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Non-Linear Audio-Visual Composition in Ableton Live

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

Written by Ernesto J. Green Rután on 2nd November 2015 (Revised on11th November 2018).

In 2015, during the second year of my BSc (Honours) Music Technology degree, I was introduced to the production of an audio-visual composition using Ableton Live 9 Suite and VIZZable modular plugins.

Firstly, elements (diegetic sound, SFX, drums and melodies) were loaded, played, recorded and programmed on midi/audio tracks respectively in Session View. Vizzable folder was added in PLACES, its VIEWR/4mixr and clipPlayr plugins were loaded on midi and audio tracks correspondingly. Once video clips were set on clipPlayr (audio tracks) and assigned to 4mixr channels (midi_Output track), the audio/video plugin parameters were mapped to the controller device for manipulation during performance.

The duration of the performance was meant to be short and effective demonstrating the integration of visual elements with audio in a non-linear performance using Ableton Live 9 Suite. VIZZable is an open-source suit of video-processing plugins developed/ maintained (in Max For Live) by Bob Jarvis—a competent audio-visual artist based in Australia. VIZZable is an effective tool for audio-visual live performance, installation, or interactive applications.

During the preparation and execution of the practical assignment, synchronising audio with visual elements—applying an abstract and non linear approach —provided me with a relevant artistic/technical insight into AV production in a live scenario.

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