Sandboxing comes to Virtual DJ 8

Virtual DJ 8 sandbox DJ Expo (1)

For those not in the know about such technical things, sandboxing is computer speak for running software in a safe and secure environment that doesn’t impact on anything else around it. And this is a feature that’s being introduced in the upcoming Virtual DJ 8.

Here’s what we have from the horse’s mouth:

Sandbox is a new feature that will revolutionize the work of mainstream DJs.

For the last 20 years, the usual way for DJs to perform a simple mix, was to “cue” the next song, using the headphones, at the right position and pitch, and then start it at the right time to perform the transition. What it means, is that the DJ, while one song was playing for the audience, would use this time to listen to the upcoming song, in order to find the perfect “entry point” where he would mix from.

But unfortunately, this is only one half of the task. Finding the other half, the “exit point” in the current song, was really a hit or miss proposition, where DJs had to know their songs pretty well, to be able to know by heart when to start the mix in the current song.

Not anymore.

Now with VirtualDJ’s new feature “Sandbox”, Atomix Productions brings this second half of perfecting a mix, in a very easy and intuitive way. Just engage the “sandbox mode” while your song is playing, and you will be able to fast-forward or rewind not only the upcoming song, but also the current song, in order to find the perfect point”s” where the mix would sound the best. All this of course without disturbing what your audience is hearing. The seeking happens only in your headphones. When you’re ready, just put a cue point marker on the exit point, leave your next song cued on the entry point, and disengage the sandbox mode.

You’re now ready to wait for the current song to reach your newly-set cue point marker, and start your perfect mix.

Virtual DJ 8 sandbox DJ Expo (2)

To cut this down into easily digestible lumps — in sandbox mode, you can play the current and next track in a totally isolated environment i.e your headphones. Mess round with them, and when you have the perfect transition points, add an exit cue to the current track and an intro cue to the next track and wait for the transition to happen.

It sounds like one of those ideas that should have been invented before. I remember a scratch cue function on the Vestax PMC-007 that allowed you to audition your scratches with the crossfader, but this is different. It’s certainly ideal for those times when you get tracks thrown at you mid-set and have no idea what the music sounds like. Or perhaps those times when a mix is necessary but you’ve no idea if the tracks will work or not. It’s very much an emergency feature, but a very welcome one at that.

Virtual DJ 8 sandbox DJ Expo (3)

It seems that Virtual DJ 8 is almost upon us. After one of the longest gestation periods in the history of software, this release is available to visitors to the Virtual DJ stand at DJ Expo in Atlanta this week, running on 5 out of 8 demo machines. If anyone is attending DJ Expo and cares to have a dabble and let us know what they think, we’d love to hear back about it.

  • Dj L-BIZ (BEAT3)

    clever… especially when you end up playing a tune for longer than expected therefore missing your planned exit (when that ‘drunk’ raver disturbs your flow) I have plenty of tracks where I dont really know the end section very well as I have normally mixed out by then. Like you say nice emergency feature

  • Huey

    The longest? How soon you forget about Serato Video formally known as VSL. That didn’t see an update for 2 years and it looks like there doing it again!

  • Jared Helfer

    This strikes me as a pretty huge feature. The major piece, though, is making sure setting this up and turning it off is easy to do and see, to avoid any of those embarrassing moments where I’d think it’s engaged but the audience hears me checking the end of a track.

  • Deeeee

    I already do something similar to this in Traktor. I load the currently playing track into deck C and use that to preview the end of the track.

    • Jared Helfer

      But it’s not the same. If you use Deck C to prelisten and decide your outro cue location, it won’t matter in Deck A. with this sandboxing method you can go forward in the track, decide where to put your cue point (or loop) and have it update the playing track. So less work.

      • Ross McIntosh

        Seems nobody has ever tried this before.
        One of the very first things I tried and noticed was that if you had a track playing on deck A or B, by loading the same track on deck C or D or any other deck for that matter you could audition it and add as many CUE points, delete them or move them.

