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Author Topic: Function I wasn't aware of...  (Read 14226 times)

Offline Fabio

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Function I wasn't aware of...
« on: July 16, 2014, 05:45:01 PM »
Just when I thought I knew every thing there was to know about VDJ I found a new function.  I'm not sure if it was intentional or not...but it works for me...at least until the next version.  It turns out that the PREVIEW function (the one where you hold the CONTROL key on the keyboard as you click on play on a line) is able to preview the sound ONLY on a karaoke song without interrupting a currently playing karaoke song on another line.  Which is great if you really only want preview the sound and don't care for the lyrics.  I know, for example, that if you click on the play button on a karaoke song line while another is playing the lyrics on the newly clicked line will take over the CDG screen and you will hear the sound of both at the same time which is great for mixing but not so great on karaoke.  So this past Sunday, I was hosting a private afternoon party at a restaurant while everyone was eating they asked me to just play music for the first 45 minutes.  While I was playing that music someone from the party came to ask me if I had a certain song, which I did. He asked me in what key it was and obviously since there is no way to know unless you play the lyrics on the screen - (maybe in the future we'll be able to add that metadata on our files).  I told him I could play the lyrics on an separate karaoke player to see if there was mention of a key at the beginning of the on-screen lyrics.  So in doing that we found that it was in B...I told him he could have 4 half steps above and 4 below if it wasn't in the key he wanted.  He asked me if he asked for -2 if that was an "A" and I told him I'm not a musician so I wasn't sure...so he asked me if he could listen to it and I usually say "no" because my external player uses the same sound device as VDJ and it's usually set to zero volume so no sound goes out at the same time.  But at this time since it was down time I figured I could play the karaoke song in another line and use my internal sound card on the laptop  to preview the sound on a headset...and I didn't care if the lyrics would display on the screen as I assumed they would....but when I played it while holding the CONTROL key I noticed there were no lyrics on the screen...at first I thought I had played the actual mp3 instead of the karaoke song...when then noticed it was, in fact, the ZIP file...I made a mental note to experiment with that another time and he quickly asked to drop it down to -2 and play it again...he was satisfied with the minus 2 and I added him to queue.  I never found out if that was the key he was looking for but he did a pretty good job with the song later and even won their $50 Visa credit card which the host of the party was giving away to the best singers.  Back at home last night, I finally had a chance to experiment and while playing a karaoke song in line 1, I put a second one in line 2 and while line was playing and displaying lyrics on the external TV, I played the second line as I held the CONTROL key and sure enough, I was able to preview the sound only and the lyrics on line one were never interrupted.  This a great addition to my arsenal to be able to listen to the karaoke song mp3.  This is specially useful when you have various versions of the same song and you're trying to figure out what version sounds the best.  Until we have an actual karaoke preview with Lyrics and sound (hopefully on the next version of VDJ), this is the next best thing.  By the way, I've started looking online for some key scales, that's what I'm assuming they're called, where I can see what key a song turns into when you go up or down those 4 half steps.  If anybody knows of such a thing let me know...I'm envisioning something like the attached graphic.  I'm considering asking a musician to fill the boxes in, if I'm not able to find it myself.



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Fabio Q.
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Offline vcationguy

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 07:50:34 PM »
Thanks for the info Fabio!  I wasn't aware of this.  I also like the key conversion idea if it is possible.

Ron

Offline Fabio

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 10:52:43 PM »
Ron,  I think I got something on that chart. ..I just learned how it works....I actually have the chart but it's hand written.  I'll type it up and post it tomorrow.

Fabio
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Offline vcationguy

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2014, 04:57:10 AM »
Thanks Fabio!  That would be great.

Offline Fabio

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2014, 08:26:40 PM »

So here's that chart I put together.  I found that the piano keyboard gives you the easiest way to understand half steps. Basically when you look at piano keyboard any key that is right next to another key is a HALF STEP apart. It doesn’t matter if it is black or white. Look at the keyboard below and you can see that from E to F, there is nothing in between. This means, they are a half step apart. The same is true from the B key to the C key. But if you want to play a half step up from C, you must play the black key just to the right of it. That key is called C Sharp (which is written like this - C#). So, C and C# are a half step apart.

Now, look at the key marked D on the keyboard. If you want to play a half step below D, you would play the black key to the left of D. That key is called D Flat (whihc is written like this Db.  You will notice it's the same key as C# (C sharp).  I haven't figured why exactly but it apparently depends on whether your going up (sharp) or down (flat).  So if you're going up they call it a Sharp, but if you're going down, it's called a flat.  Techically with this piano keyboard graphic you should be able to figure out what key something will be...the chart will help too if you're having trouble figuring it out. 

