Magic Music Visuals: VJ Software, Music Visualizer & Beyond

Syphon and QuartzComposer – these have been reason for many visual artists to use OSX. Now there is Spout and „Magic“. Magic is a node based generative VJ app generating fully-customizable and highly responsive visuals for live and recorded music, running on OSX or Windows devolped by Eric Newman of Color & Music, LLC.

Video demonstrating how audio volume can be linked to video playback speed. A radial blur effect was also linked to volume.

Video demonstrating several scenes based on the „ManyScenes.magic“ sample project included with Magic. A simple electronic drum beat from GarageBand was used as the source audio.

Magic (v1.6) is an application that gives you an intuitive, modular interface to create interactive animation and video effects for concerts, clubs, theater, movies, art installations, advertising, education, research, relaxation and anything else you can imagine. It’s not exactly a replacement for vvvv/quartz and doesn’t claim to be such, but Magic is highly specialized for VJing.
Magic focuses on generating video, which makes it easy, quick, and efficient to do video things. Quartz and vvvv can do many things Magic can’t – for example, Magic can react to audio from a variety of formats so you can design scenes from your pre-recorded material, and it can react to MIDI in many different ways, but it cannot generate audio or MIDI. The connections between modules in Magic are for video only, and they are highly optimized for video.

Magic lets you design a variety of dynamic visuals from scratch, using many colorful and exciting effects:
– Draw abstract geometric patterns that dance and spin according to audio volume and frequency
– Display images and 3D models that move, rotate, and pulse with beats
– Perform real-time video manipulation with multiple simultaneous movie files and live cameras
– Render beautiful GLSL shaders and GPU-accelerated graphics synchronized to music
– Compatible with all FFGL plugins. For example many of Resolume’s FFGL effects can be used directly as modules in Magic (in 32-bit mode)




Magic compositions can be presented in full-screen mode for live performances, or exported to frame exact movie files for further editing or uploading to video sharing sites. Magic is also capable of Syphon/Spout for sending the video output to other programms like Resolume oder Madmapper.

As of now with version 1.6 and a new Module Development Kit (MDK) there are many future plans for Magic. There is usually a new update every 1-2 months with new features. All updates are completely free for all 1.x versions, and the guys told me they will be working on version 1 for at least another year. The newest update (v1.6) introduced support for Vidvox’s Interactive Shader Format. Shaders are really the future of VJing and a lot of Magic’s upcoming efforts will be focused on shaders.

I must admit that I have seen the Magic project for some time on fb already, but wasn’t very intrigued at first. Trying, combining modules and digging deeper into this ‚little‘ programm really got me. Recently I was playing a lot of generative stuff in my VJ sets, but with the very well working Spout output I might move from Resolume fx to Magic fx and feeding Reso with that. Also it’s way better to just tell the people „It’s Magic“ when they ask how the visuals are created, instead of explaining what a VJ software is 🙂

Magic can be purchased for $39 USD from the Magic website:

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