Timeline Module for Modul8
  • deckard97
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    Timeline Module for Modul8

    by deckard97 » Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:17 am

    Here is a conceptual mock-up of a possible Timeline Module for Modul8.

    Image

    With the engine behind Modul8 and the upcoming v2.5, Modul8 with a timeline and multiple outputs could pose a serious threat to the likes of Dataton Watchout, Hippotizer, Pandora's Box Media Server, etc. Most of these systems cost from 10K$ US to 25K$ US to get going.

    Modul8 with a timeline and a fast PCI Express Mac could make an awesome setup.

    This Timeline is very basic, its elements are a set of layers, already found in Modul8, but presented on a timeframe, so we can see the length of the medias presented, called Sprites.

    Each Sprite can have as many Keyframes as one wishes, these Keyframes act as modifiers for the Modul8 interface, just as a MIDI controller would.

    The asset of Keyframes is tremendous, it means that one can set a Keyframe at the begining of a Sprite with a few attributes (scale, opacity, x, y, z positions, etc) and set another keyframe 10 seconds later and where some of these attributes are changed. The Timeline Module would then interpret every frame in between and make for some pretty cool effects.

    Sprites can be stretched as long as the composition goes. Choices if the media ends could be to loop, play backwards or simply stop, maybe even time stretch.

    Playback Keyframes are playback conditions, such as "Pause", "Loop on frame", or "Skip to Marker", etc. They could also toggle layers ON or OFF.

    We might have to consider a "MASTER" layer, which would affect every layers.

    My Python Kung-Fu is probably not up to snuff for such a Module, but if nobody is interested in investing time developping it, I'll probably give it a try.

    In october 2006 we enter another stage of the creation process of a play we are working on and having Modul8 with a Timeline Module would be a terrific asset.[/img]
  • bratch
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    by bratch » Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:50 am

    Damn, this is exactly what i would like to have rocking on M8!Obviously, bye bye Watchout or medialon !
  • moonbase
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    by moonbase » Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:51 pm

    That is both an awesome creation and a lovely bit of conceptualising.
    For almost all the work I do that would be THE answer. Wonderful work deckard.

    As a functional, comprehensive and entirely useful direction this timeline concept works for me and also for M8 I think as there would be few (no?) contenders with this combination of simplicity, accessibility & depth were something like this to be integrated into M8.

    I too do most of my work with time alongside live musicians and if asked would for sure put my vote behind this as the direction I would so so like M8 to travel. Entirely selfish of course but it seems to be a path too lightly trod at this level (any level?) and having seen your mock-up I am mocked out. :)

    As a path heavily travelled, for me, the whole freeframe/effect/bpm-plug-ins-by-the-thousand direction is not my bag, and although I appreciate there is a big demand for it and that commercially it probably makes good sense, I feel that philosophically M8 belongs elsewhere; belongs with this timeline concept and the potential to both help create & follow the thread of a theatrical or musical performance in an integrated way. It is that 'weaving' alongside other performers that excites my soul and this would do it even better in spades. Very selfish as I said.

    Blimey, don't we get horribly proprietorial about those things in life which touch how we work and think and create -
    and for me M8 has done this so no apologies and as always a big thank you to Boris, Yves et al!

    They are not mutually exclusive of course so timeline controls for 3.0?
    Not for the first time I bemoan my lack of programming ability - a user of M8, I fear, is all I will ever be. :(
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    yves@garagecube
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    by yves@garagecube » Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:32 pm

    Great ! 8)

    Time lines is something we are discussing in the Modul8 team since the beginning of the project. I won't go into the detail now, but you can expect cool stuff for the 3.0 in this area.

    Yves.
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    by momo3010 » Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:43 pm

    Ooooohhhh yes looks great.
    Help myself out with making ableton midi sequences and full midi song compositions.
  • moonbase
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    by moonbase » Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:43 pm

    Fantastic. :D

    "They always say time changes things, but you actually have to get Yves to change them."
    Andy Warhol
  • deckard97
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    Worth a shot?

    by deckard97 » Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:38 pm

    Yves, could a Timeline Module like this one be created using the Module Editor or would it be too advanced, using low level functions not available to it?

    it would be nice to know if its feasible in the Module Editor, if it's worth a shot to even try.

