Livid Instruments creates multimedia performance instruments that you claim as the “world's first video instruments and video performer software.” Who are your main customers?
It is hard to say who our main customers are. When I started the company, I wasn't targeting a main group of people. I was targeting a sensibility. There seemed to be a large gap between video artists and video techs. I wanted to be somewhere in the middle. The problem was there were no tools for anyone in the middle. I think we have found that middle, and they form various mediums — video editors, musicians, performance artists, and designers. We set out to create tools to openly create concepts, not just fill a need. When I began in this industry, I wanted to be able to perform video, and there were just no tools to do so. There were a few VJ applications that recommended various plastic keyboards to create video but no dedicated video instruments. On the other end of the spectrum, there were video rigs used to drive large performances. I wanted to reach people somewhere in between. I had and still have this idea of young artists jamming with our instruments in their parent's garage much like a punk band. What we have noticed is that this kind of thing is happening, from country musicians, Latin guitarists, club VJs to the worship market, people are using our instruments to create this genre-free medium of visual performance. If you ask a guitar company who their main customer is, I imagine they would say guitarists, so I guess our main customers are visualists.
Where do you see the market going for your products at this point?
As we grow, we see the market growing. We are coming across many requests for very opposite applications. We are working on an all-in-one touring rack for large-scale touring productions and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, a simple software mixer for very small productions. Our products tend to be in the middle at the moment and can be used for both, so we are working on expanding our line to include beginner and professional products.
How is entertainment technology evolving as you see it?
The evolution in the past three years has been amazing. I think we will start seeing a lot more creativity enter the picture in the coming years. The problem in the past was that the market was so technical that there was a steep learning curve before creativity could set in. As the tools become easier to use and the technology becomes more transparent, creative limitations will be lifted. I think the live video market is especially going to change. In lighting, it still requires a lot of gear and a large budget to get large results, but with the increasing laptop speeds and software innovations, one can create large performances with very little. This is the same trend that the artists are taking advantage of, spending more time being an artist and less time being a technician.
What motivates you to create new products?
My own desire to create is probably my biggest motivation. Every time I perform, I am thinking up new ways to be able to do things and integrate other technologies. A lot of the problems I find in the entertainment technology market are that everything is trend-based. We rarely see something totally new come from a company with the resources to make it on a large level. This is why we strive to make products that transcend the market, not just fill a need. This of course is always a gamble but keeps us motivated and interested.
Where will Livid Instruments be in the next year? Five years?
In the next year, we will be creating a professional line of hardware/software as well as expanding our line of hybrid instruments. I hope in five years to have an extended line of products for artists and performers and to see people doing things I never imagined. I also do a lot of video design for concerts and have worked with some amazing artists. I hope to expand the list of people I have worked with and turn on more artists to my technology.