Project Showcase - Freaqshow programming by Hybrid Visuals

Making a Cue-based show - even if it short -  could be really head-scratching  when you need to manage and synchronise multiple software. See how Hybrid Visuals managed that for last year's Freaqshow using Vezér, Resolume and QLab.

About the project

Joris from Hybrid Visuals was kind enough to give us some details on how he managed the programing:

Q-Dance is a Dutch event promotor, known for their lavish stage designs. Every year they host an New Year's Event event called Freaqshow. One of the main show elements of the event is a Top 10 countdown of the past year's top hardstyle tracks. This countdown is a mix of the 10 tracks, leading into the NYE moment at midnight. I've been operating the video on this show for KBK Visuals for the past few years.

Usually the audio, video, laser, lights and pyro for this ~20 minute show is pre-produced in the studio. During the event the show is run in sync using SMPTE from a central laptop running QLab. Because of sparse use of LED screens in the 2016 stage design, there was less budget for video. So although the other disciplines would run in sync, there was no budget to create a 20 minute synced video for this year.

During the pre-production process, I quickly saw the ideal opportunity to run the video part of the show using Vezér as the main cue engine. This allowed the Q-Dance production team to create their own short video assets for use during the show, like the countdown numbers and the main NYE moment countdown. I could then simply set cues for these elements in Vezér, to trigger these videos at the right time in Resolume. Vezér itself was kept in time with the QLab machine using MTC.

The rest of the NYE show moment was programmed on site on the night before the event. Vezér allowed me to set cues for content and colors, as well as accent effects like blackouts, strobes and bumps in time with the audio track. Together with the show director, I picked 10 looks to go along with the 10 tracks, consisting of a mix of decor content specifically created for the show, and more generic content from the huge KBK library. A great advantage was that changing a look was simply a matter of changing the content in Resolume, and didn't require re-rendering the entire 20 minute video.

What I enjoyed most was being able to tweak fine points during the rehearsals. It's great to see the stage with lights and lasers active, as it's very different from seeing the video by itself in the editing studio. Vezér allowed me to change parts of the show according to what the other disciplines were doing. For instance creating a few precisely timed total blackout moments, or fading out and in exactly in alternating phase with laser or light elements. This added a degree of finesse to the show that I hadn't been able to achieve before.

About the artist