Things you should know about Virtual DJ 8

Virtual DJ 8 is a powerful music mixing software that has many features and tools to help you create the perfect mix. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced DJ, there are some things you should know about Virtual DJ 8 to make the most of its capabilities. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most important features of Virtual DJ 8 and what they can do for your mixes. Stay tuned!

Overview of Virtual DJ 8

Virtual DJ 8 is a complete redesign from scratch that already sounds and functions significantly better than its predecessors, even if it essentially maintains the look and feel of the prior version. Even while some of the new features aren’t as seamless as they could be, they nonetheless represent a significant advancement for commercial DJ software. The software is a technologically competent rebuild that simultaneously supports a wide range of hardware and provides in-app content access. It will be interesting to watch what the company does next to expand on its brand-new platform.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Because some DJs do not view Virtual DJ as “professional” software for performance, it has historically drawn criticism. This criticism may be due to Atomix’s initial creation of software that today would seem to be very simple, the fact that it has distributed millions of copies of the free version, making it many people’s first step into DJ software, or even the name (“Virtual DJ” implies the opposite of “real DJ,” after all).

Some DJs have been unhappy with the graphical user interface up until this point since it was crowded, didn’t scale well, and, let’s face it, was beginning to look a little stale. And while supporters countered that the appearance could be readily fixed by downloading user-created skins, many questioned if you should really have to.

The first DJ program to support high resolution screens, like Apple’s Retina display, is Virtual DJ 8. Its graphical user interface has undergone a much-needed redesign, but it will still be instantly recognizable to prior users of the program.

I have some good news, though. I was immediately struck by how clear everything appeared when I opened Virtual DJ 8, which I believe is the first DJ app to support Retina/high DPI displays (I’m using a Macbook Pro with a Retina display). This is in stark contrast to how everything appears when I use the most recent versions of Traktor and Serato DJ on my computer.

You’ll be perplexed as to why NI and Serato still haven’t incorporated this in their software until you realize how sharp everything looks. Just everything looks so wonderful and is so much simpler to read!

Having said that, if you previously thought the screen was crowded, you might now find it to be much more crowded: The space around the decks is much cleaner now that your effects and hot cues are on each end of the screen, but the overall interface still seems a little cluttered, especially with the additional windows at the bottom of the screen where your songs are displayed.

There are some tabs and drop-down menus to browse, so unless you have a powerful controller, you should absolutely utilize a trackpad to do it. If you wish to use all of Virtual DJ 8’s additional editor tools, you’ll need to use your trackpad (more on that later in this article).

Setting up

Controller & licence pricing

One of the largest—if not the largest—lists of officially compatible controllers that function right out of the box is one that Virtual DJ is renowned for having (210 at the moment). No further extra mapping is required (I counted!). Virtual DJ removes all barriers to compatibility, allowing you to use it practically with any controller you want, even one you build yourself, provided you have purchased the appropriate software licence. This is in contrast to software like Serato DJ, whose compatibility is limited to a small number of controllers.

There are three distinct licensing options available with Virtual DJ 8: First off, under the Home User licence, Virtual DJ 8 is free to use if you intend to use it without any additional equipment, such as a DJ controller or mixer. Second, there is the Advanced Home User license, whose cost varies from US$49 to US$199 depending on your controller model, if you want to use it for non-commercial, non-professional purposes (i.e., you don’t make any money off of DJing) (you can check out how much a licence for your controller costs on the Virtual DJ homepage).

Finally, there is the Professional User licence if you intend to use Virtual DJ for performances, on-the-go gigs, and other revenue-generating activities. You can use custom mapped Midi control definitions, access all controllers, store podcasts, and more with this license. You have the choice of making a one-time payment of $299 or a subscription model that requires ongoing monthly payments of US$19. This puzzled me a little, but because SaaS businesses may use it, perhaps they just chose to try it. I firmly believe that the majority of DJs will want to own rather than rent their DJ software.)

Connecting your controller

Once you’ve decided on a license, all you need to do is download the relevant mapping file from the Virtual DJ website, install the mapping, set the mapping up in the preferences, and you’re ready to go. It would be an understatement to say that the Pioneer DDJ-SR I’m using here functions as it should: I calculated that it functions 99.99482934% flawlessly. Honest.)

In use

Mixer window

In line with typical DJ software, virtual decks on either side of your turntables or CDJs stand in for the left and right channels on your controller, respectively. Basic EQ sections with low, middle, and high knobs, as well as filter and gain knobs, are located in the middle.

The crossfader is located below the volume faders for both channels, which are located here in the centre with their corresponding meters and headphone cue buttons (for previewing music on your phones). Drag your chosen music onto any one of the two decks (four if you’re DJing in four deck mode) to load tunes. For different types of playback, there are buttons for Cue, Cue Play, Play/Pause, and Sync.

Video window

Because of its built-in video mixing capabilities, which let you to stream pictures onto a projector or large screen while you mix, Virtual DJ has become a well-liked platform for mobile and karaoke DJs. The program makes this easier by allowing you to parallelize your moves for both music and visuals by tying the audio crossfader to the video crossfader.

Scratch window

The Scratch window, which is intended for scratch performance and routines, enables you to examine your waveforms vertically, same to how Serato DJ does. If you’re beat juggling, Clone Deck buttons let you instantly duplicate either deck for a speedy setup, and Beatlock maintains both decks in sync even while scratching. There is also a Mute Reverse feature, which would allow for some intriguing scratch combinations. It automatically mutes the track whenever you pull the track back (i.e., when you pull your jogwheel counterclockwise).

