Best cheap setup for (audio reactive) live visuals


I want to delve into live visuals for my music projects. For that I would need a new computer, because I’d like to keep my audio and video systems separate.
I’m new to processing and visuals. As far as I understand it, shaders would be the most effective technique to use - because it uses the GPU instead of the CPU, right? And the performance is important, because live generated visuals need a lot of processing power.
I eyed the jetson nano, but read in a different post on this forum that it doesn’t work with shaders.
So what kind of (cheap) hardware setup would be advisable for my endeavour?

Hope you can help.



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Hi! :slight_smile: I think you can do live visuals on any computer. It just depends on what kind of visuals you want. There’s people doing visuals on Raspberry Pi, in old 8 bit computers and even inside a floppy disk drive:

The less powerful the computer is, the more knowledgeable the programmer must be to overcome limitations :slight_smile:

The Jetson Nano has a fine GPU but I don’t know if someone managed to use it with Processing.

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Belated welcome, @Grau

Are you new to Processing, specifically, or to programming in general? If you are new to graphics programming in general, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend starting with shaders unless you absolutely have to – it is one of the more arcane and unforgiving areas of graphics. Although some of our shader experts may disagree.

There are live visual frameworks if you are already familiar with audio frameworks – for example, Praxis Live wraps processing in a live visual IDE with a patch / flow control interface, and it also has core if you want to orchestrate more limited hardware. This might also make it easier for you to use shaders without immediately diving into shader programming.

The big question is your requirements or your wishlist – multiple projectors, high resolution, integrating video, audio reactive… responding to MIDI…? etc. etc.