VDJPedia



 TimeCode Config

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Timecode Configuration Guide

VirtualDJ usually gets the timecode engine working straight out of the box, whatever timecode you are using.
However, sometimes, some small adjustments can really improve the timecode detection accuracy.
Here are a few tips on how to tweak your timecode settings to get the best out of your vinyls/CDs.


Timecode Engine
First, You need to know which timecode vinyl/CD signal you are using, and select the "timecode engine" accordingly.

  • The latest (and more accurate) engine is the "Noisemap" engine.
    Because of some legal patent issues, Atomix Productions does not currently sell noisemap vinyls with the VirtualDJ logo. But you can easily find replacement noisemap discs in any DJ shop, or buy online from the hardware section on our website. we recommend the Serato noisemap.

  • If you want to use a VirtualDJ branded disc, then you will have to use the linear timecode engine.

  • If you have another brand of vinyl you want to use, you'll find it in the engines list.
    But for long-term use, we recommend using either Serato noisemap discs or VirtualDJ discs.



Signal Config
First, let us remind you that the timecode signal is a stereo audio signal so you need at least a stereo input (line in).
Once you chose which engine you'll use, you need to make sure the signal is properly read and analyzed. These steps differs depending if you're using noisemap or VirtualDJ discs:


Signal Config - Noisemap (Serato)
The first step is to make sure that the input signal looks clean and proper.
For this you'll need to get the first window to show two perfect circles joining in the lower-right quadrant (cf image).
Use the "Gain" knob to bring the signal into the box.
Use the "Stereo" and "Phase" knobs to shape the signal into perfect round circles.
If your signal is noisy, you can use the "RIAA phono filter" and "noise LP filter" to clean it up.
If you get a -200% speed (disc in the software turning backward), you'll need to change the "invert signal stereo" setting.
Once you have a clear signal, the "speed" indicator (upper-right digits) will show the correct value, and you will get a good pitch and scratch behavior (relative mode).

The second step is to make sure that VirtualDJ can interpret 100% of the timecodes.
For this, you'll need to get the second window to show four separated streams of white dots, clearly separated in two groups by the green line in the middle (cf image).
If the white dot stream sometimes cross the green line, you'll get less than 100% timecode detection.
Once you have a clear separation of the dots, the "position" indicator (upper-left digits) and timecode quality (lower-right digits) will show the correct values, and you will get a good needle-drop behavior (absolute mode).

The third step is to make sure VirtualDJ can detect when you stop the vinyl.
For this, put your turntable on stop, or lift the arm.
Then, adjust the "Silence" knob, until the gray circle in the center of the first image covers all the area that the noise green signal can reach.
Be careful not to make the gray circle too big. It must still not touch the green circles when the disc is playing.

Signal Config - Linear (VirtualDJ)
The first step is to make sure that your cables are not inverted.
For this, you'll need to get the third window to show two waves, the green one preceding the red one, and the green having a constant height while the red's height varies (cf image).
If the red wave precedes the green, change the "invert signal stereo" setting.
If the red wave height in constant while the green varies, change the "invert signal phase" setting.

The second step is to make sure that the input signal looks clean and proper.
For this you'll need to get the first window to show an "eye" consisting of a perfect round circle of small horizontal lines, with an oval of small horizontal lines in the inside, joining in the top-center and bottom-center points (cf image).
Use the "Gain" knob to bring the signal into the box.
Use the "Stereo" and "Phase" knobs to shape the signal into a perfect round circle outside.
If your signal is noisy, you can use the "RIAA phono filter" and "noise LP filter" to clean it up.
Once you have a clear signal, the "speed" indicator (upper-right digits) will show the correct value, and you will get a good pitch and scratch behavior (relative mode).

The third step is to make sure that VirtualDJ can interpret 100% of the timecodes.
For this, you'll need to get the second window to show three separated streams of white dots, clearly separated in three groups, one above the gray area, one inside the gray area, and one below the gray area (cf image).
If the white dot streams sometimes cross in or out the gray area, you'll get less than 100% timecode detection.
Once you have a clear separation of the dots and the ones inside the gray area on the green line, the "position" indicator (upper-left digits) and timecode quality (lower-right digits) will show the correct values, and you will get a good needle-drop behavior (absolute mode).

The fourth step is to make sure VirtualDJ can detect when you stop the vinyl.
For this, put your turntable on stop, or lift the arm.
Then, adjust the "Silence" knob, until the gray circle in the center of the first image covers all the area that the noise green signal can reach.
Be careful not to make the gray circle too big. It must still not touch the green circles when the disc is playing.


Options

Once you have a 100% timecode detection, you can adjust a few options to tailor the timecode engine to your liking.

  • Adjust for 45 RPM: select this if you prefer to scratch with your turntable set at 45 RPM (all timecodes are usually 33 RPM discs by default).

  • Disable Pitch / Pitch sensibility / Smooth: By default, VirtualDJ will interpret the movements of the pitch slider on the turntable, and translate this in movement of the pitch applied by the software.
    This let you use features such as KeyLock or automatic BeatSync.
    But, because of the intrinsic nature of the timecode technology, the software cannot clearly tell a pitch change from a scratch, so this pitch changing detection cannot be instantaneous.
    These options give you control over the pitch detection sensibility. Adjust to your liking.

  • ClearSound: ClearSound was a technology used in older versions of the VirtualDJ linear engine, to suppress an "underwater" effect that was inherent to these particular engines when used at low latencies. Since the problem is not present in the newer engines, ClearSound is off by default. But you can turn it on if you use an older engine or still hear this underwater distortion.

  • AntiSkip: AntiSkip is a technology that lets the software automatically compensate to ignore skips if the needle skips to a nearby groove while scratching too hard (or if your turntable is picking up too much vibrations). It is active by default.

  • LeadTime: LeadTime is the amount of "dead air" at the beginning of the timecode, to ensure that the start of your MP3 matches a position on your timecode disc that already has a strong and identifiable timecode stream.