Bewerbung zum Doppelteamleiter

Ganz ganz , ganzganzganz eventuell ist es so, dass ich als Kollege/ Mitarbeiter nicht der unkritischste Typ auf der ganzen Welt bin. Es gibt Sachen, die mich unendlich aufregen. Das sieht man mir dann auch an. Wenn Leute nach 20 Jahren in der IT immer noch nicht wissen, wie man “³” auf einer Tastatur erzeugt … sorry, aber: ARRGHH!

Sei’s drum: Irgendwann kam meine Chefin auf mich zu und … ein Wort gab das andere … es fielen Sätze wie “Du und Conny, wenn Ihr Teamleiter wärt, dann würdet Ihr ganz schnell lernen, damit umzugehen, … ”  (so oder jedenfalls so ähnlich). Jetzt ist es so, dass ich vor ~20 Jahren~ schon mal etwas in der Art gemacht habe: Da war ich Chef vom Service in einer Diskothek. Das hat mir gereicht. Klaro ist das nicht dasselbe, ich bin nicht mehr derselbe, aber trotzdem: Danke, nein.

AAaaber: Aus irgendeinem Grund haben wir uns dann doch beworben. Auf eine tatsächlich ausgeschriebene Teamleiterstelle. So mit Präsentation etc.

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TCPSyphon

<TL; DR> I’ve built a TCPSyphon Server myself in Java and tried to circumvent some of the flaws of the original Version </TL; DR>

 

Maybe you heard about Syphon. “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” (Link). It was originally intended to only work locally and not be shared between different Hosts on a Network. Fortunately someone took care of this and built a set of applications to share “Syphon data” between multiple Computers. Actually it doesn’t: It renders local Syphon data into single images (jpeg, for example), applies a compression and sends them over the network. Anyways, this is one of the applications you don’t get around as a VJ. You just HAVE to have it: TCPSyphon.

The person behind the TCPSyphon-apps also built a client for the Raspberry Pi. The TCPSClient. Now things become really interesting.

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Syphon to RTMP

This idea caught me a while back and it took quite some effort to rebuild it from the leftovers a few days ago. Kids don’t forget: The only difference between noodling around and being a true specialiologist (they don’t call me “Doktor Andy” for nothing) lies in a reusable form of documentation. Fortunately I got this website. What would I do without it.

<TL; DR> video from Mac to Raspberry via network</TL; DR>

The approach uses Syphon, Open Broadcaster Software (obs), nginx and Omxplayer. I guess this ain’t too revolutionary. Using RTMP is quite a common task to distribute video. But it’s a good idea to have it all written down at least once. Furthermore I couldn’t find any kind of writeup like this covering this topic so … it’s okay.

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90er Party Rosenhof Osnabrück, Juni 2015 (Visuals)

Ganz großartige Nummer. Seit geraumer Zeit habe ich hin und wieder einen Visual-Gig im Rosenhof Osnabrück. Bevor ich nach Hamburg gezogen bin, habe ich 10 Jahre in direkter Nachbarschaft gewohnt. 1986 mein erster Kinobesuch (damals war’s noch … ein Kino): “Didi auf vollen Touren”. Mit Mama. Klar, dass ich erst 250km wegziehen muss, damit sich was ergibt. Meine Bookings sind eben antizyklisch. Isso.

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Es HAT einen auf eine gewisse Art und Weise kruden Charme. Is’ aber egal. Der Vibe stimmt. So richtig.

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Am Pult sind wir in der glücklichen Lage, uns so richtig austoben zu können. LightCommander für’s Licht ist jetzt nicht das aktuellste Pult, verrichtet aber anstandslos seinen Dienst. Ich war kürzlich zu Besuch bei den Leuten von MA-Lighting und kann guten Gewissens behaupten, dass das hier nichts ist, wofür man sich schämen muss. =) Die zwei MacBooks für die Visuals hingegen sind absolut (ab-so-luHut) notwendig. Ich benutze VDMX und gehe per SyphonTCP in den Rechner des Haustechnikers, der die Visuals per Resolume konstruiert. So haben wir beide was davon, Er hat das letzte Wort und ich kann als Externer auch früher abbauen, um z.B. den ersten Zug zurück nach Hamburg zu kriegen (zu den Eindrücken einer vermeintlich ungestörten Zugfahrt Sonntag morgens um kurz vor fünf schreibe ich dann demnächst mal etwas).

Mein aktuelles Set kann komplett per Midifighter gesteuert werden. Mit den Wiimotes wollte ich noch ganz viele lustige Sachen machen, die APC20 steuert Resolume auf dem anderen Rechner. Über das IPad wird eine GoPro ferngesteuert, die ~irgendwo~ versteckt ist.

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2 Leute für Licht und Visuals, 2 Leute für die Musik: 4 Rechner.

