Andy of The M Machine talks visual tech for future live shows
The M Machine. Simply hearing the pseudonym for the San Francisco trio brings a few prominent images to mind: captivating electronic synth and bass melodies, a common theme of their love of high-tech throughout the group’s music and imagery, and finally, the unmistakable illuminated “M” logo that looms behind the stage. As fans anxiously await previews of new music and projects, Andy of the The M Machine explains developments of the group’s complex and intricate live set up for future touring performances. Andy begins by delving into the birth of the original The M Machine idea, divulging that the group has always placed a strong emphasis on visuals, where the concept for the original LED light-up “M” wall was first established. He explains, “for every piece of audio that we triggered in our live show, I programmed a corresponding light sequence on the M. By syncing audio clips in Ableton with their corresponding light sequences we could showcase a perfect visual representation of every sound we performed.” After touring with Porter Robinson earlier this year and debuting the “M” creation, the trio began to feel limited by the light-up pixel wall and yearned for a fresh artistic way to represent The M Machine sound.
Here, Andy introduces The M Machine’s latest development. The ‘Virtual M’ is a 3D visual composition created by TouchDesigner that allows the group the ability to play with space and dimensions while still displaying eye-catching imagery and staying true to the ‘M.’ As a teaser for what’s to come from the trio, a video remix example of the ‘Virtual M’ playing in correspondence with “Tiny Anthem” displays the entrancing abilities of the group’s new visual tool.
“By automating clip speed, video effects, and masking in Ableton, I can create synchronized video mixes to expressively represent the audio in nearly limitless ways … creating a truly immersive visual experience that more perfectly represents our sound and approach to pushing the boundaries of creative technology as far as we can.”