Sndviz

A simple, modular audio visualisation toolkit.

What it does
Sndviz analyzes an audio device, file or CHOP input into various TOP textures, or 'modules'. Each module consists of 4 discreet data channels (RGBA): high values in red, mids in green, lows in blue, and auxilary data in alpha. These modules can be used for 3d geometry instancing, 2d texturing and other real time audio visualisation use cases where numerous tox files reference the same audio stream.

Setup
  1. Drop the Sndviz.tox file into your TouchDesigner project.
  2. On the Sndviz base component parameters panel, open the Audio page. Inside the Input section, select your preferred Audio Input Device, Audio File, or roll your own input with an In CHOP. 
    • I recommend Cable for Windows or Soundflower for Mac. These allow you to feed local audio (Spotify, Firefox, etc.) to TouchDesigner/Sndviz directly.
    • If you are using Cable, select CABLE Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable) as the Windows sound output device, and CABLE Output (VB-Audio Virtual Cable) as the sound input device.
  3. Once your preferred audio source is selected and playing, sound data should begin visualising across all Sndviz modules. If they remain black, verify your audio source is correctly configured, as well as the Sndviz Audio parameters.
  4. To monitor sound output, select your preferred Audio Output Device and toggle the Enable Audio Output button to On. You can also adjust the Output Buffer here to compensate for video latency.

Usage

Single TouchDesigner Instance (Local)
  1. Inside the Sndviz base component, open the internalSelects base component.
  2. Inside the parSelects base component are Select TOPs referencing a SndvizReferences Parameter DAT. This network can be copied and pasted anywhere in your TouchDesigner project for easy referencing. (Make sure to include the Parameter DAT along with the selects or they will lose their reference.)
  3. Inside the globalSelects base component are Select TOPs directly referencing Sndviz. Each of these can be copied and pasted anywhere in your TouchDesigner project for easy referencing. 
    • Due to the optimised nature of TouchDesigner, only Selects you use and display in your final render will be computed from Sndviz; the rest will be ignored.
    • As long as the Sndviz base component is included your project, all selects will be available.

Multiple TouchDesigner Instances (Local/Network)
Sometimes it can be useful to run Sndviz on a separate machine for additional performance, compute constraints and overall flexibility.
  1. Inside the Sndviz base component, cut (or copy) the SndvizReceiver base component and paste it into your destination TouchDesigner project.
  2. If the destination project is running on your local machine (localhost), you do not need to modify any parameters on the sender or SndvizReceiver base components. 
    • The Touch In/Out streams should work out of the box, so long as network ports 9988, 8877, and 7766 are all open and not in use. If they are in use, they can be easily changed on both the sender and SndvidReceiver base components Network Settings pages, in the Touch In Ports and Touch Out Ports sections. Ensure that all ports correspond (match) between both components.
  3. If the destination project is running on a remote machine on your network, select the SndvizReceiver base component, then the Network Settings page, and change the Computer Name / IP parameter from localhost to the IP of the source machine that Sndviz is running on.
  4. Inside the globalReceiverSelects base component (inside of SndvizReceiver) are 16 individual Select OPs. Each OP can be copied and pasted into anywhere in your TouchDesigner project for easy referencing.

Documentation

Modules

Selection
  • Select OPs locally use the following Global OP Shorcut syntax: op.Sndviz.op('name-of-module').
  • Select OPs between different Touch instances using: op.SndvizReceiver.op('name-of-module').
  • OP shortcuts can also be found on the Modules page of the Sndviz base component.
The following Sndviz modules are currently implemented (all TOPs are in RGBA format):
  1. avg1 - A 1x1 pixel of averages for high (red), mid (green) and low (blue) ranges. Alpha channel is an average of all ranges.
  2. avg2 - A 4x4 matrix of averages for high (red), mid (green) and low (blue) values. Alpha channel is an average of all ranges.
  3. bars1 - A 1D feedback texture of detected beats (RGBA). Alpha channel is float, RGB are boolean values.
  4. beat1 - Basic beat detection that runs best with simple electronic music. 
    1. beat channel - Each beat of the song.
    2. counter channel - 8-integer counter (0-7) that loops, based on the beat.
    3. downbeat channel - (Usually) the first or last beat of each bar (every 4 beats) of the audio.
    4. bpm channel - The estimated beats per minute (BPM) of the audio. 
      • Special thanks to Alpha MoonBase for sharing his techniques on this detection using CHOPs.
  5. beat2 A 2x2 matrix (TOP) indicating the beat progression through each bar of the audio.
  6. eq1 - A 2D graphic equilizer showing audio levels for low (blue), mid (green) and high (red) ranges, from left to right. Alpha channel included.
  7. graph1 - A 2D feedback texture of audio levels, with the most current sample of music on the far right column, and the oldest on the far left.
  8. levels1 - A 1D texture of current audio levels.
  9. levels2 - A 2D texture of all current levels (RGB) and a feedback texture of overall levels (Alpha).
  10. snd - Basic CHOP audio stream (pass through).
  11. tex1 - A 2D psuedo-generative texture that displaces audio levels through reaction diffusion.
  12. tex2 - A 2D psuedo-generative texture that displaces audio levels through visual noise. It's like, so meta, bro.
  13. tex3 - A low res (1/10th resolution of the Tile Resolution)
  14. tex4 - A 2D texture of all current levels, sampled with visual feedback to add a more dynamic effect.
  15. vinyl1 - A spinning disc that is 'etched' with sound levels, starting from twelve o'clock (current sample strip) and proceeding clockwise.
  16. waveforms1 - A waveform visual with red (left channel), green (right channel), blue (red minus green) and alpha (red feedback) channels.

