2021 - A new beginning
- 2020 Goals recap
- 2020 overall recap
- First schickmalzwo session since 6 months
- #anydayshaders with ISF Editor
- schickmalzwo & Mc Proper on Twitch
- Audio Reactive Shaders
- Spending time in Hamburg: Improving health + music skills
2020 Goals recap
I can’t believe that 2020 was what it was when I started to write the things I want to accomplish. As it turned out, the title “Get my shit together” (2020) was very accurate, even more than I would have imagined. Who am I kidding, it was fucking beyond my own universe. But let’s see the results of my 2020 goals:
In December 2020 I had the first interaction with a Psychologist, which was a huge step for me. I’m waiting for the first “get to know each other” session, but my hopes are low to actually get a therapy based on this, as the waiting list is very long. But as I started, will continue.
- A few months in 2020 of not eating meat, but then I started again to eat meat regularly. Most of the time I ate local meat from a butcher in a very high quality, but I also had times where I ate fast-food-quality meat. This will change this year for sure
- I reduced the consumption of alcohol to a super minimum, this can be even more improved
- Until July I was still smoking weed regularly, but I stopped since 02. July 2020
- I still ate a lot of white sugar, mostly sweets. This is something I’m in the process of stopping since 23rd of January 2021
- I smoked almost no tobacco, but the few times I did where not worth it at all. I just need to stop doing this 100%
- I did two yoga positions almost every day, but I never got really into it to get “further”. My lower back is still not 100% pain free
- Meditation was something I didn’t integrate at all. I’m actually not sure why, I guess I’m just too lazy
- I tried to use some memory techniques to exercise my brain, but didn’t start to walk this path
- I slept a lot more, even when there were a lot of nights without a good quality of sleep, but those were related to my daughter sleeping next to me and she was not sleeping very well until late of 2020. Then I tried CBD to calm her down at night and this was improving my sleep drastically as she is sleeping super well
We were not really able to do any family vacation. First reason is that FaPi and I are not in a romantic relationship anymore, which shifted our focus a lot. And the other reason was Covid-19, which forced us to cancel all vacation plans. We spend a lot of time together in the house and in our garden, but it was no vacation where we actually where at a different place. But that was not a bad thing at all.
Get in contact with my family
I couldn’t manage this at all. I want to try this again this year. Get in contact with my aunt and grandmother. More contact with my parents. Any kind of contact with my brother.
The only thing I wrote was the list of goals for 2020, nothing more. This will stop with this new format.
Sell 10 Konekti subscriptions
We were not ableo to sell 10 Konekti subscriptions, but we were able to set the right direction for Synoa and for our product Konekti. I stronlgy believe that 2021 will be our year.
Read 1 x book
Instead of finishing the book “Neuromancer by William Gibson” in time (I didn’t even finish 1/3 of the book), I spend most my vacation to play the game “Cyberpunk 2077”. The book is awesome, I just didn’t invest time to actually finish it. Instead I was playing a lot of “Heros of the Storm” on my computer, even after I stopped smoking weed. This will also change this year. I want to finish the book.
Write 1 x song
I wasn’t able to create a song in 2020, I only started to look into rust-loop-drop almost exactly 1 year after I wrote “How to get started?”. But this year I will create at least one song that I enjoy, it might not be with rust-loop-drop.
Explore Machine Learning
I attended one workshop at CODAME “Make Art with Machine Learning” in which I learned some basics on the topic, but I didn’t dive deeper. I also bought the book “Practical Machine Learning in JavasSript” and I want to read it this year to get more into the topic.
First steps with a robot
Didn’t use my robots, will use them once my children are more chill with things. I guess then this will be super fun.
Use modV 3.0
In December 2020 I was able to finally switch to modV 3.0 (every other gig in 2020 was still using modV 2.0). But this was last minute, as only the very last gig (the New Years Eve Party together with 2xAA) was using modV 3.0. But I made it and I’m very happy.
Sam Wray and myself also made it a habbit to have a fixed modV pair-programming session every tuesday evening, to further improve and build modV. My dedication for modV is more strong than ever and I want to invest a lot of time to make it as perfect as it can be.
