The booth can be a lonely place. It’s just you against the floor, where you can be heads down and not give a crap about anything else. But in large venues and events, there’s likely to be other people who depend on you to do their jobs. And when things are getting complex in the booth, a simply 4321 finger countdown to the lighting tech isn’t going to cut it. And that’s where Denon DJ’s StagelinQ protocol comes in handy. In partnership with BLCKBOOK, Denon DJ’s Prime gear will work with BLCKBOOK’s “Timecode” plugin to offer a glimpse into or outright full sync control out of the booth to external resources.

I’ll be honest, like most of you I’ve been a simple one man show without lights, so the concept of this was somewhat new to me in a DJ context. Read these words, and I’ll attempt to break it down for you:

DENON DJ® ILLUMINATES PROFESSIONAL DJ PERFORMANCES WITH STAGELINQ LIGHTING PROTOCOL, COMPATIBLE WITH timecode AND OTHER 3RD-PARTY PLUG-INS

Denon DJ partners with world-class stage/performance set design company BLCKBOOK, using their plug-in “timecode” as first official 3rd-party plug-in for StagelinQ.

Cumberland RI, USA (January 25, 2018)—Denon DJ (www.denondj.com), a leading manufacturer of premium DJ products and solutions, today announced that they have partnered with the renowned world-class stage/performance set design company BLCKBOOK to deliver an integration that combines Denon DJ’s Prime Series (the SC5000 media player and X1800 club mixer) and BLCKBOOK’s Timecode software. The combination of Denon DJ’s StagelinQ protocol and Timecode software enables professional DJs, producers, lighting operators, and VJ’s to perfectly sync the DJ- Booth with their show, for an exciting, seamless performance that reaches a new level. Through the StagelinQ protocol, Denon DJ and Timecode software deliver an effortless plug and play solution…every time.

All three versions of timecode work perfectly with the Denon DJ Prime Series hardware:

  • Timecode View—intended for small to medium sized clubs where the DJ, VJ and LD want to have a visual reference of the artist activity in the DJ booth.
  • Timecode Sync—for bigger clubs and DJs who, on top of visual booth activity, need to sync their visuals, lights and other show elements through timecode and Ableton link.
  • Timecode Live—for the largest touring parties, festival venues and artists that offers all of the above plus extra synchronization options such as MIDI, OSC timecode, remote player control, multiple views, local intro player and much more

With the Denon DJ Prime Series hardware and Timecode working together, all the elements of the show, upcoming tracks, pyro cues, visuals, beats and Ableton link, etc., are sync’d and coordinated perfectly and reliably, ensuring the best performance in any sized venue or environment.

“StagelinQ opens Denon DJ’s Prime Series to the visual world and delivers a powerful solution for artists who need to combine dramatic visual effects along with their sound. The visual aspect of the show is becoming more important every day,” said Paul Dakeyne, International Marketing Manager for Denon DJ. He added, “Our StagelinQ protocol opens a whole new world of stunning visual coordination with the music. With BLCKBOOK’s Timecode software as a first great implementation, we are future-proof and taking the visual side to the next level.”

Timecode will be available for use with the Prime Series as of January 25, 2018 and can be downloaded via www.timecodesync.com.

A Different World

To break this down — via the Denon DJ StagelinQ protocol, events (such as lighting) can be controlled automatically outside of the booth. It comes in three flavours:

Timecode View: Basically lets other people outside the booth see, via waveforms, what the DJ is playing, and react accordingly.

Timecode Sync: Basic single channel control of lighting and other devices, including Ableton Link.

Timecode Live: Full on control, syncing, and triggering via just about every professional protocol out there.

So at the lowest end, it’s a simple visual reference of what’s happening in the booth for techs to do their magic manually. But at the top end, it’s a big boy workhorse where even the Denon SC5000 Prime can be controlled remotely.

For most of us, this is a different world entirely. And while all of us can own the gear to drive Timecode, we’re unlikely to experience it as a DJ. What is does show however is where Denon DJ is pitching the Prime ecosystem aka right at the front line where Timecode is already being used with Pioneer DJ’s top end stuff. And when StagelinQ starts to get used on the MCX8000, then a trickle down of the highest level of professional features could be implemented into DJ Joe Public’s setups too. Given that inMusic has Marq Lighting in its brand roster, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Denon DJ make use of that resource too.

Being a pro product, Timecode has pro prices.

Timecode View — $24.99 a month.
Timecode Sync — $59.99 a month
Timecode Live — price on request

As I’ve said, most of us will never experience this, and I suspect this post will get little traffic or comment. But as a former lone DJ with a penchant for automation, I find this stuff fascinating, which is pretty much the driver for posting it at all.

It’s amazing to me what DJing is becoming, and the scale and level  at which VIP DJs now operate, effectively using what is consumer gear. At this level, it’s not about their ability to beat match, and becomes all about the sheer spectacle of the event. And Denon DJ clearly wants to be right at the forefront of it.