Virtual DJ software is a professional quality audio mixing tool, designed for DJs, and it has the great advantage of being free! In Virtual DJ, you can mix 2 or 4 audio tracks using the MP3s which are on the hard drive of your computer (internal or external). Using Virtual DJ is very easy, so it's perfect software for beginners. It also provides you with many effects. Inform yourself to learn how to use Virtual DJ.
Part 1 of 3: Getting Virtual DJ
Step 1. Understand what Virtual DJ is
Basically, Virtual DJ is software that replaces physical decks and players. Virtual DJ allows you to play MP3s, but it offers many more options than a simple player like Winamp or VLC. With Virtual DJ, you can mix your tracks live with 2 (or more) virtual decks. You also have the possibility to adjust frequencies (equalize) and it offers many effects of delay, reverb, reloop, scratches, tempo variations (manual or automatic), pitch and crossfade (right deck-left deck), etc.
Even though you can get Virtual DJ for free and make great mixes without additional hardware, some DJs prefer to use physical decks when they go to play
Step 2. See if your computer is powerful enough
Although Virtual DJ is a resource-efficient program, your computer should be powerful enough so that you can use all the software's functions and freely mix songs. To find out if your computer is powerful enough, go to the website (right click with the mouse and open the page in a new tab): http://fr.virtualdj.com/wiki/index_FR.html. At a minimum, you are going to need:
- a computer with Windos XP or a Mac with iOS 10, 7
- 1 giga of RAM or 2 (4 is much better)
- 20 to 30 mega hard drives available
- a sound card compatible with DirectX or CoreAudio (this is usually standard)
- an Intel processor
Step 3. Download the program
To get started, of course, you need to download the software and install it on your computer. You can get Virtual DJ by clicking here (with your right mouse button to open a new tab) or also on the softonic site.
- Virtual DJ version 8 is packed with all the latest technology, so you will need a computer powerful enough to be able to use it freely. Virtual DJ 7 is on the other hand a lighter version, even if this software has been updated regularly during the last 18 years. This version works on virtually all computers.
- You can also search the Internet for Virtual DJ and download it from a mirror site near your country of residence.
Step 4. Subscribe
If you are a DJ and want to stream tracks with Virtual DJ, you can subscribe to use this service. If you are keen and use the program frequently, this feature may be of interest. Go to the Virtual DJ website for this by clicking here. You can use this service by paying a monthly membership fee or by making a single payment which will give you unlimited access.
If you want to connect the Virtual DJ software to physical DJ equipment, you must pay the sum of 50 euros to obtain a license
Part 2 of 3: Getting to Know Virtual DJ
Step 1. Launch the software
Once you have installed Virtual DJ, open the software. You will first be asked to select a skin. The skins are more or less complex and they give the program a different appearance. To start using Virtual DJ, choose the basic skin (basic interface). Virtual DJ is a solid piece of software that gives you a lot of possibilities, so you are going to have to start by familiarizing yourself with it and exploring its possibilities. For this, it is better to choose the interface that is clearer and easier to handle.
Step 2. Import your songs
When you launch Virtual DJ for the first time, you will be asked to select the folder where your music is located. Choose the folders you want to add by browsing your computer from the search bar or on Mac, using the Finder.
- If you usually use iTunes, you can click on the file iTunes.xml music library that you will find under My music, ITunes Library.
Step 3. Learn the basics
To get started, you need to familiarize yourself with the 3 main areas of the program before you start sending your sound.
- The active waveform. At the top of the screen (just above the decks), you can see a small rectangular window with waveforms (red and blue peaks and valleys) when you've loaded tracks. This window is dynamic and the song scrolls inside from right to left, showing you the volume peaks. The small squares appearing in the waveform tell you the beats of the song that is or will be played. This way, you can visually follow the progress of the songs and easily synchronize them whenever you want. This window is called the CBG (computer beat grid). When you perfectly align the red squares with the blue ones, the 2 songs will be synchronized to the same beat (tempo). Load 2 tracks (one in the left deck and one in the right deck) by dragging them with your mouse from the directory on the left and have fun!
