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.


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