Live show visuals

Seconding bmoren re throw distance.
Zoom lenses and lens shift range are important when you will be using the projector in multiple settings with little control.
Outdoor projection mapping really needs a bright projector. Even 3000 lumens was too weak for a test run I did last year outdoors in San Francisco - though this was in an area (near the freeway, lower potrero hill) that had a fair amount of light at night.

I would like to start doing projection mappings using Touchdesigner, but just for testing indoors in controlled environment. So in case we do a show outdoors using projection mapping we will rent a bigger one.

I’ve started playing out live with my eurorack setup, and started wondering about visualizations. I guess it’s best with a laptop, but not sure of software and how you would integrate this with my rack (for sync, and some control)

Just looking for any advice on this? Software to use? Modules for integrating? Any advice welcomed :slight_smile:

Lumen is good software, and can take midi control.
For more processing of video material, try the Signal Culture apps..
The Vidiot from LZX is good and euro compatible but needs a camera and a monitor to be really exciting.

Vizzie in Max is very easy and quick to get pretty awesome results. The workflow is very similar to modular.

These are cool! Gonna keep an eye on this thread for more ideas :slight_smile:

I got good results sending MIDI sequences from my octatrack to VDMX a few years ago.

I think if I was going for more custom stuff now, I’d probably look into some of the audio analysis in Processing or openFrameworks, but MIDI always gave me better results than audio on that front. Could do some cool logic routing/analysis in Max and send data out to p5/oF over osc.

I’m guessing for most of these software suggestions, I’d need a CV to midi module, to send midi out to the computer?

Is this more usual than using audio to be analysed?

I’ve seen both approaches used successfully separately and in tandem. Software such as VDMX, Resolume Arena, and TouchDesigner have capabilities both for realtime audio analysis as well as responding to MIDI/OSC input. What I would say from experience is that audio analysis techniques can be effective for more abstract, global changes/effects and MIDI input (based on CV or otherwise) is useful in creating very purposeful, targeted parameter changes in the system. This of course can get as complex and muddy as you have the time and energy for, but the main hurdle with audio analysis is calibration and dealing with very saturated sound input with a huge array of frequencies going on. It can get tricky to get specific audio events to do specific things, beyond targeting and filtering frequency bands.

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I’ve been using LumenApp for visuals on a Twitch sound / video show my kid and I do on a semi-regular basis, but had to figure out an alternative after I moved from OSX to Windows (Lumen is mac-only). Was introduced to Vizzie recently and had a pretty reasonable video synth setup in a few hours of off and on messing around. Really good stuff, with a little bit of Max knowhow you can do very clever things.

Sorry to be ignorant, but how would you best integrate a modular with something like Vizzie? Is it best to send midi to it?

I’m not sure what’s best, but I used the sound from my modular as a signal via adc~ and snapshot~ (I’m new to Max, so there might be better ways to do this)

Here’s a quick video I made this weekend when I got the system working, not a fantastic example, but you can see the video effect (solarizer) reacting to the sound from my modular.

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Hello all! I was searching through lines looking to see if anybody had any experience / recommendations for fog / haze machines and I realized there didn’t seem to be a unified thread for that side of live performance! All the non-sound visual elements and whatnot. I figured we could start one!

My initial question about haze machine / fog machine still stands. Additionally (and I know this probably a MUCH larger can of worms) I am curious about projector recommendations for small dives / house shows / diy spaces. I don’t need to spend $2000+ for something with 5000 Lumen or whatever, just want something serviceable for small performance spaces!


This is what I’ve been using for the last couple of years, both at home for livestreams and it’s been out for at least one small venue show now. It’s a bit on the noisy side, but honestly you don’t really notice once the music gets going. (It’s the one I used for the recent Amulets show at Electric Shed, for reference.)

And bonus: not only is it cheap, but there will also already be one at Random Sample on the 28th! :slight_smile:


Sometimes the the scene you enter expects very stringent lighting conditions. In some locations patrons will complain about any other light but constant white strobe and fog while the sound is pounding out of a wall of speakers. There is something to it, as it creates a certain trance on the edge to mania in the audience. The visual surroundings are completely destroyed through overload. It is kinda like playing in the dark. The only sense left is hearing the music and touching the other dancing bodies around you. People got lost and had to ask for help sometimes, which also brings community.

Edit: some people here in the thread where answering with examples from well known masters of the trade. The op told about his little c&g box and projector. Imho that is already a creative decision worth presenting your audience if you feel it shall be part of your show. I know this thread is from 2016 and the bar on big productions has been raised high, but it is still the little things that count. How you dress, how you stand (cock rock vs shoe gaze), your hairstyle even the refreshments you choose can have importance once you do it on a stage. Light is always just part of it.

Ugh. I was trying not to buy things. However, I’ve been meaning to experiment with a projector since last year. This is so cheap, it’s almost an impulse buy.


these live visuals by parker heyl are top of the top. everything he does is gold, so simple, just some mirrors on motors to slightly flex…

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