Media Browser – Loading and Organizing from Vidvox on Vimeo.

VDMX5 from Vidvox has really demonstrated what a semi-modular visual tool can be, with an open-ended set of live visual tools and powerful support for Mac features like Quartz Composer. It can be daunting to really wrap your head around, but once you do, it’s one of the most powerful live visual packages out there. VDMX5 is nearing a major milestone, with a ground-up rewrite for improved design, efficiency, and performance, one the developers say should help them better meet user requests. Ray and Dave write on the VDMX forum:

VDMX5 has been under continuous development for about four years; over the course of this project, we’ve received a lot of requests and suggestions which would require major changes to either the design or the backend of the app. When you get enough major changes on your “to do” list, you reach a point where it makes sense to stop making changes, and start rewriting the app to fit the revised set of design parameters…so that’s exactly what we did. About a year ago, Dave and I realized that the only way we could possibly meet even a fraction of the requests on our list was to throw everything out and then redesign and rewrite vdmx from scratch based on our experience and the huge amount of feedback we receive. We’ve been quietly working on this “update” ever since.

I’m happy to say that we’ll be making the b8 series of VDMX5 publicly available shortly after new years. If you’d like to play with it before then, we have a private beta group- just PM Dave or myself for consideration. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to post them on this thread and we’ll do our best to answer them. Here’s a series of introductory video tutorials we’re starting to put together that will begin to give you some idea of the layout and program flow:

Since this is a complete, ground-up rewrite, our goal for the initial public builds of b8 is to simply reproduce the functionality offered by the b7 series within the new architecture. There aren’t any crazy new plugins yet- any new stuff that b8 does is simply the result of it having a different layout and workflow. Once the public beta has been released and we’ve addressed any bugs or oversights in it, we’ll resume moving forward and adding new plugins and functionality. There are a lot of features that have been “on hold” for a long time because vdmx’s core architecture needed to be significantly altered, and we look forward to adding them immensely over the coming months.

Workspace Inspector- Asset Manager from Vidvox on Vimeo.

I’m curious to hear what readers think of b8, particularly among loyal VDMX users. Do you like the new direction?

To me, it does look largely promising. I also hope this new direction sees the VDMX team commit to a non-beta version 5 “stable” release; I think they’re up to the task, particularly with this new release, and I think given that we use these tools in “mission critical” performances, it can make some sense. Certainly, given the stability of some of the releases they’ve called “beta,” a full, stable release of VDMX could be something Mac visualists really value.

  • Andrew Lovett-Barron

    This looks awesome, though I kinda hope I won't have to re-write my control script.  It's all OSC, so should be good.

    What I'd absolutely love to see is a more intuitive way of assigning control points to objects than a dropdown menu. Potentially taking a page from the autocad book and assigning a mouse-focused command line, or something to speed up the workflow.  Working on the assumption that 90% of VDMX users are going to be at least intermediate/advanced in their proficiency with the program.

    The other thing I would absolutely love would be detailed documentation for the file format.

    All that said, VDMX is an absolutely fantastic tool and I've been incredibly impressed with it.

    Keep up the great work!

  • kero

    i hope they switch back to the black GUI!!!

  • Andrew Lovett-Barron

    Kero, remind me to send you the script I wrote.  Is a handy control layer for monome. Ya know, in the off chance you might have one or two buttons left.

  • Andrew Lovett-Barron

    On your table.  Your massive table of an instrument.

  • Veiss


    Any colour you like

  • Mudo


    interesting stuff in your web.

    I send a fb request.


  • moo

    never thinking about a win version????

  • gabe

    I've been beta testing the new version and after a brief adjustment period, I can easily say, hands-down, the new version of VDMX will leave you very impressed. Its as if they've scrubbed through the feature requests on the vidvox forums and figured out a way to pull everything in. 

    The new architecture is a lot more intuitive, and provides a lot more control, not to mention the ability to set ALL the colors of the GUI however you like… dayglow VDMX anyone?