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Music visualizer

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by Sayen, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    I've seen several concerts with backgrounds similar to what I've seen in iTunes or Media Player visualizers. Is there a cheap/easy way to do this with live music? I'm looking for some simple I can play with in what has become a number of not hugely exciting events.

    This seems common, but I'm not finding much information on it online.
     
  2. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Freelance Lighting Programmer/grandMA Trainer
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    I know the high end companies use catayst media servers and such, but i did hear of one cheaper good one that works with itunes or even an external live sound source.

    Soundspectrum's G-Force
     
  3. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
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    You want to look at DJ/VJ visualizer software like Arkaos.

    I've seen on the web that there are free trials of these programs, but I haven't experimented with them too much.
     
  4. jordanbb

    jordanbb Member

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    I have tried to do something similar with little success so far, but I have always been short of time. I do have a few suggestions that you can experiment with however.

    First of all, here is what I have found for NON-live visualization. It's quite easy to play music off of iTunes or Windows Media Player, put the visualizer to full-screen, and hook up your laptop to a projector. The problem I found with iTunes is that, at least on a macbook, when you make the itunes visualizer full-screen for the projector, even after turning mirrored screens off (ie. the projector and your screen can show different things, like having a second monitor), it works fine on the projector, but your own screen goes black. You cannot view your itunes to choose songs.

    For visualization of live music, I would recommend finding software that plays back the live input from your computer (microphone jack), and hook up a feed from the sound board's monitor output, record out, or headphone output into the computer (you'll probably require a cheap adapter cable or plug from radioshack).

    The next step would be to get a visualizer for this program if it doesn't already have one. This is where I ran into problems. It is relatively easy to download free visualizers for audio programs, but I haven't found software that supports live audio monitoring AND free visualizers. Of course, I only have a mac, and I am therefore limited to a small number of programs and "free stuff".

    For my next show, I will look into the same setup on a Windows, and I recommend you do the same. Just search around and you will probably be able to find something eventually. Using this same setup, you may even be able to record the show, unless you already have separate hardware for this.
     
  5. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Soundspectrums G-Force will visulise live audio or anything else you feed it with. you can also control it from another computer making live mixing easier if your projector is back of house
     
    jordanbb and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I haven't ever tried it with Live input before but I can tell you; Both Giess and Milkdrop, visualization plugins for Winamp, Are Kompleatly K.A. !
    You can set things like 3D modes, you can control cut from one preset to another, Hard cuts, soft cuts, fades, you can even incorpoarate Meta data from music sources in the visualization at the begining or end of a track. Oh sorry, am I gushing?
    Winamp has gone downhill, in my estimation, since AOL bought them out, but for 19.95 < for the pro version> you simply cannot beat it as a DJ/visualiztion suite. IMHO
     
  7. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    I have wondered the same thing myself. It's called VJing (Visual Jockey) and its all the cool effects. A lot of the club ones use an Edirol V4 or a Korg Kross 4 (Both vison mixers, I have a V4) and a thing called a CG8 (A visual Synthesiser) CG-8 Visual Synthesizer , it creates a lot of the cool effect thinggies. But there is also a lot of software out there. VJ Visual Jockey Software Comparison has all of them listed there. But most don't fit the job. The R-4 Winamp plug is good. The VirtualDJ visualiser is alright, but when you put some of the plug-ins it becomes quite good. TextMachine 3D is more for all the effects and stuff, and less of the Visualiser, but looks realy cool onstage. BeatHarness is more of the iTunes style visualiser. VisualJockey Gold is pretty awesomeley powerfull, but if you aren't good with computers then this isn't for you. If you want more ideas then just PM me, that should be enough software to keep you buisy....
    Nick Jones
     
  8. StevenSokulski

    StevenSokulski Member

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    The original iTunes visualizer was based on the G-Force code, because Apple knew they wanted it to be cross-platform. Starting with the versions of iTunes to be released on Mac OS X Leopard, the animations are created using one of Mac OS X's core technologies: Quartz. The Quartz Composer application is a phenomenal environment that can be used to create visuals that react to a broad array of variable inputs.

    If you're on a Mac, this would absolutely be the way to go. Expecially since you can pull the iTunes Visualizer files out of a current installation of iTunes and use them as a fantastic starting point for a more customizable and controllable visualizer for your own needs.

    I'd be happy to offer any kind of Quartz Composer help, as I've spent a lot of time with the program.
     
    jordanbb and (deleted member) like this.
  9. cymatic

    cymatic Member

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    Im pretty new to quartz composer, but always wanted a way of customizing the itunes visualizer and use an external audio input.

    How can i extract the files and bring them into composer ? I had a quick look in the application packages, but couldnt see anything that seemed like the files for the visualizers.

    Any help is much appreciated.
     
  10. metti

    metti Active Member

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    Someone mentioned Arkaos and I'll second that. It is very powerful, although a little tricky to figure out sometimes. That said, AFAIK the trials are full featured except they watermark your preview which the audience doesn't even see.
     
  11. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    Digging up an old thread here, but I feel the discussion here could be continued.

    I've recently started toying around with Quartz Composer, and to answer cymatic's question, there are only 3 visualizers currently shipping with iTunes that can be edited in QC. These are the Lathe, Jelly, and Stix visualizers. Those are located in /System/Library/Compositions (along with a bunch of other compositions that aren't visualizers).

    Modifying any of these to use an external input would be as simple as adding an audio input patch and connecting it to the spectrum and peak input splitters. You could also delete the parts dealing with displaying track info.

    To get some more advanced features out of QC I suggest looking into the plugins provided by Kineme.net. Their GL tools and structure tools have been particularly useful to me, and the audio tools package includes a beefed up audio input patch that exposes more useful data from the audio stream. I also recommend looking into Soundflower, this will let you grab the audio playing on your mac and feed it to an audio input in QC.

    CoGe is a free application currently under development that is essentially a video mixer leveraging the power of QC. You can load in your modified visualizers and mix between them, apply effects, etc. It outputs its display to a window that can be fullscreened on a separate monitor. It also has MIDI and OSC capabilities. This is something I would keep an eye on as it matures, if you are interested in VJ applications for Mac.

    For those looking into a more professional grade software, I have personally used Arkaos and can say it is quite capable (as well as cross-platform). I have heard many good things about VDMX as well, though I have not had much first hand experience.

    Anyone else have any tips or useful resources for working with Quartz Composer?
     
  12. eljohnny22

    eljohnny22 Member

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    Sorry to rehash an old post but


    I am trying to run Traktor on one macbook with audio running straight out to my interface, then route the audio back into a 2nd laptop running a nice visualizer.

    I have been trying to figure out what you said in this last post and can't quite get it. Would you mind giving a little more detail on how to extract the itunes visualizer files and using them in a different application ie QC?
     
  13. Tat3r

    Tat3r Member

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    Does anyone have any experience using SoundSpectrum's Aeon or G-Force visualizer in dual screen mode (visualizer on the screen being sent to a projector), while operating Traktor Pro 2?

    I have heard that SoundFlower app can route sound from the USB to the Visualizer (Aeon or G-Force by SoundSpectrum), but I haven't tried it yet and wondering if it works, if it causes crashes or just too much processing power being used?

    Or if I could operate Aeon or G-Force in standalone mode and allow the mic on the Macbook to affect the visualizer (is this possible while sound is being output through the USB?)?
     

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