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The secret to an international career

Discussion in 'The Future' started by Anyone, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Anyone

    Anyone New Member

    ...is focusing on content

    speaking from experience, with the current restrictions on air travel baggage
    and the airlines' constant mishandling of check-ins (i've lost luggage 4 times in 3 months)

    I say the only way forward is for an overwelming majority of VJs
    to all start working with exactly the same hardware and software
    or in the worst case, a choice between max 2 solutions.

    I'm not interested in hearing from peeps that disagree with this fact,
    I know there are many of you :poke:

    What I'd like this thread to focus on is to question
    what would be the hardware of choice for delivering your VJ performance abroad

    so we all can put the same thing on our rider,
    and share the world's clubs and festival together
    providing a consistent experience to punters
    between all of us
  2. Anyone

    Anyone New Member

    to kick things of, I'd like to know about lappies,
    would you like to be provided with a laptop
    so you could simply come to the club with an external hard drive?
  3. ToddGraft

    ToddGraft Megolamediac

    I totally agree:love:
    is anyone else new to all this

    Dell 1710 and 9100 are my weapons of choice - but surely the above scenario would be the completely wrong thing to have.
    Softs, plugins, and patches - one would want to utilise a system that you know at least works, and has the paremeters you know will deliver the content you have made.
    Actually I would rather have the promoter pay for excess baggage so I can deliver something that the punter does not consistently experience
  4. Liquidmetro

    Liquidmetro Positively Phototropic

    Personally I would always want to use my own laptop as I trust it not to let me down, I've optimised and configured it for live performance and setup the way I like it. If you are bringing an external HD, you would have a bag, so I'd take the laptop anyway.

    I would be happy to use a supplied MIDI controller, but it could take too long to set up as I like it, so I would probably also want to bring my own.

    Other than this hardware/software setup, I would be happy for the club to provide all other hardware such as dist amps, mixers, monitors etc.

    I use a mac, so would say MacBook Pro with 4GB ram. I guess this would mean the club would need mac and a PC until the mac can output to second monitor when booted in windows mode.....
  5. Bokonon

    Bokonon SonicSlice

    I think the concept is a good one, much like the DJ paradigm, you just provide media and skills and the venue provides the playback methods. The problem I can see, which you have clearly alluded to, is that there is already a diversification in playback methods and people become particularly attached to their method - and many people experiment with playback methods rather than coming in and using a standard set up.

    That said, I've used three different bits of VJ software, (Arkaos, resolume and Modul8) and managed to do my first gig with modul8 having not actually practiced with it at all, as I received my laptop on the friday, transfered all the media accross that evening, set up the computer went out with the kids during the day Saturday and did a gig Saturday evening - most VJ software has a lot of similar traits and concepts and its generally not hard to work it out - no more difficult than different types of CD players or mixers for DJ's I would say.

    I think there would need to be a couple of options available, much like the possibility to play vinyl or CD's - perhaps a DVJ set up and a laptop?

    Personally I'd personally prefer a Macbook pro with Modul8, but I'm not sure how standard this is - perhaps VDMX might have a larger userbase but personally I don't think i'd have any issues switching to VDMX or even resolume or arkaos or anything else to be honest.

    I think if there was any kind of trade association or agency that dealt with bookings etc then this would be easier to implement, because you would be an easy to book VJ who could just turn up with minimal set up time. Certainly within the publishing industry free lance proof readers etc. all have the versions of the software they use next to their names and the editors assistant go down the list picking out the ones with the appropriate version for the project.

    I can certainly see the argument from the other side - but as you say what is more important in this thread is what would the set up be if it were standardised? I've made a suggestion, but I don't know enough peoples methods in depth to make any kind of judgement.
  6. thomase

    thomase VJ Wunderkind

    Hmm I would always love to bring my laptop myself - just as DJs using laptops usually do. But thinking of the DJ paradigm: A V4 or two and preview monitors should be there as well as at least one DVD player (maybe even a dvj) which you could use either as a backup system or - in case of a dvj - to use as another source in the mix. With contollers, I don't think that's such a great a idea, this is like asking a guitarist to play with the guitar that's already there. While it's certainly possible, most people will prefer the instrument they're used to...
  7. deepvisual

    deepvisual visually challenged

    putting VJ kit on a rider is asking for trouble.
    buy yourself a Peli case, get direct flights with a regular airline, check in early and have an easy life.

