Game Controllers + Hardware for Video Performance


The recent NAMM conference highlighted a whole bunch of various new midi controllers. Create Digital Motion covered some of the best stuff for visualists, but to be honest there was nothing too revelatory. On the other hand – the Nintendo Wii has been making waves with it’s gestural and motion responsive controller. Naturally, this has been adapted for other creative uses. Watch to see a performer waving it around to create various effects and glitches. Moving right along, Pikix is a VJ software aimed to be used on the handheld video game console GP2X( plays games, mp3, divX etc ). Nifty. As is this PSP controlling a VJ system video which demonstrates a VJ using PSP + wifi to connect with a computer and use buttons to control camera position in 3D, the triggering of movies and change speed, direction and visual scratching!

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  1. I am VERY excited about the GP2X stuff … I was going to run visuals for my show (version 3.1 due for release around May) off a GP2X and that looks perfect! Having not used any VJ tools myself, in your professional opinion how good is the GP2X app (the manual is on the site that you link too) in terms of ease of use being able to pull it off?

    or should one be sensible and use (an old) lappy?

  2. hiya casio~!
    not sure what’d it be like for VJing… imagine it’d need a bit of work to optimise…
    doesnt seem to have much memory… but it does seem like itd work great as a video playback device, that allowed easy triggering of a new clip everytime u started a new song or whatever…
    as best as i could gather from this anyway…
    does make it look like an attractive + portable VJ option tho : )
    and am sure it’d crunch lo-fi 8bit animations loops easy 4u

  3. Thanks Mr Poole.
    If I ever get a wad of cash I’ll blow it on one of those babies, and run a VIC20 emulator in it. heh.

  4. Oh, and for aussies the GPX2 is sold locally for $250, the video out cable is $18. The store is at

    they have a very good reputation. The Gpx2 also has a scalable video chip in it – so it is very suited to plugging into tellys and stadium rock video walls. A breakout development board for the gpx2 is $84, a chap somewhere on the net has been developing midi stuff for music with it, (though personally for handheld music the yamaha Qy series win, er, handsdown).

    A docking cradle will be released very soon for the gpx2, info is scant but looks like it is the perfect accessory for gigs, attach it to a mic stand and you can have your hands free for the G&T’s and ciggies.

    The GP2X is the most hackable system on the market, the cheapest and with a fascinating history. The processors are no where near as powerful as the PSP but look at the apps Mr Poole has listed above – the PSP is just a controller and the GPX2 is the WHOLE VJ system.

    Sony can go get nicked.

  5. For some time I’ve been using a generic USB gamepad as an interface/controller in audiovisual performance. Dual analog and everything. It cost $20. Everything else is done in Processing and Pure Data, which are of course free.

    I only mention this as, while new toys are shiny and seductive, I’m broke. There’s a lot to be said for making do.

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