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PlanMixPlay first Teaser
Sunday July 17, 2016 | Lasse Laursen

Just like the rest of the human population I seem to be very good at saying one thing, and doing another. But contrary to this rest of the human population, I have no trouble in pointing out my contradictory behavior. Perhaps because they're tiny indiscretions, or perhaps because I've yet to learn my lesson. Either way, my loss is your gain (hopefully,) and this time I think you'll be pleased, regardless.

Please click and absorb (via your eyeballs and earbones) the following first official Teaser for PlanMixPlay.


It's short and sweet I'd say, but obviously I'm biased. Hmmm. Who could we get to say it's short and sweet who's not biased. Hey wait a minute...! You! Yes, you my friend! Why didn't I think of it sooner - this works out perfectly. If you think this PlanMixPlay business is the cats pajamas, then say it, share it, hashtag it, Pokemon Go it, on all your favorite social media sites. Especially if you'd like to see more of it. If you're more a bit of an old-school dude like me and more into good old fashion e-mails, then feel free to reach out and let me know how that Teaser made you feel. I'm all earbones.

Have a fantastic day.


www.planmixplay.com soft launch
Sunday May 29, 2016 | Lasse Laursen

A soft launch is when you preview something to a limited audience before making it available to the general public. So, technically, this is not a soft launch as anyone on the internet can waltz right up to this domain and take a gander. But pretending an audience the size of anything resembling the general public might do such a thing, would probably be slightly delusional. But delusions not withstanding: Welcome!

Today officially marks the offical second release of PlanMixPlay.com! (If you happen to be reading this on LasseLaursen.com, you should instead head over to PlanMixPlay.com and look at how much we've redecorated!)

Before we go any further let's address the tiny elephant in the room that most of us are actually unaware of: The planned release of PlanMixPlay itself (the instrument), in early 2016. This has not happened. Tempting as it might be to pull a 'politician' and start redefining the terms 'early 2016' and 'release', I think sticking with reality will get us much further.

PlanMixPlay is still scheduled to have its first release in 2016, but alas, various quality issues have kept it from happening so far. The specifics are tedious and boring, so let's skip those and just reaffirm that things are progressing, and as soon as I feel comfortable with the quality of a first pre-alpha release that only a mother could love, then I'll be putting it up here, post haste.

As you may have spotted, there isn't a whole lot in terms of screenshots, videos, or other interesting material available currently, but the priority is currently on getting a first release out the door, and the rest will follow. In the meantime, if you're keen on keeping up to date with progress as it's being made, we have a small selection of carefully curated social media channels (hand picked by authentic Millenials) for you to subscribe to, including:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Finally, last but not least, PlanMixPlay is used on a semi-weekly basis to broadcast a live internet-radio show with on SlayRadio.org, so if you're keen to at least hear it in action, feel free to tune in every Sunday at 20:00 CEST.

Hope to see you there.

That being said, have a wonderful day!


Engineer Show Reel
Monday March 14, 2016 | Lasse Laursen

Show reel's are most commonly associated with directors or actors trying to convince a potential employer that they've got what it takes. But being in academia has slowly had a notion dawn on me. Perhaps I, too, could do well with having a show reel:

In 2014, video apparently accounted for 64% of the worlds web traffic. No surprise really, given how much more efficiently video allows you to communicate a variety of topics. Don't get me wrong, a number of things should definately not be communicated with video. For example, the ninth level of the underworld is undoubtedly reserved for creators behind 3 minute YouTube videos to showcase a 10 second task.

But if you work in a medium where something can be visualized, I would strong suggest using that leverage. Just like resumes, there are a number of useful heuristics I'd recommend you follow if/when putting together your own show reel:

  • Make sure to limit yourself to around 5 minutes or less (ideally 3 or less). Attention is a valuable commodity, and it's preferrable to leave someone wanting more, rather than bored by what's being presented. You'll notice I've crossed the crucial 3 minute threshold myself, but I'll tell you why in a bit.
  • In the best case, your show reel will, just like a resume, focus on the area of work most relevant to the person it's being presented to. However, show reel's don't grow on trees, and I've personally opted for the happy medium of a somewhat broader and longer show reel. For optimal results, I'd edit it down to just the core 2-4 projects that are most relevant.
  • Contrary to directors and actors, you don't need someone to absorb an isolated scene, so I'd advise you to narrate the show reel. Not only does this give you an opportunity to show off your communicative skills, it also gives you an opportunity to highlight the most impressive aspects of your work.

At the end of the day, what it really comes down to - in my opinion - is putting forth more energy, so someone else can save some of theirs. Reading is time consuming, and a show reel can be a good way to quickly and efficiently summarize your previous work. It won't supplant your resume, but if you work with visual projects it can help communicate your work in an expedient manner.