Become a better VJ
- I did a few sessions with Jan Krutisch via YouTube and this was always super fun as we had a different topic each time. This was forcing me to take a look at new visuals with each gig and improve my modV set all the time. Having a regular session was also improving my connection to Jan’s music and I have now a pretty good idea on how he is playing and what I need to do in order to make it look good from a visual point of view. I’m very happy about this
- In the first months of 2020 we had some gigs together with schickmalzwo and a lot of gigs planned for LiveJS, but due to Covid-19 everything was cancelled. All the other gigs I had were some kind of live streams and one secret festival in the summer (where I did visuals and lights) + secret birthday bash
- I did a few workshops related to shader programming and because of the collaboration with Jan Krutisch, Sam Wray, Stone Creek Crew & Banana Bass Music I forced my self to create new content based on shaders from Lea Rosema and stuff from Shadertoy. By the end of 2020 I had a very good understanding on how the GLSL code works and which parts I need to change to make it parameterized to be used in modV
- I also started to create a few shaders myself (most of them are private :D)
Run the “Visual and Light Workshop” at least 2 times
Thanks to Covid-19 all our plans to do the workshop in combination with gigs with LiveJS were doomed. The last possibility Sam Wray and myself had was to do a workshop for CODAME’s JOYNT Festival 2020. We had the honor to be selected for the festival and created a workshop dedicated to modV 3. The workshop was super cool, about 15 people came. We had a major problem during the workshop (some users were not able to use audio-routing inside of modV because of permission problems in macOS). We were not able to fix this during the workshop, but the next day we found the problem (permissions in Electron). But overall the workshop was super nice and we loved doing it.
So yeah that’s it for the recap, I’m not sure if I should create a list of goals for this year? But let’s see what my next log entry will bring…
2020 overall recap
Besides the goals of 2020 I had a major “theme” (if you want to call it like this: “Get my shit together”. I had no idea HOW hard this kicked in, but here comes a short summary:
- Late April 2020 I received the diagnosis that my 3 year old daughter NiPi has a rare DNA mutation called STXBP1 (If you want to know more you can listen to “half/byte & NERDDISCO - STXBP1”)
- 2020-07-02: I stopped smoking weed
- 2020-07-28: The romantic relationship with FaPi (the woman I’m married too, with whom I have 2 kids and a house) ended. At first this was hard and I had support by very close friends (most thanks goes to my crew in Mainz for helping me super much!!!) to overcome my initial sadness and to see the good parts
The end of my romantic relationships means multiple things:
- I still live together with FaPi and my children in our house. We just work together as a team (as we did before anyway) and are a family
- We are not having any romantic things between us anymore (this was reduced to a super minimum anyway as we both have very different needs that the other person can’t fulfill)
- FaPi has a new partner already (as we lived in an open relationship for 5 years) which was hard for me to adapt to for two reasons
- Experiencing FaPi with her new partner in the day to day life (this was resolved very quickly, the hardest part was to overcome the nicknames I had for FaPi which are exclusive for a romantic relationship)
- I saw my role as a father in danger (this is resolved now as I’m writing)
- I was finally able to openly think and talk about my deep love for AnFe (the relationship with her ended in December 2016, but was the most deep romantic relationship I ever had with anyone). It was very hard for me to move these feelings away in all these years, but then I could finally let them be
- I could also talk with everyone around me about the open relationship + AnFe. This was especially needed to fix parts of the relationship with my parents, as I realized that big parts of the problems we had in the last couple of years were because I wasn’t honest about my feelings
After all of this I tried to get more contact with AnFe, which was not successful at all. This made me super sad as first (as I’m still in love with her), but in came to another conclusion when I played Cyberpunk 2077 for 2 weeks by the end of 2020: In 2016 I made the decision to not fight for our relationship. The consenquence is that AnFe is in a new relationship and I can’t enforce that this can change. There is no save game I can load to alter my decision.
So today I’m happy that she is happy in her relationship. I have accepted that we will not have contact as close as we had it when we were in a romantic relationship. I will not limit myself into beliving that at some point in time we could be in a romantic relationship again. I will live my life and do the things that I love.
First schickmalzwo session since 6 months
Last year we were not able to setup any online version of our schickmalzwo sessions, as we were lacking any audio streaming server. On 2021-02-05 I finally managed to sit down and create such a server for us, so that we can practise again. Here are the details:
- Cloud-Server from Hetzner (2 vCPU, 4 GB RAM, Ubuntu)
- Icecast 2.4.4 as the audio streaming server
- Butt as the audio client
- VB-Cable as a virtual audio interface to route the audio from Traktor to Butt
In the end it took us 1,5 h to set everything up, so around 22:30 on 2021-02-06 we had a 1 hour session. This was super nice and we can use this setup in the future. Hopefully next time with live streaming on twitch.tv/NERDDISCO.