    I always carry-on one master pyuta that can get through the whole show if everything else goes missing.
    the only thing the locals supply is a table, mains power and a BNC cable to their system.
  8. Motionreactor

    Motionreactor www.motionreactor.net

    This would suit some, but not everybody. Why no discussion of viability if I may ask?
  9. SilentEclipse

    SilentEclipse PH 5.9

    Hardware of choice would be

    V4 and/or MX 50

    a powerful computer that was cleansed and maintained on a regular basis....this is so improtant. it needednt be a lappy...and could be some kind of media server system..but i dont know much about them.

    Dual boot system for both mac and pc users, maybe a linux option too

    The software issue is a hard one...maybe just use a usb soution and boot ure soft from that.

    2 high spec'd dvd players

    a mini dv player

    Preview screen...I dunno which one..

    Take a look at the set up in the big chill house, its very close to being the perfect solution.
  10. deepvisual

    deepvisual visually challenged

    sending a rider means you have to assume the promoter can read/write and is well organised.

    the conversations you can expect will go along the lines of:
    .. we didn't have any DVJs but we have 2 CDJs instead...
    ....is VHS ok?
    etc etc.

    i once specced a 3 phase 16 amp supply and the local electrician turned up with a travel converter/adaptor for an electric razor.
  11. ToddGraft

    ToddGraft Megolamediac

    Riders ! or is it ryders
    you are not asking for trouble - if this is your BACKUP
    deal directly with the AV person yourself - no agency nor PAs, etc
    you will find that in most countries, the AV will have more than you would expect, saying that, the kit may well not be looked after well, but you get this in the UK anyway.
    Peli case - essential - 20kg limit should get you 1-V4, 2 midi controllers, monitor (4up datavideo-if you like using them), audio mixer and all your leads.
    Clothes - well you gotta make sure nothing can move in the box
    Laptops - you will get 2 standard size (even the 9100 and xps1710)) plus chargers and mouse in pocket through security so you know you can do the gig if all else fails.
    There are no secrets - just common sense -as Gary said it can be an easy life if you play it right.
    Make your content is king - but dont be a soft slave - why standardise - surely that's what makes this "industry" different to all the others.
  12. SilentEclipse

    SilentEclipse PH 5.9

    Deep (waves) my initial reponse to this thread was the same as yours...but then i thought that faced with the prospect of having my kit lost by an airline.. whats the best solution.

    It will be hard to standardise the VJ 'industry' and may even end up killing the scene...can u imagine everyone using the same thing...its like clip spotting at gigs.....yuck i hate that...and its not even vjing, just ..here are some clips wot i bought online, look at them..

    But big venues at least should try to understand VJs and cater for them...also to employ an old skool vj as a consultant/tech manager would be good too..

    We should just tell them that they need to change and be more proffesional with the vj set up, then if they dont listen and things fuck up then they only have themselves to blame for a bad show.

  13. USE

    USE Primal Visions

    i'd be up for coming to any club with a decent lappy and a v4 and a camera set up, i could just take a storage device, but the problems would be a) all the presets, effects that i use and B) my midi keyboard is kinda integral for me doing a top set. i would be able to perform, but i wouldnt be totally happy with it.

    i recon its about minimizing your kit instead. i mean, i can fit my lappy and midi keys plus cables into my backpack, which i can take onboard planes. so long as i dont pack anything i cant afford to lose into the hold-luggage, im all good. its only clothes and a toothbrush you stand to lose then!
  14. deepvisual

    deepvisual visually challenged

    hey jo..

