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Controlling Quartz Composer Parameters with VDMX

Almost any Quartz Composer patch parameter can be controlled in real time by VDMX data sources (waveforms, oscillators, step sequencers, audio analysis bands, buttons, sliders, etc). VDMX has a single fundamental requirement for such compositions, that is each input has to be published in the parent view of the document using an Input Splitter.

Let’s assume that you want to control the diameter of a sphere using VDMX.

  1. Right-click the Sphere patch and select “Published Inputs” -> “Diameter”. Give it a name of your liking. This will highlight the small circle next to the “Diameter” input of the patch. It means the input has been published. VDMX required the following additional step.
  2. Right-click the Sphere patch and select “Insert Input Splitter” and select the (already published and named) diameter input. This will create an Input Splitter with the name you originally gave to your diameter input.
  3. Load VDMX and put the composition into the media bin.
  4. Hold shift and then select (click) the composition in the media bin.
  5. Now look at the Media Inspector window in VDMX. You will find the diameter input available as a slider.
  6. Right click the slider controller and go to “Use this Data Source:” and choose the data source you prefer.
  7. Click apply.

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Tutorial: Basic Audio Visualizer with Quartz Composer


This tutorial will help you set the foundation patches needed to create audio reactive visualizations with Quartz Composer in Leopard. The visualizations can be used with iTunes or any other software conforming to Apple’s Music Visualization Protocol. If you prefer to use audio input from the system mic or line-in, you will need make changes as said at the end of this tutorial. This is necessary if you want the effects to be mixed using a VJ software. The popular VJ software VDMX however offers a simpler way to do this - which is the Audio Analysis plugin found in VDMX being used to maniplate Quartz Composer parameters. You can also download the tutorial project from the link at the bottom. Please note that this composition does not create much eye candy by itself - it is just a base which can be used with various other rendering patches in Quartz Composer.

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