OK, so you haven't got a lighting guy, right? You don't have somebody dedicated to pressing faders and buttons on a dedicated DMX lighting desk to give your DJ sets a bit of something "extra"? Of course you don't! Who does? And that's where SoundSwitch wants to help.
The issue is that, of course, us DJs want to DJ, not have to operate lights as well. That's great if you DJ as part of a big production or in a huge venue where there is a lighting tech taking care of that stuff. But if you're a mobile DJ, party DJ, bar/lounge DJ looking to either add a few lights to your set-up or improve on your light show to differentiate yourself from the competition, what are your options?
Well, set your lights to the dreaded "automatic", if you want to put everyone to sleep. Set them to "sound-to-light" (not quite as bad, but still boring"). Maybe use a remote control or foot pedal to at least have them do something new every now and then. Or, much better... use SoundSwitch.
What is SoundSwitch?
SoundSwitch comprises of a box that plugs between your laptop and a cable heading off to your lights (you only need one cable: your lights link to each other in a "daisy chain" from that first cable onwards). Therefore it works with any DMX lights (lights that you can network, in other words - which is basically all of 'em).
The second part is a bit of software that resides on your computer. The clever bit is that you pre-prepare each of your tracks adding light info: colour, intensity, strobe and movement, info that gets embedded in the MP3 itself. Then, whenever you play that track in Serato (SoundSwitch only works with Serato for now), you always get the exact same light show.
The benefit is that you can properly program your lights ahead of time, so for instance, have all your yellows flashing madly, or all your reds sweeping, or a strobe on your drop, or your laser on the dreamy breakdown, and so on. In other words, you can pre-programme all the amazing stuff a lighting tech might do for your own personal DJ show, so when you're DJing, you can just, y'know, DJ.
Furthermore, when you move the faders altering track volume intensity of lights changes too, and when you crossfader between tracks, you crossfade between their light shows.
We liked the demo at NAMM, and we're looking forward to reviewing it properly, but on the face of it, this is a great leap forwards for a whole section of DJs. Fun stuff!
• SoundSwitch costs US$499, and you can find out more at the company's website. Meanwhile, here is a demo video form NAMM 2017 showing a light show being controlled by SoundSwitch.
Do you like the look of this? Let us know your thoughts on SoundSwitch in the comments.