If NAMM 2010 had nothing new for the control and integration of music and video it looks like innovation was in Frankfurt, at the MusikMesse. Yes, the old continent brings a new and very innovative controller to the market: the Karlax. And one of you lucky guys will be one of the first to perform with it! (More info at the end of this post).
DA FACT introduced the Karlax at MusikMesse 2010 as the first controller for digital Arts that re-establish the artist’s body at the heart of the performance. With it’s revolutionary ergonomic design, this instrument transmits the artist’s own natural movements wireless (using radio-waves and MIDI trough USB) to a computer, giving musicians and digital Artists freedom on stage.
Yes, 10 fingers running on a MIDI keyboard can trigger many events, for more flexibility you can also use some advanced controllers especially made for audio sampling software or directly aimed at VJ’s. But as Nintendo showed to the game industry, gestures and body movement can add a whole new fantastic layer to expression and control, as an example just Google GrandVJ+Wiimote and you’ll see that there is really some interest about controlling visuals with gestures.
At ArKaos, we designed GrandVJ so that everything can be controlled by MIDI and we tried as much as possible to make it compatible with any existing or future controller thanks to the MIDI-learn mode. So the Karlax was working out of the box with GrandVJ but we’ve been in contact with DA FACT to develop a better support for their controller in GrandVJ as we did previously with other manufacturers.
In this video from MusikMesse 2010 you see the GrandVJ in mixer mode mapped to the various MIDI notes and controllers generated by the Karlax. In this first implementation we mapped five controllers to the intensity of the first five mixer layers. You can use two keys to select the next and previous layer so you can edit live the state of all layers directly from the controller and the movement is mapped to Loop speed.
The other controls are used to affect loop speed, to trigger visuals from the patch, to select effects or change parameter values, to modify the visual position, etc… The Karlax is here used to control at the same time GrandVJ and an audio application.
Perform with the Karlax
You think you can create an original audiovisual performance with the Karlax and GrandVJ? (And you live around Paris, Brussels, London or somewhere in between?) DA FACT is ready to let you play with the Karlax for one month and we will provide software and support.
They will also be filming your creation process and the final performance that will be presented during a special event that will take place during Q4 2010. This footage will then be used to present the product and demonstrate its possibilities.