Sndviz Custom Parameters

Audio

Input
  • Three Audio Source types are supported in Sndviz: Audio Device In (Stream), In CHOP (Stream) and Audio File (Cued playback). 
    • To use an audio device (Audio Device In setting), select this type from the Audio Source menu and choose the preferred device (unless Default is your preference) from the Audio Device In menu parameter.
    • To use the In CHOP setting, select this type from the Audio Source menu and connect a CHOP to the Sndviz base component input connection.
    • To use an audio file (Audio File setting), select this type from the Audio Source menu and specify an audio file through the Audio File file parameter. Note that if no file is specified or there is an error loading an audio file, Sndviz will temporarily switch to the generic Audio file that comes bundled with Touch.
    • To play an audio file from the very beginning, pulse the Cue File parameter.
    • To pause / resume playing an audio file, switch the Play/Pause File toggle.
    • To loop an audio file, enable the Loop File toggle.
  • To visualize only one channel of audio (mono) instead of both (stereo), toggle the Stereo parameter off.
  • To have audio levels automatically normalized (well, psuedo-normalized... they are scaled to fit a range of -1 to 1, rather than 0 to 1), enable the Normalize toggle. This prevents audio levels from becoming too quiet or too loud during performances.
  • To increase the intensity (gain) of visualized colours, increase the Input Gain (db) parameter.
  • To compensate for video latency, adjust the Input Buffer (sec) parameter.
  • To increase the quality and resolution of the vizualisations, increase the Sampling Quality (FFT) parameter. Keep in mind that this comes at a cost with CPU compute times.

Output
  • To enable audio output on the local machine, turn on the Enable Audio Output parameter.
  • To change the output audio device, select a new one from the Audio Output Device menu parameter.
  • To raise or lower the playback output audio device volume, adjust the Playthru Volume parameter.
  • To additionally compensate for video latency, adjust the Output Buffer (sec) parameter.

Video
  • To additionally increase (or decrease) the resolution of the visualisations, adjust the Global Res Multiplier parameter. 
    • The Tile Resolution parameter (read-only) indicates the resolution of each square tile of the full Sndviz texture (4 x 3 tiles in total).
  • To correct the ratio of red, green and blue channels visualised, adjust the RGB Multiplier parameter.
  • Jump Cuts on tex1 and tex2 (triggered on each downbeat) may be disabled via the Jump Cut toggle parameter.
  • By default Sndviz is a 32-bit float component, for maximum accuracy and quality. (It also transmits 32-bit float values over the network to SndvizReceiver). Sndviz can be set to 8-bit or 16-bit to improve performance via the Pixel Format parameter.
  • To adjust the quickness or slowness of audio visuals with feedback, use the Speed parameter. Default is 1. This mostly uses a pixel per frame calculation.
  • To reset audio visuals with feedback, pulse the Reset parameter.

Modules
  • To enable Touch Out functionality for network setups, enable any of the desired Enable Touch Out toggles.
  • Every output module in Sndviz is listed on the Modules page. These read-only values may be copied and pasted for use in other components.

Acknowledgements
Shoutout to Derivative, Elburz, Tim Franklin, Alpha MoonBase, elekktronaut and everyone else who's helped me directly or indirectly along the way.

Downloads: 49

Created at: 3.7.2021

Uploaded: 3.7.2021
  • Moved out of beta
  • Updated to 2021.13610 (Windows 10 x64)
  • Added custom par pages and a main GUI COMP
  • Minor performance improvements and redo of certain texture generators/filters
  • Updated defaults for a better UX

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