#anydayshaders with ISF Editor
Last year I stared to write some shaders on shadertoy and then copied them over to editor.isf.video in order to parameterize them, but this year I will create all my shaders in the ISF Editor from the start. As I have no idea about the community on isf.video, I also want to share my shaders using #anydayshaders (thanks to ilityha for creating this ❤️), so my process will look something like this:
- Create the ISF shader in the ISF Editor
- Copy the ISF code into modV
- Put the output window of modV at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 on a second screen
- Use OBS on the other screen and record the full resolution with a length of 59 seconds
Inspired by ilithya & Eliza after watching their curisouslyminded session 3 I wanted to use
mod in GLSL to create some kind of grid in combination with noise. My resulting #anydayshaders is called RainbowGridWave and you can change all its parameters using the ISF Editor: https://editor.isf.video/shaders/602831b6df59c70014cdc55f
I would like to get the same effect as you see in the first column, but on the whole screen. So I think my next shader will be using these parameters as a starting point.
schickmalzwo & Mc Proper on Twitch
Exactly one year ago schickmalzwo hosted the dnb floor of an art event called Hybris, which took place in the old building (altes Jobcenter, Rodelberg) of Peng in Mainz, Germany. We had a massive line up and the party was amazing. Then Covid-19 kicked in and we had to cancel all further parties in Peng and in general.
In order to think about this awesome party and show everyone that the lockdown is already ongoing for one year, we wanted to have another dnb party close to this date. This is why schickmalzwo had a live stream yesterday night from 9 pm until 11 pm in collaboration with Mc Proper. As the lockdown is still ongoing, we had to come up with a setup to make all of this work.
The base setup (as we already tested this with the last schickmalzwo-session):
- Cloud-Server from Hetzner (2 vCPU, 4 GB RAM, Ubuntu)
- Icecast 2.4.4 as the audio streaming server
- Butt as the audio client
- VB-Cable as a virtual audio interface to route the audio from Traktor to Butt
The difference now is that we also had to include Mc Proper:
- PaTa was streaming the DJ set from his location to the Icecast-Server using butt into the schickmalzwo mount point
- Mc Proper was consuming the audio-stream from schickmalzwo using VLC, added his microphone to the mix using Native Instruments Audio 8 + VoiceMeter and then was streaming to the Icecast-Server using butt into the mcproper mount point
- I was consuming the audio-stream from mcproper using WinAmp (enhanced with the plugin LoudMax)
With this basic setup, we were able to get the music in sync with the Mc and then with the visuals as the final result was streamed from my computer to twitch.tv/schickmalzwo. My desktop looked like this in the end:
- modV was used to generate the visuals. I found a super nice open-source visuals pack a few days ago and added a few of those to my set
- We have a video of the gig from last year and in order to get this into modV, we have to use NDI. This is because there is no other way in modV right now to add videos
- The way this works is that you need a NDI-source (in this case VLC + NDI VLC Plugin) that can play the video
- The NDI-source can then be used in modV as a source with the
- When you get the NDI connection between VLC and modV working, you can start the video in VLC and then see it in modV
- luminave was used to have a visual representation of the Novation LaunchPad mk2 that I’m using to compose the different visual modules from modV with each other
- The audio was coming in from the mcproper mount point using WinAmp and the signal was enhanved using LoudMax to have a certain strengh
- In order to have the audio from WinAmp in modV, I used VB-Cable
- The output window of modV was in full-size on another screen and OBS was used to stream this output to twitch
- Inside of OBS I made sure to reduce the output-volume of the audio source, to not destroy the audio
And in order to communicate with the team, I also had Signal and Telegram open all the time. On another computer I had the stream open to also interact with the crowd.
The gig itself was super awesome, we only had some connectivity-problems between Mc Proper and the audio-server after about 1h. This resolved itself at some point, but I need to investigate why this was the case. I saw that butt was constantly loosing the connection to the Icecast-server. PaTa was not losing his connection, so I think this is not related to the server itself, but some local stuff from Mc Proper.
I was able to see this as I had a TeamViewer session open to Mc Proper’s pc, but when the problems came I closed the connection. Maybe this was related?
Anyway, what we did was awesome and I really want to do it again.
The final video is not released yet ;)
Audio Reactive Shaders
While running on Sunday I had the idea to write a new talk related to the stuff that I learned in the last 6 months: Audio reactive visualsations using shader.
- What are the basics of creating a shader in GLSL (WebGL Shader Language) and how to run it in the browser?
- I learned the basic from “Char Stiles” Shaders workshop at CODAME
- The Book of Shaders
- Starting with Shaders
- There are different online enviroments to work on shaders (shadertoy, glslsandbox, Observable)
- How to use ISF (Interactive Shader Format) to parameterize a shader and to be able to use it in other software?
- Combine audio with ISF to create an audio reactive shader?
- Get inspiration
- Lea Rosema
- Sol Sarratea
- Char Stiles
- ISF Editor
- GLSL Sandbox
- Open Source ISF resources
By using GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) we can create shaders in the browser that are executed directly on the GPU, which gives us the power to create high quality visualisations. In this talk we will cover the basics of shader programming and explore the different online communities (Shadertoy, isf.video, CodePen, Observable) around them to create our own shader. We then make use of ISF (Interactive Shader Format) to parameterize our shader and to be able to change it’s values without changing it’s code. The ISF shader can then be used in an Electron-based visualization environment to turn it’s parameters into audio reactive awesomeness. Wouldn’t it be nice to also have some live music served with the shader in the end? Lets find out.
