Mixing Music Videos is an excellent way to add excitement to your gigs, offering your client the total multimedia experience and making your event more unique and memorable. This equates to more referrals, and more money in your pocket. It’s a highly competitive DJ market out there, and mixing videos can help set you apart from the pack.
So what do you need to mix music videos?
VIDEO MIXING SOFTWARE
DJ Software that allows for video mixing like PCDJ DEX 3 is the defacto way to go today. You have the full gamut of DJ features at your disposal, allowing you to blend and mix videos the same way you mix audio files when you DJ. You can beat-sync, loop, fire off hot cues, add video effects and various transitions from one music video to the next and more. It’s easier than you think, all you need is the a MAC or PC that meets the requirements (more on that below!) and a commercially viable source for music videos (more on this later, too!)
DJ COMPUTER FOR MIXING VIDEOS
An off-the-shelf MAC or PC can be used to mix videos successfully, but there are a few very important specifications you need to be conscious of when you splurge on your DJ computer of choice. You also want to make sure your machine is optimized for mixing videos, here’s a previous blog post about system optimization Here is what we recommend for PCDJ DEX 3 (not minimum, but recommended!):
- (MAC OR WINDOWS) 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / Core 2 Quad / Core i3/i5/i7 / Amd Phenon (Dual Core is music for video mixing, as DJ software such as PCDJ DEX 3 will utilize both cores for smooth playback, stutter free)
- 4 GIG RAM or Better
- Video card: Dedicated card with at least 512 mb
- DirectX/ASIO compatible multichannel soundcard (Mac: multichannel Core Audio soundcard)
- 200 MB free on the hard-drive
- Note: The above are recommendations for standard 480p Video file Mixing.
- For 720p HD videos (1280×720) — at least 3GB of RAM, 4GB recommended, a video card with at least 512MB video RAM
- For 1080p/1080i full HD videos (1920×1080) — at least 4GB of RAM, 6GB recommended, a video card with at least 1gb video RAM
Also, considering that since HD signal cannot be run over long distances without (very) expensive AV equipment you might consider encoding your videos to a 480p standard. (640 x 480).
The specification for video mixing that you need to pay attention most to, that many DJs and VJs overlook when going out and purchasing a DJ computer, is the graphics card. A video card with shared video memory does just that – it shares RAM with the rest of the machine, and all operations from the underlying OS to the DJ software itself. This can be too taxing on valuable system resources, and will lead to hiccups in playback and other video mixing limitations. So you want DEDICATED GRAPHICS MEMORY, 512MB or higher is the way to go for trouble-free stable video mixing playback.
WHAT OTHER HARDWARE IS NEEDED FOR VIDEO MIXING?
Well, a cable for one. Any standard MAC or PC comes equipped with an HDMI and in the case of most PC’s a VGA output, both are sufficient for sending the secondary video output to a second screen. Most prefer the higher-quality HDMI connection, but just make sure the second source you’re running to is no more than 15ft away to ensure no video lag.
The setting that must be enabled on your MAC or PC that allows you to send the mixed video output ONLY to the secondary display (TV, Monitor or Projector) is EXTENDED DISPLAY MODE (otherwise known as extended desktop). This video HERE demonstrates how you do this using a Windows based machine, watch THIS video for setting this up on your MAC (also demonstrates the Windows setup too).
Once you’re in extended display mode, it’s a matter of dragging over the secondary video output window to display 2 and clicking “full screen” when using DEX 2. Now you’re setup to start mixing videos.
MUSIC VIDEO DOWNLOADS FOR PROFESSIONAL DJS AND VJS
You’ve got the DJ computer and the DJ Software for mixing music videos, now how do you get affordable music videos for professional use?
Promo services for DJs and VJs have been around for decades. Promo services offer pro DJs a way to aquire the latest and greatest music videos for commercial use, at a fraction of the cost (compared to purchasing single downloads from the likes of iTunes).
PCDJ has recently teamed up with BPM Supreme, a top-notch source for music videos for professional DJs/VJs. All videos are delivered in MP4 format and optimally encoded for high quality and low latency (responsive playback). BPM Supreme supplies DJs with a variety of genres, exclusive mixes, and DJ tools for use in PCDJ DEX 3. The BPM Supreme subscription service offers a wide selection of hip hop, R&B, dance, rock, 90s, old school, pop, reggae, blends, mashups, and premium DJ video remixes for the club or mobile DJ.
Simply subscribe and download, drop the music videos into PCDJ DEX 3 and start mixing.
I hope this article assists DJs that are interested in adding video mixing to your sets. I’m confident it will help you build your clientele, set your apart from other DJs in your area, and allow you to charge more for your unique services!
Please feel free to post any questions you have about mixing music videos in the comment section.