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DJ SHADOW and the SHADOWSPHERE TOUR 2010

We caught up with Ben Stokes and the DJ Shadow crew during their pre-show setup at the Phoenix and returned later to be quite blown-away by the show performed for a packed house.

Ben Stokes, who began using TouchDesigner for the Shadow tour has a brilliant record of producing award-winning really great music videos for top talent like The Orb, Public Enemy, Josh Wink and NIN. He has worked extensively with Meat Beat Manifesto and is now in fact a band-member. Ben is also a music producer in his own right. Talented, yes.

We arrive after load-in as the 9 foot sphere in which Shadow performs is being assembled on the stage. Ben takes us through his setup and he and Greg Hermanovic discuss possible improvements to an already highly effective performance system.

In a nutshell this is how it works: Ben projects all the imagery on the sphere and back screen (2 projectors per) using TouchDesigner on 2 rack-mount PCs. He controls TouchDesigner using a Korg Micro Kontrol MIDI controller through Abelton Live using Max4Live to convert it all to OSC. Ben's Abelton laptop is synched to Shadow's laptop which he is controlling with an OHM MIDI controller.

"The shows have been really great for the U.S. leg of our tour and I think we are starting to really blow some minds!!" Ben is visibly excited at what's been achieved thus far – the creation and delivery of content that is ever-evolving, getting more exciting and complex as the tour progresses. He continues "TouchDesigner has proven to be the perfect way to execute the ambitious show we have dreamed up. For me it's been a long summer and a heavy learning curve, but I know that I will be using TouchDesigner for all kinds of projects in the future."