Dan Hume's Blog

Givenchy Play Advert
December 23, 2010, 7:19 pm
Filed under: General

Don’t know how long this advert has been around but It’s just caught my eye. I’m not attracted to the product, just to clear that up, but I like look of the advert and lights flashing in time to the beat of the music.

Anton & Partners together with Nola Pictures are portraying the city of Paris in a romantic, devil-may-care 30-sceond ad starring Justin Timberlake for Givenchy’s Play fragrance.

The work creates a sparkling nighttime panorama of the City of Light that comes alive with painterly visual effects and resolves with a charming twist.

‘Play’ opens in the dead of night with a couple dashing across the deserted plaza below the Eiffel Tower’s soaring latticework, racing up its spiral stairs and across its beams high over the darkened city.

From a platform high over Paris, Timberlake hits PLAY on what appears to be his MP3 player and the ensuing music activates a sprawling pattern of city lights below which dance and flash to the music’s rhythm, much to the gleeful astonishment of his fetching companion.

The bird’s-eye lightshow is occasionally interrupted with street-level shots of iconic Parisian landmarks exploding in a cavalcade of rhythmic lights, in playful synch with the music.

Behind the Scenes


Integrating Modul8 with Ableton
December 22, 2010, 5:58 pm
Filed under: Abelton Live 8, Modul8, Performance Video

I’ve now pretty much got the audio sorted for this project and the visuals are coming together. I’m now at the stage where I need Modul8 and Ableton to talk to teach other. After some research I discovered that the IAC driver on the mac is the tool to use for this process. It’s basically the communicator, which enables you to send data from one software to another so they become connected.

The IAC driver can be found in Applications, Utilities, MIDI Setup and Show MIDI Window. When I opened the window I double clicked on the IAC Driver Icon, which brought up another window (IAC Driver Properties).

I made sure the device was online. In Ableton’s preference window, under the MIDI tab, the IAC Bus 1 Driver was now showing in the MIDI ports.

Then I went into Modul8’s preferences and clicked on the Key/Midi Mapping tab. I enabled both the Osculator and IAC Driver device.

Then this allows the midi output data from Ableton to sent to Ableton. From here, I was able to start adding the midi controls in Modul8 on my TouchOSC interface. I am using the same controls as I was in Ableton. I am linking the sounds with certain visuals and effects.

Developing Idea and Visuals
December 19, 2010, 5:12 pm
Filed under: Modul8, Performance Video

Just been playing around with some visual effects in Modul8. On the way back home from Bournemouth, I recorded some video footage of the landscapes whilst sat on the train. I then imported these clips into Modul8 and composited them over the Canary Wharf image.

The image above shows the output result of the video and the still image composited together, using the Luma Key. Once you’ve applied the Luma Key to each layer, it gives you more freedom to experiment with other effects.  Below is the output result with each layer being extruded to create the illusion of depth.

In Modul8 I’ve looked at using the Extrusion effect, which duplicates layers of an image and pulls them apart creating a sense of depth. Below are a couple of videos I recorded of the visuals I made in Modul8.

Without Effects

With Effects

I don’t want to create anything majorly abstract. I really love city life and I want to show the observation of the build up of high energy that a city emits. When you watch time lapse videos of cities landscapes, they are often describes as micro chips processing information all the time. That’s pretty much what I’m trying to get across here. I like to think of a city as a big powerful computer that is constantly processing information.

Music and Ableton
December 14, 2010, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Abelton Live 8, Performance Video

I’ve never made music or used any audio software before, but I’ve had a small desire to learn a little bit. For this unit I’ve made a liquid drum and bass track using royalty free samples and loops in Ableton. It’s a very basic track combined of five bits of looped audio ranging from a drum beat to ambient sounds. I wanted to create a an urban sort of sound because I want to set my visuals in the outskirts of London.

The screen shot above shows the sessions/mixing viewer in Ableton. This is where you drag all your audio clips of samples and loops into categories and also select the effects you want to use. The left of the screen is where all the music library is stored. Alot of Dj’s use this window in Ableton because it’s designed and laid out for living mixing. I’ll be using this window because that’s the aim of this project to produce a live performance.

Above is a screen shot of the six audio loops that make up the whole track. The controls I’m going to be working with are the Volume/Fader controls and Solo buttons of each of each tracks. They will be synced to TouchOSC so I can control them on my iPhone.

Audio Effects

The Dry/Wet controls in Ableton will synced to the Rotary controls on TouchOSC. This one control determines how much of the effect is produced.

The Warm Reverb Long effect is self explanatory. It creates an echo effect on the music, creating the illusion of density of the music being played in an actual environment.

