The NODE13 festival in Frankfurt was an extremely dense week packed with high-tech stuff, very intelligent and motivated people and a lot of fun. I have to thank the VVVV community and the organizers for making this happen.
The début of my ‘leaving the planet’ AV performance went fine. Of course I messed up the system a day before when I tried to implement a new feature, but the backup system ran just like a charm at the night of the performance. I made the set beat-focused and danceable especially for this Friday night so I was kind of suprised that so many people were sitting. But I think that was a organizational problem. The people were sitting because there were chairs. It wasn’t that much of a problem, as the whole thing was immersive enough to get the attention for the 50 minutes that I played. I have to admit that the set marks the darkest point in my musical development, but I hope you can enjoy it anyway. Things are getting more happy again, now that the spring comes.
leaving the planet @ NODE13 from leaving the planet on Vimeo.
Credits go to Felix Huber who made the amazing macro video material with his custom camera dolly, Valentin Hessler and Dorian Butzer for feeding me with sound and mental support and my family and friends for supporting me with this since quite a while now.
For the technical interested people I am gonna explain some details about the development of this system. I was working on the underlying system since October 2012 as a main project (lot of hours a day). What you see is just the tip of the iceberg. If I look back at those four months of incubation and development, I can say that I spent 50 % of the time patching VVVV, 10 % patching MAX, 10% filming, 10% messing around with codecs and real-time playback of multiple video, 10% producing sound and < 1% making the actual set.
I wanted to combine my previous experience as a DJ, producer, VJ and VVVV / MAX Freelancer in one software package that enables me to reduce the actual time spent with programming and increase time spent with being physically active and creative, but still having all the flexibility to use the system for AV performances, installations, video production, projection mapping and so on. Another requirement was to be mobile with it. Everything should run on one PC and the additional devices should go into a case that I could carry around the world by feet if necessary.
The System should get as close as possible to parallel audio and visual production work-flow and it should have the shortest way from production to performance and installation.
What I came up with is 'DeathStar3'. The geeky name comes from the initial GUI design on the VVVV side, that appearently looked similar to the consoles that were used to destroy the planet Alderaan, just a little bit more sci-fi.
This VVVV powered software runs very well alongside Ableton Live (feels like a VST) and potentially all kind of DAW or custom sound programs (PD, MAX, Supercolider). What you basically get is a 8 track sequencer, 2 Video Players, 2 patch loaders, a custom postFX loader, presets and the possibility to map every parameter to either the sequences or the audio analysis values. The sequencer syncs to the running clip of a control track in ableton, using my ClipWatcher Max for Live device. So you can mash up the sequence position using for example the Monome and LiveClipChopper, like I do at the moment. Also the presets in DeathStar3 are played according to which clip in the control track of Ableton Live is played. So your work-flow enables you to create a scene in Ableton, create a suitable visual, make a preset, hit ‘Performance Mode’, close the GUI and d play live with the visuals running in your back!
Best thing is it also works in the other direction, too. With DeathStar3 you can load patches that are controlling parameters in Ableton Live, using a Max for Live device that receives data from VVVV and you can select which of the devices and which parameter you want to modulate with it.
DeathStar3beta1 was already distributed to a handful of selected people for beta testing and will be public soon.
If you know possibilities for me to play a set, please send me a mail. Any support is very welcome!