Interactive Tracks are interactive audio-visual compositions (iOS apps) with integrated creative functions to remix and personalize them. Tips and instructions, integrated in the track, help the user during this process. The resulting personalized track can easily be shared on social media. This is a new way for artists to promote their work. I used this project to convert the prototype software of my audio-visual instrument SenSei into release-worthy software for what is now EboSuite.

Interactive Tracks are a new way for artists and brands to promote their work. It activates their audience to spread their work and message on social media. The audience becomes artist/brand ambassadors.

This project is also used to develop my audio-visual instrument EboSuite and has a strong relationship to Senna and my live video sampling shows.

Relation to EboSuite

In 2011 it was time to take things to the next level. The main purpose of starting EboStudio was to create the ideal audio-visual instrument, and to make that instrument available for everybody. During the development of SenSei it became clear that the time was ripe to turn this prototype into a release-worthy product (that is now EboSuite). To do this, we had to re-write all the prototype software (written in Max) into rock-solid code (like C++ etc.).

But building rock-solid, releasable software is a slow process, executable only by a talented, skilled development team. The EboStudio team is very talented, but had to learn new programming languages and needed a lot of time to focus on this new challenge.

So that was going to be a big investment. I had to find a way to finance this step. It was clear that it probably would take years for this investment to start paying back. That is one of the reasons I started the Interactive Tracks project.

Concept

Interactive Tracks are a new way for artists and brands to activate their audience to promote their work/message. Social media is the main platform nowadays for artists and brands to reach their audience and video plays a key role in this process. A well designed Interactive Track will motivate users to personalize the track and share it with their social network, thus spreading the brand/artist’s work and message. Users of the app become ‘brand ambassadors’.

I developed many concepts to show how Interactive Tracks can be used in branding/activation campaigns and presented them to brand managers and creative agencies. Like fashion brands, tourist agencies, toy stores, music festivals, museums, banks, food and beverage companies, an indoor skating parc and many more.

Producing different Interactive Tracks enabled us to step-by-step, app-by-app, translate the SenSei concepts into releasable software and grow towards a complex audio-visual instrument that is now EboSuite.

Jilly Bean

In October 2013 we finished our first Interactive Track. A prototype, based on the SenSei / Augmented Stage track ‘Jilly Bean‘.

SelfideoClip

We launched our first Interactive Track, called ‘SelfideoClip’, in June 2014. For SelfideoClip we worked together with department store V&D, creative agency Natwerk and Dutch hip hop artist Kraantje Pappie to promote his new single ‘Droom’ and V&D’s line of school supplies for the new school season.

In the SelfideoClip app Kraantje Pappie asks the user to make three sounds in the camera. A bassdrum sound, a snaredrum sound an tell their name. Immediately after these recording are made the app creates a personalized visual music track with these recordings, easily sharable on social media.

Since the core concepts of SenSei and Interactive Tracks are the same,  I used SenSei to design the iTracks compositions. We added an exporter to SenSei to export the templates directly from SenSei and Ableton to the app. An interesting new way of publishing SenSei tracks. The video below shows how SenSei and Ableton Live were used to design the app.

The app randomly creates one out of three template tracks.

After sharing, the app creates a 10% discount coupon for all purchases at the V&D school campus. In the summer of 2014 over 26.000 apps were downloaded and over 175.000 SefideoClips were made.

For the official music video of Kraantje Pappie’s single ‘Droom’ many SelfideoClips were combined into one giant collage.

I did an Augmented Stage performance to launch the SelfideoClip app in a V&D department store. During the summer of 2014 in all V&D department stores kids could play with the SelfideoClip app on an iPad. Watch the videos below for more information about SelfideoClip.

Fame Game

For the ING bank we developed ‘Shake up your skill!’ together with creative agency FONK mobile. With this Interactive Track childeren learned how to make responsible financial decisions and the app allowed kids to shine in their very own videoclip.

The ING Fame Game app helped kids (10-15 years) to develop their talents in an inspiring and easy way while teaching them how to deal with financial issues. During challenging assignments they used a Smartphone to film their chosen skill (such as football, skateboarding or dance) and were confronted with related financial dilemmas. Solving these dilemmas earned them credits that they could use to buy visual effects for their video clips. A challenging and fun way to create cool video mashups to share with friends via YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

To reach a broader audience, not just users of the latest iPhone models, but also Android users and people with older iPhones, we moved the Interactive Tracks technology to an internet server (into ’the cloud’) in late 2014. For the latest iPhone and iPad models we made a real-time version of the Interactive Tracks app in 2015 (like the 2013 prototype!).

In the cloud

To reach a broader audience with the Interactive Tracks concept we moved the Interactive Tracks technology to an internet server (in ’the cloud’). All heavy AV mixing happened ‘in the cloud’ and only simple tasks happened on the phone. This way, Android users and people with older iPhones could use it as well. This was important to gain more interest from potential clients (artists, brands, creative agencies). The end goal of the Interactive Tracks project was to use the software developed in this project for the development of EboSuite. Moving from iPhone to a server in the cloud was an interesting step towards that goal.

Kom in Actie

The first Interactive Track that operated ‘in the cloud’ was the ‘Kom in Actie’ app for Dutch national radio station 3FM. This Interactive Track was made for ‘Serious Request‘, 3FM’s annual public fundraising event to collect money for Red Cross initiatives.

Anybody could set up a fundraiser project on the Serious Request website. With our ‘Kom In Actie’ app participants were able to create a promotional video together with their favorite 3FM radio DJ to promote their project on social media. After following three simple instructions the personalized video was created within seconds.

Because the technical heart operated in the cloud, the app on the mobile phone was pretty simple and light, and therefore available for almost all Android and iPhone users. Over 12.000 apps were downloaded during the event to promote 5000 fundraiser projects. This way the Serious Request project raised over 12.000.000 euro for female war victims. For this Interactive Track we worked together creative agency CZAR Digital.

Jingle Gel

Another Interactive Track that operated ‘in the cloud’ was ‘Jingle Gel’. For this Interactive Track we worked together with ASICS, MC Extince, producer FS Green and creative agency Natwerk to promote ASICS’ new line of sneakers.

With this Interactive Track anybody could make a Christmas Jingle to share with friends and family. After two simple recordings, directed by Santa Claus himself, the app created a funny video starring the user, Santa, Yetis and Reindeers. This personalized video could easily be shared on Facebook and Instagram or sent by email.

After sharing the video the app created a discount coupon with a unique code that gave a 15% discount on all ASICS sneakers. The app was released in 9 different countries and used to create 50.000 Jingle Gels during christmas time.