This is the way: SynapseRack is a fully customizable, layer-based live visual tool, complete with modular nodes and HAP and MIDI support, built in Unity. Now in beta, it costs ¥12,000 for a full version – just over US$80 – plus a very workable free version with no watermarks.

This one takes me back to the days of Motion Dive – not least because the site is currently entirely in Japanese. (That’s not a bug; that’s a feature!) The UI harkens back to the simplicity of a lot of those earlier VJ tools – think motion dive .tokyo and early Windows-only Resolume. But it backs some modern punch:

  • Layer architecture for compositing, masks, and simple mapping with images and video
  • Node-based effects and automation (for visual patching)
  • MIDI controller support
  • Customizable layouts
  • HAP codec support, plus H.264 MP4 MOV WebM etc.
  • Project sharing

There’s also this clever, pop-up interface for modules for quick access to parameters. It all looks really customizable and mappable. Looks like I might put my PC back in service for this one! Check that step sequencer:

The “demo” free version is actually pretty capable – 4 layers and 2 group layers. (Remember when that was already more than our computers could run?) There’s no watermark, so there’s nothing stopping you from just working with the free version and if you love it, supporting the artist by buying.

SynapseRack [JP website]

Via the current best site for all things visual/VJ, VJ Union! (Check it. Set up an RSS reader again – they exist still – and subscribe to us both!)

Synapserack – customizable VJ software for Windows []

The developer is Saina Key aka Kanta Shiina (please, appeal to the Japanese-speaking readers for any mistakes I make here). But they’ve got a ton of experience in shaders, Unity, and openFrameworks – and it looks like SynapseRack was prototyped in openFrameworks. Here’s that early prototype:

SynapseRack is built in Unity. That could mean a macOS version could be forthcoming if this takes off – or even, hey, mobile.

I’m really interested in this one; it’s about time for some new VJ tools on the landscape, even with some tried and trusted main options.

And it’s also worth checking Saina Key’s awesome demos and live coding; this is an artist to watch. Another reason I need to get back to Japan:

Oh yeah, plus whatever this is?