THE CONCEPT In order to attempt to mesmerise the audience, we supported the performing DJ’s with visual content. We tried to achieve this by developing our own software and designing a stage in function of this software. The performing musical artists were placed inside the optical effects to visualise the impact of their sound in their immediate presence. THE MAKING OF It has been a while since we had any serious VJ action going on, and that had its reasons. A little over four years ago we got into programming mainly because of creating audio-reactive compositions. In those early days we made sketches using various visual programming languages. The timing was right and we wanted to step up our game. The main idea was to create a series of applications that would allow us to create a true audio-reactive vj-set. We started with writing the mapping software and packed it in a neat and simple application. Thereafter we developed the main program: all the content was generated live, using data from the mapping software. We built some minimal lines/circles generating compositions, a massive particle system and implemented some (self-written or open source) shaders. All of these compositions had a bunch of parameters that could be manipulated live, as well as being influenced by live streams. For the audio we developed a beat detecting system for high tones, snares and bass, we could just use the peak values or some other data-streams. Over 150 parameters were packed together in an iPad app which communicated wirelessly with the host application that generated the content. We relied heavily on Open Frameworks and its awesome community in order to get our C++ code running smoothly. Using the Syphon technology we could send out the generative content to our beloved VDMX. We have been using this VJ-software for years because of its high adaptability and powerful performances. We added additional content like Quartz Compositions and some movies. But the main raison d’être of using VDMX was to add post-fx on the generative content. When the last line of code was written and we started testing the application, we found out that our current hardware systems weren’t nearly powerful enough to support our needs. So we did what everyone would do by building our own over-clocking hackintosh and maxing it out.
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