    well, been in the same situation myself, but it sucks.
    if you are lucky you get paid, but you spend 3 days travelling to buttfuck nowhere and back for nothing -
    except maybe a big argument with someone who spoke perfect english until it all started to go wrong then somehow lost the ability.

    i think the real problem with this idea, is that VJ kit is too diverse and too expensive. most places will hold a V4, a few will have DVJs but almost no one will have hippotisers and CG8s.

    cables are heavy though, it could cut your check in weight by 20kgs to get them supplied locally.

    the final word on VJ riders?
    You gotta ask yourself this question..
    Are you feeling lucky today, Punk?

  15. cat

    cat Senior Moments

    My laptop always goes as carryon, anything else I can do without or source there if neccessary. Usually I find out if the venue will have mixers camera etc, and bring what they dont have and I need, usually they supply a mixer and cabling for cameras, so I bring the rest ( and my v4 aswell usually in checkin )
  16. ToddGraft

    ToddGraft Megolamediac

    Actually being professional is not letting anything fuckup -its your name up there, why leave it so someone else can make you look bad. its your neck on the line, look after it.
    Any promoter who fucks up will blame you in the end and hire the next VJ that comes along:sun:
  17. SilentEclipse

    SilentEclipse PH 5.9

    i know...its the sad truth..

    I was just trying to add a bit of positivity to the idea of standardisation....

  18. ASMD

    ASMD Steel City Visuals

    There are so many codecs and file formats that people use it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive software solution, so we're limited to providing media on DVDs. Trouble is, you then have a case of DVDs which take up all your hand luggage, just as backup. And would a club realistically be able to afford DVJs just for the VJ? You'd be lucky to get a pair of supermarket DVD players and a preview monitor, hardly conducive to a great performance. And that's before we get onto PAL/NTSC...

    I think clubs should really concentrate on providing:

    Good projectors with no dodgy cables
    A dedicated (and visible) VJ booth or space on stage

    As for standard hardware:
    Preview monitors
    DVD player
    Desktop (not a laptop) with Resolume and Arkaos, plus PIC Video MJPEG
  19. holly

    holly WetCircuit.com

    I spent a few minutes trying to work within Oli's idea..., but I just don't think I could....

    I mean, with a V4 and coupla DVJ, I could just bring a few books of content dvds, but reality I'd still end up bringing other stuff. I do the Pelican case thing. Had to by a second one recently. I know the summer festi scene is 1 backpack and the same pair of jeans for 3 weeks, but... ick. I couldn't work that way. Flew to Portugal and traveled "light" -- still meant a P-case and all the content on my macbook just in case....

    Working with someone else's laptop? That just doesn't seem practical/possible.

    I'd go with DeepV 100%, but acknowledge that Oli insisted that such opinions be squarshed without being heard.
  20. MrJustin

    MrJustin I've given money to VJForums

    I think it's asking for trouble using someone else's laptop... are you really going to sacrifice maybe 2 hours configuring someone elses laptop just so you dont have to bring along your own as hand luggage?

    A V4 is MUST and im sorry, but an mx50 is just not a good enough alternative if we're talking abut reliability.... at global gathering we'd been supplied with an mx50 which just wouldnt accept a signal from our scan convertor, and then locked onto one channel and we couldnt mix with it any more. Not good. And the company supplying the equip (no names mentioned) didnt have a spare, despite prviding the equipment for most (if not all) of the stages.

    Then, yeah.. a bnc to connect to their system, as deep said, a dvd player which can be relied upon to play home-burnt dvds (pal & ntsc), and a preview monitor.

    You can never get vjs to standardise their kit... it's just not gonna happen. just figure out what the common denominator is between everyone and make that the standard rider which needs to be supplied by the promoters.

    The equivalent for Djs is the same, really.. 2 technics 1210s/ pioneer 1000 cdj and an allen and heath mixer. if a dj wants to play using an 808 or a scratch mixer as well, they cant very well EXPEct it to be provided (actuall, maybe the scratch mixer).

    oyu wouldnt expect andy wetherall to suddently just stop using hardware in his sets just cos it was awkward to put it on a rider and he 'shouldnt have to' bring his own??

