The Advanced Two Channel Mixer with Downstream Key

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

For this tutorial we'll be looking to replicate more functionality commonly found in professional hardware video mixers commonly used by VJs such as the old school WJ-MX30 including making use of a Downstream Key for masking the final mix and a variety of preset transitions and standard effects that can be easily accessed via a main control panel.

One the advantages of a simplified frontend setup like this is that it is much easier to see at a glance all of the "useful" controls needed during performance while continuing to have a more powerful rendering configuration behind the scenes.

Unlike a dedicated hardware mixer, this setup can be modified in any number of ways, such as the addition of a Syphon Output to another application or receiving DMX to change clips and other settings.

Completed advanced two bus mixer with wipe modes, 80's style effects, and a Downstream Key.

How to build it--

This is an advanced tutorial and before continuing you should know how to customize the layout of a Control Surface plugin, how to build a four channel mixer, and the basics of applying a mask to a layer.

1. Mix and Transition Modes

In the 'Workspace Inspector' create A and B layers and group them into a Mix.

Use the 'Layer Composition Section Presets' for the A and B bus to store mix and wipes, then set each to trigger from a button in a Control Surface plugin.

Mutually Exclusive 'Mix Mode' buttons are used to switch Layer Composition 'Section Presets'

2. Effects A and Effects B

For each bus create a Control Surface plugin and for each noteworthy stylize effect parameter add the appropriate slider or button.

For utility effects such as Color Correction, it can be useful to set up a separate dedicated Control Surface with parameters for both A and B.

Custom layout Control Surface plugins for A and B FX parameter controls.

3. Downstream Key (DSK)

The Downstream Key module applies a finally masking stage to the Mix group. The DSK can switch between using either the A or B bus, an external camera, or the matte generator as its source, as well as an additional "feedback" option which routes the mix output back into the DSK for unusual results.

Add a background layer behind the Mix group to display the Matte generator or a solid color.

Settings in the Downstream Key panel adjust the Layer Mask and Edge Overlay on the mix.

4. AV Sync Modes

Add an Audio Analysis plugin and per-bus LFO plugins to automate control of parameters. Use AV Sync buttons in Control Surface plugins to change sliders, buttons and other parameters between manual control and the automated data-sources.

Audio Analysis, LFOs, and other plugins can provide data-sources for AV Sync and automation modes.