always be aware of your surroundings

A long journey started this year. My life as a video artist?!? Who would’ve thought.

I’ve had both amazing experiences and nights that I wish I could replay.  Chicago has treated me  very well, providing a rich community of diverse artists. Many of which can think of one or two ways to collaborate with my video style.  This has made it all worth while.

In this first year I have come to one BIG conclusion. You always have to beware of your surroundings.. It’s the biggest task, tool, and rule of doing live improvised video.

My worst visuals of the year certainly came from shows that involved little or no setup time, and no prior knowledge of venue.  This didn’t guarantee bad visuals.. Just strongly influenced.

Taking the time to walk thru a gig in the venue before the actual date of said gig is tremendously helpful. What color are the walls? Are there any feedback subjects? Where do we project from? Where can I setup cameras? etc etc etc

That being said the video above was from last night at Lokal Lounge in Chicago. I play here at least 2 Tuesdays/month and sometimes every Tuesday. And since I have started we have played around with different configurations and projection paths. But last night once again I found a new camera angle that works amazingly for getting a silhouette of the dj.

Always be aware of your surroundings.

Can’t wait to expose all the tricks in one night with a 3 camera rig. soon… soon…..

Portishead _ adventures with the visual team

I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life this week. After some weeks of correspondence with John Minton, I was offered all access passes to come down to the Aragon Ballroom early in the day to see Portishead’s technical side. The main reason for my presence was to aid John in any questions he might have about the LZX video synth. He had obtained an LZX direct from Lars about 1.5 weeks before the tour started, and surely was too busy at that point getting ready to sit down properly and learn all the ins and outs. We chatted, patched, and played from 4-6 in the afternoon before doors opened at 6:30.

I got introduced to the entire video crew during setup and ate a nice meal with half the band. John and the rest of the Portishead team were extremely welcoming and kind.  I can’t thank them enough. I hope I was able to give John a few hints, because I certainly left with a large sense of inspiration.

Below are some pictures I snapped when I had the chance along with some descriptions.

When I first arrived to the venue, John and the rest of the team were just finishing their final tweaks of the video setup. Here I was acting as a stand in at the various spots on the stage while John adjusted his cameras. Pedal board, Beth’s mic, synths, and drums.

Here is the control station at stage left. Pretty impressive rig with a lot going on. I believe there were 8 camera feeds, 2 oscilloscopes, the LZX visionary, V-8 mixer, 2 macbook pros,  some other video switching hardware, and some software that acted as a video patch bay with presets.

Here is a monitor showing the various feeds available from the stage and stock footage.

VECTOR RESCANNING WITH THE LZX VISIONARY!!!! Seriously so much fun. We spent the better part of an  hour or more playing with this.  John’s primary focus of having the LZX is for this functionality. I was able to give him some good tips and insight on patching techniques. (or so I think)

Then the band came out and we got to start playing with audio and envelope following on the video setup. Everyone seemed in a very cheerful mood. Happy with the sound of the venue.

I got to watch the show from Al Capone’s booth.

Game Over

Analogue Video Synthesizer Workshop

Chicago 2011 Analogue Video Synthesizer Workshop with Lars Larsen of LZX Industries.

Saturday November 5, 2011 – 1PM

The XART Lab will be hosting more fun for 2011. Lars Larsen of LZX Industries will be in Chicago to speak at our first Analogue Video synthesizer workshop! – Learn about the history of analog video synthesis – a talk and demo on the architecture of the LZX Modular – module overview – interface standards – module selection for video – video performance tips and tricks – discussing /working up patch ideas suitable for video – try things out – collaborate (and listen!) + Plenty of time for give and take all along the way!

A rough schedule is in the works – we plan to keep this low stress, casual and fun!

Seating/Spots will be limited (to about 20-ish people). This is a RSVP workshop with a modest donation.

If you are interested email!

Pcb Design

been working on improving my pcb design skills.. trying to come up with a number of ideas for possible board runs..

the first one is a compact arduino board with all pins exposed, usb, prototyping area, and an AD5206 chip (digital potentiometer). This little board should be the ultimate digital pedal hack for CV mods.