So I gave up on trying to incorporate words into the video – it was stupidly complex to work out how it might be achieved in Final Cut Express and Parallels Desktop isn’t recognising my DVD drive in Windows, so I’ve been unable to install Flash and it looks like I might need to reinstall Parallels and Windows again. Le sigh.
Anyway, that freed me up to Just Get On With It. I had a vague idea that I wanted to mess about with perhaps something that was a little bit glitchy. I didn’t find anything in my trusty Vizzie folder that would do what I wanted – I had thought that the Jittr module might, but then it turned out to be a thing to push random values through to other controllers. Cute, but not what I’d had in mind. I poked about with an assortment of Vizzie bits though and ended up plonking in a Feedr (which does feedback stuff) and Brcosr (which messes with brightness, contrast and saturation). These created interesting effects, but it wasn’t quite what I’d been hoping for.
Enter Google, with a swagger. Google led me to a wonderful section of the Cycling 74 site containing Jitter Recipes – patches and how-to explanations for a whole bunch of cool effects. Woot! And there I found a version of what I’d been hoping for (albeit a majorly amped-up version!), DirtySignal, by Andrew Benson. SO much fun. So I poked about with this and made some small adjustments so that I could feed in the video signal from my Playr module as I already had that in place for the other stuff, and fed the signal out of the patch again so that it could be displayed and recorded along with everything else.
Add in a crossfade module, and that Jittr module, along with the randomised metro code I made for the last video patch and my modified Recordr from the same (although I guess I could have used the original Vizzie Recordr for this as it doesn’t have sound but it gives me options if I decide I want to tweak it to make noises) and hey presto! All done!.
So the really cool thing about DirtySignal is that not only does it mess up your video signal beautifully – but it does so in response to whatever sound it hears. So if you’re making a noise, or playing music on your computer while you code, you get this great visual response to the sound. If it’s quiet, it goes all subtle and calm. I figured I might as well get a bit meta with this, so I was playing the slurps/granularisation section of Manifesto while I made this first improvisation. It’s a quiet piece, but I discovered that you can raise the sensitivity of what it’s listening to so that even quiet sounds will have a visual effect. Nice!
So I’ve made a first attempt at an improvisation with this patch. There are things I like about it and things I’m not so keen on, but I think it’s a valiant start. Hoping to do more tomorrow.
And I’ve also prepped the patch as a standalone (again, Mac only – sorry – not going to install it on Windows while I may have to reinstall the whole OS) along with the source video file, if you’d like to play with it yourself. As always, just let me know if you want to see the patch itself. Download the standalone here (ZIP, 93.2MB).