DEX 3 DJ Software | How to Install ‘Shaders’ for On-Screen Visualizations from Shadertoy.com

Using Shaders in DEX 3 DJ and Video Mixing Software

Shaders for on-screen visualizations

Last week we introduced DEX, the latest and greatest iteration of our top DJ mixing software for the versatile DJ, along with ‘Shader’ support.

Shaders are free to use and generate stunning on-screen visualizations that are (typically) beat-aware – so they pulsate, slither and gyrate along to the beat of the music. When displayed on your secondary output screen, Shaders add a new dimension to your performance that will leave a lasting impression.

DEX 3.11 is designed to display Shaders anytime you’re mixing audio, but you can select ‘No Shader’ from the Shader drop down menu located at the top of the DEX 3 video skins if you prefer to not use Shaders. You can easily add additional Shaders from the Shader top down menu and edit the existing list of Shaders using the ‘Edit Shaders’ option.

Where do you get Shaders?

Shadertoy.com is a website platform that allows users to build and share Shaders with the world. Lucky for us, there are hundreds if not thousands of free Shaders to select from. Shaders come in a wide variety but they all display motion and are almost always beat-aware, with a few exceptions.

Shaders also vary greatly on how much resources they will use — from light to heavy workload on your GPU. Since your GPU (graphics card) is doing the heavy lifting when using Shaders they are best used with machine that have a dedicated (discrete) graphics card. If you notice any on-screen lag or any other performance issues running DEX 3 you should not use the Shader in question.

Some Shaders are also marked ‘private’ and therefore can’t be added to DEX 3, while others may not convert properly and will display a generic ‘red’ background when applied in DEX 3.

Adding Shaders

In order to add a Shader to DEX 3 all you need to do is copy the URL of the Shader from your browser’s address bar and apply it to the ‘Add a new Shader’ input box that you access from the ‘Shader’ drop down menu.

Here’s a step-by-step demonstration of how it’s done:

Copy the URL at ShaderToy.com

1) As pictured above, search and browse at Shadertoy.com and once you’ve found a Shader you wish to use in DEX 3, highlight the URL of the Shader in your browser’s address bar and copy it (right-click ‘copy’ or CTRL + C).

Click add Shader in DEX 3

2) From the Shader drop down menu located at the top of the video skins (4-deck or 2-deck video tabs) select the option ‘Add a new Shader’.

Right click past in Shader in DEX 3

3) Click into the ‘Add new Shader’ input box and either right-click and select ‘Paste’ or CTRL + V to paste in the Shadertoy.com URL.

Click OK to apply Shader to DEX 3

4) Click OK to apply the Shader immediately. Unless the Shader isn’t supported or marked private, the Shader should instantly apply and display on screen.

Now you’re ready to mesmerize your audience with on-screen visualizations that add a new element of excitement to your live performances!

Here’s a compiled list of Shaders we’ve been using ourselves here at PCDJ.  Test out your ability to add Shaders to DEX 3 now — a great way to jump-start your collection!