The Autowah effect is kind of a strange distorted effect like the sound is drowned. I can imagine, visually, the images magnifying according to the beat of the sound being washed in and out.

Visual Ideas
December 5, 2010, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Performance Video

With the music that I’m putting together in Ableton, it’s going to start off with one audio track, followed by another audio until the whole piece comes together. This is how I want the visuals to be portrayed.

I’ve started using Modul8 for the first time. It’s actually quite user-friendly after playing around with it. I was unsure about using it as I felt it wouldn’t execute the idea I had in mind, but Phil told me to try it out and see if what I want to create is possible to do using the software. After some experimenting, I have managed to create certain effects that i was wanting and I also have a clearer vision of how I want the piece to look.

Below are some small screen shots of the effects I did in Modul8.

I’ve made a drum and bass track in Ableton, using royalty free sampled loops. I always associate fast paced visuals with a liquid drum and bass track. Like the photos I’ve used, I want to make a time lapse video of Canary Wharf at night or late evening.

Design Layout For iPhone Interface
December 5, 2010, 4:33 pm
Filed under: Performance Video

After testing out OSC with Ableton, I felt I needed to tweak the design layout of the iPhone’s interface for it to work for my idea. This also may need altering as I progress further, but it’s an improvement of my previous layout.

OSC Output

TouchOSC Test With Ableton
December 1, 2010, 1:49 pm
Filed under: Performance Video

I finally managed to upload a video of a test I did with TouchOSC using my phone to control Ableton.

I used the custom layout I made in TouchOSC to control a track I put together in Ableton. In the video I’m using 5 fader controls, which are linked up to the 5 different audio loops I’ve used in Ableton. This then gives me the freedom to slowly build up the track and break it down.

Syncing Custom Layout to iPhone

After creating the layout for the interface, I needed to get the interface onto the iPhone. First thing I did was created a local network.

Then I went to the System Preferences on my iPhone and connected it to the network I’d just created. After that I opened up TouchOSC and selected Network. I then had to type in the name of the network in Host with .local at the end. I set the outgoing port to 8000 and the ingoing port to 9000.

I then used a program called Osculator. This is a program which receives OSC data from TouchOSC then  changes this data into MIDI CC data, which is something that most music software can easily understand e.g. Ableton. When I opened up Osculator, I set the ingoing port to 8000 and hit enter. After a moment a new section should be added in TouchOSC saying found host 1 displaying the computer network name:8000 (Osculator).

This now means both programmes, Osculator and TouchOSC, are communicating with each other. Now that this worked I was able to load my custom interface layout to my iPhone. I opened up my layout in OSC Editor on my mac, then clicked on the sync tab. I then went back to the TouchOSC on my iPhone and went to Layout, Add layout and then the name of my computer appeared.

I clicked on the name and the layout was automatically transferred from the computer to the iPhone. All that was left to do was to head back to them main menu in TouchOSC and click on the Done tab. This then brought my layout on the iPhone, ready to be mapped to Ableton!

Mapping iPhone To Ableton

This is what Osculator looks like when you open it up.

It’s a small box that appears in the middle of the desktop. Now that the iPhone and Osculator are synced up, I am able to any of the controls on my iPhone and it will send OSC data to Osculator and it will show up in the blank sections. I moved all the controlls one by one so that they all show up on the screen.

When they were all displayed in Osculator, I locked the data so that the data isn’t accidentally duplicated if I touch one of the controls on the iPhone. I assigned all the controls to MIDI CC and selected channel 16 for the MIDI data to be sent on. Channel 16 is probably the best to use to avoid any confliction with any other hardware. The value of each MIDI CC needed to be unique so since there are 12 controls I used the numbers 1-12.

Once that was done I was then opened up Ableton, where I was ready to complete the final step in this set-up. I had already put together a track in Ableton so all I needed to do was assign the controls on my iPhone to the controls in Ableton. I went into Preferences to make sure that iPhone was being picked up as a MIDI device.

I enabled the Track and Remote columns for OSCulator Out and OSCulator In interfaces. This will enable us to record events and send control events to OSCulator as well.

At the top right hand corner of the screen, there is a tab called MIDI. I clicked on that and the whole interface of the program is highlighted blue to signify it’s in MIDI mode. This enabled me to link up the controls in Ableton to my iPhone. To link up a control on the iPhone to Ableton, all you do is select a control in Ableton which will display 4 corner frames, to show its ready to synced up. Then select the control you want it to be synced by moving the control on the iPhone.

If you click the volume fader in Live, you will notice OSCulator will automatically detect a MIDI message and will convert it to an OSC message that it sends to TouchOSC running on your iPhone. That means that TouchOSC and Live are synchronized both ways.

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