Πέμπτη 19 Ιανουαρίου 2023

Some interesting free or 'cheap' dj programs

These days a fend from the past called me of proposing a free program he uses for mixing songs in a dedicated computer. this was the result of oa discussion a few days before   when I referred him about the the programs i do music processing and hosting and proposed me to tsest the program YouDJ a very free DJ program. There was a very intensive reference also to the past times when we worked in the same place and the experimentation with the programs of the early 2ks that is with the PCDJ a legendary program of that time

I start this presentation by fist checking the program he proposed me

 YouDJ

This is trhe program he proposed me. I immediately visited the developers page and tested a bit tihs program. Its very interesting that this guy no only offers this spogram in free but also has a few educational videos in Youtube on its operational and how to DJ dn hwo to gain more pooints towards to get a higher degree in DIing into 3 steps



Click to enlarge the picture 

The consumes around 400 MB quite big for my tiny free SSD memory that now reaches the 59GB. THis is also a reason that i didn't want to keep it in my system. Checking inside the program folder there is a huge 250MB file that isi can part of its operation. Don't remove it as the program   cant operate! 

I can also refer to the huge collection of audio tracs it offers (around 10000 tracks as he notices )and i suppose that they are possibly stored int this huge file 

In the menu there are also a  few samples that can intervene in the music program with some minor effect. For more effects a registration is required.

Its standalone program has also a explorer and can keep full track of the music library 

As i tested it only supports Mp3 BY bye the other formats.There is a virtual button for autoplay operation

Youtube videos are also supported but all mixing operations are disactivated.Here is a example. As in the photo you can see in the top row two videos are marked with  color bars. These marks cover part of the video thumbnail in the left or right that identifies in which of the two  virtual disks are played

This screenshot comes from its online version. as noticed by the developer Firefox does not support it fully but there is a Chrome plugin and supports Safari. 

In short I deem that this program does everything a amateur and possibly a professional  Dj can need  (step 3 prorgram at very low pfoice 24 EU ). Very big installation file but it lacks support of any other format but MP3If he could remove all these uninteresting huge music collection , Still unusure for that as ll media stopped using MP3 format. 

Mixxx



This is the alternative solution to the above and still a free program since its... inception . I already had some minor information in various fora about its operation a few months ago and very recently decided to test it. this program was the only lightweight comparing to other commercial programs found  in the net (Virtual DJ, DJUCed, and ultramixer ) and cost more than 100Eu . in the start i checked a few older versions  but finally stopped in the recent edition a relatively large installation file (75MB) This program has the same preferences dialog in all versions but  was quirt slow to understand audio piping Available in all platforms supports all file types except WMA... This is my main file format in saving the non Greek music I do that to conserve space in both computer and mp3player. this rather big player supports much better WMA than MP4 or AAC formats.

Its most funny is that everything in the screen stretch as the main window This is the same with YouDJ and the minimal version of PCDJ

There are many useful operations with up to 4 live effects, 4 decks  , 8 cue points max  and around 16 samplers


PCDJ


This is one  of  my most beloved programs of the far past ie early 2ks when many folks used it , not only the pros as far as i remember.

The above version DEX3 RE is the basic and quite simplistic among the remain . It  includes most important features   on very basic DJing  including the auto DJing and costs around 25 Eu All bigger start from 140

The program starts - at least to me - requiring a valid music library in every session. I prefer top add the songs later by using different directories. The are 8 effects available in caroussel. namely flanger,echo autopan LPcutoff reverb betwaw BASic Playlist can be filtered int standard music songs , karaoke and lyrics and with preview option in he auto DJ pane

The windows can also be stretched stretching everything inside  into smaller form , If ou are using windows tablet the program can also change into touch screen in a even more simple operation As with the remain programs it has the ability to randomize or shuffle the listing . The auto Dj is put into the right pane and can be just made with a drag of the listing . 

The bigger versions can offer some more explorer utilities with cloud services I use the full demo version for two days and then tuned into buying the minimal version tat fits more an what i need

The only minus is the lack of master volume.

 Zulu

And finally  another program from NCH company . as i can tested it the program is very minimalistic with very few options regarding to the remain programs tested but at relatively high price for its abilities. Good that this program also uses the effects plugin database (filters, effects  VST DIrectX etc ) from the remain company;s audio programs to enhance its abilities these are more than 55 effects As far as i tested with mixpad and wavepad there are only around 15 VSTs supported and are automatically downloaded form the company's site There is along list of samples available to nearly all sound programs of the company. 

The disc dragging is possibly the only  operation not supported

On of its most important features is the very big list of audio formats supported including the obsolete realaudio RA of pre20s time ! As with other products it can also upload these recordings to Dropbox SoundCloud and also Youtube with spectranalysis 

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Also to notice that all above programs can record the mixing and post to well known sites and stream the context,.  Mixx saves the files into WAV AIFF FLAC    and also ΟGG MP3 AAC and HE-AAC/2 [not all AAC modes supported] and other formats while PCDJ only to WAV and AIFF mode

Interesting is with external support to Bluetooth  products. Mixx does not support BT gear while PCDJ is OK but under first playing with standard line outs : headphones or inner sound card 

This is what MIxxx shows after changing to Awei Y120 mini speaker: invalid device



After this near in depth analysis I still prefer PCDJ even if there is something missing : Loss of master volume and many formats in saving. the hits of it are the wma mode playback and support of BT gear for audio transmission!


Σάββατο 7 Ιανουαρίου 2023

Mixing up strategies for music. Includes more...

