Modul8 2.6 feature: Sound Analysis from modul8 on Vimeo.

As visualism evolves, part of making tools smarter is making them more musical. So what better way to show off the new 2.6 update to Modul8 than to show visuals popping away to butt-bopping beats by David Last. (I’m entirely addicted to David Last‘s grooves – it was an utter delight having him play Create Digital Music’s fifth anniversary the other night at Love Veranda.)

It’s worth watching the video through to its conclusion. Yes, you’ve seen this sort of sound-responsive visual before. But note how important it is to be precise about adjusting to a particular frequency – because our eyes are as attuned to rhythm as our ears, getting the details right makes a big difference, something true in any tool.

I covered the new features in 2.6 when it was in beta, but here’s a quick review of the highlights:

  • Blend Modes
  • Wacom tablet support
  • DMX support (and Midi2DMX if you want to control lighting with your MIDI controller)
  • Shareable MIDI/keyboard mappings
  • Quickly turn still image folders into slide shows. (Yep, the client suddenly wants their logos and stills – yesterday.)

I also love the look of their supported DMX adapter. Plug USB in the other end, get 1-in, 1-out (on one port) DMX control – all for US$151.

Modul8 I think deserves special credit for its no-nonsense, straightforward UI, and this update closes the gap with some of its competitors on features. Some of my favorite live work of this year – Adam Guzman + Julia Tsao’s ongoing collaboration for Nosaj Thing – fit perfectly with the tool.

The rivalry between the current generation of visualist tools – including GrandVJ, VDMX, and Resolume Avenue – just gets tighter each day. That’s good news for us.

Entec DMX USB Pro

dmx_modul8

  • http://www.mfoptik.de MFO

    I agree, the tools of choice evolved massivly, forcing their competitors to do the same. So i'm very interested in this update, even so I'm not a module8 user.

    What I'm really curious about – how does the DMX control work? Technically seen its quite easily possible since a while, using tools like max, vvvv, pd or processing. But the big question to is: How does an intelligent, versatile, flexible and fast-to-use interface for video+light look like?

  • http://www.luthierlab.com Mudo

    I'm very interested in how to made an special "module" for add scratch accurate technics… any kind of OSC2Scratch clip with high resolotuion (or user defined). Something like this (maybe is possible nowadays and I'm updated, sorry):

    http://www.vidvox.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3221

    What do you think guys?

  • http://www.modul8.us/ ilan

    @MFO Currently DMX in Modul8 is controlled using its module system. There are some basic modules available for download from the GarageCUBE online module library. At the moment you will need a full version to be able to access them. Unfortunately the modules are only available in the full version, but I am working on a video that demonstrates them.

    The modules uploaded serve as a basis for the Modul8 community to develop more DMX modules in the future.

    @Mudo as Modul8 supports OSC. There is an OSC module that allows you to send OSC commands to it.

  • http://www.ilankatin.com ilan

    I stand corrected. The DMX modules ARE available in the demo version providing you are equipped with the ENTTEC DMX USB Pro device.

  • http://www.mfoptik.de MFO

    Thanks for the infos, ilan.
    That means, DMX support exists at a very basic level. To get some lighting controls for practical use you have to build your own modules, right?!

    Well, I own an Enttec DMX Pro, but I'm at a PC .. so modulate8 is just subject of curious observation ^^

  • http://www.ilankatin.com ilan

    @MFO thank you for the inquiries and observations. The modules available are basic.

    Creating new modules is simple enough that you can design your own interface for controlling you lighting setups in conjunction with your video installations.

    What software do you currently use for controlling your lighting setups now?

  • http://www.luthierlab.com Mudo

    Thanks Ilan y know the beautyful world of modul8 modules and OSC cappabilities but I'm not sure about any kind of modul for clip scratching with some high resolution.

    Do you know any? It will be so difficult to handmade?

    Thanks again

  • http://willcopps.com Will Copps

    Just wanted to point out, although most you probably know–the DMX USB Pro works with other apps as well… it's the one recommended by Resolume Avenue, for example. Seems like a good investment…and I'm about to take the plunge!

  • http://www.ilankatin.com ilan

    @Will… when in Rome…

    @Mudo I assume you are using a hand held device with OSC capabilities? Or are you using a Lemur?

  • http://www.mfoptik.de MFO

    @ilan – I'm not using any lighting software yet. Was working in parallel on a lightning console.

    But it should be very handy to use the notebook used for visuals also for lighting control, in best case this should even be more powerfull than those large, bulky dmx controller (that usually have poor usability).

  • http://www.luthierlab.com Mudo

    I'm user of Ms. Pinky and at last (with some efforts advicing) she sends Midi (7/14 bits) and OSC.

    There is people working integrating her with resolume and vdmx but I think the module form of Modul8 is ideal!

    :)

  • billboule

    Well.

    you can use Dlight  (donationware) , light desk, use OSC and MIDI,

    and compatible with the Enttec…

    Modul8 + Dlight… it's good…

  • Chris McCann

    anyone who knows anything about DMX would know that using the entech DMX USB pro for a media appliaction would be, to put it bluntly, like pissing on a bushfire.  It enough to get your appetite whet for the potential for what it can do but not enough to be anywhere near usefull.  add this to the fact that the modul8 programmers have absoulutely no idea of what theyre doing when it comes to this protocol and you have something thats not only useless but incredibly over confusing as well.

    I have been programming ad operating lighting desks at clubs for over 2.5 years and i think its fair to say that if i think the DMX integration of modul8 is too fucking complicated, then what hope do the rest have when they are still trying to figure out the basics.  DMX is an amazing show controll protocol and it has a big future for VJing, but modul8 seem to have screwed the pooch so far

  • DJ ProgressiveSoul

    Just keep your expectations realistic. Don't try to roll up in LIV or JET with this set-up and think your gonna do something. there is just no way that this program (in it's current state) can adjust multiple parameters across multiple types of lighting fixtures like a dedicated lighting console can.  The same goes for lighting, don't expect to do killer video with a board that is built for lighting first, video second.

    If you have the money, the best video/lighting , lighting/video consoles are made by Chamsys. ( but you dont really need to spend that much if your smart) ;)

    If your looking for an inexpensive media server or a cheap way to move around a couple of Icues then this is the way to go.

    As far as DMX it's an outdated limited protocol that needs to be replaced.