Forum: General Discussion - Topic: Virtual DJ 4 tips & tricks (Starter Guide)

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Virtual DJ 4...


Author - Topic: Virtual DJ 4 tips & tricks (Starter Guide) -

dj-in-norway

Atomix Productions
Posted Wed 23 Aug 06 @ 4:34 pm
Welcome to Virtual DJ 4



INSTALL

Virtual DJ 4 can be installed on top of your previous Virtual DJ versions, and you do not have to make any adjustments for upgrading.
If you want to be able to run Virtual DJ 3.x together with your Virtual DJ 4 install, rename the virtualdj.exe to virutaldj_3.exe before you install Virtual DJ4.

You can always backup the essential VirtualDJ Database.xml if you like, as its always good to make backup of that file, regardless ...

Now, Virtual DJ 4 is made to work with multi-users on one PC, so the new database will have this name VirtualDJ Database(your windows login account).xml. This file will be made for each windows login you have, that uses Virtual DJ.

So if you want your 3.4 database to work in Virtual DJ4, just copy the VirtuaDJ database.xml (3.4 database) over the Virtual DJ(your windows account name).xml (VDJ4 database) and all your bpm, analyze etc are intact and ready to be used.

If you loose your playlist folder, add it back in Virtual DJ4 by setting it as a favorite folder:
Add the "Playlist" folder as favorite (located inside your VDJ install folder)

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Program directories

Since Virtual DJ4 is made to work together with earlier versions of Virtual DJ, and also to make a new more logic plugin structure, this changes to a main Plugin folder, that has several subfolders according to plugin type :
- ControlDevice
- SoundEffect
- VideoEffect
- VideoTransitions

If you want to use your old plugins, copy them over to the right subdirectories in the list above, to make them available in Virtual DJ 4.

For Virtual DJ4 , the default samples are in "SAMPLER" directory, and not "SAMPLES".

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Skins

Skins have new features for Virtual DJ4 only, but older skins will work in VirtualDJ4 too.
The other way around will not work, so in other words VirtualDJ4 skins will not work in earlier versions of Virtual DJ.

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Soundcard settings

Inside VirtualDJ 4 there is a new soundcard settings dialog window.

Choose your settings according to the easy-to-use drop-down menus.


Choose your input (timecode or non time code mode):


Choose your output :


Choose your soundcard/driver mode:


Simple is Windows direct sound mode, and can be used with almost any soundcard. If you are using no inputs, or midi controller, this mode can be good for you.

Simple low-latency is kernal driver mode (called Kernel Streaming too), that gives lower latency for soundcards that support this. Gives lower latency, and therefore better scratch with controllers, if your soundcard support this mode. It bypasses the audio mixer of Windows.

Asio is close to zero (depending on soundcard) latency, that is best for timecode use. This gives real vinyl scratch sound, and should be selected for timecode users, if you have a soundcard that supports asio drivers



After selecting the above apropiate values, choose your soundcard to be used, in the last drop down menu

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Performance settings

This feature is new in Virtual DJ4, and lets you take the max out of your PC for the Virtual DJ performance. This custom user-interface lets you be in controll on the performance fine-tuning of Virtual DJ.



Please be aware that since you can adjust settings yourself, you might run into settings that your PC can not handle.

If so, try to lower settings, until your settings is at the level of your PC performance.

Presets:
- this slider makes a quick adjustment according to presets made by VirtualDJ. This is a quick access to different settings

Safe mode:
- this will allow Virtual DJ to run in a mode where it will prevent any crackles or clipping in sound. This only works for direct sound mode. For some PC's this will allow a better playback of audio.

Overclock:
- this is an optimization setting that can make Virtual DJ run smoother, specially on laptops.

Scratch:
- this window part lets you fine-tune the scratch sound, use with caution

48-44hz:
- this lets you fine-tune the conversion between different frame rates files.

Mastertempo;
- fine-tune settings for the sound performance for mastertempo and keylock

Usually you should use the preset slider for tweaking your performance, but the other parts let you be in control of any fine teaking of Virtual DJ performance features.

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This should be enough to be sure you get a VirtualDJ 4.0 running smoothly with the best performances.
There are of course many other changes and new options that we will let you discover by yourself.

Enjoy your mixes.

dj-in-norway

Atomix Productions
Posted Wed 23 Aug 06 @ 7:58 pm
New Effect Engine




The effects engine and pages have been rewritten, and have a different way of working in Virtual DJ 4.