PlanMixPlay release early 2016
Monday September 7, 2015 | Lasse Laursen

PlanMixPlay is undoubtedly the biggest undertaking I've ever undertaken. This is both a positive and a negative in a number of ways. Things of such big scope are hard to complete all alone, because there's no group mentality to keep you working, only the gratification of accomplishing something. The feeling of accomplishment seems quite distant however, when you're at the starting line looking at what seems to be a horizon stretching for eternity. It isn't eternity really. In fact, it's pretty close - but because it is beyond what you can see, it might as well be eternity.

Despite this daunting outlook, these things keep me motivated:

  • If I don't do this, nobody else will. Don't get me wrong - there are lots of people who can do this, and if I don't do it - it will eventually be done I figure. But probably not the way I want it to, and probably not as fast as I want it either. I'd argue that there's a reason 'art' and 'technology' are often separated, and I'd say it's because people often lean into either. It's rare to find someone into both these things beyond a certain degree, than just one. If this is true, it means there are fewer people around who would have the motivation to do this.
  • It's something I'd like to use myself. I know I cannot possibly compete with commercially available performance software. They're building on a legacy of decades with a sizable team, as well as funding to boot. But if I can cook up something that has enough unique appeal to be worthwhile without all the bells and whistles. Well then my friend. We may just have something.

I've decided to post this in order to try and layout some sort of road map for the future. By writing what I intend to build, I'll hopefully get better at sticking to it. So without further ado, let's look at the features I expect to be able to manage before the first official release of PlanMixPlay.

  • Media Engine Re-Write. PlanMixPlay relies heavily on BASS internal timing currently. This is simple and works well, but also means that portions of audio code permeate the video engine code. This is bad, and counter intuitive. A custom built internal timing system is needed.
  • Audience feedback re-integration. This feature needs to be re-introduced in a stable and more workable manner. All the code is basically there, but it needs refactoring to its proper working condition.
  • Audio/Video Handling. Audio should be manipulatable, similar to vinyl. Video should be streamable and not entirely contained in memory.

That's as much as I dare to promise for now. The devil is in the details of creating these features. They're not particularly tricky on their own (apart from audio time stretching), but to integrate them well and without crashing... That's the challenge.

I hope you'll stick around to see me make good on these goals.


PlanMixPlay.com Pre-Release
Sunday August 9, 2015 | Lasse Laursen

Hey there,

You are among the very few - and I do mean very - who will cast their eyes upon the pre-release of PlanMixPlay.com. Let me just namedrop that domain one more time so it sticks:

www.PlanMixPlay.com

Now that you're here, grab a glass of complementary imaginary champagne, and let me tell you a little bit about my vision. It is at this point that you're free to pretend that you've suddenly spotted someone you know in the party crowd and quickly excuse yourself. You, you... you meanie! OR - you could do the honorable and respectable thing, which is to take a small sip of air and put on your best 'I'm super interested look'. You chose wisely.

Now where was I? Oh yes... The vision. No wait - let's call it an idea. `Vision' sounds too gauche.

A few years ago, I noticed touch surfaces were growing in size, and thought 'Hey - why don't we make a cool DJ interface on that?'. The end.

 

Well - I did think a few more thought's but that's basically the original motivation for PlanMixPlay. But the whole goal, you could say, is to try and push nightclubs and social gatherings forward. Nightclubs are such an interesting social concept. There are a lot of things that seem weird to me about them. For example, we go there with people we already know, talk to people we've met before, and socialize with as few new people as possible. Depite the fact that nightclubs seems like the ideal place to meet new people. It's rarely the case anymore I feel. Perhaps because clubs used to be run by eccentric party people who did it for the sake of the party, and these days clubs are mostly run by people who do it for the sake of money. I'm not here to dump all over clubowners though. I don't envy anyone running a struggling club as I'm sure it's a seemingly endless battle to stay relevant and popular. To the best of my knowledge, most places (around 90% or more) tend to last for a few years and then are mandatorily shut down, re-tooled and re-opened six months later. All for the sake of `newness' in an ever desparate chase for the ever elusive customer crowd.

Nightlife has become standardized. DJs, bars, dance floors, VIP sections, bouncers, you name it. There's a blueprint for what makes a club and another blueprint for what makes an event.

So why don't we see any new cool stuff in nightclubs? Interaction, live voting, networked socialization, casual gaming. Well. I'd argue there are two reasons for this:

  • There's not enough drive. As a species, we've solved the mystery of how to run a succesful nightclub, and none of it involves anything beyond promotion, events, go-go-dancers, DJs and booze.
  • The average party person is satisfied. Could they be more satisfied? Sure. But why bother if what's on the table is enough?

I bother. That's why. Imagine if we could dissolved the barrier between the performer and the audience a bit. Not remove it completely, but make it permeable. Make it so that you could reach through and they could reach back?

We live in a time where the vast majority has been well catered to for the past decade. Business' like Amazon.com have realized that it's well worth going after the long tail. The endless line of niches that follow their top sellers. There's no reason we can't apply the same mentality to live performances. A portion of your audience wants to interact with you.

Encourage that.


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