- The turntables. Called Decks, virtual decks represent physical decks. Imagine that you have 2 physical decks in front of you. The right deck is red while the left one is blue, they correspond to the blue and red active waveforms that you can see just above.
- The virtual deck on the left simulates a physical deck, and when a track is played, a blue line (surrounding the deck) shows you the elapsed time and the time remaining until the track ends.
- The right virtual deck is red and has the same functions as the left deck. Start a song, click on the playing deck with the left mouse button and move the mouse without releasing the left mouse button and listen to the result!
- The mixer. The mixer placed between the 2 virtual decks allows you to make basic adjustments such as changing the output volume, input (gain), bass, treble and mids as well as to balance the sound more or less towards the turntable. right or left.
Step 4. Select a song
Choose a folder containing songs on the left of the screen and click on it. You will see the songs in this folder appear. You can select a song to play back by dragging it with the mouse on a deck or by clicking on the song title in the window below the mixer. Usually, the track will be added to the left deck and the right deck is used for the next track.
Step 5. Edit your skin
Click on the toothed wheel at the top right (settings). Here you can configure and customize Virtual DJ to tailor the software to your playback, mixing, and editing preferences. Click on Settings and see the options available. You will find options relating to remote control, internet, but also skins. Now click on Skins to have access to the possible modifications.
Step 6. Download new skins
You can search the internet for new graphics and custom skins to transform the look of Virtual DJ. Some skins are very pretty, but others sometimes make the software difficult to manipulate. You will find beautiful skins on the official website of Virtual DJ. For Virtual DJ 7 click here and to get new skins for Virtual DJ 8 click here (right mouse button to open new tab).
Step 7. Familiarize yourself with the main controls
There are words next to most of the software's controls and buttons to make your job easier and to make the software easier to use.
- Play / pause (play, pause). This button allows you to start a song and also to pause it.
- Stop. The function of this button is pretty easy to guess, right?
- Beatlock (tempo lock). This function allows you to lock the song's tempo (beat) and sync other songs to its beat. If, for example, you want to scratch with the right (or left) deck, this function allows you to make sure that the song being played will continue to scroll at the same speed. The beatlock feature offered on Virtual DJ allows you to do things that are not possible with physical decks.
- Pitch (for speed). This function allows you to vary the tempo of a song temporarily or permanently. You have 2 ways to access it. Using the 2 arrows placed next to the SYNC button (for an adjustment) or with the cursor located above these 2 arrows (for a lasting modification). This function allows you to perfectly synchronize one song with another in the middle of the mix. The keylock button above the slider lets you change the speed of a song without changing its key.
Step 8. Check out the Virtual DJ wiki
Virtual DJ software has many users around the world. You will therefore find on the internet a lot of advice and valuable information to learn how to use this program in the best way. You will also find resources on YouTube and other websites.
Part 3 of 3: Mixing with Virtual DJ
Step 1. Organize your songs
With Virtual DJ, you have the possibility to organize your music libraries in a professional way. For example, you can use filters to select songs by style, speed (bpm or beat per minute), key, access old playlists, and more. If you want to mix well, you absolutely need to be able to access your tracks in the fastest possible way, especially when a fan asks you to play a particular track.
Step 2. Use the crossfade
The crossfade is a slider located between the 2 decks. This horizontal slider gives you the possibility to go from one song to another (from the left deck to the right deck and vice versa) in a progressive or instantaneous way. If this slider is placed completely to the left, you will only hear the left deck, if it is to the right, the right deck. By positioning it in the center, you will hear the 2 decks with an equal volume (according to the specific settings of each track). This slider allows you to achieve interesting effects.
Step 3. Sync songs
Now practice synchronizing 2 songs using the active waveform bar (the middle bar at the top of the screen, we talked about this before). For example, start a track on the left deck, then select a track for the right deck, but without starting it. Then place the crossfade button (located under the 2 center volume buttons) completely to the left. Start the right track (without stopping the left one, the crossfade being on the left, you will not hear the right one). Observe the active wave bar. Now try to synchronize the 2 songs with the mouse by moving the red waveform. The easiest way is to click on the SYNC button on the right deck to perform automatic synchronization. Be careful though, because sometimes the first beat of one piece falls on the second (or third) of the other.
