facebook pixel Syphon support in MediaMaster and GrandVJ | ArKaos Pro
By ArKaos Team
on 15 Nov 2011 12:00 AM
  • MadMapper
  • mapping
  • Syphon

After GrandVJ, we’ve now added support for Syphon as client and server in MediaMaster also. It’s been around since only a few weeks and has already proved to be a great addition to our software, we’ve received a lot of feedback from users like Koen de Puysseleir – creative director for Tiësto – telling us how much this new feature broadens the boundaries from their creativity.. And God, we love that!
In this article we’ll explain a little bit more how you can use Syphon in combination with MediaMaster and GrandVJ, then we’ll give you some inspiration from those who have already started using it..


About Syphon

As explained on the official Syphon web page: “Syphon is an open source Mac OS X technology that allows applications to share frames – full frame rate video or stills – with one another in realtime. Now you can leverage the expressive power of a plethora of tools to mix, mash, edit, sample, texture-map, synthesize, and present your imagery using the best tool for each part of the job. Syphon gives you flexibility to break out of single-app solutions and mix creative applications to suit your needs.”

Practically, a Syphon client application receives video frames from one or more syphon server application(s), and because the Syphon-compatible applications share texture resources within the graphical card, there’s almost no latency between the server and the client applications.

GrandVJ or MediaMaster as Syphon server

Prior versions of GrandVJ and MediaMaster were already able to act as Syphon server, but it required loading the Quartz-Composer Server patch on a dedicated layer.

GrandVJ 1.6 and MediaMaster 2.2.5 are now native Syphon server applications. The usage is pretty straight forward since there’s no configuration at all: the software will start sharing its output frames as soon as it detects a Syphon client application.

GrandVJ or MediaMaster as Syphon client

Syphon Simple Server in GrandVJ

GrandVJ and MediaMaster can also act as Syphon clients thanks to the Quartz-Composer Client plugin and patch provided by the guys behind Syphon. You can get these from the Syphon Implementations page (grab the file named “Syphon For Quartz Composer” of course. It’s currently in beta but that’s ok). The installation procedure is detailled in “Read Me.rtf” file you get in the .dmg but basically you first need to install the plugin before you can use the patch.

So, once you installed the plugin, grab the Quartz-Composer patch (.qtz file) and either import it in your MediaMaster media library or drag & drop it on a bank in GrandVJ so you can use it with our software.

Modifying the “index” value in Quartz-Composer
Note that, by default, the patch will display the frames of the first registered Syphon server application. If you want to use a server that’s not the first, or to to mix between several servers, you will have to get your hands in the dirt and launch the Quartz-Composer application (that you get with Xcode from Apple) to modify the “index” value in the patch (the default value zero being the first server)..

Oh, and if you don’t want to fiddle around with Quartz-Composer you can simply download the alternative patches we’ve modified for you (yeah, we’re like that..).


You cannot use GrandVJ or MediaMaster as Syphon client if you have not first started a Syphon server, if you try to do so you will notice that MediaMaster / GrandVJ creates an infinite visual feedback, its output frames being shared with the layer that runs the Syphon layer!

If you intend to use GrandVJ or MediaMaster as a client, you should either start the other Syphon server application first, or you can use one of the alternative Quartz-Composer patches mentioned earlier in this article.

Some inspiration from those who have already started using it

All this seems a little too abstract for you? No problem, let’s see concretely what you can achieve with this new feature..

Koen de Puysseleir – Tiësto Club Life tour

It all started with Koen de Puysseleir, Creative Director for Tiësto and owner of Light in Motion, a Belgian design and show control company. Koen already worked with MediaMaster for the previous Tiësto tour (the Kaleïdoscope Tour) and this time he got challenged with some difficult video setups involving split screens and side screens for Tiësto Club Life performances. He needed a solution to output MediaMaster to MadMapper and thus contacted us to inquire about how to achieve it.
We immediately understood that something cool could be done here and so we started working on developing this feature and then sent Koen a custom version of MediaMaster with Syphon support for him to test.. Below is a video from the show at the Home Depot Center in Carson, you can read the complete story here on our web site.

Momo the Monster – The Glitch Mob Live show

Visual Artist Momo the Monster has been using MediaMaster Express as a Syphon client to drive LED panels on The Glitch Mob Live shows this summer, read the full story at CreateDigitalMotion

Albuquerque Snippet from Momo the Monster on Vimeo.

Charlie Mars recording mixes in GrandVJ

France VJ champion Charlie Mars explains (in French) how he is using GrandVJ and Syphon Recorder to record his mixes.


As you can see, Syphon support in MediaMaster or GrandVJ really “gives you flexibility to break out of single-app solutions and mix creative applications to suit your needs” just like they say on the Syphon web site!

Ok, ok.. I can already hear some of you complaining it’s again a Mac-only solution.. But don’t worry Windows users, we’re working on a similar solution for you too..

Thank you Syphon creators, interoperability is the future!

Back to All posts