As part of this module I decided to keep ideas in a sketchbook. This proved very usual with figuring out what my recognisable style is and keeping research or ideas in one place.
In this section you will find more details about my methodology for this project and the process I used within each digital workstation.
Abbreviations used in the following notes:
- VFX (visual effects) is the process by which imagery is created or manipulated outside the context of live action footage.
Each week of field recording I'd create some short experiments to see how Ableton Live 10 and Resolume Avenue 6 work together. This would also inform the performance towards the end of the module.
The process for creating these samples started with reducing noise on the tracks using Audacity's noise reduction tool. Both versions were then placed in Ableton Live and resampled with various audio effects.
Alongside editing the audio, I also experimented with photography and film that were captured (see Sources). The original footage was allocated to a position to the right for quick VFX alterations, and the fixed parameters were record then placed on the left side of the workstation.
How Resolume Works
Resolume is a visual software most commonly used in Vjing. It allows the creator or artist to choose visuals on the fly and sync them to rhythms being played by their DAW (digital audio workstation). It can also be used to project onto different surfaces or areas. The premise is that it can be used for anything audio and visual reactive. Artists like Max Cooper use it to produce large scaled live performances and sound art installations. It also allows you to control LED lighting but for my project I used it to make the audio and video react simultaneously in a live performance.
My main control was using layer opacity which when paired with audio effects, created different imagery depending on what was playing. I also found that effects could be placed on a separate layer above the visuals. This was especially useful when wantng to apply the same effect on all imagery.
Before and After
Here are some examples of the visuals before and after editing:
The setting for an effect can also be set to the BPM (beats per minute), which can communicate with Ableton Live to create audio reactive visuals, or appear to change simutaneously.
For the performance I used a Novation Zero SL MkII and Novation Launch Control Mini controllers to change the materials in real-time. This was a challenge to understand at first due to the controllers crossing communication, however I managed to co-ordinate changing the dials at the same time for some of the effects. Simplicity was key and triggering specific visual clips automatically when an audio track was triggered requires more research, so I settled with 'auto-piloting' triggering like in Ableton scene launch settings.
Initially the project looked outwards exploring discomfort of being in noisy places, however it then turned introspective and began investigating how I battle for control between inner noise and silence.
Hence the creation a spoken word poem arose. I then recorded myself reading this outloud and proceed to distort it. The aim was to make it relatable for the audience but also emphasis the struggle to maintain a balance between the two minds.
You can read and hear some of the speech under the Sources section.
Below are short trials of Ableton and Resolume working together with some live changes controlled externally by me