Here's another example...something that would be typical since mosts songs are not going to be in a natural key...let's say a song is in A sharp (A#) (or B flat) and someone wanted to lower the song to a G...if you start counting toward the left you'll notice -1 will land in the WHITE KEY labeled A then 2 will land in A Flat (Ab) and 3 will land on the G...now you know that he wants a -3 on VDJ.  Another example with the same song...let's the singer wants a C....you count 1 for the B and then 2 to the C,  since there is no black key in between B and C  then you set VDJ to +2.  Starting to get it?  I've attached the chart as well, but I suspect you will only need  the graphic below.






Fabio Q.
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Offline Fabio

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2014, 08:30:01 PM »
It looks like the board won't take PDF, I had convert it to PNG.

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Fabio Q.
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Offline vcationguy

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2014, 04:45:35 AM »
Thanks Fabio!  That is great to have.

Ron

Offline Justin

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2014, 09:17:26 AM »
That's awesome, I may wish to "borrow" your graphics for the help file/tutorial for the next version :) I like the Piano one, as I think most people will recognize the layout and understand the key change better with that one.

One thing I've always known about music is that E and B do not have a "sharp" because they are only a half-note away from the next note. It's been in practice for thousands of years (our current musical scale). If you are a Simpsons fan you'll remember that Homer's Barbershop Quartet was named the "B-Sharps" - a little musical humor as of course there is no B-Sharp :)

Note that the new version allows up to +/- 5 half-steps, rather than 4... but either way I could see that being handy. Perhaps I can display a piano graphic indicating the actual key the song will be playing in... might be a lot of work but it would certainly be unique...

As for the Karaoke preview, yes, I did add that feature to preview only the audio. Basically whenever a line is set to "Mute", it won't use the display. I may add a mini-lyric preview in the next version, that will simply show the lyrics in the little area at the top of the line (overwriting the filename etc)...

Right now I'm getting my new PC set up - a quad-core AMD 2.8 GHz, 4GB RAM, Windows 8.1 x64, two SATA drives (750 GB and 320 GB), and for a monitor -- wait for it -- my 58" LED HDTV @ 1920x1080 :) Also wireless keyboard & mouse, with an HP motherboard w/NVidia chipset, in a Thermaltake case... and I only paid about $120 for the whole system (not counting the TV of course)... it's basically a Frankenstein system I put together, fastest machine I've ever had. It's my new development environment and it's faster than heck :)

Which will lead to Virtual DJ Studio 7.0 :)
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2014, 03:04:10 PM »
Hi Justin:

You can, most definitely, use my graphics. Yeah most people will understand the piano is they understand the relationship of half steps to each key.  If not, the chart is an easy cheat sheet.  Since you're planning to add one more step I can add that to the chart.  I created it in Word and I still have the original doc file.  Although for my part I tell people who want to change a song to a +/- 4 that the song will distort quite abit and I'd highly discourage it.  I think the most I'd go up and down and still have the song sound decent is 3 half steps.

Regarding the Simpsons...yeah I remember the "Be Sharps"...I guess it was a also a play on how sharp the members were.  :)

Quote
I may add a mini-lyric preview in the next version, that will simply show the lyrics in the little area at the top of the line
The mini-lyric preview might a be nice touch but I hope it's not in lieu of an actual karaoke player that only displays on the host screen.  As I think it would be too tiny to be of any actual use.

How did you manage all that computer for only $120? Damn, that's good!   I noticed you mentioned Win 8.1, did you finally figure out how to make your development environment work with Windows 8.1?

Also, did you get to test ver 7 at that party you mentioned last week?


Fabio Q.
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Offline JoeNobody

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2014, 07:06:49 PM »
Only 4GB of RAM? Really? Wow. I've been running 32GB or better for ever.

Offline Fabio

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2014, 01:20:42 AM »
I'm at one of my gigs and I just noticed an error on my chart.  I'll fix it tomorrow and post a new chart.
Fabio Q.
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Offline Fabio

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2014, 05:43:59 PM »
Just got around to fixing that chart....and added one more row for +-5 for version 7.

-Fabio


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Fabio Q.
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Offline vcationguy

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2014, 04:18:07 AM »
Thanks Fabio!

Offline mydjkj.com

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2016, 12:30:59 PM »
Not to get off subject but what sound card do you use?

Offline Fabio

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Re: Function I wasn't aware of...
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2016, 02:07:20 PM »
I use the Sound Blaster external USB model SB1095.  It's quite a good one.  I've had it for years and so far (knock on wood) has never stopped working.

The thing that normally goes bad on this is usually the USB cable...I've had to replace it a couple of times over the years....but that's normal stuff.

-Fabio
Fabio Q.
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