union2.5screenshot Livid’s Union VJ software has been steadily adding features. The latest upgrade may be a “point-five” release, but it’s got some pretty significant additions, mostly along the lines of “stuff Union lovers were asking for.”

Among what’s new:

  • Audio-responsive tools: audio filters, audio-aware effects, and an audio waveform generator
  • Video captioning
  • FreeFrame plug-in support for the popular, open standard for video plug-ins (see also: support in Resolume, vvvv, etc.)
  • Video layers for easier compositing
  • Performance enhancements
  • “Advanced MIDI integration” which works with Livid’s lovely, optionally-wooden Ohm controller, which created quite a stir (lovers and haters alike) over on Create Digital Music

Windows + Mac, US$75 upgrade or US$299 new.

And yeah, you can add this to the 2008 visualist software fever. It’s like all the visual developers are kicking into high gear. I’ll have what they’re having. (Actually, I may need to have what they’re having for breakfast just to be able to read the user interfaces some of them are designing.)

I’ll be hanging out soon with Jay Smith from Livid to take a look at the new Ohm controller, pictured below, and he’ll be joining us for a special party at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin next month — more on that soon, as well.

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  • jane

    can t wait to get the downloadlink! I use the tactic pro . I still think that the design of the tactic is so much better than the ohm. I wish Livid kept the old design to implement the new control features.

    Hope it is possible to export audio with the video. I really miss this feature. Now I always film my apple display to achieve total integration of audio and video with union performances.

  • http://www.chromatouch.wordpress.com Leon Trimble

    it's not really a pc app because it only uses quicktime. it looks nice but until it supports avi natively then it's not of use… it's very lazy when apps for vjs are ported to the pc like this.

  • http://createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Hmmm, Leon, not sure I can agree. Every video app I use on Windows supports QuickTime as well as AVI. QT *is* "native" on Windows. And odds are it's making use of the Windows SDK for actually displaying. QuickTime the file format is just a container, anyway, for other codecs, like MPEG4.

    Now, I get annoyed by having to switch file formats as much as anyone, but for me the only potential deal-killer would be performance. Union isn't really a tool I spend much time on — nothing against it, there are just too many VJ apps out there to use them all, though I've played with it a bit. And, hey, I understand Jay is happy to have us use his Ohm controller with other software, as well. ;)

    But I would be curious to hear how Union is running for people on PC, absolutely.

  • http://createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, in my experience, Max/MSP is every bit as stable on Windows as Mac. My guess is something in the patch could be your problem — or that it was built with an older version. Max 5 should be even better, as it's built on cross-platform libraries that make the gap between operating systems even less of an issue.

    Also, one thing that's not terribly stable is the hack for getting QuickTime's video capture to work on Windows, WinVDig. It's no longer necessary even in Max, though, because you can use Windows' built-in capture routine, which works very well.

    But here, I *think* we're talking simple file format compatibility. I'll ask Jay what his testing situation has been like on Windows, though.

  • http://beatfix.com beatfix

    Leon, I’d like to hear more on this – I’ve heard others complain about PC apps that use the QT engine – just curious as to the specific drawbacks.

    For myself, I’ve always had a problem with PC apps that are built in Max/MSP – they always crash on me. Neuromixer / AVMixer is the prime example of this – I love everything about how it is designed, and when it works it’s great, but rampant instability on multiple Windows machines eventually led me to look elsewhere.

  • http://www.chromatouch.wordpress.com Leon Trimble

    well it’s been a problem with quicktime handling avi, more specifically. i never really have converted a batch to mov format i must admit. and this is going back to the time i got a copy of grid
    i’ll give it a go and report back…

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