Max/MSP Real-Time VJ Interface


The concept behind my Max/MSP patch “VJ 1.0!” was to make a computer’s keyboard behave similar to an electronic drum pad; however instead of sounding an audio file, each keystroke causes a streaming video file to cut to a specific spot in its timeline, allowing the user to manually “cut up” a video in real-time to the beat of a song. When a user uploads a video to the patch, the timeline of that video is evenly cut up into 40 separate “start-points” that correlate to 40 different keys of the user’s keyboard. When in “presentation mode”, the Max patch becomes a user-friendly interface that is easy to understand and operate, allowing manipulation of things like loop points, playback rate, and number of start-points. Though the patch divides the start-points up evenly, the user has the ability to change the start-point of each individual key with extreme precision. The patch allows the user to record their real-time manipulations as a .mov file, but the patch could also “be played” in real-time, supplying the visualizations for live events such as musical performances.

In December 2010, I created two music videos to a song I’d written and recorded in ProTools, using footage I’d filmed of myself in a green screen room. The “Part 1” music video was made solely through the VJ 1.0!, while “Part 2” consisted of taking the Part 1 video, and running it through other keystroke-dependent, real-time video effects processing patches I’d made. Both videos are on youtube.com under my username “lextelex”; Part 1 is called “Max/MSP Green Screen Project // Part 1”, and Part 2 is called “Max/MSP Green Screen Project // Part 2”.

To see Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSQ7xyqfdvQ

To see Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QxovftVQOo

How did this project use Max?

Aside from the song being written and recorded in ProTools, this project is entirely Max/MSP based.