Here is a quick guide on how to use and set effects inside Virtual DJ 4.

Main settings:


In this window you can select your effects, choose the effect you want to set at the list.
Notice the categories on top :
- Sound Effects
- Video Effects
- Video Transitions
- External devices (not to be explained yet)

Notice that effects in use have a color and an indicator on the right side of the list
BLUE ON means the effect is activated on deck 1, RED ON means the effect is activated on deck2.
A color square without "ON" indicated the effect is selected and ready to be used on deck (blue or red)

In the middle part you have buttons to active the selected effect for each deck:
(use left click of your mouse to activate and right click to select)



When the same effect is activated on both deck, a new selection will appear in order to modify the settings of each plugin.

On the right side you have sliders and buttons for tuning your effect, and set the settings you like :



The effects linked to a deck will be disable when you load a new song
You can create sub-folders of plugins: just create the folder in Windows

-----

SKIN ACTIVATION OF EFFECTS

Effects can also easily be choosen and activated at new drop-down menus in top-level skin.



A check-mark next to the effect on the list means the effect is in use.

After selecting a new effect, press the button-area in skin to activate the effect (indicated by blue or red, depending on what deck you are working on)

Under the activation button, are two knobs for manipulating the effect in use (2 first level sliders of the effect in use)

Skins (depending on what skin and design) have similar drop-down menus for samples, video-effects and video transitions.

---------------------------


Mapping effects to keyboard or external controllers

Virtual DJ 4 can have "unlimited" number of effects in use at the same time, and can also map unlimited effects to keyboard shortcuts, or to external midi devices.

The selection in keyboard/midi shortcuts to what effect to be used follows the alphabetical order of your effects inside your folder.
For a more permanent mapping you could rename the files like this :

01-Flanger.dll
02-Beatgrid.dll - this is nr 2 on the list, and will be used in this example
03-brake.dll
04-Echo.dll

etc

You set the shortcut to each effect like this :



(1) Select effect_select and give a value according to the order of effects in your folder. In the list above, #2 is Beatgrid. Asign this shortcut to a key

(2) Select effect_activate to the same key as above (dont choose any value, keep zero).

This will make an off/on button for the selected effect.

Do the same procedure as above but with different value for each effect you want to map.

In my example this effect is for the active deck, but you can of course map shortcuts to each deck if you like.

If you are using external midi devices/controller, map the function to a button on the device rather than a key to your keyboard


---------------------------------------------


dj-in-norway

Atomix Productions
Posted Wed 23 Aug 06 @ 8:26 pm

New video/visual behaviors

Sonique visuals, slideshow, camera and text have new ways of working inside Virtual DJ4.

Choose the effect selector button, to show the effect browser, and then choose the "video effects" button to show the video effects




They are all seen as regular video effects in Virtual DJ 4, with its own settings inside the video effect browser. The settings for each effect is found on the right side for the selected effect.



To activate an effect, choose the "activate" button, or use the drop-down menu in skins :



The effect shown here is the new camera effect that will show live feeds from a camera/webcam, directed at for example the dancefloor, and project it to your video output (monitor/screen)


dj-in-norway

Atomix Productions
Posted Thu 24 Aug 06 @ 5:27 pm
PERFORMACE TWEAKING

Virtual DJ 4 offers a custom user-interface for fine tuning the performance of Virtual DJ.

This lets you tweak Virtual DJ to run the best possible on your PC, and take the most out of the powers available!

But every PC has a limit, accordning to its power and build, so you can also set the performance higher that your PC will allow..... So, you might need to lower your settings if you have issues with sound..

For example, Hercules Mk2 needs a HIGH buffer to sound good, and so does other cards. This is not a fault of VDJ, but the build and drivers of that soundcard.


If you are having performance issues :
- LOWER the performance preset
- INCREASE buffer even more than lowest preset, if your PC /soundcard needs that.
- Check SAFE MODE, and OVERCLOCK to see if it makes a difference on your PC.

In other words, user interface for tweaking performance means just that!. YOU need to work a bit to find the performance that your PC will allow...

If you run into sound issues, you have set the performance higher than what your PC and soundcard will allow. Fine tune your settings for best performance.

dev staff wrote :

The "overclock" speeds up the amount of time that the CPU is going to check if some sound can be fetched to the soundcard.
On most desktops, the CPU is already at his maximum so this value will do nothing, but on some laptop this can actually prevent glitches in non-safe-mode.

