an ambitious idea…any advice??

Sep 24, 2009 at 5:19pm

an ambitious idea…any advice??

hello hello. I’m new to Max and to this forum. I have no idea whether or not my idea for an installation would be appropriate, but….

What i intend to do is have nearly 30 tv monitors, all varying in size make and age. I would like them to function each with a different image but in time to a music score. The seperate sounds will be represented by the different screens/images.

WOULD IT WORK?? i just need to know if it would be possible so that i can investigate further and start teaching myself the programm.

Hope someone knows!

#45601
Sep 24, 2009 at 5:37pm

Well, I’m sure what you want is doable, but it’s hard to tell exactly if you aren’t a bit more specific.

- First of all: This “music score” – do you mean a traditional score human performers play by? (In that case the Jitter forums might be better suited, since then your only electronic issue is the picture, not the sound). Or an electronic score that is “performed” by a computer? If so, is it a precisely predetermined score, or does it work with algorithmic/aleatoric elements?

- Do the monitors have to be TV monitors? Or do computer monitors work just as well? Where does the image come from? Is it a live TV image, a video, or something produced on-the-fly by the computer?

- Do you need a functionality that “listens” to the sounds and displays different pictures accordingly, or do you already know in advance which sound comes when and which picture comes when on which monitor?

- Any other specifics?

I guess the hardest part is not the programming, but somehow connecting 30 monitors to your computer(s). There are several possibilities for this. For one, there are methods of attaching many computer monitors to one computer, but I think that will require an extra graphic chip for each additional monitor, which is probably impractical. An alternative would be using several computers, each controlling one or two monitors and communicating via a network – but that also seems a bit excessive. One final possibility would be working with precreated videos (either in DVD or Video Tape form) and give each monitor (in this case it WOULD be TV monitors) an individual player and then controlling these players from the computer with a microcontroller. That will certainly work (I’ve once done pretty much the same thing, just with audio tapes instead of video tapes and only 6 of them, not 30), but a precise control over when which monitor shows what will be a lot harder like that and the monitors will be bound to what’s prerecorded for them.

I’m sure there are several other (possibly much simpler) methods though, which I can’t think of right now.

#164450
Sep 24, 2009 at 10:43pm

Wow, starting to realize this may become quite epic…but i’m up for the challenge! You’ve opened my eyes to the things i need to consider.

Ok so, i have a pre-determined score and wish to edit images to work for each sound. The music/song is algorithmic. I hadn’t considered using PC monitors instead, i have more of a collection of TV monitors started so i guess i’d like to stick with it. I haven’t filmed, selected and edited the all of the piece yet as i thought i should find out a little more about whether it was possible to realize this idea first. I didn’t know whether i’d need to set up some function that ‘listens’ to the piece to trigger imagery. I thought i’d be able to have some sort of control centre that could start both the audio and the visual at the same time to produce an almost orchestral vision. Does that make sense?? Sorry if it’s all so vague…i really don’t know the things i need to consider as it’s completely new to me.

Thanks for your response, it’s baby steps at the moment but i’m so glad you’ve said that it’s not impossible!

#164451
Sep 24, 2009 at 11:26pm
dk wrote on Fri, 25 September 2009 00:43
I didn’t know whether i’d need to set up some function that ‘listens’ to the piece to trigger imagery. I thought i’d be able to have some sort of control centre that could start both the audio and the visual at the same time to produce an almost orchestral vision. Does that make sense??

Yes, that makes sense. And basically having a Max-Patch that controls and synchronizes live video and audio is of course perfectly viable (considering that this is sort of the core competency of the Max/MSP/Jitter trio). The difficulty just comes from how to get the video from your computer to the monitors. Maybe other people have some additional/better suggestions for this than the ones I mentioned.

Quote:
i really don’t know the things i need to consider as it’s completely new to me.

Perfectly understandable. But if I were you, since this seems to be the first time you are doing something like this, I’d look out for a person with some experience regarding these things (automated installations etc.) to assist you directly. Asking on the internet can certainly be helpful, but it can’t really replace someone standing next to you and getting everything to work reliably (which is always the tricky part).

Quote:
Thanks for your response, it’s baby steps at the moment but i’m so glad you’ve said that it’s not impossible!

Well, next to nothing is impossible, but some things cost a lot of effort, time and/or money, and I’m afraid I can’t give a good estimate on that. I’m not very experienced with this sort of stuff either. I’ve just done a couple of projects together with other people.

#164452

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