DJ Mixer EQ Style Masking FX for VDMX (with bonus X-Session Pro template)

Download the completed X-Session Pro template file and Quartz Composer FX for this tutorial.

For a musician looking to add visuals to their existing live performance, or a VJ aiming for tighter sync in their A/V collaborations, it's often useful to come up with meaningful translations or parallels between some of the basic ideas behind the generating, mixing and layering of sounds and images–

In this technique tutorial we'll focus on two different ways the idea of a DJ style low, mid, high EQ control can be interpreted in the world of video as FX in VDMX as a means to mask out or adjust the gain level on separate discrete parts of a video stream for the purposes of blending video layers together. The first example exchanges the low, mid and high levels for the individual RGB channels of the image for raising or lowering the intensity of each independently. The second qcFX uses a similar concept to a 3-band equalizer, breaking down the image into three different sections based on the luma (brightness) level of each pixel instead of its frequency ranges.

Since many of the DJ style controllers for computers are MIDI based, once these conceptual connections are drawn between two similar concepts, it is easy to set up VDMX and music making software to run perfectly alongside each other. Here we are using the X-Session Pro from M-Audio, but the underlying technique can be used with any similar instrument.

Notes and Next Steps:

The custom FX for this tutorial were made in Quartz Composer and can be further customized with additional input parameters, or see how to drive the clock plugin to the BPM from Ableton Live.

Removing (masking out) the brightest part of an image with the “3 Band Luma EQ” FX to show through to the background layer.

Using the included “RGB-EQ” FX to fade movie layers in and out, one color channel at a time.

Our completed VDMX template, a two channel DJ style video mixer for the M-Audio X-Session Pro with EQ and movie controls.