Master window

The Master window, as you might assume, has controls that effect Virtual DJ 8’s complete audio output. The Broadcast panel, which enables live streaming of your mix, the Mix record button, and a Master effect drop-down menu, which enables you to apply FX that are applied to everything coming out of Virtual DJ 8, are some more capabilities that are hidden here. Here, you may also record any audio coming into the Mic input as well as control the volume and record any audio coming out of the Master area.

Hot Cues, Effect and Loop sections

The Hot Cue, Effect, and Loop sections can be seen on the screen’s edges. The Hot Cues here only go up to six, but you can have more than that (I can have eight to maximise my performance pads on the DDJ-SR). Theoretically, you can have as many cues as you like, but since Virtual DJ 8 only shows six cue points on the main interface, you’ll need to figure out how to activate them on a controller.

Effects

Effects have long been a source of debate among Virtual DJ users and detractors. Some people concur that the previously featured modulation effects, such reverb and flange, just sounded awful, and Virtual DJ up to 7.4 had very few FX options. Personally, after looking through Virtual DJ 8’s stock effects, I don’t think they’re all that great; in fact, several of them pale in contrast to Traktor’s and Serato DJ’s. Virtual DJ 8 can host VST plugins in its Windows edition, although at the moment Macs are not supported. Here are a few that, for better or worse, I believe stand out from the rest.

Distortion

While DJing, tube saturation and a small amount of analogue overdrive may be useful effects for some parts, the Virtual DJ 8 Distortion effect seems to me like clipping: It seems like you’re exceeding the maximum output capacity of your sound card because it is a loud, bright sound. It sounds like digital distortion, which is very different from the warm, harmonically rich sound that results from overdriving analogue or tube equipment. Although I wouldn’t use it, I suppose it is available for usage in some genres.

Echo

As its name implies, the echo effect produces musical repetitions throughout the course of the recording, giving the impression of an echo. The echo’s length and Wet/Dry level can both be customized. To my ears, it sounds digital, thus the echoed sound has some harshness in the highs (i.e., it’s not like a warm “tape echo”), which may or may not be to your taste. Thanks to high and low pass filters, you can theoretically “round out” the sound by removing the piercing highs (the highpass ends at 20kHz).

Flanger & Phaser

The internal flange and phase effects in Virtual DJ 8 are much nicer: They sound like nice plugins when used at very slow modulation speeds (eight bars), like those found in most Digital Audio Workstations. They don’t have the sound of a bag of marbles being shaken together, not even at their quickest setting (1/16 note). As a side note, this is good.

Reverb

Although the Virtual DJ 8 reverb effect occasionally sounds a little artificial and even metallic, especially at big room and wet/dry levels, it is very useful in more conservative situations. Although it’s not one of those “desert island” reverbs, it’s also not wholly rubbish either.

Loops

Entry the loop section, you can specify the loop’s in and out locations, its length, and make rolls and automatic loops using the controls. Even better, you can choose a loop size, move it around, and toggle it on and off as needed to use it at specific periods in a song. It was successful.

Sandbox Mode

One of the brand-new features in Virtual DJ 8 is Sandbox. In this mode, you can preview a mix in your headphones before actually mixing it, so you can skip around the song you’re now listening to or incorporate music from another deck without changing the sound coming from your speakers. When you already have a track playing, this is a terrific way to evaluate the mix in and mix out points. It’s also a great way to assess how tracks blend and stack when more than two decks are active at once.

FAQs

Can I run VirtualDJ 8 without being connected to the Internet?

Yes, as long as you don’t directly select the “Log out” button, VirtualDJ will keep your license indefinitely. You only need to connect to the Internet once, log into your account, and allow it to automatically download the license file.

What happens if I can’t even make a single Internet connection on the PC where I wish to install VirtualDJ 8?

Contact our customer service, and they will create a specific file for you that you must transfer using a USB key to your own computer (or cd, floppy drive, or whatever). To enable VirtualDJ to log you in, this file will simulate a connection once.
Note that this file functions on devices that have never connected to the Internet. You don’t need this if you can connect at least once.

What happens if I connect from home using a computer while the club computer is offline?

No issues. No matter how many times you logged in on different computers on the side, the license will remain active on your offline computer, so you won’t need to log in again.
VirtualDJ will often verify that there is an active Internet connection and that it is capable of talking with our servers before asking you to log in again. If it can’t, it will continue to allow you to drive.

Is the hardware connected to the offline license? If I replace the soundcard, do I have to reload it?

Yes, the offline licensing is hardware-specific, therefore you can’t utilize the file on a different computer.
But no, it is not dependent on components like video or sound cards that you might replace.
Your offline license is remains active as long as you use the same CPU and primary hard disk.

What if I have a license for a PRO Subscriber?

You can still use your computer offline if you have a PRO Subscriber license, but you must connect to the Internet at least once every month, during the first 10 days after the date your payment card is charged.
If you still haven’t renewed the license file, a message will be sent to you seven days before your license expires.

Conclusion

Virtual DJ 8 is powerful music mixing program that can help you create professional-sounding mixes. It offers a wide variety of features and tools to help you mix your tracks like a pro. While it may take some time to learn how to use all of its functions, once you do, you will be able to create amazing mixes that will wow your friends and family. If you are interested in learning more about Virtual DJ 8 or want to try it out for yourself, contact Oneman today. We would be happy to walk you through the basics and get you started on creating unforgettable mixes.

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