I allways wanted to integrate some visuals to my Ableton LIVE sets. In my normal live sets I allready try not to just “DJ” my stuff. I combine, rearrange and actually ‘play’ all components of my tracks. So just showing some video footage to my tracks would have felt kind of lame to me. On the other hand performing music AND video live would technically to demanding and the risk to mess things completely up would be too big.
During the following days/weeks this post will grow.
I will show You what I tried, what worked and what didn’t.
So stay tuned and get involved with my visual project…..
PHASE I: VISION AND GENERAL SETUP
Here´s the vision:
As a performer I want do be able to trigger visual events during live shows.
As a composer I want do develop both Ableton LIVE sets and visuals on the same Desktop PC. Transfer between Studio-setup an Live Setup should be as easy as possible.
Choosing the video application
There are lots of VJ programs, Visualizers, and programming envionments for live video performances around. Just google it, and You´ll find quite a lot of programs for different needs. Some are free, some are quite expensive. After some sleepless nights I decided to give Resolume a go. Resolume – as the developer writes it on his homepage – “is an instrument for VJs, AV performers and video artists. It puts all your media and effects right at your fingertips so you can quickly improvise your live visuals.“
With Resolume You can play back, mix and mangle Your video footage. It doesn´t generate visuals on it´s own, but I guess You can get VERY far with it. Best thing for me was the “Try Before You Buy” option. You just can download the full version without limitations, no time trial, no hidden back pack blower….. Until You enter a legit serial number it will blend in the Resolume logo on the video and will mix in a robotic voice in the audio (if You use audio). So there´s actually no financial risk for me to solve all technical issues, develope a workflow for producing and trying to perform a visual show BEFORE I spend some bucks.
Here´s my initial idea for the technical setup:
1) Studio setup
One Desktop running both Ableton LIVE and Resolume. Keep fingers crossed, that I don´t get any performance issues…
2) Live setup
My initial idea was to have a live setup of two synchronised notebooks
first one will be used for audio (Ableton LIVE 8, several MIDI-Controllers)
second one will host Resolume (connecte to a video projector)
(both Notebooks run Windows 7)
PHASE II: Setting up the Communication between Ableton and Resolume
1. Studio Setup:
First You have to install both Ableton LIVE an Resolume on Your System.
It´s quite straight forward. So You shouldn´t have any trouble with that.
If You don´t allready own LIVE or Resolume You can download free trial versions at:
To allow the MIDI communication between both programms on one computer You need an internal MIDI device.
I chose LoopBe1. It´s also free and allows one virtual MIDI cable, which is everything we need for this project.
LoopBe1 can be downloaded at http://www.nerds.de/en/download.html .
After installation LoopBe1 is part of the Systray. You can switch it on and off like a hardware device and view its status.
In Your Ableton MIDI preferences You should see LoopBe Internal MIDI as a new Input and Output Port. Activate Track, Sync and Remote on the Output Port so that LIVE can send MIDI.
Set up a MIDI track and select LoopBe Internal MIDI as its MIDI Output.
Every MIDI Event in this track will now be sent to the virtual MIDI cable.
In Resolume select the MIDI preference submenu an activate LoopBe an MIDI Input and Clock Input.
Now Resolume can recieve MIDI from Ableton LIVE. Well done so far!