Link: algoriddim - Price: $9.99/£6.99 – Buy Here - Requires iPad 2 or 3.
Video is the next big thing. Well it’s been the next big thing for as long as I can remember to be honest. Pioneer made big moves at the high-end with their DVJ players, but things seem to have died down in that area. Virtual DJ, like so many other features that others hadn’t done, has been video friendly for the longest time as well, albeit at a lower quality level than Pioneer. Serato have also renewed their video ambitions, as have MixEmergency. Various other solutions for DJs have come along, but despite the availability of solutions, video has yet to set the world on fire? Why? Well that’s a news story all on its own.
But like most things technology based, the top end filters down to the bottom, and that’s exactly what has happened with algoriddim’s vjay. Having set the ease of use standard in iOS with djay, they’ve now turned their attention to what I would have assumed was an insurmountable task of VJing on an iPad. There are many hurdles to leap over – the power of the iPad, the audio and video output options and physical capacity of the iPad to deliver a decent amount of footage.
Undaunted, they set off and one by one leapt over each hurdle and have delivered an app that for the first time (I think) on iOS, allows you to mix audio and video like a DJ.
As ever, algoriddim love the previous video work I did for them, thus I was contracted to make another for the vjay launch. But I’ve had no involvement in the design and production of vjay whatsoever.
What is it?
Algoriddim’s vjay is a full DJ style video and audio mixing app for the iPad. It gives you 2 “decks” aka video windows where your can drop the contents of your iTunes library and use them just like you would with any DJ app. You can mix, scratch, apply effects, broadcast via AirPlay and HDMI, record your video sets and use MIDI controllers. Wow – they actually did it.
It’s unmistakably from the djay stable. But the regular DJ layout has been cast aside for something that works better for VJing. It’s still quite DJ-like, but lacks the actual decks. The display is dominated by the main master screen – the master output if you will, with the “decks” sat in either corner below. You can glean the detail from the screenshots – no need to describe further.
The interface is very intuitive. Hit the library icon and up comes your iTunes collection – demo content, videos, camera roll, playlists and the iTunes store. Tap it, load it and you’re off – the big wide word of VJing just opened up to you. What is really clever is that you can load in audio OR video. Pop in your favourite music video, and then add a completely different audio track. Now that’s pretty cool, and especially useful if your plans extend beyond the normal A to B and back again style of DJing.
Getting into vjay is easy. It does exactly what you expect, and works in a most intuitive way. Half the battle is won before you even get into the nitty-gritty.
I keep putting decks in inverted commas, because while you can’t actually see them, the video screens act just like regular turntables, but more so. Moving your finger left/right or up down makes the audio and video scratch, a circular motion acts like vinyl on a platter, and a swipe is like a forward or backspin. Nifty, but don’t be expecting perfect backspins – it does break up if pushed too hard. There’s a single cue point too, which I found a tad disappointing.
You can also replicate these same gestures on the main screen too. And depending on which effect you’re using, you can touch that specific area of the screen and scratch down to mosaic tile level.
Last but not least is full screen mode. This gives you the whole iPad screen given over to your mixing, but does lack any accessible controls, bar a pause button. You can however do the normal touch screen stuff.
Overall, the decks offer exactly the performance you need – highly responsive and almost latency free. Not too shabby considering you’re potentially throwing around 2 different audio and video tracks at the same time.
vjay isn’t exactly over endowed with mixing controls. At first glance, you get a crossfader with 6 different transitions. Well actually you get 6 different video transitions, but the audio is a straight crossfade. That said, the fader can be used automatically with a preference setting that adjusts the time, or of course manually. You can also tap the fader for an instant on fader style. So transitions are well catered for.
It does get a little more clever when you find the split fader setting in preferences that allows you to have a separate fader for audio and video, and both operate exactly like each other.
Just like djay, vjay also offers split audio output, as well as allowing an HDMI monitor to be connected as either a mirror or as a video master output.
You do have to dig just a little deeper to find more audio based controls, something I could kick off about. But we must remember that vjay is predominantly about video.