Live show visuals


I found the old thread but it was never publically shared, only documented…I mailed him about it but I think he didn’t keep the files. It was a really great looking system (and apparently expanded beyond the original video to include more patterns and tweaks)

in some ways I agree with their presentation being over the top

Not a big turn off tho and I’d jump at the chance to experience something like that in person

on my new show, next thursday and saturday here in Barcelona, at Mira Festival
i’m proud to be playing in a Dome with 360 visuals by Eyesberg Studio :smiley:
all designed for the show and transforming feelings of my new album
a lot of stuff painted in 3d and vvvv all together thru resolume and reactive to my monome and audio signals
everything i’ve seen right now is pretty awesome
monome and modules! if you are around say hello!
will try to update the post with videos next week


love that!
@randy did you make those yourself?

when i use visuals for live shows they are often as a guide for me so that i don’t go off and play for an hour and over stay my welcome. since my sets are improvised losing track of time is an actual fear of mine.
i try and relate my visuals to the instrumentation or the ideas that i am trying to convey in the performance.
like this one from last week. underwater waterfall footage mated with hydrophone capturing the effervesce of some tablets seemed to be pretty effective.

pardon the low-res capture


Thanks Marcus, yes they are made in real time from the audio of the different parts.


wow, it’s beautiful!

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Thanks again. This was opening up for Pole in Seattle early this year. There’s another video where you can see the a/v integration better at my blog post:

I think the backing film as you did so nicely the other night Marcus can be a strong proposition. I was trying for a while to figure out if you were making the video live from the tank, which speaks to its good integration with your performance. I guess you have probably seen Hovercraft and their movie? A favorite.

I like to integrate things very tightly and the palette of visual elements pretty minimal. Seeing Dumb Type / Ryoji Ikeda around ten years ago is one of my touchstones for what a good a/v show can be.

Some of my other favorites:
Granular Synthesis:
Bob Ostertag + Pierre Hebert collab
Robert Henke / Tarik Barri collab
Subotnick / Lillevan collab

all have in common a lack of narrative, an emphasis on formal structure, avoiding the pretentious dryness that seems really common with live a/v work.

I’ve seen VJs add something vital to a live show or DJ set of which they were not an integral part. But more often they don’t. Better one red light bulb.


Thanks Randy!
Funny you mention it… I was the video guy/projectionist for Hovercraft for a while in the late 1990’s. It was a huge learning experience for me going from a more punk rock world to doing shows in huge clubs and seeing the business side of things that went along with touring like that. I got to tour along side the Boredoms for a few weeks which was super inspiring.


whaaaaaat, that’s crazy. I guess you saw the movie a lot then. Were they doing it on 16mm at one point or am I remembering wrong?

All the source footage was 16mm science films but I’m not sure if they ever used actual film live. Pearl Jam had got a full on Avid system to edit a tour movie with and it lived at the Hovercraft practice space on Aurora so Ryan (Hovercraft guitar player) would use it to assemble the live videos. The drummer would have a convex mirror on his drum kit so he could see where they were in the video in order to keep some of the more dramatic moments in perfect sync. like that lightbulb falling in slow motion and crashing on the ground.


Check out modv for creating/looping visuals
On github


Reviving this thread for some perspective and ideas from those who display/perform visual content.

How do you all display your visuals? Do you depend on performing at specific venues for equipment or do you bring your own projectors and screens? The idea of bringing my own projector is appealing but I can imagine SO MANY possible problems with setup, power, placement, etc etc.

Though I’m not usually doing the visuals, most venues I’ve played at have a projector available that the visuals performer uses. Best to just check with the venue first and borrow a projector if necessary. It helps to have a network of people in town.

I always took my own projector. Venues can be pretty persnickity about their equipment and I don’t need that kind of having-to-go-through-a-middleman/chinese whispers stress before a multimedia performance. Also, I always found it better to rehearse with the “full set-up” (how it’s going to be during an actual concert), so I find owning my own projector good even if just for this.


with the release of touchdesigner 099 i started to explore some visual ideas for my live sets. so a few weeks into the process of learning video-related technologies, i was wondering about what kind of projectors to use on stage. what should i be looking for in a projector? short throw? long throw? how many lumens? what contrast/resolution/?
what are your experiences and recommendations for projectors for live visuals?


Curious to hear how other folks deal with latency in A/V performance, whether it’s a video artist performing alongside musicians or an integrated A/V act. The challenge is how to make sure any synchronized aspects of the audio and video performances are actually heard/seen by the audience simultaneously. In a perfect world, both the audio and video would have near-zero perceptual latency, but that isn’t always the case especially when you aren’t fully in control over the video pipeline.

I’m aware of three general classes of solutions:

  1. Video and audio are to some degree prerecorded and pre-matched, sharing timecode. Once a track is selected the video timecode can start with a clock offset into the future so output is synchronized. Cons: Audio track selection & overdubs may be live but at least some rhythmic material must be set & recorded in advance, video can only react immediately to prerecorded material.

  2. Delay the audio to match the video latency. Cons: Performers have to have their own isolated non-delayed monitoring, harms ability for musicians to react visibly in time with the music.

  3. Delay the video so it’s exactly 1 or 2 beats behind the audio. Cons: Video can’t respond to musical events immediately, but the video will at least be in time.

Have people had success with one or more of these approaches? What technology do you use to implement them? Are there other strategies that don’t fit into these buckets?

I usually end up in situations where I go with #3 since both the music and video are completely live/improvised.

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Related question: if you need to pass Eurorack clock over long distances (20’-50’), how do you do it? I’ve tried:

  1. long light-gauge 1/8" cable (bad)
  2. long heavier-gauge 1/4" cable (okay)
  3. Ableton Link with two Circuit Happy Missing Links (rad, but requires the ML be the musician’s master clock)
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When I was doing shows with my old band I had videos loaded into VDMX which I would then apply effects to/manipulate from my octatrack. I found audio-reactive video fx to be less than ideal for more dynamic sounds (basically everything), so the work around I ended up with was to send midi sequences out of the octatrack, which was playing various samples and beats throughout the set, and have the midi events/CCs control the effects instead. I was surprised by how well it worked, and the latency really wasn’t too bad.

I posted this in performing modular live thread, but, it belongs here too:

my custom AV-drill! :slight_smile:

The manic spinning videos were projected on a big two-projector screen, with performers on both sides of the screen, positioned just so, that the “vortex” of the spinning images aligned with their heads…

The drill videos stop suddenly every now and then, revealing various locations when they were shot. I was thinking of these brief moments that allow us to orient ourselves in space, only to be immediately thrust into the madness again…

During a different section of the event, the same projectors facilitated a large text slowly slipping out of the center of the screen:

Projected text provided a textual counterpoint to a live voice (a kind of call and response relationship). The material I used to make the screen, and the custom designed font is echoing my work on the Banner Project I have been maintaining since 2015:

here is the “Banners In Action” album:


For the first part of the performance, the giant screen effectively cut the space in the venue in half. Eventually the screen was lifted up, and the rest of the event contained no projections.

I should add, that the live movement components, to me, are as important “visuals” as video or anything else that is happening (for example during the entire event, we are also printing posters that at the end are distributed to the audience.) So, the “material” and the challenge of this form is to attempt to consider all the elements in relation to each other, with some sense of cohesion or/and intentionality.