Virtual DJ Tips

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Virtual DJ (disc jockey) software is the perfect tool for mobile DJs, club DJs, beginner DJs, VJs and karaoke hosts. With this software you can mix audio and visual effects to provide your audience aural and visual interest. The interface works much the same for audio as for video, allowing you to synchronize digital turntable scratching with video output. Hovering your mouse over VDJ buttons will display tool tips.

Configuring VDJ

  • To use that handy hovering function, click "Config" in the upper left-hand corner of VDJ. Tab to "Options" and enable "Tooltip." While in Config, setup "Video" visual effects by checking boxes "Activated," "Video crossfader linked to Audio crossfader," and "Use this plug-in for audio-only files." Also select from the drop-down which visual plug-in to play when no video is active; this displays interesting visuals that sync to the beat when no live video is playing.

Mixing audio

  • Each "Skin" (or graphic user interface) unlocks different zones. You can change them while music is playing. Using the "Mix Lab V3.1: Mix Lab V3.1" (yes, it's repeated) unlocks the CROSSFADE EQ. Find "Mix Lab" under "Config" then "Skins." CROSSFADE EQ allows you to fade from one track to the next using bass, mid, or high EQ--blending the old song with the new song and creating awesome mixes. Normally, an unmodified EQ set at zero on all three bands will help to maintain critical music information. The best mixes blend the outro of one track into the intro of the other track. Before you start the fade, make sure BPM (beats per minute) match by either clicking "Sync," by manually affecting pitch, or by tapping out (left mouse click) the BPM. When you've finished the mix, the new song's volume should match that of the old song's. Be careful that the bass or high-end volume does not distort or muddle your mix. Note: When affecting pitch, you can click "Keylock" just above "Pitch" slider to keep music in its original key.

    Use the "Cue" to save favorite return points during audio or video playback. Double click "Pause" to stop the track. Click "Sync" to match tempo and BPM. The crossfader will blend what's playing on the two decks, whether audio, video or both.

    A good idea when digital DJing is to take advantage of Virtual DJ's "Sidelist Panel," which holds tracks you know you'll eventually play during your gig.

Keyboard shortcuts

  • A few preconfigured VDJ computer keyboard shortcuts include: P=Play; TAB=switch decks; B=Beatlock; C=Cue Stop; S=Stop; NUM - (minus sign)=Pitch -0.05; NUM + (plus sign)=Pitch +0.05; Ctrl+NUM+ * (asterick)=Reset Pitch (NOTE: for laptop users, FN activates the NUM pad when you do not have the standard number keypad); Shift + Left arrow=Bend Pitch +5 percent; Shift + Right arrow=Bend Pitch -5 percent; Shift + Spacebar=SYNC; Alt + Space=MIX; Ctrl + Space=automix; ESC=Loop; 1=Loop 1; 2=Loop 2 (et cetera); 0=Reloop; Ctrl V=Video; F11=Play/Stop sampler 11; F12=Play/Stop sampler 12. To discover other shortcuts, check out "Mapper" under Config.

Final tips

  • You'll want to invest in at least a two-channel mixer with three bands of EQ per channel. This helps to adjust each turntable's volume as you mix. Some countries require a digital DJ license to publicly play copyrighted music.

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