A DJ Reviews New Video Manipulation iPad App VJay

Posted June 8

Algoriddim’s djay program for Mac has long been my go-to program for making/mixing/playing music. It’s my primary program to DJ, and — as someone who came of age raving to Sasha and Digweed playing manic-long sets on vinyl, long before even CDJs — trust me when I say that it took a massive program like djay to allow me to be OK with being all-digital. Additionally, the awesome multiple sample banks allow me to be weird and interesting during sets, and the effects, beatmatching, etc — all of it’s so good and so lightweight. Not to mention that the program boasts the ability to throw effects and vocal pitching on an in-dash microphone. It’s safe to say I was sufficiently impressed by djay, but once I found out that an iPad app for live visuals was on the way, I was floored. Meet vjay.

Live video manipulation has been my Holy Grail ever since my band, Silent Drape Runners, played with a live video artist back in April.

Now that I’ve spent a small amount of time with vjay, I’m more than impressed. I believe I actually used the phrase “game changer” to my girlfriend when I was showing her the app’s features. Here’s the thing: If you have any amount of brain power, you don’t even need a primer on how this app works. Load up videos — either on your iPad already, in iTunes, supplied as samples by vjay or record your own — and begin to warp, twist, effect and mix them, either to music or on their own. The interface is intuitive to anyone who is already a digital DJ.

I don’t often use my djay for iPad app, because I don’t know anyone other than Clams Casino who actually DJs using an iPad, but, believe me, if anything can cause a sea change toward more iPads in DJ sets, it’s going to be vjay. Not because you can create the massive mind-melting visuals on-the-fly of, say, outpt+paris, but because it puts live video manipulation in the hands of EVERYONE.

Stutter, mix, bitcrush, distort and otherwise f***k up your own videos with nature and skateboard shots provided by vjay, or your own sexy vidcam shots you made for your significant other but forgot were on your iPad (I’m sure I don’t know what you mean). Add music, and basically what you’re looking at is what vjay is: the quick, simple, intuitive-as-hell way to add live video to your DJ or electronic music gigs. And recording? It’s such a snap. Check my trial video:

For the sake of not allowing my new obsession to actually stop me from ever writing this, I made myself stick with just vjay’s stock video and one song, my band’s remix of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” mashed up a little bit with our remix spirit animal, Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend,” a.k.a. contender for the best song ever.

Yeah, there are some downsides: If you want a truly powerful live video manipulation device, I’m sure that people who “actually “do” “viz” can point you to something. And vjay can’t, in its current state, actually BE the only app you use to DJ live, unless you want to suck. But that’s seriously nitpicking because the point is this: Now doing your own visuals LIVE is within the grasp of EVERY musician/artist/cat/ANYONE.