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Thread: Midi File to laser projector?

  1. #1
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    Question Midi File to laser projector?

    Hmm, Im being bored... and came up with a random but interesting thought.
    Since you already have midi control for a laser projector...
    Is there a way to use a midi file for a lasershow?

    as in assigning patterns that either change to something different and toggle when playing a certain instrument and pitch.

    It's just an random thought.
    I myself am lacking to much to do anything like that yet.
    But the idea might be inspiring to someone maybe?

    excuse me if I might have posted this in the wrong topic

  2. #2
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    I've thought about doing this as well -

    Use a MIDI host (such as Cakewalk Sonar or some other DAW workstation package) that supports tracks for MIDI OUT.
    Send the MIDI commands to Showtime LIVE, LivePRO, QuickShow, or other MIDI-enabled laser software.

    If you use MIDI software clients such as "MIDI YOKE" and "MIDI over LAN", you can even pull this off without the need for external MIDI interfaces, even if you're running your MIDI software and Laser software on separate computers.
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuka View Post
    I've thought about doing this as well -

    Use a MIDI host (such as Cakewalk Sonar or some other DAW workstation package) that supports tracks for MIDI OUT.
    Send the MIDI commands to Showtime LIVE, LivePRO, QuickShow, or other MIDI-enabled laser software.

    If you use MIDI software clients such as "MIDI YOKE" and "MIDI over LAN", you can even pull this off without the need for external MIDI interfaces, even if you're running your MIDI software and Laser software on separate computers.

    Yeah but it probly would lack in a way...
    + it would be nice if it just could be done on 1 pc ;3

    There should be someone who could code that

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    Quote Originally Posted by masterpj View Post
    Yeah but it probly would lack in a way...
    + it would be nice if it just could be done on 1 pc ;3

    There should be someone who could code that
    This could all be done on one computer. But could you give a better explanation of what you would want to achieve e.g. "I want to be able to record the MIDI events from triggering a live laser performance in real-time and then later play back that MIDI file and cause the laser performance to replay."

    Also, just to clarify, it is not the projector that is controlled by MIDI, it is the controller software which is (the controller then controls the projector).

  5. #5
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    I gave this a quick attempt a few years ago. The initial results were pretty corny looking, so I set it aside. The biggest problem is that the sound of all the MIDI files I found sounded pretty awful. If I ever gave a show using one as a soundtrack, I'd have to do it with a bag over my head
    I did think though, that you could use a MIDI file for timing, then just play the "real" song along with it. This might have some merit, but most of my experiments found that the MIDI songs and their "real" counterparts were not in sync 100%.
    Some classical music does have some promise-
    Have you ever seen this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipzR9bhei_o&feature=fvw
    It's not too hard to imagine that in laser.
    -Mike


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    that's what i was thinking.
    Since some of my friends make music with fruity loops.
    those projects can be turned into midi

    Thus also fixing the sync problem
    Last edited by masterpj; 08-20-2010 at 01:14.

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    Laser control software currently interprets MIDI according to specific MIDI control messages mapped to each function of the laser controller e.g. middle C note-on message may be mapped to triggering a specific cue, a continuous controller may be mapped to master speed.

    It's unlikely that a standard musical MIDI file or DAW sending musical MIDI would be interpretted by the laser controller in an ideal fashion to affect the laser display. Even between two different musical MIDI set ups, MIDI will not necessarily make sense e.g. if I have a great tune in my DAW and I convert the arrangement to MIDI and then take that MIDI to my mate's studio, he may well be able to load the MIDI up in his DAW, but he would potentially need to remap all of the controller messages to the equivalent controls if he did not have the same synthesizers, MIDI channel mappings etc. General MIDI was created as a means to standardise the types of instruments (with similar timbres) mapped to particular program change positions across a variety of synthesizers. However, there's no real standard with regards to how laser control software maps control messages.

    Note messages translate well between musical set-ups, but if I've played a frenetic synth part with multiple simultaneous notes (chords) changing very quickly, these notes are not necessarily going to translate well into laser control messages. Unless you create a cue for each note representing the musicality of the note and accepted that the length a note could musically play very quickly or very slowly, you are likely to end up with a very random show. With synthesizers comes the concept of polyphony, the ability to play multiple notes simultaneously. How well this would translate to a laser show would require some very creative cue design.

    If this thread is more about sound-to-laser rather than custom MIDI laser control, then the musicality of the sound is what's important rather than the control messages of the sound (although there's obviously a relationship). Isn't there a WinAmp visualiser plug-in that can drive laser shows? You could probably run the MIDI music through WinAmp and use the visualiser to achieve this (but why not just use an MP3).
    Last edited by taggalucci; 08-20-2010 at 01:43. Reason: Typo

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterpj View Post
    that's what i was thinking.
    Since some of my friends make music with fruity loops.
    those projects can be turned into midi

    Thus also fixing the sync problem
    I reckon, and would love to do this... have MIDI tracks (additional to the music) dedicated to controlling the laser and "composed" to match the music.

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    That's kind of an interesting idea. I know that there are gadgets that you can hook up to an electric guitar, for instance, and they will analyze what you are playing and do MIDI stuff with it. I don't know the details but that is enough for me to realize that it would be possible to somehow go from live electric guitar to some black box to some software package that somehow turns what you are playing on the guitar into some type of meaningful laser display. For example, this would be cheesy but it would be easy to draw the frets and strings with lasers and as the person plays the guitar, the strings could bend/change colors, vibrate accordingly. Or, if the input was a drum kit, a picture of some laser drums could be animated accordingly. There would be some lag, of course, but maybe not too bad.

    It may be too much for the software to analyze a complete song with many instruments. But, if they could be seperated into tracks I think you might be able to do something fun with it. Just going back to a MIDI file, you could easily create a animated orchestra, and then have the MIDI file animate each instrument as it plays. I think that would be easy to do. I am not sure what the animated instruments would do. Maybe change colors, stretch and shrink (I am thinking cartoonish gestures here). That would be a cool little application for a display demo. But, of course, you could always build on that and make an engine that can do other cool things.

    So, I think there is a lot you can do with MIDI input other than just flashing up some preset patterns or changing colors, etc. You just have to be creative.

  10. #10
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    Cool- I have missed these types of threads in this sub-forum.
    This reminds me of when I bought a small Hammond organ from this guy.
    His theatre organ project made my laser obsession look like peanuts, the entire lower level of his gigantic house was dedicated to this beast.
    He fired it up for me, in "playback mode", and this giant theatre organ started playing itself, like a ghost was playing it. I mean the keys were depressing, the levers were going in and out, etc.. What the deal was, was that he would invite accomplished players over to play the organ, and while they would play it, he would record every action/note in MIDI sequences. He could then play them back and the organ would just come alive. It was really something to see.
    That concept circles back to the idea of having the raw midi captured from a live performance, then reusing it however you see fit. There are tons of open-source MIDI libraries out there, so capturing the commands is pretty straight forward. Doing something cool with it will be the trick.
    -Mike


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