Clicking… I mean touching the hand icon brings up 4 different icons (and I have no idea if they’re called these or not):
FX: vjay comes with 4 joint audio and video effects. these can be controlled with the XY pad or on their own with a wet/dry control. Using the XY pad adds a filter into the equation, one that applies a high pass/low pass to the audio and a light/dark to the video. The effects are gate/strobe, phase/twirl, flange/fisheye and crush/pixelate. The XY pad is clever and provides continuity from djay, but importantly draws you into just having fun with it. I would however like to have a little more independent control over the effects, or have separate controls for audio and video.
Transport: Despite the lack of actual decks, there are still some play controls to get to grips with. Reverse is cool but needs some time to master exactly on beat. Slow motion half speeds the video but time stretches the audio. But it’s slice mode that is the most useful, either 1/2 or 1/4 beat, and adds a really nice effect with little effort.
EQ: This can work on audio and video (acts like RGB sliders), or via a preference effect audio only. While I love how this works, it lacks full audio kill. Other than using the crossfader, they’re no way to turn the audio off on a video. This needs fixing.
BPM: Like djay, vjay analyses the BPM of your music and videos, which allows syncing to be used, making mixing so much easier. It gives you a familiar waveform, and darting around keeps your finger dropping in sync. If your video has no audio, it simply uses the BPM from the playing audio. There are limits however – trying to sync a 98bpm track with a 127 one saw the sync box greyed out. But there’s no pitch range adjustment though – just a fixed 25%, which would explain why. But you do get pitch bend and a full pitch slider.
The success of this feature set will depend on your style of mixing. Finishing this section off is looping. No surprises here – 4 beats to 1/8 beats. But how I wished for 8 beat loops.
All this is great, but you need stuff to play. And seeing as your iTunes library is fully supported, that’s every file that you chuck in iTunes, including HD video and all your playlists. And as previously mentioned, you can add audio and video independently of each other, giving you full freedom with your library.
Well when I say full freedom, I had hoped for access to photos – denied. And text entry too. It’s probably coming though. And you can’t add audio from a video file to an existing video file either.
This library also includes your camera roll, and also the ability to record video through the iPad cameras and drop it in. Mid party, being able to drop someone’s face into the mix is a nice feature. And should said party person shout a request, full access to the iTunes store is supported too.
Some caveats – when I say HD, it’s supported, but your chosen model of iPad might not be happy using a couple of 1080p videos with the full complement of effects at the same time. vjay will even warn you if you’re pushing your luck. But with 720p, you should be just fine.
Overall, vjay is extremely capable and offers solid flexibility with your music and videos. I would however suggest that you take the time to prep your library. Analysing can take a while so it’s best to put in the time first for a most instant experience later.