing overly predictable results. (That’s the infamous “screensaver” complaint.) But quietly, even non-gaming machines have been adding powerful 3D visualization – and browsers now have access to hardware acceleration for a uniform interface.
cables.gl remains in invite-only beta, though if you go request one (assuming this article doesn’t overwhelm one), you can find your way in. And for now, it’s also totally free, making this a great way to play around. (Get famous, get paid, buy licenses for this stuff – done.)
MIDI clock can run straight into the browser, so you can sync visuals easily with Ableton Live. (Ableton Link is overkill for that application, given that visuals run at framerate.) That will work with other software, hardware, modular, whatever you have, too.
Updated – now here’s an additional video, showing what you can do with MIDI notes!
Be sure to subscribe, as they have more installments coming, they tell us: “Next week will see the release of the 3rd video which shows how to use
Midi CC data to control post processing,” the developers write CDM. “The week after that will tie all of it together and demonstrate how some
simple triggering techniques inside of Live can be used to create
generative visuals inside of cables.”
For a MIDI/DJ example, here’s a tutorial for TRAKTOR PRO. Obviously this can be adapted to other tools, as well. (Maybe some day Pioneer will even decide to put MIDI clock on the CDJ. One can dream.)
They’ve been doing some beautiful work in tutorials, too, including WeaveArray and ColorArray, since I last checked in.
Check out the full project and request an invite:
By the way, note those cool visuals at the top. That’s not video – that’s cables.gl actually running in your browser right now.
Previously, our introduction: