Digital DJ Tips reader Yuri Dafuri writes: “I’m playing a big club soon and I want to set up visuals, my logo, and other graphics behind me. I DJ with USB sticks and CDJs only, so I’m not sure how to get my visuals up on the screen. What are my options?”
Digital DJ Tips Says:
You can control the visuals if you’ve got a laptop running VJ software like Resolume, a plugin like Serato Video, or a DJ app like Virtual DJ, hooked up to the screen behind you, but since you’re using a USB stick and CDJs, you won’t be able to do that.
If you do change your mind and you think you’d like to DJ with a laptop and software, you’ve got some new technology to try out: SoundSwitch is a hardware / software bundle that works in tandem with Serato DJ that lets you program your own light shows. Granted, it’s not for VJing, but getting to control lights just by playing tracks is a fun concept.
My suggestion is to create visuals and video loops, and then just hand it to the person working the video projector or video wall – you did mention that it’s a big club, so there’s a big chance that there’s someone in charge of just the visuals and lighting.
Another thing to consider is to work closely with a VJ or someone who likes programming visuals, and then bringing that person on along during your DJ set. I’ve done just this in my last festival appearance, and while it’s a lot of additional work up front just hammering out the details of what visuals project during which songs and what graphics would go well with which portions of your set, you’ll actually feel less burdened by it during your performance since there’s someone who’s hands on and laser-focussed on images.
Any tips for our reader? Are visuals a big part of your DJ performance, or would you rather leave it to someone who has that as a main focus? Share your thoughts below.