    Thanks.
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    TheraBylerm
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    by TheraBylerm » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:48 pm

    GREAT IDEA !!!! I'm in love...
  • benga
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    by benga » Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:58 pm

    2006...resuscitating a three year old thread, but i must say i'm quite amazed at the beauty of the conceptual module presented. still in the air for 3.0 ?

    that said, such a timeline is feasable without even looking into modules and python.

    there are simple work arounds, the simplest one being to use another midi mapable software, with a timeline function.

    i've done precise timelines similar to the one shown above simply by using using ableton live mapped out in a parallel midi mapping, with the "midi feedback" hack ( ableton clips trigger a midi impulse upon playback, great function as one no longuer needs to use "ghost clips"
    You basically create the timeline that is drawn above, and map all the ableton live midi to a parallel modul8 setup.
    you press start, clip triggers the layer / media, volume triggers the alpha etc etc... there is no limitation to the number of midi channels or tracks useable in live so pretty much everything can be made to automatially pilot modul8, along a timeline using the IAC3 driver. what is great is to use volume curves for alpha layers, that kind of thing.
    it's a question of rationally organising the midi - clip scales and the channels, and then mapping that out to modul8. it's a question of placing the action in time on its track / channel, and simply mapping out the control.
    and then it's auto pilot.

    it works fine, although it would be much simpler to have this directly in modul8. one advantage of the ableton live / modul8 timeline setup is that you can also synch audio, of course.
    i started working on this for a dance piece where i improvise using 116 prepared audio media on ableton live, using a BCF 2000 controler) and wanted modul8 to be slave controled ( can't do both at the same time). the piece also had fixed elements, and while building the ableton timeline i started creating parallel fixed elements in modul8.

    b
    cie sisyphe heureux
  • moonbase
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    by moonbase » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:33 am

    Hi benga, tell us more - screen shots, .als of your set-up, and where do you get the Midi Feedback Hack for Live....
    can't googlefind anything, is it just a set-up trick or what?
    :-)
  • benga
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    by benga » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:49 am

    moonbase wrote:Hi benga, tell us more - screen shots, .als of your set-up, and where do you get the Midi Feedback Hack for Live....
    can't googlefind anything, is it just a set-up trick or what?
    :-)


    For the screenshots it will have to wait for a couple of days, as i'm waiting for an answer from ableton since thursday for the purchase of the new live 7 version and don't want to re-install the older version on this computer. they're slow to answer. i was working on this on a macbook pro intel core duo with 3Gig RAM, modul8 and live 6.
    here is the midi feedback "hack" ( apparently it shouldn't be called that way :), which i stumbled upon deep inside the ableton forum and has opened up new possibilities, for triggering via audio clips and not just midi :

    what you do is create a file "Options.txt" in Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live6

    the path might change according to versions but it should be something like
    -OS 9: .../Preferences/Ableton/Live [version]/Options.txt
    -OS X: .../Preferences/Ableton/Live [version]/Options.txt

    ( the last digit depends on your version number)
    in this .txt file you
    write the line:

    -MIDINoteFeedback

    in it.
    If a session clip has been MIDI learned it will put out a note event when triggered, and a note event with velocity 1 per loop count and the note off on stop.

    here's more info : http://vjforums.com/showthread.php?t=11 ... neat+trick

    with ableton live you can create a timeline with many different parameters, such as hand drawn volume curves, pans etc...

    you can use these curbs to control modul8 faders and sliders in time, by creating a track in live and doing a parallel setup in modul8.

    say you want to trigger media 7 at 15 minutes into the show, with a gradual alpha increase.
    you create a track in live, place a clip, let's call it clip 7, at 15 minutes into the show and midi map it to C1 on a specific channel.
    send out the midi internally using apple's IAC3 internal driver, activate it in preferences- audio midi options, select it as a midi out put in live.
    then map modul8's media 7 to the same channel, same note, C1, whereever you want it to be
    now start the timeline. At 15 minutes in, ableton live will play its clip 7, what ever it is ( it can be empty), which will send the midi note C1 internally and trigger the clip in modul8.

    now the next thing we want is a gradual increase in alpha.
    go back to the live timeline, and set up a volume curve wherever you want modul8's alpha to change ( before or after the media triggering)
    then simply map the ableton track's volume fader, and map the modul8 alpha fader to the same values. read your timeline, now at 15 minutes in ableton triggers the clip 7, with a gradual volume fade in.
    what this does to modul8 is trigger the media 7, with a gradual alpha fade in.

    much more complex things can be done.
    another way is to create midi clips with a single note in them, chromatically C1 C#1 D1 D#1 E1 F1 F#1 G1 G#1 A1 A#1 B1 C2 C#2....
    and then use them in midi tracks sending mid to different midi channels, so that you'll have C1 on channel 7 but also C1 on channel 8 etc
    the good thing is that the midi data sent internally via the IAC3 is received by modul8, and then it's just a question of getting organised in the mappings.

    ben
    cie sisyphe heureux
  • moonbase
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    by moonbase » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:57 pm

    Thank you Ben, nice one.
    For anyone else exploring this, I discovered that there is already an Options.txt at that address in OSX Ableton 7.0.5 Preferences.
    It's an empty file so I just added the -MIDINoteFeedback line and saved.
    Seems reasonable... and easy to change back if needed.

