There was a time when you couldn’t DJ without a pair of turntables and a ton of records, and when you couldn’t shoot a film without a nice, expensive camera and an editing suite. Now we’ve got multiple options for free audio mixing software and a camera attached to every electronic device that costs more than $50 bucks, but the world of video mixing remains something of an esoteric world, requiring not only gear but knowhow for one to get into it.
Musikame is in the business of bridging such gaps. Last year, their Musikame DJ online app opened the door to mixing for anyone with a computer and at least one finger. This year, the Spanish team is rolling out the Musikame VJ Player, an online tool that allows you to mix, blend, distort, and add effects and text to video files on your computer, or anything you find on Vimeo.
Musikame will premiere the VJ Player at REC Madrid this weekend, incorporating the application into performances by Matt Black from Coldcut, Mixmaster Morris of Irresistible Force fame, and DJ sets by members of Jazzanova.
The Creators Project caught up with Eduardo Duque of Musikame to learn more about the VJ Player and its epic REC Madrid launch.
The Creators Project: Matt Black has done some killer video stuff with Coldcut. Can you tell us a little bit about his performance at REC Madrid?
Eduardo Duque: He will be doing visuals for Mixmaster Morris as they have done together many times. They seem to complement each other quite well, so I’m really looking forward to their performance.
And Jazzanova’s performance?
Alex Barck will DJ together with the VJ contest winner, who was announced this week on Facebook. The winner will mix visuals across three screens using a Kinect cam on the Jazzanova guys.
What types of effects and transitions is the video mixer capable of?
These are the main features of the app—
• Four independent video channels.
• One webcam channel—video stream, still photos or image files from user's computer
• One channel to type and manipulate text in real time. It includes options to modify font, position, size and color
• Independent speed and loop controls for audio and video for each channel
• Opacity and level controls in all channels
• Three blending/fusion modes (normal/light/dark) on all channels
• Dynamic layer control through drag and drop mouse actions
• Search, play, and mix for Vimeo videos
• Local access to user's video content
• Two preview consoles and a dynamic playlist to manage video loading and mix
• One output console to send the mix to an external screen or projector
What mixing softwares, if any, did you base your design on?
None of them, to be honest. We started with the concept of an easy-to-use online app rather than a powerful standalone application. As a creative collective, Musikame is always looking for new ways to turn different technical combinations into easy-to-use, original, enjoyable, and user-friendly options.
What’s the goal behind this concept? Do you think it will do for VJing what audio mixing consoles and software did for DJing?
Audiovisual content creation through video and other graphical sources gives shape to the expression vehicle of VJs, in the same way that DJs express themselves with live music mixing. And because there are no software installation requirements involved, a wider audience gets engage with the mixer.
Since VJing is a lesser known craft, will the mixer be user friendly for novices?
This is the key for us. Last year we did the Musikame DJ Player, which is compatible with all Soundcloud uploads. We still get great feedback from the people using it nowadays. It’s gotten over 1.5 million visitors since we launched it.
On the flip side, will the mixer meet the needs of experienced VJs?
We’ll put the tool to the test this Saturday with a live set for thousands of people, so we hope so!
How have users liked it since it launched?
All the feedback is simply awesome, so feel free to jump in and start VJing right now! Keep in mind, it’s only compatible with Chrome as of now.