Building a 4 Channel Video Mixer with VDMX

The completed project file with sample movie files for this tutorial is available for download in both 480p and 720p formats.

Back in the early days of desktop and laptop VJing, it was pretty standard to see software that could only mix between two or three video sources at a time. To work with more than this, separate hardware for mixing and compositing was often used to combine two sub-mixes created by computers or other equipment.

One of the benefits of this setup was the ability to juggle between the sub-mixes to create new improvised compositions that could be jammed on or automated using LFOs for a few minutes, then switching over to the next composition being prepared on the other system.

Now that computers are fast enough to run more than 2 or 3 layers of video at a time, a VJ setup like this can be run on a single machine without the additional hardware video mixer. In this tutorial we'll look at how to create a 4 channel video mixer that has two separate sub-mixes.

Next up see how to use Live Camera Inputs with this setup or record the output as a movie.

Our completed dual two channel mixer template for VDMX.

1. Set up the groups for the sub-mixes in the 'Workspace Inspector' under the 'Layers' tab.

Create four layers (two for each sub-mix) and use the 'Group Selected Layers' option.

2. In the 'Workspace Inspector' under 'Plugins' create three 'Two Channel Mixer' plugins.

One mixer for A/B, one mixer for C/D, and one to fade between the {A/B} and {C/D} sub-mixes.

3.  Add Media Bins, LFOs, Preview Windows, FX-chains and other controls for each sub-mix.

The settings of plugins and UI items (sliders, buttons, etc.) can be copied and pasted for fast replication.

Creating a group in the Workspace Inspector 'Layers' tab.

Three 'Two Channel Mixer' Plugins configured to mix between four layers.

Tip: The 'Media Bin' sub-inspector under the 'Menus' tab let's you restrict a bin to trigger on specific layers.