Hackery, Math & Design

Steven Wittens i

Advanced Visualization Studio

Advanced Visualization Studio

What is AVS

AVS is a music visualisation plug-in for Winamp. Unlike most plug-ins however, AVS allows you to play around and make your own visuals, from a set of pluggable components combined with a scripting system. In the early 2000s, AVS was considered one of the most awesome, most flexible music visualisers on the planet, and the resulting variety in visuals (called presets) was amazing.

Even more, AVS allows you to compose and preview presets completely real-time and with script code, updating even between individual keystrokes. This stroke of genius turned it into an eminently accessible tool that drew the attention of enthusiasts from around the world. In forum communities such as Winamp.com and DeviantArt, coders and non-coders hung out and shared presets of ever increasing complexity and style.

Over the years I've made several critically acclaimed packs of AVS presets and plug-ins, many of which are included in the official Winamp distribution. My visuals are trademarked by technical complexity: 3D rollercoasters, convincing dancers, sci-fi shootouts, cartoony rendering, etc. along with good music response.

For many years, AVS was basically dead and buried: the official version shipping with Winamp was broken and crash-prone. But in 2012, Semi Essessi put together a stand-alone version of AVS that can be used to bring this lost chapter of internet history back to life.


My Presets

Enjoy these packs of presets, packaged in a self-extracting installer. Ordered chronologically, most recent on top.

Thanks to Yathosho of Visbot.net for repackaging these in an admin-aware installer.

  • Whacko Revisited - March 20th, 2004
    A pack consisting of remixes and remakes of presets from the Whacko series, released for my 20th birthday. Featuring Duo, El-vis, Fšk, Jheriko, Montana, NemoOrange, Raz, Skupers, Tuggummi, Yathosho, Zevensoft.
  • Final Whack - Dec 16, 2003
    My biggest (and best?) pack of visuals, featuring some of the grooviest effects ever seen in AVS: a wicked rollercoaster, a zeppelin in the clouds, a trippy landscape, etc.
    Featured at DeviantArt on 2003-12-17. Requires Winamp 5+.
  • Whacko AVS VI - Nov 29, 2002
    The last of the Whacko series, featuring a Star Wars scene, a Mars preset and more. This pack also contained the first release of the Colormap APE, giving preset makers a lot more options for tweaking colors.
    Featured at Winamp.com and DeviantArt.
  • Whacko AVS V - Aug 13, 2002
    The fifth episode of Whacko AVS, with yet more yummy effects. Highlights include a funny, drunken dancer and a hypnotic fountain.
  • Whacko AVS I-VI
    The first four episodes of Whacko AVS, combined into one package. Not as good as my most recent stuff of course, but everyone has to start somewhere!


AVS can be extended by writing your own components. I've made several multi-purpose APEs which you can download here.

Note: my Texer II, Color Map, ChannelShift, Color Reduction and Multiplier APEs are already included with Winamp5.

Note: All these APEs are unsupported. Use them at your own risk. Redistribution outside of AVS packs is not permitted.

Available for download:

  • Picture II
    Improved picture renderer. Can read BMP and JPEG, supports all AVS blend modes, subdirectories and bilinear filtering.
  • VJ Control
    Gives you a bunch of sliders, buttons and checkboxes for controlling presets interactively.
  • AVSGrabber - 2.0 alpha
    Captures AVS presets to AVI. Insert into the preset to use it. For experimental audio capturing, use the provided out_grab.dll as output in Winamp.
AVS  Featured  Music
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