        I’m not sure how I feel about this feature.
        I see this as another method to try and make distinctly average DJs who don’t particularly care for the music they are playing to look as if they know it.
        Is it a bad thing. Not really. I genuinely know my tracks inside out, but sometimes I like to remind myself of an outro when I’m trying an experimental transitions to newer tracks.

        I think good DJ’s ‘know’ what will sound good without having to literally practice the mix mid set.

        I’m much more into the splice feature as being something wonderfully useful.

  • Interesting…….but I’m not sure I’d ever use it. I’ve managed just fine without it, playing on vinyl, then CDs, now digital media players, for all these years.

  • I’m trying to figure out how this is better then loading the same track into a 3rd deck and hitting Cue for the headphones. Maybe it’s easier and faster or you only want 2 Decks displaying.

    In Virtual DJ 8 (VDJ8), I want to SPLICE (anti-loop) a song. If I want to quick mix, I can have the chorus instantly and seamlessly jump to the end (last chorus) of the track. This is also great for the Top 40 request you don’t really want to play. Do you like Trance but don’t want to play 2 minutes without a beat? Bam, engage splice and you skip it. No more having multiple edits of the same song. It takes way to long to cut up a track in Ableton, output to WAV, re-encode another MP3 all for a Quick Mix song.

    Mark, will we have a way to design our own skin in VDJ8 using scalable Vector Art? AKA not Bitmaps.

    • synthet1c

      apparently not,

      You will still use bitmaps or PNG to design the skin elements from all reports, but I think because they are modular the software may be able to recalculate and redraw the layout easier to accommodate everything in your design at any resolution. But I am very excited about the modularity “look out ‘the one'”, it should make creating complex skins significantly easier to manage.

      If you want the sharp lines and precision you can still use illustrator or corel draw for your design.

      That said if we can use SVG with gradients, filters and SMIL animation I would be pretty happy, but it’s unlikely.

    • ace

      “I want to SPLICE (anti-loop) a song”
      I was needing this sooo badly at my gig last night!
      We got too used to the splice feature of Denons.
      Now we must wait for the rest to catch up (if they ever do).

    • PachN

      I’m not 100% sure, but I think such a feature will also be included in VDJ 8 😉

      • PachN

        The “anti-loop” thing is ment. Sorry, forgot to mention that…

    • Sandboxing works with the playing decks. It’s not just about pre-listening, but also about the cue points. If I understand it correctly, adding the exit cue to the sandboxed playing track must also add it to the unsandboxed actual playing track. This is a slicker automated process.

  • imonit

    The DJ Expo is in Atlantic City, NJ not Atlanta.

    • I got it right yesterday. Hopefully nobody has booked tickets based on this story.

    • And I met with someone from Atlanta today.

  • dj crossfade

    so far this is the only dvs i tested that runs on ubuntu 13.04 linux
    as well

    • dj crossfade

      still i love my mixvibes more than vdj hope to use them both at same time

    • synthet1c

      how did you get it to work? is it just running in wine? I can’t get mixxx to recognize my audio 8 soundcard so would love to run VDJ as I know everything about it already

      • dj crossfade

        i used linux cross over u may need to install all codecs
        ether than not im not sure it just worked lol

      • dj crossfade

  • ace

    I’m not too sure you can call this an emergency feature.
    In an emergency, you don’t have any time to preview end of the track.
    Cool feature though nonetheless.

  • Mike NG

    Really like to test this thing out. Sounds amazing 😉

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  • Robert J Roberts

    Hum…for those of us who know how to beat mix in and out of songs this is not a necessary function, just saying 🙂

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  • Todd Zeh

    would much rather see VDJ improve Key lock and their effects which are sub par at the moment , general quality sound across the board is most important

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  • Maritz

    Can you do the sandboxing without a controller ? And use it when you mix with your keyboard and mouse. Im just asking