New Resolume Controller with Video Buttons from Resolume on Vimeo.

In the world of technology, as improbable moves to real, concocting an April Fools joke is suddenly a new challenge. But maybe imagining the absurd, or even imagining a joke, is a good creative exercise.

Whatever the deeper reason, I have to say looking at Resolume’s hardware video controller, made in jest, the first reaction that springs to my mind is, why don’t we actually build this?

The post:
New Resolume MIDI Controller with Video Buttons and Monitor

Okay, as realized, this is fairly silly. The video simply maps motion-tracked projection maps video images onto a Korg padKONTROL. (For added measure, the blog post refers to Akai, not Korg – though some commenters are still fooled.) Making a full video image show up behind a pad would be a very difficult task, indeed: you’d need the image to be bright enough to show through the pads, and you’d have the problem of the pad mechanism getting in the way of the image. Update: the “fake” is sort of real, after a fashion. They mapped projected images onto the pads.

But why not have a better dedicated controller for VJ apps? Oddly, to date, not one VJ developer has shipped an iPad controller, which is a bit of a mystery. There’s no reason you couldn’t stream some low-framecount videos to iPad thumbnails like this, though. Alternatively, for fans of dedicated hardware controls, while full screens would be tricky, you could use RGB LEDs to get the dominant color of a video clip onto a grid of pads. In fact, you could build this right now – albeit at a 1×1-resolution video preview on the LEDs – on any RGB grid controller.

Controller builder Livid actually comes from a video performance background first; their Base would be a logical choice. And I do wonder if embedded screens aren’t a possibility, streaming low-res video over USB.

Food for thought. What’s your controller of choice at the moment, dear readers? And are you longing for more creative video instrument controls, too?

This isn't possible, but something like it might be. Image courtesy Resolume.

This isn’t possible, but something like it might be. Image courtesy Resolume.

  • Charlie Lesoine

    It’s totally possible.

  • Enrique Arce Gutierrez

    isnt this very doable with Oled screens and two arduino megas ?

  • christopher Lopez

    talk about needing a lot of banks…

  • Thomas Eckert

    I would have been happy with just a photo thumbnail, just like most vj soft has in their respective media bins. Something that did work for me, albeit only at home in studio circumstances, to use AirDisplay on the iPad and just click on the thumbnails. Worked quite well.

  • Sebastian Herrmann

    The idea of using keys/buttons with changing “prints” always reminds me of the Art Lebedev concepts and products:

  • RB

    I still want a multitouch pressure-sensitive touch screen.

  • resolume

    We created this by video mapping on the controller. It was fully functional and it would be great if it could work without the projector!

  • renderful

    I’m sure that if a different plastic were used, the pads could be both clear enough to show the video with far less light and bouncy enough to play.

    • David Prouty

      Yes and you could use a prism from underneath to bend the projection so it could be under instead of above.

  • James Husted

    Since there are gaming keyboards line the Optimus Maximus that have LCD displays on every key of a QWERTY keyboard, it doesn’t seem like this would be that hard to do. Not cheap mind you but not hard either. since there are no dynamic pressure needs of the pads, all they need to do is react to touch or actually be pushbuttons with LCD screens. This could be done with a large touch screen for sure.

  • De Wernet

    kickstart one!!

  • Graham Thorne

    I have hoped you would be able to do this with TouchOSC and/or the Lemur…. a low frame rate video thumbnail would be amazing.