Virtual DJ & Karaoke Studio

VDJ8 How-To Series

This is a series of How-To pages related to Virtual DJ & Karaoke Studio 8. Please see the main How-To Page to view all pages in this series.

Part 2: Video Screen

Watch Video or read below (or both!):

For this page, we will focus on the Video slash Karaoke screen. For best performance, it is recommended that an external monitor or TV be used for your patrons to view the Karaoke lyrics, music videos, upcoming singers and more.

For the purposes of this and other How-To pages, when I refer to "CDG Karoke" or "CDG/ZIP", this simply means any Karaoke file that is an MP3 paired with a CDG file, which may or may not be within a ZIP file. These are typically extracted from Karaoke CDs, or "CD Plus Graphics" discs.

When I refer to "Karaoke Graphics" I am also referring to the lyrics, which are presented as text but in graphical form.

Video Karaoke is essentially a music video, featuring Karaoke lyrics, and cannot be manipulated in the same manner as CDG karaoke. To avoid confusion, I will always refer to these as simply "Video Files" regardless of the video content.

Let's walk through the Configuration dialog. This dialog lets you adjust every aspect of what is shown on the Video screen.

We'll start at the bottom-left of this dialog. These settings take effect immediately without having to click Apply.

Temporarily Override On-Screen Graphics simply hides the header, footer, and upcoming singer pictures from the screen during CDG Karaoke and Video playback, respectively. This is handy if such overlays interfere with what you are playing on the screen. For CDG Karaoke, this causes the lyrics area to expand to the entire screen as well.

You can also access these two settings by Right-clicking the Video preview window.

Below that is the Advanced Screen Options. For most users, these settings should not be changed without a good reason. We will quickly walk through what each of these settings do:

Live Video Background
If you are using a webcam as your background, sometimes after playing a video file, it may take a few seconds for your webcam to re-initialize. You may see the camera image go from light to dark, or other artifacts.

This setting simply keeps the webcam "open" while you are playing a video, so that there is no delay when the video ends and the webcam takes over the screen again.

Overscan Compensation
This setting generally only applies to older TVs, but some newer TVs also incorporate Overscan. This is where you may see some of the image cut off around the edges.

This setting, using the Test Pattern, allows you to adjust to compenstate for this, ensuring your entire screen is visible and not cut off.

If using multiple TVs via a splitter or multiplexer, be sure that you check each one, as some models overscan more than others.

Override Screen DPI Setting
This should be left off, especially if you are connected to an Ultra-HD 4K TV or monitor. This causes VDJ to ignore the "zoom" setting within the Windows Display settings, so that it can use the full resolution of the screen.

It is intended only if your screen is smaller and looks pixelated as a result of Windows' zoom setting.

Internal Graphics Rendering
This setting adjusts the size of the graphics as they are rendered and mixed internally. 1080p is the default and should be used, even if your screen is of a lower resolution.

Next is your Background selection. This background displays on your Standby screen, as well as behind the lyrics when playing CDG Karaoke. You can choose from a static image file, a moving video loop, or even a live webcam that is connected to your computer.

Once selected, click Apply to apply the background. Clicking "Add Item" allows you to add new pictures or videos to be used as backgrounds.

Note that VDJ makes its own copy of any files you add to this area; this way, if you are using a background from a flash drive or other removable media, VDJ has its own copy for future use.

You can remove any of your custom added items with the Remove button. Note that this actually deletes the file from VDJs own folder, but does not affect the original file that was copied in.

For the Live Webcam selection, you may choose to point your webcam at yourself, at the current singer, or out over the entire crowd - whatever suits your preferences at a particular venue. Advanced users may also try using a video input device allowing you to put just about any video signal on the screen.

The Background Color sets the color that fills in any areas not covered by the background image or video. If the background is not a 16 by 9 ratio, there will be letterboxing, and this color will fill those bars.

On the other hand, you can click "Crop Background to Fill", which zooms the background to fill the entire screen. Note that it may crop parts of that background, so use whichever mode looks best to you.

Finally, the control to Darken the Background Behind Karaoke Graphics refers to CDG Karaoke. This causes the background image or video to "dim", ensuring that the CDG Graphics over top are easily readable. The ideal amount of dimming will highly depend on the particular background you are using.

Now let's move on to the right side of the Configuration dialog. You will note that there are three "Screen Modes" to edit individually. This allows you to have different items or colors on each type of screen.

"Standby" is the screen shown when no video or CDG Karaoke is being played. Generally for a Karaoke gig, you might have upcoming singers on this screen.

"CDG/ZIP" is the screen shown behind the CDG Karake graphics.

"Video" lets you customize the header, footer, and countdown timer. You cannot display upcoming singers or pictures during Video playback.

Every setting in this area affects each "type" of screen separate, except that the Header and Footer text and font will be the same for all three modes. The color of the header and footer however can be different for each.

Let's start with your Standby screen:

Of course there is your Header and Footer text. You can choose whether or not these items are displayed at all, configure the text, font, position (left, right or center), as well as the color.

The next section allows you to show Upcoming Singers in a variety of ways. For Pictures, there are two distinct styles: Photographic, which have the appearance of an "instant camera" style photograph, and "Square", with just a colored border around the singer's picture.

For Photographic, you can choose to show one, two, or three pictures. When you select Three, the first (which is the next upcoming singer) is shown quite prominently, with the next two smaller and off to the right. With this setting, however, you cannot show a Text List as there would not be room.

With two or one, you can additionally show the text list.

With Square pictures, you can show one, two or three, and still display the text list.

For the text list, you can choose between one and ten upcoming singers. You can also select whether it shows only the singer's name, or the singer's name along with the song they will be performing.

You can also adjust the font and color, though keep in mind larger fonts may not allow all 10 to show, and may cut off some of the text.

The next section lets you show a QR code on the screen. The QR code is a square barcode that, if you subscribe to the request app, will take your users directly to the app. Most modern smartphones automatically pick up this code when in Camera mode, allowing the user to simply tap to visit your app.

Note that there is an option to display the Audio Analyzer - this feature is currently under development as of version 8.0.8, so it has no effect. In a future update this will function to display the audio analyzer from the main program window, on the video screen during Standby.

Finally, you have the Apply Settings button, which causes your changes to reflect on the actual video screen. Selecting "Apply Changes in Real Time" makes all changes take effect immediately on the video screen, and is useful when first setting up your screen to your liking.

Under the CDG/ZIP tab, you have many of the same options. The primary differences are: Note that you can choose any of the four corners of the screen to show this timer.

Finally the Video Screen has those options, minus the upcoming singers. There is an option titled "Treat Videos as Karaoke" - all this feature does is cause the Player Line to automatically assume that a Video file is actually a Karaoke file, allowing a Singer Name at the top of the line, and defaulting to "Key Adjustment". It has no bearing on how it is displayed on the screen.

This concludes the Video Screen how-to. I hope you now have a better undestanding of how to tailor this screen to your preferences.

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