Much as I’m an advocate for live visualists becoming like musicians with eye candy, the needs of the VJ just aren’t quite identical to those of someone doing music, even DJing. But here’s the upside: I think people doing live visuals have even more reason to be excited about control possibilities with devices like the iPhone and iPod touch. These tools can match perfectly with the kind of subtle parameter control visuals often require.

David Lublin of vidvox sends along some tantalizing examples of what’s possible, via the Vidvox forums. Basel-based griesgram has built pages of controls for the Mac-only, semi-modular live visual app vdmx. He writes that he can control:

  • 8 Layers
  • 4 Subgroups à 2 Layers (a,b,c,d)
  • 2 Subgroups à 4 Layers (A/B)
  • 1 MainMix A/B
  • 2 Submix a/b:c/d
  • MediaBin
  • 2 Preview Windows

Believe it or not, this isn’t the best news in the thread. The best news is word from TouchOSC developer hexler that a visual editor is coming soon, as pictured here.

VDMX Controlled by Custom Touch OSC Interface [Vidvox User Forums]

Stay tuned for more on this topic – we’ll be watching!

I’ve also been really excited by the work Eric Redlinger is doing with mrmr; more on that soon. I can’t emphasize enough: it’s not about any one app, or one device, or even OSC. What we’re seeing is a new, more flexible approach to control, one that could spread across platforms. OSC could be the enabling technology for that – if we work hard on implementation and the art of our performance.

And visual developers, by the way, listen up: think about vector-scalable interfaces that can be adapted to fingertips. Cheap touch overlays for laptops are available now, and with Windows 7 incorporating touch controls, you can bet commodity hardware for PC and Mac alike may become more and more prevalent.

  • vade

    Hrm, Mrmr is getting some competition. Can TouchOSC be re-configured on the fly?

  • superDraw

    I think mrmr does a lot more on a completely different level. No other control system I've seen uses a server/client model where the server can serve multiple types of interfaces to multiple clients and dynamically manage them… that's so useful for me- but for "it's a controller that controls my software for a performance" usage this is great. definitely the prettiest!

  • Peter Kirn

    Yeah, well, now we need to get everyone working on this stuff in one place to compare notes! :)

  • superDraw


  • vjwunderkind

    The only downside of all the OSC apps for the iPhone/ iPod is that these devices are JUST a bit too small. Don't get me wrong, I love my iTouch and in fact I mainly bought it because of OSCtouch and the likes. But I don't think it can replace a midicontroller just yet as it is too small. It would be cool if there was a 10" device with this software. I would stop drooling over the Lemur. But not to sound too negative: I am soooooo glad this editor is coming out soon, it was pretty much No.1 on my wishlist.

  • Peter Kirn

    They're tool small to use as a primary controller, I agree.

    They're just small *enough*, however, to make an ideal:
    * second controller (for music, I can sit one on top of a keyboard, could go nicely with a padKONTROL, etc., for visuals)
    * as a remote control (which for visuals means you can walk around the space and check out your projections … ideal with calibration, multiple projectors, etc.)

    I've never found One Controller to Rule them All anyway. And the thing is, that means spending $200 for an 8GB music player is a no-brainer when it can do double-duty like this. Now if I could just use it as a better video source…

  • vjwunderkind

    Peter, I absolutely agree with you, that's why I bought one. It's become my PDA as well – waiting for documents-to-go to be released and hoping for an external keyboard solution as well… But that's a different story. I come from playing the guitar and so keyboards are just not for me. I have an Oxygen 8 and whether I use ableton LIVE or VDMX, I always have to think about what I mapped to which key, so an mpd style is perfect for me. But I wish I could afford the Lemur. I guess if the rumors about a bigger iTouch are true, that would really be an awesome device for this task. I do use my iTouch for remote control of VDMX already, it's really great. Just dreaming about the perfect world really…

  • Jasper

    Ive got it set up with resolume 2, using the puredata patches provided and its brilliant! I cant wait for the editible virsion.

  • Tim Reha

    I have the Touch OSC working and used in last weekend. It was great for switching sets in Modul8 remotely…

    What I do find interesting is that in Seattle, there is still a brick wall between the Vjs and Djs with little integration. Promoters do not get how to merge the two arts for there shows…

    Having a iPhone remote controller is a cool way to bring the VJ interface onto the dance floor. A method to show people the light and let them use the controls.

    Touch screens like the Lemur have some good use cases, but, I also like knobs as you can look at the stage with knobs and not have to be looking at the touch screen.

    Cheers, Tim Reha – Seattle, WA

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  • Sin-R8

    Now imagine Touch OSC on an iPad. Will this be the “poor man’s Lemur.” I don’t know, but I may be willing to find out at $500. (copied from another post)