Video DJing, Part 8: 5 Further Steps For New VJs

| Read time: 3 mins
Pro video dj tips video djing VJ VJing
Last updated 11 April, 2018

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VJ Anyone
VJ Anyone throws his stuff onto the big screen. If you’ve been inspired to have a go at video DJing, here are some resources to help you take it further.

If you’re a DJ who wants to add videos, visuals, logos or other VJ components to your DJing, and you’ve followed this eight-part series, you’ll be in a good position now to know roughly where you want to go next with this. (Not been following? Go to the start and read it in its entirety now!)

So today for the final part (before moving on to reviewing the gear in depth over the coming weeks and months), we want to give you five resources that we hope will help you to firm up your own personal vision of where you want to take this.


 

One-man band: Joachim Garraud’s DJ/VJ secrets

One of the key points in our approach to video DJing is that while you may have someone with you to do the VJ bit, or indeed you may decide you want to only VJ and forget the audio altogether (whether to “get your foot in the door” or because you realise visual jockeying is, in fact, your calling), often you’ll be doing both the VJing and the DJing.

While this can make things complicated, it can also make things exciting, and it needn’t stretch you if you apply some imagination. To show you just how far you can take this, we suggest you watch this excellent video talkthrough from French DJ/Producer Joachim Garraud on how he incorporates video elements into his live set using Serato Video.


 

Making the switch: Fatboy Slim, Beardyman & JFB

While this video shows more how people can collaborate using video (again, it’s for Serato Video but the principles apply for whatever software platform you’re interested in), it is interesting because it discusses some of the issues surrounding why and how you may choose to incorporate video elements into a straight DJ set, as well as looking at some of the technical particulars of doing it.

Fatboy Slim is one of those DJs for whom performance has always been central, so his view on how video can add to the spectacle of what DJs do is well worth taking on board. Watch past the product stuff to get to the good bits.


 

VJ showreel example: Steve G

This showreel by underground VJ star Steve G shows you the kind of thing you could consider turning your hand to producing in order to get yourself noticed. Take particular note of how he includes brands in the showreel; if you were to make a showreel incorporating the venue you were targeting, obviously it would be far more likely to impress them into giving you a break.

Notice how underground this scene truly is, as well. Only a few hundred views (at the time of writing) of a video from an accomplished artist whose name pops up again and again in VJ circles. If you think DJing is crowded and over-saturated, as we’ve said before, you’ll find VJing to be still refreshingly nascent!


 

Classic video: Coldcut & Hexstatic’s “Timber”

Coldcut are well known for their video DJing using Virtual DJ. We’ve chosen to list this video as one of our must-see next steps because it’s probably the classic audio-visual cut-up and it opened many people’s eyes to the possibilities of DJing dance music with visuals added. Technically all of this stuff is available to you with today’s software, and hopefully the narrative in this piece will show you how you can tell a story with video as well as just throw abstract shapes out there.


 

Bookmark it now: VJ Forums

 

VJForums

 

Finally, we couldn’t have written this series without VJ forums. This busy, friendly community of video performers of all types should be immediately bookmarked by you if you’re in any way serious about getting into video DJing from any angle. Of particular interest is its beginners’ forum. We love forums that explicitly state “no question too dumb”, so this is your first port of call as you’re starting out on your path for when you get stuck on the basics – if someone hasn’t asked the same question already. Go and visit them now.


And that’s it! We hope this guide has been useful to you. Happy VJing…

Check out the other parts in this series:

Have any of these resources inspired you to have a go at video DJing? What would you like us to cover in the future on this subject? How have you enjoyed the series? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.

The Complete DJ