There was a slight overhead in CPU usage when activating overclock in the past, but it is now optimized in the last version, so now activating overclock still let you use non-safe-mode without drowning the CPU.

Btw, the main advantage of non-safe-mode over safe-mode is that it consumes much less CPU when you scratch.
So if you want to use some high-level algorithm like enhanced mastertempo, you will probably need to disable safe-mode unless you have a really powerful computer ;)
The downside of disabling safe-mode is that if your computer enter a lengthy hardware operation (waking up a harddrive, etc), the sound might drop.



MASTER TEMPO / KEYLOCK

Virtual DJ 4 doesn't use anymore the name of Master Tempo, and doesn't have this option anymore in the settings for Virtual DJ 4.

This option has been replaced by a KeyLock feature that can act either on deck 1 or deck 2 or both at the same time.

To activate the KeyLock feature you will need to click on the lock above the the browser where it says "KeyLock".

The difference between KeyLock and Master Tempo comes from the key of the track itself. If you activate KeyLock at pitch=0.0% it will keep the default key of the track.

If you activate KeyLock at pitch=-4% and then pitch up the track to +2%, the key of the track will be the same as pitch=-4% but with a faster speed.

Keylock activated at pitch=0.0% is the same as Master Tempo but with a much better quality

dj-in-norway

Atomix Productions
Posted Fri 01 Sep 06 @ 3:05 am
ADVANCED TWEAKING FOR EXPERIENCED USERS

High AudioQuality mode in v4.x


Here are some technical details on the new High AudioQuality modes:

Moving the preset slider from fast to best quality will move between these presets :

- the "fast" setting just computes the scratch by interpolating between the sound pixels in order to achieve the desired instant speed. It is very similar to the old algorithm, even though it will still sound better because of ammeliorations in others area, like timecode detection etc. Its computational expense is near zero.

- the "middle" settings use a new algorithm to simulate the exact sound of a needle moving on a disc's groove. In this setting, the parameters of the algorithm have been tuned to get the best ratio quality/speed. The computational expense of this is still small on any modern computer.

- the "best quality" setting use the same algorithm as in "middle", but with full magnitude filters. The computational expense is around 10 times as much, while it's hard to tell the difference in quality (but hey, some people will always want the best)




fine tune the audio engine in vdj 4.x


In v4.x, you can now fine-tune all the settings of the sound engine.

You can use the slider to choose presets made, and also fine tune manually.

You can set the quality of the scratching algorithm, both used with master tempo (MT) activated and deactivated. Be aware that even if you dont scratch, setting scratch algo to simple can degrade general sound.

You can also set the quality of the rate converter (like when reading 48khz mpeg2 files). Even if the algo is not the same, the parameters values have been made consistent with the scratch (0/11/35).

Then you can set the Master Tempo quality :

  • Fast
  • Advanced:

    • Complexity:
      quality to use for the mastertempo when it is activated.
      0 uses the old 3.x algorithm
      1 is the new high quality
      2 is super high quality
      3 is hyper high quality (you'd better have a double-core in order to use it)

    • Spatialization
      parameter that let you defines time-accuracy toward quality.
      0 use the default
      1 is very spatialized
      5 is very global.

    Don't set a value higher than 0 for spatialization if you have a low computer.
    If your computer can support it, the best settings are {3,1}

dj-in-norway

Atomix Productions
Posted Fri 01 Sep 06 @ 3:05 am

THE AUTO SETTING FOR LATENCY
(thanx to Apopsis)

IMPORTANT:
the "auto" option does not automatically find the best setting for you, or other "magic" things..

*What it does is:*

1. in Asio mode it bypsass the vdj buffer/latency box and latency settings taken directly from the cards asio panel like in 3.4 (this works better for maya44usb & u46dj, and probably more)
In this case you need to set/confirm the cards latency in the cards own control pannel.

2. In directX modes it has fixed values: 512 (11ms) without safe mode checked and 1024 (23ms) with safe mode.

**Previous vdj versions had fixed latency at 512 (11ms) and safe mode checked.**

Use these informations to tune your system like in vdj 3.4 if you wish.

-Tip: For maya44usb or other cards.
If you want to access the asio panel (to use with "auto") choose its asio driver instead of the maya's icon and press the "Asio config" button.




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