Notice : I would prefer anyone passing thru here instead of just watching this article and leaving this page to : send his opinions to my email at zliangas  at yahoo dot com  or just leaving his comments in the bottom of this page

Your replies are extremely useful to me. Please stop being mute !! thank you!

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Finally after the last ideas of just joining songs with these programs i decided to mix up songs with mixing software to add some more time in my program work but doing something better 

The music projects are now twop

[1] the older project is just doing what i did so far by joining files for a maximum time of exactly 27'30" required by the program curator 

[II]  the newer project is just 10 minutes of length and he requires also to add intro [program ID ] and outro[listener communication]  , thereby shrinking the music time. This seems to me quite difficult nt to calling it as bad to killing some music time in so short time for adding possibly useless info 

I already used the Audacity program for some exercise. It is ok as  program for making some music effects or making audio and gear tests Any  regular follower of this site knows that with the screenshots used here. the program is very good for this work> worked also with some short mixing but i m quite experienced with it in more complicated works  as this and with fadeouts and 'dukings' or voiceovers
I also have a very old cool edit version but works only with PCM WAV Files so no reason ti use it. 

i finally checked an bought Mixpad from a company i knew before using Debut [video-grabber] and videopad [video processing] MIxpad is a very complicated program but very easy to use after some usage with many effects and VST plug in add-ons  that i m not interested , at least till now 

Here i will show you with graphical way the strategies we done so far and asking others if they can help  for any other  available :

METHOD ONE : fading the last song of the program



this is a example used from the Project II

This is the first way he did  which i followed in some of my music projects : using the whole song files removing some repetition parts and then fading out what exceeds the time barrier with some fade-out. By chance i use around of 5-10 secs for f/o . I rarely used this idea before is now my norm of gaining more time for adding a more song in the listing

I have an important question to ask : what is the best time to end a program by fading out the last song?  


 


METHOD 2 : shrinking the file to fit the time 

Above is the result in Audacity in a more recent job. I added the program intro in the start  that is just 6 seconds. The total time with that was  606 seconds  that needed some shrinking  to 600.  Just 1% shrinking. This is a very rare case of doing that and the first time for more pro work . 



The person in charge used it also on the project [I ] but shrinking the file up to 3% down which as he mentioned is the highest level without making the voices 'duck sounded' . Mixpad has also box not to alter the pitch  as it can be shown in the picture below 


 i m also open to discussions if any higher levels of shrinking /streching as 4-5% can do the job: 


METHOD 3 : fist and end song ends meet  the start stop times



and here is the 3rd method of what i can think : Putting the start first file on the very start of the program and the finals' end on the end while putting the second in the middle and tilting it to fit better to the program. All remain file ends are variable. 

This is the method i use for the project II. Ιn just 10 minutes of program to include 2-3 songs. The question also lies that  these songs are at least 4.5 minutes long, therefore I must remove more than the necessary..


an here is another interesting picture on mixing two songs and later adding the file ID as shown wirth the short waveform  in the third row . You can also see on how the reed lines can affect the volume level by making a manual crossfade. This mini s/shot is a just simulation of the real project just for illustration as i didn't saved that the i did. Any saved project can cause more an 700MB of lowering the little SSD  memory that is now 67 GB only



And this is the simplest way of making some ducking by just adding bookmarks and then adjusting them Possibly faster than the ducking itself used in both mixpad ad wavepad Just 3 secs


special update: Program problems

I asked also these 3 strategies to the curator together with some  pictures to illustrate better the situation for asking any better ideas of mixing files.

Unfortunately the person in charge [curator]  didn't help so much but just advised me why i don't use the other program (wavepad) by just joining  the files as i did so far . Quite opinionated reply as his wavepad program worked perfectly in his PC I  downloaded  and a tested the program quite much to the level that i wasa enforced to also buy it. I dont know which version he uses but mine  17.02 shown many problems in its operation: 

Unknown reason effected the playback with popping sounds after the first minute if  jumping the mouse. if I leave it play  the file in full noting happens.  The problem resolved after playing with the audio input settings.

 (1) it's a very hungry HD memory. After cleaning 250 MB files at 32kbs from parts if noise  , 6 hours of radio recordings my SD disk lost 25 GB of data with  system memory of 45 free GB left only. It happened also to another in the forum. 

(2)  Once joining 5 audio files found some leftover sounds from the previous file ie remainders  of the 1 st were head as background into  the 2nd file  . I  returned to previously used software  (Xrecode and MPjoiner)

(3)Lossless MP3 operations are ok but  splitting files cannot cut  in their original bit chunks This is the program  i used some any years ago to cut albums ripped by me or  downloaded from in youtube.. older times

The NCH personnel was quite gentle with these problems and after several messages they sent me a patch program that tracks all my movements in order to identify any problem happened ..  for more than 9 days with the NY holidays in between nothing has been found but the load of checking was not heavy as before !

Also to notice the newer version solves most of the problems.

There are some  less important problems rising between Mixpad and Wavepad especially with the normalization levels. While Mixpad sets the EBU and remain normalization levels to -23db LUFS the resulting level with file imported to mixpad shows a maximum -6db . Still there are cases with all songs set to -23 to result with up to 1.5 db higher depending to the sound density if I m correct

In  contrast  normalizing a song with Wavepad  at -23db results to a real … -23db LUFS !

 

 

 

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Notice again  : I would prefer anyone passing thru here instead of just watching and leaving this page to  send his opinions to my email at zliangas  at yahoo dot com  or just leaving his comments in the bottom of this page

Your replies are extremely useful to me. Please stop being mute !! thank you!