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Vixid interview featuring Kyle Lyons

Interview with Kyle Lyons about the VIXID video switcher / English version

by VIXID on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 11:23am
Kyle Lyons, multimedia artist, VJ and owner of

Can you tell a bit about yourself, the members of the crew, and the kind of work you do?

Kyle Lyons

My name is Kyle Lyons and I am 34 years old visual addict! I am a native from the suburbs of Buffalo, New York. I currently live in Valencia, Spain and run my own stock footage company called VJ Loops. I spend my time moderating and hosting discussions on VJ Forums and write for the VJ Vault Blog. I have been a multimedia artist and VJ since 1999. I have performed in over 14 countries around the world. I currently tour alone but also VJ for DJ Pascal Kleiman at gigs around Europe. I use a mix of custom created content and visuals appropriated from my stock footage site VJ Loops. The style varies depending on the performance, layout of the venue and music but it’s mostly club oriented with lots of colors that compliment the music.

How and why did you get into live visuals?

In 1994-95 I discovered the “rave” movement and electronic music. Back then visuals were unheard of or very rare. I was fortunate enough to witness the early work of OVT Visuals from Chicago, IL USA. One of their members is an avid Vixid user VJ V2 aka Vello Virkhaus. He doesn’t know it but the work from Vello andThe OVT team were a major inspiration for me to become a VJ. Back then visuals were very analog and rudimentary but still cool! They would use film projectors and project onto weather balloons at the raves in Chicago. It wasn’t until 1999 that I actually got my feet off the ground. Equipment was expensive so my setup was very crude. I was using a Videonics mixer and VHS tapes, pretty old school for today’s standards.

How did you discover VIXID VJX16-4 video mixer and why did you choose to use it above other products on the market?

The Vixid mixer gained a lot momentum and buzz on VJ Forums. Everyone was talking about it and how it would change the way VJ’s work. One thing is to hear about it via the internet but another thing is to actually witness it in action. I was fortunate enough to get some hands on training from the Vixid crew at the Musikmesse fair in Frankfurt, Germany. After that I didn’t need any more convincing. I had previously used the V4 by Edirol and it’s a great starter mixer for VJ’s but the Vixid has the features and flexibility that my performance demands.

How are you using it onstage, in a live environment and in the studio?

I currently use it when I tour and VJ at festivals and clubs. My set up consists of 2 laptops, 1 DVD backup and multiple live camera feeds. I use all 4 channels to mix between the multiple sources. Usually for bigger events the 16 inputs are used up for the multiple live camera feeds and other inputs from visual artists. 2×2 battle mode is great for this.

How has using this mixer changed the way you work?

The mixer has given me the freedom with the multiple inputs which allow me to mix multiple sources and switch on the fly between them. The BPM feature allows me to have more beat matched visuals with the audio from DJ or music act.

What features do you find most useful? Are there any features you could not work without?

There are so many to choose from but If I had to choose the features that are most useful for me are:

– The 4 channels transparency faders

– The mix/blend modes

– Keyer & Background Alpha

– Mutilple inputs

The features that are absolute must are the multiple source inputs and matrix switcher with the 3 outs which can send 3 different sets of visuals. I also take advantage of the 6 outputs for multi-screen setups. The PAL/NTSC switch is also important because I travel to so many foreign countries.

What is your typical setup for a live show?

After arriving at a venue the first thing I put down is my Vixid and then I work my way out from there attaching all my sources. I reserve my first two channels for my Macbook Pro with Modul8 and the second for my Dell laptop which runs Motion Dive Tokyo. The Modul8 is my main VJ mixing application while the Motion Dive Tokyo is used for logo and live text input. This is where the VJX keyer and blend modes get used the most. The third and fourth channels are assigned my live camera feed, DVD backup and other sources like inputs from other VJ’s.

Kyle Lyons setup for Black Eyed Peas show with the VJX16-4 video switcher

Gear List:

– Vixid VJX16-4

– MacBook Pro Unibody with Modul8 and the Grandtec Hand View scan converter for converting the mini display port to Svideo.

– Dell XPS 1210 running Motion Dive Tokyo with Svideo Output

– Bitstream 3X midi controller

– Motion Dive Tokyo midi controller

– Kramer HD Scaler

– Kramer VGA splitter

– Sony and Canon video cameras for live feeds

How long did it take to you before being able to use it during a live show?

The mixer has a lot of features but its interface and menu make it easy to setup out of the box. Once you understand the core basics of setting up your inputs and outputs it’s not hard to use. Luckily I had some hands on training from the Vixid crew before I bought my mixer but it should only take a weekend before you can get comfortable for a live setting. Always do a dry run (test) before you go out and perform in a live setting. I found it useful to print the manual and I carry that with me to gigs.

Any tips or tricks you could share with us?

Laptop lock used for VJX16-4 video switcher

– Print the manual and take it with you

– Experiment with video feedback for cool effects

– Hook up a recording device to record your outputs

– Get the flight case, protect your investment!

– Get a laptop lock and attach to your Vixid screw mounts. See attached picture or consider theft insurance, everyone wants the Vixid!

– If you have any problems contact the Vixid crew, they are very helpful people

– 2×2 battle mode is great when you’re working with other VJs and visual artists.

– Carry extra cables, adaptors & plugs for your mixer and gear

– Carry business cards

What are the biggest or most memorable gigs you’ve done with the VJX16-4?

– In September 2009 I was doing visuals at the Black Eyed Peas concert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The screen setup was rather unique ultra wide 100′ X 22′ on left and right stage so the crop and scroll effects were a life saver as we used multiple camera inputs and we were able to add PIP and place them anywhere we wanted on the screen using the trackball. Then the background alpha was used so we could have visuals behind the live inputs.

– In October 2009 with Paul Van Dyk in Jakarta, Indonesia

– In October 2009 with Derrick May in Jakarta, Indonesia. We had 8 VJs all hooked into the Vixid using 2×2 battle while I randomly switched between sources mixing each one in.

What have you got planned for the near future?

VJ Loops in conjunction with VJ Vault will host more AV contests to increase the exposure of the VJ, AV and motion graphics artists. Our 4th contest will be for best AV mix 3-5 min with big prizes maybe a Vixid 😛

VJ Loops has plans to release an audio-visual DVD with several talented audio visual artists with mixes, loops and more.

A planned tour in Asia for 2010.

Anything you’d like to add?

I <3 my Vixid!

Kyle Lyons using its VJX16-4 video switcher

Find out more about Kyle Lyons.

Find out more about VIXID users by clicking here : VIXID Users.


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