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Journey tours with SoundSpectrum

G•Force lets you "see the music" By Ko Maruyama
My friend Tony told me that the Journey was started by former members of Santana.  I didn't know that.  I told him that they were on tour, using some cool graphics software called SoundSpectrum, running on an Apple MacBook Pro.  He didn't know that.  Although I envision the 1986 version of the band (or at least their cool album art), there certainly wasn't any  desktop graphics software on my radar.

The band Journey, known for songs like "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Wheel in the Sky", embarks on a European tour through the UK, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain, but what interests me is that they're using some cool graphics software in their show.

Attached to a massive rig which was designed  by Lighting Director of Def Leppard crew, Kenji Ohashi  (of Big 1 Tokyo) and Asst LD: Tabuchi "Tabou" Takeshi, real time animations appear above the stage, generated by visualizer G-Force.

The show's Lighting Director / Journey, Kevin Christopher notes, "Journey was looking for a 'real time' effect that would respond to their music - similarly to the way Apple's iTunes visualizer does."


It's all live.  Not only does Journey's sound drive the graphics, but the audience reaction can trigger the images that illuminate the entire crowd.

Journey's Patrick Dierson praised SoundSprectrum, saying, "What's particularly great is that Kevin Christopher [could] recall specific looks for his lighting and video cues, while still maintaining the real-time reaction from the band.  All of this is basically done via a single keystroke. When working in a live environment, it's great for the designer to be able to keep the technicalities simple and free himself up to stay focused on the artistic elements of the show."

G.Force is a dynamic graphic generator which creates.... well...  iTunes visualizer-style graphics - but better. (Apple actually licenses their visualizer from SoundSpectrum).   While it's sibling, "soft skies" is really just a screensaver (see the article created by Heath McKnight here:  SoftSkies Screen Saver).  I'm not a fan of any screen saver, but G•Force Platinum comes with its own screen saver which generates the same style of cool graphics.  You can also get the G•Force Screen Saver at a discount with other versions of G•Force.  G•Force is also available for both the Mac and PC.

The G.Force Platinum standalone product which is only $30 for personal use, allows for inputs from any audio source, including aux line-in.  So you don't have to be Journey to set up your own personal SoundSpectrum concert - get the kids a USB mic, turn up the radio, and let 'em sing.  For public display or commercial use contact SoundSpectrum directly for a commercial license at

You can download the Free Trial version today, and check out a small fraction of what the software can offer you.  For $20, you're on the way with the Gold version, which includes almost all of the features.  The Platinum version at $30 is really the best version, with the screen saver included and the standalone application with support for auxiliary inputs (microphone) and more.

Check out the software at to find out more about the individual features and computer requirements.

You can check out more about Journey, tour dates and more at their website.  Note: Some shows are already sold out!

The software has been featured by Journey (on tour with Def Leppard), Aerosmith, Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Fischerspooner, Herbie Hancock and more. (NOTE: The EULA is specific about useage, and readers will have to get a seperate commercial license from the company to use soundspectrum's software products commercially for events, concerts or any other non privatesituations. )

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:software review, event, journey, screen saver, show graphics, music, visual music, vdj

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  • Journey tours with SoundSpectrum by DMN Editorial at Feb. 27, 2007 7:35 pm gmt (Rec'd 3)

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