Live Visuals in Processing with Midi & OSC
^ an example of some of the visuals I’ve been working on
I’ve been inspired lately by some videos I’ve watched of Making The Noise & Altitude Sickness explaining their live visual setups. Both of them use the popular visual programming package Processing which can accept both midi and open sound control (OSC) to control their visuals. So I decided to give making my own visuals a go.
The picture above contains screen shots of some of the visuals I’ve made. I wanted a visualisation that directly corresponded to buttons presses on the launchpad so I simply made a grid or squares that light up when they receive the right midi note-on messages. Some buttons also trigger colour changes or create fades which can change the whole look of the visualisation when a new sample is triggered.
I’ve also been using the LiveGrabber Max4Live devices to send volume data from Ableton Live to Processing via OSC. In the bottom-left screenshot, bass frequencies determine the x-axis position of a circle and line, and mid frequencies control the y-axis position of a circle and line. High frequencies control the colours of the circles and background.
In the bottom right screenshot I edited the incredible Schizzo sketch which draws random city scapes in real time, so that certain buttons presses can determine the starting point at which the first building is drawn as well as wiping the sketch clean and starting again.
The sketches I made at the top are purely another way of visualising what buttons I’m pressing during a song (useful in situations where all of the audience may not be able to see my launchpad). Whereas the bottom two examples are more about creating a piece of art on the fly via music. My thinking behind this is that when I start the piece there will be a blank canvas on the screen, but when I’m finished the song it will be a mini work of art that will be unique to the song that was just played.
^ computers kick ass
Deep Breath. Deep Breath.
I’m feeling slight effects of altitude sickness already - it’s like the shortness of breath after holding your breath for too long, coupled with a little bit of headache. I’m warned not to move or stand up too quickly, because the air is too thin of oxygen. In Lhasa, the altitude will be over 3500m and the air has 35% lower partial pressure than at sea level. Too fast an ascent into the the Tibetan plateau can lead to acute mountain sickness that can lead to death.
Tonight, I’m boarding a train on the new Qinghai-Tibet railway that was built five years ago and is one of the major engineering feats for China. It’s the world’s highest railroad, crossing the Tibetan Plateau and passing the Tangula Pass, at over 5000m in altitude. The train actually has oxygen outlets to provide passengers with an oxygen-enriched atmosphere to prevent oxygen sickness in the extreme environment. This train is quite a bit nicer than the one I took earlier - it’ll take some 24 hours through the Tibetan plateau before I arrive in Lhasa.
Soft-Sleeper cabins: 4-person private rooms
Tangula Pass - the highest railway station in the world at 5067m above sea level
Oxygen outlets to avoid altitude sickness
Day 1 in Cuzco--Sorojchi!
Cusco, ancient capital city of the great Incas, beautiful, quaint and historic. We flew in to Cuzco at 8 in the morning. Standing at 11,152 feet above sea level, I had been forewarned about altitude sickness and as a precaution and taken some altitude sickeness pills with me. Driving to our hotel up narrow cobblestone lanes, I could not understand what all the fuss was about. After some heated argument with the taxi driver about the correct fare, my fellow travellers and I grabbed our suitcases and began walking up the cobblestone steps to our hotel. Now, I consider myself to be in pretty decent cardiovascular shape, but after just a few steps I felt like I had been sprinting. I sat down in my hotel and slowly my head started to swoon.
A little wooziness was not going to stop me from exploring the city. We walked around the central Plaza de Armas taking pictures with pasted smiles on when in reality it felt like with each step we had a a ton of bricks on our backs. It may sound extreme, but there was so much pressure inside my head I felt like my brain was going to explode. I could not help but wonder why anyone would recommend this place to a traveller!
Sorojchi, or Soroche, is caused by low oxygen at high altitude. It hits you slowly, often with nausea, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Some are lucky enough to get by without feeling any symptoms, but for the unlucky few that do get Soroche, there are a few remedies.
1. Coca Tea
Mate de Coca is made with an infusion of the raw leaves fo the coca plant and hot water. It is served in the Andean region to alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness. Like green tea, it is tasteless and a refreshing. It provides a stimulant similar to coffee. My friends noted that it smells a little “fishy.” The tea is free at every hotel and hostel and it is easily available in all restaurants.
2. Altitude Sickness Medication
- Acetazolamide (NC.Diamox)
1 tablet every 12 hours, 24 hours before the trip.
Half a tablet every 12 hours until the third day in high elevations
1 tablet every 8 hours, in case of headache.
1 400 mg pill before the trip and in case of headaches that don’t lessen with Paracetamol, take one Ibuprofen every 12 hours after meals (it may produce stomach ache).
Altitude sickness pills can be prescribed in the U.S., but are available over the counter in any pharmacy in Peru.
3. R & R
Meds may have some effect on the severity of altitude sickness, but the best way to get over the symptoms is to take it easy the first day or so. Sip some coca tea, and sleep off the symptoms. Give yourself a day of rest and you will notice that you have acclimatized well, and are ready to take on the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or any other adventure thrown at you.
Mind about the altitude sickness! My experience... :(
Before even arriving to Peru I learnt something about the danger of having ALTITUDE SICKNESS. Studies have shown that not everyone gets it, but, unfortunately, there is no way to know if a person is a going to be affected. Only once you arrive to a high altitude city, you will know if your body will be get the sickness.
I knew that the possibilities of getting altitude disease increase as soon as you start going higher the sea level you get used to live at (usually, the symptoms can be first felt at about 7,000 feet), but I did not expect it really happened with me. The most effective and conventional method to eliminate the risks of getting altitude sicknessis the gradual acclimatization to the altitude. Unfortunately, our spending time in Cusco (prior to our visiting Machu Picchu) did not help me and… Once we came to Urubamba I already started feeling bad… It started from feeling nausea and some stomach ache that became worse when we arrived to Machu Picchu! In an hour after coming there I also felt really strong dizziness, nausea, everything turned white in my eyes and … I just sat down feeling like loosing consciousness…
There were people who had the same experience so I was helped… It is possible to reduce the risk of getting altitude sickness by chewing coca leaves…
...or eating coca candies and cookies…
and taking some over the counter medicine. I also was given an oxygen! Just three breathing in made me feel much better!
Nevertheless I felt better still I was too tired, really weak and cold (although it was warm)…
So I could not walk around Machu Picchu anymore and just stayed and waited on Clinton who did a quick exploring of Machu Picchu by himself.
In a hotel I still needed some oxygen. The symptoms of altitude sickness are caused by low atmospheric pressure conditions which occur at a high elevations, so breathing the oxygen is really helpful! That is why since then I just used it every day for preventing the same bad feeling.
Only a person who has experienced the same I did knows how hard it can knock you out! I wish you never feel the same! So mind please if you are going to the high altitude, make sure you know everything about the prevention of the altitude sickness!
Feel good and enjoy your traveling experiences! :)