Late 1995, I created an audio-visual sampler with a classmate, Armin Dröge, by linking an Amiga computer to the S760 sampler through MIDI.
The Amiga was loaded with video samples (without sound), and the S760 was loaded with the audio of those samples. Sending a MIDI note to both machines with my Apple Macintosh (or a MIDI keyboard or drumkit) would trigger the Amiga and S760 at the same time. This way, the Amiga could play visual samples in sync while the S760 played audio samples. A MIDI controllable, live audio-visual sampler. Perfect for visual music production.
By keeping the video samples small (320×240 pixels, 16 shades of grey, 12 frames per second) and short (10-20 frames), the Amiga could load 15 or even up to 20 video samples in RAM. And because they were loaded in RAM, there was almost no latency (less than 50 milli-seconds) when triggering the samples.
Live jamming with a MIDI keyboard was no problem and while I was making a composition, triggering the video samples with my Mac, I was able to see what I was creating in real time! Composing with audio-visual samples was now possible. In a short time, I then created two compositions of particular importance to me: ‘GarbiTch’ and ‘NoMoClearanCe’ (see videos below). GarbiTch in particular was an instant hit during my live performances.
In the videos below I show the video sampler in 1996 and I do a performance for the NPS Cultural Award (which I won). In this performance I mix the samples and play a video sample saxophone solo live with a MIDI keyboard.
This video sampler is used for many live shows in 1995/1996. The video below shows a registration of GarbiTch live at Brixton Academy in London (I did a tour with The Prodigy through the UK, Germany and Benelux in 1996). In the summer of 1996 I produced a video sample interview with (the then up and coming) director Chris Cunningham.
Produced and developed by:
- Jeroen Hofs
- Armin Drøge