- From time to time the software has trouble analyzing the bpm of a song, this can cause problems. This is why you have to get used to performing the manipulations manually (and using your ear).
- The auto-sync feature will be a huge help to you, so learn how to use it the best you can.
Step 4. EQ your songs
In the center of the screen, the mixer provides basic settings to adjust the bass, midrange and treble of your songs. Familiarize yourself with this tool. The menu Effects (located under the crossfade slider) allows you to have much better performing EQs at your disposal.
- BASS (low). You probably understood it, this button allows you to adjust the bass of the track.
- MID (or midrange) allows you to adjust the midrange frequencies of the track.
- HIGH (treble) lets you quickly change the treble frequencies of the song being played back.
Step 5. Familiarize yourself with the effects
Under the mixer and the crossfade button, you can see 4 menus: Browser - Sampler - Effects - Record. Click on the menu Effects in order to have access to the effects that are available. Navigate through the menu and familiarize yourself with the different options. You will find delays, mixers, flangers and more surprising effects like the Beatgrid where the Slicer. You can find new effects by doing a quick internet search.
- Function Sampler allows you to integrate small pieces (and even large ones) of songs or MP3 files of your creation (eg voices that you have recorded, words…) into your mixes. These samples can be played once or in a loop. You can even record part of a song that is played back on a turntable and immediately play it with the sampler to create a special effect.
Step 6. Use the bpm analyzer
This tool allows you to select songs according to their speed. Click (with the right mouse button) on a folder in which you have many songs (on the left of the screen) and select the option Scan for BPM. This way you will get a list of songs with similar bpm (speed). It will make your life a lot easier when you don't know what song you're going to play next! In some circumstances, this feature can save your life!
Imagine that you have a track that is playing at 125 bpm on the left deck and you want to mix it with another track that has a speed of 128 bpm. You need to adjust the pitch to get them in sync, but as soon as the track on the left deck stops, you can immediately start the other track, because you know its speed is almost the same, so you don't have to change its speed with the pitch. Some songs sound very bad when their speed is changed
Step 7. Use Virtual DJ as the player
You go to a party and you are in charge of the music. Suddenly an incredibly pretty girl walks up to you and gives you a big smile! Place the next songs you want to play in the window located at the bottom right of the screen (a large quantity) and click on the small circle placed at the top left of this window to activate the function of Automatic mixing. Give a big smile and calmly approach your future ex and, um, now it's your turn (you'll find some great articles on wikiHow to learn how to seduce girls or boys). The pieces will follow one another without you having to intervene. Be careful to place enough pieces anyway …
Step 8. Connect Virtual DJ to physical devices
To use Virtual DJ at its best, you can connect your computer to physical machines like turntables, mixer, etc. you even have the possibility to become VJ and synchronize Virtual DJ to your images in order to offer spectators an unforgettable spectacle. The best way to do this is to go to the Virtual DJ site and examine the options available. The official French website for Virtual DJ is here.
Step 9. Experiment
Now that you have covered the main functions of this software. If you really want to know how to use Virtual DJ and all its possibilities, you have to show initiative and explore the software in all its corners. This program brings you so many possibilities that it will take you some time to master it. Watch videos on YouTube and read all the information given on the official site.
- To make a good remix, do a loop with a small part of one track and mix on the other deck with other tracks. You can also use the function for this. SAMPLER.
- When you are a little lost, right click on the mouse, This action will in most cases allow you to return to the original configuration.
- If you only want to use the basic functions of the program, get the Home version of Virtual DJ. It is already very efficient and you will save space on your hard drive.
- The function of Beatlock can sometimes cause problems for the playback of certain songs, especially if the songs have variations in bpm (speed). If this happens to you, turn it off and try to sync your songs manually. When you have enough experience and time, you will be able to have fun with this program and perform incredible mixes, whether you are a professional DJ or a simple amateur.