Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Visceral and Organ. 2 Audio Visual Toys.

For a long time I've been fascinated by the visualisers for applications like iTunes and Windows Media Player, and I've wanted to do something similar. This urge was intensified earlier this year when I went to a SoundClash even featuring Luke Vibert and Clark, which was billed as an "audio visual extavaganza". It was a great gig but the video was prerecorded, and was not for the most part in sync with the music. Also, because it was recorded and the set was longer than the video, it looped 2 or 3 times, so you saw the same thing again and again.....

I decided at that point that I wanted to make something that was able to create random, abstract and generative visuals, either at home or live. The idea being that even if you play the same song through it twice, you wouldn't get the same result.

So, what I have so far is Visceral and Organ. Which are really little digital toys. You can dump any Mp3 into them and they will generate patterns and shapes from the sound data in the Mp3. Moving and changing seamlessly and in sync with the music. The idea is to take this much further in future. The wish list:

  • Many, many more algorythms, so that there are perhaps a total of 100 different patterns the visualiser can adopt.
  • Generative algorythms. Ideally, it would be beautiful if the program could generate new code based on the music. Meaning it's core patterns would not be pre-made, and it would in effect become self generating.
  • Better live input. Currently it's limited to 4 minutes, in order to eliminate memory overloads and general instability. Ideally this needs to be something that can run the length of a live gig!
  • Dual Screen. For a live environment divide the application into 2 screens. The Live display (which the audience see), and the background GUI, which would be displayed on the engineer's laptop. Allowing them to control elements of the application without the audience seeing mouse cursors etc...
Below are 2 videos, one of Organ, and one of Visceral. Give Organ a chance... it takes a minute or 2 to get going!! Please note that the screen recorder I'm using causes my PC to have some issues, especially with the Sync Rate and the sound quality. I'm sorry. There'll be a demo soon, so you can see it in all it's HD glory.



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