In 2004 I produced SenS I with EboStudio. SenS I turns Logic Pro (popular music software) into an audio-visual instrument. The aim of my software is to create the ultimate audio-visual instrument that merges the creative processes of making music and making visuals into one, unified creative process. Ideal for audio-visual and visual music artists like me. SenS I was followed by SenS II in 2005.

SenS I was my first attempt to develop a full functional audio-visual instrument. It combines the skrtZz pen, the Frame Drummer Pro, the DVJ mixer and other AV instruments into one creative AV system.

Because hardware in 2004 was not powerful enough to play, mix, distort and skrtZz multiple videos and run Logic Pro at the same time, SenS I ran on serveral laptops controlled by a ‘master’ computer and/or up to three SenSorSuits. The master computer ran Logic Pro and communicated with the laptops through MIDI.

Main features

Flexible video playback. SenS I is a creative instrument, so expressiveness is important. Therefore all creative features work in real-time and are very flexible. For video playback we developed three very flexible video players to manipulate the timing and pitch of videos. Cutting, slicing, triggering, skrtZz-ing, scrubbing, stretching, pitching, speeding up/down can be done with MIDI controls and MIDI notes.

Audio-visual effects. Audio-visual effects, that manipulate visuals and sounds at the same time, play an important part in my art. For SenS I we developed a flexible system to combine custom build audio-visual effects to distort sounds/visuals or to create completely new audio-visuals.

Live video sampling. SenS I had the ability to make video recordings live and use them directly in the show. This was a successful concept that I expanded in the next generations of SenS.

Interactive sequencer. SenS I included a sequencer to play and mix MIDI loops and use MIDI filters to create new MIDI patterns live. Logic Pro didn’t have the option to play with MIDI patterns live (Ableton Live does, with Session View), so we had to add that for live improvisation.

SenSorSuit. I have been using a motion tracking suit for my performances since 1999. I completely rebuild my old SenSorSuit together with my father and Chris Heijens (Yens&Yens) for SenS I. SenS I supported three SenSorSuit inputs. Read more about the SenSorSuit 2.0 here.

Projects

SenS I is used for the Gedoe en Gedaan theatre show and the Group Composition project and for a performance at the Dutch Electronic Art Festival. SenS I was a great learning experience, but as an instrument it was too unstable and soon replaced by SenS II.

Overview

The Main window is used to access the main editors and functions.

The SenS I has three different video players: the basic AV player, the Granualar AV player and the AV skrtZz player. The basic AV player is a stripped down version of the Frame Drummer Pro. This video player is used for live video triggering.

The Granular AV player is used for real-time time stretching and temporal glitch effects.

The AV skrtZz player is used for live video skrtZz-ing and more creative temporal glitch effects. Combining the basic video player, granular player and skrtZz player creates many creative possibilities to play with the timing of video samples.

FX Editor is used to combine real-time audio and visual effects to design new sounds and visuals. This editor is also used to define what parameters of these audio-visual effect stacks can be controlled live by Logic Pro or another interface like the SenSorSuit. This Editor is the predecessor of AVblock and EboSuite’s eFX and eFX-ISF plug-ins.

The Interface Editor is used to map any parameter from SenS I to live controllers, like the SenSorSuit, a Drumkit, the skrtZz board, skrtZz pen or Logic Pro.

Just like the Frame Drummer Pro, SenS I was capable of recording video live and use these recordings in a performance directly. A great way to interact with the audience and create audio-visual compositions live. With SenS I it was pretty risky to use this feature, because it could easily lead to a computer crash, but SenS IV was optimized for this live video sampling concept, which became very successful in 2008.

The EboLyzer is used to analyse video files to gather information about the file that can be used to manipulate the sound and visuals automatically. This makes it easier to add videos to a composition and play with them or to use a live video recording in a performance.

The Control Editor is used to edit and store general settings, like video output and video mix settings. This is the predecessor of the Track Bank and Decor Builder of SenS III, SenS IV and SenSei.

SenS I’s sequencer is used to play and mix MIDI loops and use MIDI filters to create new MIDI patterns live (similar to Ableton Live’s Session View). In 2004 Logic Pro didn’t have the option to trigger and mix MIDI loops live.

Loopert is used to record MIDI loops live, like Ableton Live’s Session View.

This window shows the incoming data from the SenSorSuit to monitor the suit’s performance.

The Output Window Editor is used to control and set the output window.

History of SenS

SenS I has a long history, starting in the 1980’s and is the result of many experiments and prototypes, like the 1995 video sampler, SenSorSuit, Frame Drummer Pro, skrtZz pen and the DVJ mixer.

SenS I was followed up by SenS II, SenS IIISenS IV, Senna, SenSei, Interactive Tracks and DVJ Mixer 2.0.

The main purpose of starting EboStudio and the SenS project was to create the ideal audio-visual instrument, and to make that instrument available for everybody. This eventually led to the release of EboSuite in 2017.