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Und hier sehen wir Osnabrücks derzeit geilstes Video-Setup (Juni 2015). Ich bin technisch nicht ganz unschuldig daran (“3 Beamer steuert man am besten soundso”), aber Dominic vom Rosenhof tobt sich hier gerade richtig aus.  Ehre, wem Ehre gebührt.

9 Panels im Backdrop dezent angestrahlt per Par64-Orange. Schlimmer geht eigentlich nicht, aber selbst das hat schon die ersten positiven Kommentare erzeugt. Links und rechts normale Leinwände. So haben wir es gelassen, bis angenehm viele Gäste da waren.

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Dann Licht aus, alles dunkel, passende Musik und … Feuer frei. Hach, wie fein.

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(Bitte im Hinterkopf behalten: 90er Party. Die Visuals sind also absolut auf den Punkt….)

Für Leute, die sich mit Visuals auskennen, ist das Mapping auf 9 Panels jetzt nicht das allerallerkomplizierteste auf der ganzen Welt, aber es haut einen trotzdem um. Weil es obergeil ist. Und streng genommen ist es auch für Leute, DIE sich mit Visuals auskennen, gar nicht so trivial. Mach’ das mal ohne Madmapper. Und dann bitte so, dass man die Deckkraft jedes Panels einzeln Regeln kann. Und alles mit Footage, deren Auflösung größer ist als 640*480. Und alles ohne Ruckler.

Vermeintliche Profis werden jetzt anmerken, dass es im Vidvox-Forum einen 12-Quad-ISF-Effekt gibt, der genau das ermöglicht. Genau. Dann rate mal, wer den programmiert hat.

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Night of the Graduates November 2014

Due to various reasons (and only some of them are cool) I haven’t done a lot of jobs as a lightjockey within the last 2 years. But destiny seems to be on my side at the moment and so I had the chance to do the lights and visuals at the ‘Graudate’s Ball 2014’ in Osnabrück. the whole event was very professionally done so it was very much like an industrial event. Dates like these are mainly characterized by a rather fixed timetabel and a somewhat limited necessity for pure creativity and next-generation-visuals. It has to work and it has to work on time. That’s why you are there, that’s what you are paid for (mostly).

 

The event already started with a delay. I had to get from Hamburg to Osnabrück and was more than an hour late even before anything happened at all. Fortunately I knew about the fact that most things were already set up at the venue. This was one of those jobs I’d like to describe as a ‘Kofferjob’. Get there, get out your Laptop and voila! No need for building up an entire stage structure, cabling etc.

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Terrassenfest 2013

This post will be about my third time at the Terrassenfest (Facebook). It’s an annually held 3-day event organized by volunteers of the senior technical college in the city of Osnabrück. Every night there are 2 bands and a DJ afterwards. We are doing the stage for the third year now and I guess it’s the right time to go a little more into detail than the years before.

This is the 38th year this event takes place. Last year my former boss visited me when I was working there and told me he had been organizing this event ~25 years ago himself.

It all begins at home in Hamburg. I am in charge of lights and visuals and I will be using VDMX for the first time. I already created some footage and am working on the basic screen setup.

The stage-setup will contain 10 units of 42 inch monitors. 6 being twisted by 90 degress, hanging overhead in the truss, 4 being packed together in a somewhat classical 2*2 matrix-style stetup. The monitors themselves are configured in 3*3 matrix mode. This means every monitor gets the same input data but only displays 1/9th of the actual picture depending on the position that was set in its configuration.

Codec shootout based on visual impression and CPU usage. VMDX’s new HAP codec won.

Packing my stuff for staying out of Hamburg for 5 days (sat – thur).

This is only the technical stuff i’m carrying:

MacBook pro, Lenovo Thinkpad, Akai APC20…. to name just a bit of the stuff i took with me. It’s important to know that I will be meeting friends of mine there and I’m planning to play arround with different stuff so I am taking way more than I’d need to.

Entering a 4-day mayhem.

The foh (front of house) will be by new home from now on. The most important thing (the fridge) is already there. Though the Terrassenfest is organized by volunteers it doesn’t lack professionality at all. We get the best support one could think of. Including a never-ending amount of energy-drinks, beer and grilled food.

By the way: It’s one of the better ideas to use an extra cable only for the fridge at the foh. Trust me.

Working for the company doing the stage for me as the guy for lights and visuals also means: Bringing up the complete stage! From zero.

Well…. it IS that much. It took us Sunday to build up the stage.

Yes, this is a friggin’ huge PA-System. It IS way too much for such a tent. But it DOES sound incredibly good.

Part of the monitor setup. 4 Monitors are hanging in the back truss, one is hanging at each side.

That might be me…

And that might be another pile of cables

Slowly growing

Oh… and by the way: we’re also doing the trussing and lights for the bar…

And YES: we are going full pro on this one.

First impressions at night. All lights on 100% to check whether we calculated our energy consumption correctly. We did.

