MixEmergency is a new attempt to expand the DJ techniques into the visual realm in a single, integrated environment. And once again, Serato is the backdrop.

We saw Serato’s own Scratch-Live, which provides digital vinyl control in Serato, when dj rndm gave us a detailed hands-on earlier this year. The VIDEO-SL focused on vinyl control of video and integration with the TTM-57SL Rane mixer required for the product. MixEmergency is a bit different: here, visualizations and MIDI are the centerpiece in place of video and scratching. (They’re there, but they’re not the main draw, according to the developers.)

Features:

  • QuickTime video mixing and scratching
  • Quartz Composer visual compositions, taking advantage of QC’s 3D and image-processing / generative capabilities
  • Visuals react to play position and velocity of media, and audio and video signals
  • Custom layer and transition effects, frame bending, image and text layers
  • Drag and drop preview and playback, drag and drop of folders
  • Assignable MIDI control (including MIDI in QC compositions), and support for Scratch LIVE control

MixEmergency Product Page

The software is currently in public beta, Mac-only. The full version will cost US$179 (the demo is watermarked and doesn’t support fullscreen output). As with a number of recent Mac apps, you need a MacBook Pro or other Mac hardware with dedicated graphics. Happily, 10.4.10 works — 10.5 isn’t required.

So who is this for? A lot of the push has been for giving DJs visuals easily — with the danger being potentially eliminating VJs or dumbing down visuals, which isn’t really good for anyone. (See Jaymis’ rant about that direction.) But I don’t get that sense here. In fact, the ability to create custom visualizations means DJs could commission visuals from a VJ and tour with them. The developers actually tout collaborative performance controls and VJs working to design and perform with reactive visuals alongside the DJ. Integrating the two could encourage that kind of collaboration, as dj rndm and Robotkid discovered in our VIDEO-SL review. On the other hand, many VJs will remain happy in their existing environment. But it’s nice to have more choices.

If you try the demo, let us know what you think. I expect we’ll see this are continue to grow and mature.

  • http://www.accentfeed.blogspot.com Miguex

    I know for a fact that some of the biggest pop acts, cough.. cough… queen of pop, cough… cough…
    has hired motion graphics agencies to create high quality content for some of her recent tours. These are played on a DVD to match her live songs. There is no VJ.

    So something like this, I fear might take the opportunities of a video performer away, but bring in motion graphics power houses to the mix instead.

  • http://createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Right, but as you point out — then the motion graphics house distributes on DVD, not Quartz Compositions with MIDI assignments. ;) So I think this is decidedly part of a trend in the opposite direction.

    I've seen what happens when people do VJing for big pop acts — it can be pretty dreadful as a working experience. But I could see some smarter acts and DJs using a live VJ as a draw. That's happening already…

    Any tool that brings together some of those VJ metaphors with a DJ tool the DJ is already using is likely to be a step in the right direction. I'd have to give this particular one over to the Serato-using experts to get their opinion, of course.

  • http://www.accentfeed.blogspot.com Miguex

    Touche Peter!
    haha

    I guess I was my comment was general, not specific to Mix Emergency, which as you point out, could bring a change to that. ;)

  • Lukeo

    Checked out the demo, its a very cool little application not much to it, making it very limited but would work well for Djs wanting to add a few visuals to there set. Took me ages trying to find the midi setting (there is none just press option click on the button you want to assign) also works well with quartz composer.

  • http://myspace.com/djdigimusic DJ Digi

    This plug in is awesome! I hate Rane mixers ( only 2 channel, poor cross fader reliability, the aux out doesn't work well as a booth level, etc…) and I did NOT want to buy a $1,500 mixer that I wouldn't be happy with, especially because I bought SSL for $500 already. I've been longing for an app like this since the SSL plug in came out and I found out that Serato was trying to bend everyone over. THANK YOU NEW ZEALAND!

  • http://www.vimeo.com/sebit DJ TOSTADO
  • http://myspace.com/henrygq dj henry gq

    i do not have a mac, but i do too hate the fact that i have to buy the 57 mixer to do serato video…sheesh i already have the serato box…i dont mind spending two hun bucks on the plug-in, but 1400 for a mixer ?
    thats so dum', and greedy on ranes part.
    if anyone knows a way around the 57 mixer, please get a hold of me on myspace.com/henrygq

    thank you !

  • http://myspace.com/henrygq dj henry gq

    i do not have a mac, but i do too hate the fact that i have to buy the 57 mixer to do serato video…sheesh i already have the serato box…i dont mind spending two hun bucks on the plug-in, but 1400 for a mixer ?
    thats so dum’, and greedy on ranes part.
    if anyone knows a way around the 57 mixer, please get a hold of me on myspace.com/henrygq

    thank you !