    When I get in later I'll try and get my head round the rest of the idea :-))

    Excellent xx

    EDITED----------------------

    BUT . . .
    You won't need to do that folks, just found the following on the Ableton forums:

    Robert Henke wrote:
    The MIDI feeback option is not necessary anymore, since Live 5 this is enabled anyway. The options.txt stuff is a bit tricky. Things might change here from verision to version... so you can never be sure it does what you think it will do.
    We implemented this hidden feature to allow modifications of the software which are only usewful for a very smal user group with a very specific setup and for us to have an easy way to test some details. Things we do not want to put in prefs like:

    enforce compatibility to audio driver X while running under os Y if soundcard Z used port A....

    any feature which might be useful for more then ten customers at some point ends up in "public" and not inside the options.txt

    Robert


    ...later ))
  • benga
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    by benga » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:12 pm

    moonbase wrote:Thank you Ben, nice one.
    For anyone else exploring this, I discovered that there is already an Options.txt at that address in OSX Ableton 7.0.5 Preferences.
    It's an empty file so I just added the -MIDINoteFeedback line and saved.
    Seems reasonable... and easy to change back if needed.

    When I get in later I'll try and get my head round the rest of the idea :-))

    Excellent xx

    EDITED----------------------

    BUT . . .
    You won't need to do that folks, just found the following on the Ableton forums:

    Robert Henke wrote:
    The MIDI feeback option is not necessary anymore, since Live 5 this is enabled anyway. The options.txt stuff is a bit tricky. Things might change here from verision to version... so you can never be sure it does what you think it will do.
    We implemented this hidden feature to allow modifications of the software which are only usewful for a very smal user group with a very specific setup and for us to have an easy way to test some details. Things we do not want to put in prefs like:

    enforce compatibility to audio driver X while running under os Y if soundcard Z used port A....

    any feature which might be useful for more then ten customers at some point ends up in "public" and not inside the options.txt

    Robert


    ...later ))


    interesting. I'll look into it as well, i'm finally downloading the live 7 update, and will look if there it comes up as an option somewhere. what the code line does / did was quite clear, it generates a visible ( orange blink) midi feedback upon clip playback, which is then mapped. This is not necessary for the ableton live lead modul8 timeline i was describig though, it's more for ease of audio- midi integration.

    EDIT. I just finished the live install. not sure this works with live 7, and i hope it's really no longer necessary. So far i'm not getting the same midi trigger that I had in live 6.

    Interestingly enough I didn't have an option.txt in my prefs after install. What was the path for yours ?
    I added it to User/Library/Preferences/Ableton as I had no othr option. I really hope it still works otherwise I'll have to back down to live 6...
    Don't have time to look into it now but i will, and will also post screenshot examples of a abletonlive-modul8 timeline with the mappings i used

    ben
    cie sisyphe heureux
  • moonbase
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    by moonbase » Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:36 pm

    Hi ben, the path was as you described, for me in 7.0.5:
    /Users/myname/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live 7.0.5/Options.txt
    and I see it is still there in 7.0.7 same path - not sure what happened to 7.0.6 but maybe I skipped an update.

    I shall have a proper look in a while and try and replicate some of your suggestions and look for the orange blink feedback.

    Oh yes, after I added the feedback text to Options.txt in Live 7.0.5 and fired the app up it warned me that it had found the text file and would be ignoring it.
    So it may not work for you either. ((
    gareth
  • benga
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    by benga » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:17 pm

    hello again, i just looked into it, you're right, it is actually indeed a built in function in live, so the "hack", text line is options.txt is no longuer necessary. the orange blink feedback is there, which is a relief :)

    just switch on the IAC3 "midi out" and "remote" in the preferences and it will work, i just checked with my former project.
    i'll post some screen shots

    ben
    Last edited by benga on Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    cie sisyphe heureux

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