    That said, on the flipside i've heard of dj's turning up to clubs with a lappy etc on a rider, and simply arrived with a usb drive full of mp3s. the day this becomes the norm will be a very sad day for music indeed, and i think it's silly to start going down the same road ourselves.

  21. Anyone

    Anyone New Member

    I said from the start
    the interest here is the hope to one day not rely on hardware,
    yes like DJs more or less

    whoever said DJs all deliver the same experience
    because they all use the same hardware
    is missing a few screws

    no one blames the DJ if the sound system is bust

    now if everyone starts putting the same basic things on their ryder
    we will have more chances of getting it. FACT?

    This is now true of the V4, and more and more for DVJs

    Ideally this would be also good for media playback,
    lappies, deskies or hippies...?
  22. USE

    USE Primal Visions

    If there was an application which allowed you to save your vj-app settings and add-ons to one file which auto-configured the clubs software, using someone elses lappy wouldnt be an issue. i can fit a fair few clips on my usb stick, and i have done gigs with mates when all i've taken is that little 4GB "sword of 1000 truths".

    is there one/how hard would it be to make/ could we hassle the prog makers eg resolume to add it as a feature?

    it would be great to do that in future, i am not a fan of cars but its getting so i have to have a vehicle to lug my kit. if i didnt have to lug around a coupla grands worth of heavy kit, i could get the train and stroll to the club, it would take the stress out of gigging a lot for me. i hate looking after my kit in cities i dont know.
  23. deepvisual

    deepvisual visually challenged

    well no.
    you can only get it if it is available.

    what are the chances of one rental house in each major city of the world stocking up on a full system of VJ kit to service the tiny market of jet-set superstar VJs??

    its a nice idea and works well for a DVJ set, but as there is almost no uniformity in VJs ( beyond a cracked copy of resolume) I don't think you'll have much luck until one system dominates the market. ( like motiondive tokyo :roll: )
  24. famouswhendead

    famouswhendead VFX Generalist

    I would like that there is a mixer (v4 or similar) and preview screens and 2 sources like DVD's.

    - computer i'll take my self.
    Have a bag that is overhead size fits, 3 laptops, mixer and tfts.
    (brenthaven video backpack discontinued)

    I recently had a look at the udg producer bag, that might be an idea for you.
    It is carryon. Fits quite a bit of gear.
  25. Anyone

    Anyone New Member

    fits the size requirements, but not weight...

  26. deepvisual

    deepvisual visually challenged

    if you are having trouble with carry on weight allowance try this.

    take your carry on items out of the bag at check in, so it isn't overweight. if check in asks you about the extra items, tell them you are not taking them on the plane. someone else is taking them,
    gateside, buy a few duty free items, be sure to get a carrier bag.
    put the heavy carry on items in the duty free bags.
    save the bags for next time.
  27. holly

    holly WetCircuit.com

    I've never had my carry-on weighed. Only checked. Didn't know that could happen....
  28. famouswhendead

    famouswhendead VFX Generalist

    True about the weight.
    But there are some additional carryon addenda.
    Like you are allowed to have a laptop in addition to your carryon as well as a digital camera. This is made for tourists but hey it does work.
    There are some other rules like the addition of dutyfree purchases.
    Only place I have had hassle about weight is Heathrow, horrible.
    Schiphol is fine unless flying BA.
    But when I did have weight prob:
    I put cables and stuff in empty dutyfree bags on advice of one of the pursers.
  29. deepvisual

    deepvisual visually challenged

    some international carriers will weigh carry on.
    especially when the flight is full.
    the limit for virgin is 6kg, my carry on bag is 5.9kg empty..
  30. holly

    holly WetCircuit.com

    *stamps foot*
    But I'm skinnnnyyyyyy!

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