Getting a little bit into detail. The dmx data for the lights are transmitted via lumenradio. The video is transmitted via ethernet cabling based on Kramer technology.

Signals arriving at Dimmerland, Amptown city. From here the DMX data are fed back into cable and the video data are sent to various multiplexers to reach the monitors.

This is the final stage setup. The DJ booth will be put aside as long as the bands are playing. One aspect of this setup is to be able to change from band to DJ as quick as possible. It took us ~5 minutes each time.

For the videos I created two main groups in VDMX. The ‘Truss-Group’ and the ‘DJ-Group’ (guess which is which). The Truss-Group consists of three layers: Background, Center and Front. The Background layer spans over the 6 monitors completely and the visuals will be twisted by 90 degrees. That’s okay since this layer is intended for blurry-motioned video backgrounds. The Center and Front Layer are twisted by 90 degrees within VDMX so they will be ligned up correctly on stage. Both layers are cropped and resized so the whole video of the layer will be shown on every screen.

The DJ-Group only consists of two layers: Background and Center but the configuration is similar – without the 90 degree twist.

I could have done more but I wasn’t too sure about overall CPU usage and stability so I decided to better be safe than sorry. Next time I guess I will be doing 8 layers each since VDMX showed no problems at all.

Everything that I wanted to have control of was connected with a custom control interface which was then connected to different midi inputs. That way everything stayed clear and easy to handle… just in case…

Everything is controlled via an APC20 from Akai

The buttons on the right select the page in the media bin (‘Chroma’, ‘Ballern’, ‘Stuff’, ‘Strahl’ and ‘Atmo’). The butons above the big stripe of yellow duct tape select the layer the video clip is played on and the 40 main buttons finally select the video clip itself. The faders from left to right control each layer’s opacity.

Btw.: The duct tape is the expensive type which is used by professional painters. Not the cr*p you get in your ordinary hardware-store. It’s 3 or 4 times as expensive but absolutely worth the money. You can stick it on, leave it there for a year or more and remove it without leaving just one bit of ugly residue. Try this with your Gaffa-Tape.

That’s my setup at the front of house. From left to right: MacBook pro 13″ running VDMX being controlled by an APC20 from Akai. Some earplugs and a Korg Kontrol 49 Keyboard for controlling GrandMa onPC running on a Panasonic Toughbook. If you look carefully you’ll spot a Wiimote as well. This was used to control two effects in VDMX. Pixelate and Strobe. Though I am generally not too much into using video-fx this sure was huge fun, especially for the people hanging around at the foh.

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The way the lights are connected with the keyboard has grown over the years. It evolved from the very first show that I used when working in a discotheque. It has become so intuitive even my mom can do it:

By the way: I was staying with my parents for the time which was quite a lot of fun. I moved out ~15 years ago and haven’t slept there more than 6 nights since. They brought me to the event every day and my dad was totally eager to carry my bag:

Considering the amount of bullsh*t (a.k.a infurious pain) he is going through with all his back this has to be accepted as one of the coolest things a dad can do for his son.

That’s part of what the setup is capable of:

This is one bad mobile-phone photo giving a glimpse of what it looked like when the bands played. During their set I brought their logos on the screen together with some background videos colour-fitted to the rest of the lights. This always looks amazingly cool and it shows that you don’t need an LED-Wall in the back to do a good show.

I will add more and better photos with overall impressions within the next days.

By the way: We intentionally didn’t use an LED-Wall. Right now I see LED-Walls on every yet-so-small village-party-stage. What’s wrong with the people out there? Is an LED-Wall the new huge phallus-symbol in stage design? Does every average top40-band really need hi-res image processing in the background? Wake up guys: It’s about the band and the music! Not about what you are able to dry-hire …..

Some hours into the first night (bands were done, DJ was playing) the event got into some trouble with local authorities because of noise. Fact is: we couldn’t get more silent than ~80 decibel just because of the people themselves making this amount of noise purely by being there. Anyways, It was on us to turn the music down. This ended in the situation that we needed the Master-Out on a headphone in order to -literally- hear anything from the music.

The second night we caught a glimpse of the music because the DJ turned his monitor speaker up enough so we could hear him through the tent. Foh seemed to be a good place to catch some … sleep. Cool thing: Nevertheless people stayed there until the end at 3’o clock in the morning. I was told there were ~3500 patrons every night.

Growing chaos at the second day.

Oh and by the way…..this is a f*cking NON SMOKING TENT….damnit

Revenge of a non-smoker

I learned from past events that it is important to NOT drink all the energy drinks that are available but only so many you really need to. Last time it took my body 5 days to  come back to normal digestion…intervals….

This is the event ground at the dawn after the last day. the event left its marks.

This is me going to bed after dawn after the last day after taking down the complete stage. Being all comfy and stuff. I guess the event also left its marks on me.

I am writing this right now so probably I’m not dead by Terrassenfest.