Myself and Mike Hodgson are happy to announce that the RGB to Parameter Max for Live patch is now available for download as a public beta.
This device allows you to control parameters and trigger clips within Ableton Live by using the Red, Green, Blue and Average levels of either a video file you choose, or an external source such as your web camera.
The original concept was put forward to me by Mike Hodgson (Misled Convoy / Pitch Black / Dub Module) after needing something that can great generative audio based on a computer animation that went for a long time. I thought this would be a good oppertunity to take on a big first project to help me learn Max, as well as help others. Since then myself and Mike have been throwing ideas around and finally have something we consider good enough to release to the public.
So how does it work?
It's split into a few different sections moving from left to right.
The first section is where you can select your video source, and change a few things about how it is played.
First decide whether you want to use a video file from your computer, or an external source such as a web camera, external camera, or piped video from another application etc. by choosing your selection from the dropdown menu.
For external source, you can use the dropdown menu to select what sources are currently available to you. It should automatically pick up anything you have connected that is available, including your inbuilt web camera if you have one. You can turn the stream off and on with the "ON" check box.
For a video file on your computer, you can either click "Open Video File..." or drag and drop a video file on top of the playback area. From here you can:
- Start/stop the video
- Move back and forward in frames
- Set the video to loop
- Set video loop points,
- Set how fast you want the playback to be
- Set the volume level
- Have the video start when Ableton Live starts
- Have the video play full screen
- Have the video pop up in a window (showing Colour modifications - see below)
The next area allows you to modify color variables.
The levels indicate what is currently being outtputed after the colour modifcation has happened.
You can change the Saturation, Contrast and Brightness of the video letting you change the level signals dramatically. There is also Red, Green and Blue scaling and bias which lets you increase intensity and change one color to another.
The next section is allows you to boost any signal on a scaled level.
The slider will increase the dynamics of the level, letting you bring levels that aren't correct either up or down.
The button next to each level indicator is the mapping button. Click on this button, then click on any parameter in your Ableton Live project to assign the level seen in the meter to that parameter. You can browse outside of the current track the device is on and assign this to anywhere within the project. Click on the button again to assign it to something out.
My suggestion is to assign this level to a Multimap, the device that comes with Max for Live and Abeton 9 Suite. This way, you can assign this level to 10 parameters instead of just 1.
The next section is a simple graph section, purely to give a visual indicator of what's happening.
The final section is an area that allows you to trigger a specific clip slot if a level goes above a particular point.
First, you need to choose what clip slot is going to be triggered for each of Red, Green, Blue and Average. You can do this by choosing a track from the first drop down menu, then a clip slot from the second.
Next, move the slider on the level indicator to your desired point, then turn it on with the button to the right of the level indicator. When the level goes over the black line, the selected clip slot will be triggerd.
Finally, have lots of fun and please tell us over in this forum post if you do something really cool with it, or have any suggestions/problems.