Spending time in Hamburg: Improving health + music skills
Because of Covid-19 my social interaction with other people is very limited. I usually spend time only with my family as they live in the same house as I. In order to meet other people, they have to be strict in terms of contact with other people, as I otherwise fear to get infected.
One of these persons is my friend GrAd and I had the pleasure to visit him two times already:
- 2021-01-22 - 2021-01-25
- 2021-02-26 - 2021-03-01
I take vacation days for both Friday and Monday, as then the 540 km drive by car to Hamburg can be done easily and without any traffic jams.
When I’m with GrAd I always have a super awesome time because of various reasons:
- I consider his flat as one of my happy + save places where I can forget the outside world completely
- We have intense conversations about anything and I always get out of them with way more knowledge than before (for example the last time we talked about how Covid-19 has potentially spread from a bat to a dog to a human as in theory the bat can’t infect a human directly, the virus needs another living creature as a gate first)
- I can sleep in a Hammock which gives me very deep sleeps and takes the tension off my back
Besides these there are also two other reasons that I want to dig deeper into: Health and Music.
In order to keep fit, even when not leaving the flat because of Covid-19, GrAd has created fitness plan that can be executed alone. It consits of a simple warm-up and two workouts (full-body & abdominals + lower back muscles) for different parts of the body. Each workout takes roughly 14:05 minutes and consists of 7 different rounds (with a different exercise each round), which are repeated 3 times (= 3 cyrcles). Each round takes 20 seconds where I do as many of the exercise as I can. Between each round there are 10 seconds of rest and after a full cyrcle another 2 minutes.
When I’m done with this I also try (if the time is fine and I have enough energy), to do as many push-ups as possible in 2 mintues. This is already getting better (increased the amount from 25 to 40 in 2 months), but was very hard in the beginning as I was doing this wrong my whole life. GrAd showed me the real deal and it works out pretty good.
In the best case I would do such a workout 3 times a day (morning, noon, evening), but in practise I usually can do this once a day. It feels super awesome, I already see and feel the result after doing this for 2 months.
What I also adapted from GrAd is to reduce the consumption of white sugar to (almost) zero. (This was one of my goals last year anyway, but now I’m seeing more clearly how this is connected to my health and weight). I love it, I have even more energy now that I don’t consume sugar AND my teeth are in a better shape then ever before.
The last thing I adapted from GrAd is intermittent fasting, where you only eat in a specific time frame (for me it’s 8 hours) and don’t eat or drink (only water) anything. At first I was shocked about this, as I was used to eat at least 3 times a day. After a few days the feeling in the morning to eat something was gone, as in the end it was just a feeling and I was not really hungry. This has a huge impact on my weight (I already reduced it by 5 kg) and on my overall energy level. I can do more, my head is working way better and in combination with “no sugar” I have more power than ever before. From Monday to Friday I start the day with a tea (even when this is “not allowed”, but I’m not strict with the starter-drink, as this gives me enough power in the morning to actually wake up) and the first meal is lunch at 12:00 am. Then I can eat until 08:00 pm. On the weekend I start with a breakfast at between 8 and 10 am and stop eating between 4 and 6 pm.
When there is something special happening (like a party or something), then these rules don’t have to be applied, as I still want to have fun. But overall it makes sense to follow along.
A long time ago (when I was at the age of 10) I started to play drums for a few years. I stopped when I started to study information science, I even sold my drums. A few years later I got an e-drum, but my dream always was to actually create my own music, not just play one instrument.
When doing shows as LiveJS we always do lights, visuals and music. One of our musicians is DESTROY WITH SCIENCE and he is using a lot of different synths in combination with rust-loop-drop (a software to control the synths without a GUI). Using synths and some custom software sounded like a good idea to me, so I started to buy some synths in 2020. By the start of this year I finally managed to actually use them in combination with loop drop together with GrAd. And it was a big pain to get anything working :D
It literally took us 2 days to get a basic setup running where everything was in sync with the MIDI clock (provided by RK-006), but in the end we were able to create some music.
Another big PLUS about this was that GrAd is already very experience in producing music, as he did this as a hobby a few years ago. So he could provide me with some basic knowledge:
- Get every synth in tune using an app on my mobile device (I’m using
- Find a base pattern for the drums, build on top of that
- Always create something new, don’t look back
- Difference between lead (main melody of a song) & bass (not the drums, but a melody that is supporting the lead)
After coming back from the first session with GrAd I created this at home: