I’ve been in the industry for a few years. I’m no famous producer, DJ or VJ. Just your average Motion Graphics designer, Projection Screen Visualist and Music Producer/DJ. So I am no expert, but do know my way around the scene.
I remember reading about a topic on Resolume’s forum a few years back. The forum topic was titled; AKAI APC40 mk2 – MIDI and Lights setup questions.
Here is a quote by Joris from Resolume that day.
“First of all, let me say that there certainly are a few things that can be improved in Resolume’s midi output and we have plans to do so in the future.”
He then goes on to say,
“Having different color feedback on the leds is great, and like I said, it’s coming. We don’t think the lack of color feedback stands in the way of getting creative with real-time video and making great stuff. And making that more fun and easier is where we are focusing our efforts at the moment.”
Boys and girls, Joris wasn’t lying! The new Resolume Arena 6 is here! It’s fucking here! Resolume Arena 6 is still in beta, so you will need to already have v5 installed, or you can buy Resolume Arena 5 and get version 6 free! You can think of Resolume like the “Ableton of VJing” a tool that lets you trigger visuals rather than musical patterns.
Resolume is available in two editions: Avenue and Arena, the former is more for the solo visual artists and independent VJs, the latter is more for the big boy production studios. I could speak about where that line is technically, but frankly, with all live visual software, this boils down to the fact that a part of the user market has more money to spend because they make more money. That subsequently funds the development of the tools, so no complaints from me.
Without making Resolume hyper-modular, something like VDMX, the developers at Resolume have at least given us a lot more flexibility. Much more than Arena 5!
And it just got a huge upgrade. The rendering engine has been rewritten for 64 bit! What’s the big deal you may ask? Playback is significantly improved, and deck switching is lightning fast.
What sets Resolume apart is it’s idiosyncratic, horizontally layered interface. The new Resolume Arena 6 works in multiple layers. Now you can use as groups and employ them as masks. The scenes are vertical, and the clips are horizontal all while making a composition in layers. Persistent clips and locking clips make it harder to lose or accidentally trigger clips, respectively. You can also trigger previous and next columns, for scenes of clips. I will be creating a video of this feature in the near future.
Making animated envelopes is possible. The new editor has presets that allows for more sophisticated envelopes; this could make Resolume a stand-in for some motion graphics programs. Just for quick jobs in my opinion.
With the MIDI, OSC and DMX overhauled, it is so much easier to make controller mapping. The icing on the cake for me is Resolume gives you the ability to color code clips and your midi controller. A standard color palette, browser, and media manager for Ableton are included.
Out of all of the clip-oriented VJ software, Resolume is probably one of the easiest to use for people coming from Ableton Live, plus it can mix audio in addition to video.
Since you’re working with images, not sound, the horizontal layers make more sense for visual composition than Ableton’s endless vertically-oriented mixer tracks.
My assessment of Resolume Arena v6 is far from complete. I just scratched the surface of what the new Resolume Arena 6 has to offer; I just wanted to touch on the points that would be most relevant for users.
What are some of the cool features with the new Resolume Arena 6?
- Color coding decks, columns, rows and the APC40 MKII
- Live text input
- Shortcuts to setting up your midi controller
- Customize layer groups
- Media manager and much more
If you’re on the fence about upgrading to Resolume v6, jump down now!