Synchronizing DJ Software With Vidjam
Last updated on Saturday, May 13, 2023 - 10:48pm
Vidjam can dynamically synchronize visuals during your DJ sets using Ableton LINK or MIDI clock.
This tutorial will show how to tempo and phase sync Vidjam and Traktor running on the same machine. The same process could be implemented with other DJ software like Serato, Rekordbox, Virtual DJ and of course Ableton. Once the connection is established, you can dock Vidjam to the bottom of your screen during a performance.
To create the connection first enable the global section in Traktor, set the sync method to Ableton LINK and enable LINK in the global section. This will assign the master tempo in Traktor as Ableton Link’s network tempo. Next, Add Vidjam to the session in Preferences > MIDI & BPM by ticking the Ableton LINK checkbox. Now enter BPM mode and Traktor’s master tempo will be reflected in Vidjam.
The final step is to phase sync your music with the visuals. For music with a 4/4 time signature, set your duration in Vidjam to a multiple of 2 measures to maintain phasing throughout your sets. We're using a relatively fast duration of 2 measures and a transition time of 1 beat in the tutorial. This will quickly move through the custom playlist that was created using the beatgrid and favorites tags. A more typical setting during a real live stage or streaming performance would be 4 or 8 measures to give the visuals time to evolve for your audience.
Now that everything is set up, start playing a track. Notice the LINK button phase indicates the downbeat the moment the line disappears. This is also known as the zero-point. In this tutorial's out-of-phase example, the zero-point is not initially lined up with the downbeat of the track To line them up, use the “reset downbeat” hotkey which by default in Traktor is Ctrl-Alt-Space. We will wait until the next downbeat and use that hotkey to align them. Note that the downbeat in the music is then correlating with the zero-point of the LINK button.
The final step is to phase sync your visuals to the music using Vidjam's CUE button. This action will reset the duration counter and 4-beat LEDs to the downbeat of your music. Click the CUE button just before the downbeat since this function is quantized. Again, we’ll wait until the next downbeat and use the CUE button to align them. At this point, the visuals are both in tempo sync and phase sync with the music.
That’s it! Now all visuals will loop and time-stretch according to Traktor's tempo and Vidjam duration settings.
If you’ve purchased the X7 library, you will have access to 1790 visuals with an integrated beatgrid. This is similar to the beatgrids you are familiar with in your audio files but with visuals. To filter your playlist with visuals containing a beatgrid, click the beatgrid button and confirm your new playlist. Now all your visuals are looping in sync, transitioning in sync, and line up with the Traktor (or other DJ software) beatgrids even when the tempo is changed in real-time. Even visuals without a beat grid will still time-stretch to loop on beat in Vidjam. There are hundreds of themes spanning nearly 10,000 videos in the X7 library so start tagging the ones you like best as your favorite to help build your performance playlists.