Track management with editors in Virtual DJ 2020/2021
Digital DJing offers a number of advantages and conveniences, but they only become apparent when a thorough song preparation has been done. VirtualDJ 2020/2021 offers a number of editors for this purpose, with which songs can be prepared or equipped with information in various ways. The editors each perform a special task and can be started individually for each song. For this workshop I took a look at the tag, BPM, POI and track editors and show how you can use them in a useful way.
- Editors in VirtualDJ 2020/2021
- Tag editor in VirtualDJ
- BPM editor in VirtualDJ
- POI editor in VirtualDJ
- Track editor in VirtualDJ
The editors in VirtualDJ 2020/2021 can be found by right-clicking on a song in the song browser. The first editor to deal with is the tag editor, which includes song information.
Left-clicking on a song in the browser opens the selection of editors
Tag editor in VirtualDJ
To maintain an overview in a digital song collection, songs should be labeled with all essential information. In the tag editor you can fill a lot of fields, which can be used later for manual search, but also for automatic playlists (filters). This way you can make sure that no song gets lost in the depths of the digital archive. Besides the standard info in the upper part of the editor like title, artist and album cover, further down are the technical parameters like BPM and Key. In addition, colors, ratings, comments or self-selected user info can be stored and also the number of playbacks can be seen. If the fields genre or year are not used, you can get song information from the database Discogs. However, this function is somewhat hidden.
To retrieve Discogs information:
- Locate the "File Info" area in the tag editor
- With the left mouse button on the point..
- . click behind the file name.
- "Select "Fill missing info from Discogs
- Complete action with "write tag"
If you want to edit several songs at the same time, mark them and select the tag editor to start batch editing. However, this is only useful if the same field is to be modified for all selected tracks at the same time, such as the genre.
In the tag editor songs can be equipped with a lot of information
BPM Editor in VirtualDJ
In order for the automatic sync to work accurately, songs must be analyzed and given a beatgrid that fits exactly. VirtualDJ generates this beatgrid automatically and often accurately, but inaccuracies can occur from time to time for various reasons, so it is important to make a check over the complete song history. To control the beatgrid you can use the BPM editor. This displays the detailed waveform, which can be dragged up by mouse wheel.
Simple corrections can be done quickly with the editor’s tools:
1) Beatgrid is moved (does not sit on the beats):
- the whole beatgrid with the beatgrid anchor.
- . or move it with the arrow keys in the lower right corner
2) Beatgrid is too wide-meshed (tempo too low) or narrow-meshed (tempo too high):
- Correct the BPM values with the arrow keys next to the tempo display
- Correct halved or doubled tempo with corresponding buttons
3) Beatgrid is completely wrong:
- activate metronome as acoustic help (lower left corner)
- Determine speed via tap button (upper right corner)
- Alternatively: let the software determine the beatgrid again
If you want to play songs that have a variable tempo, the automatic BPM determination is usually overtaxed. VirtualDJ 2020/2021 offers tools for this in the BPM editor, however, to be able to create a suitable beatgrid.
By clicking on the "Variable BPM" button additional beat anchors can be set. Their placement should be on the beats where a tempo change is present.
In the BPM editor you can check the beatgrid.
POI editor in VirtualDJ
The POI editor in VirtualDJ is intended for setting song markers, which can be used for different purposes.
hotcue, remix, loop points
For mix tricks there are Hotcue, Remix and Loop points available. Hotcue and remix points can be triggered with pads in the decks and differ in that hotcue points have to be set completely by the user, while remix points are automatically placed by VirtualDJ at concise song positions (breaks etc.).). Hotcue points and remix points can be repositioned after setting if necessary and the desired lengths can be selected for saved loops.
Automix points are also set by the software and can be repositioned later in the POI editor. Here are different options (Mix Tempo, Cut, Fade or Full) available, which are taken into account for automatic mixes.
If you have songs in your database that have a long intro that should be skipped, you can set so-called load points. These are used as starting points directly after loading a song.
As a special feature, VirtualDJ offers so-called action points, which automatically execute a script when hovering over them. The script commands can be entered directly in the Macro Actions area, here you can program jumps, start Automix, activate effects etc. for example.
To set the above points:
- Place the green position marker on the desired position in the song, .
- . scroll down in the points list and select "New…".
- . under point type give the point a suitable name.
- . and set the type of the point (hotcue, loop, etc).) determine
- . define the visibility in the deck and trigger options with "Cue
- . and assign a color
The additional selectable parameters for the points can be found under Point-Option.
In the POI editor, songs can be prepared for creative performance
Track editor in VirtualDJ
The Track Editor, which the manufacturer also calls "Track Cleaner", offers the possibility to edit songs without changing the original file (non-destructive work).
With the Tack Editor you can remove song parts, play them backwards (Censor) or lengthen them. To modify:
- Navigate to the desired location with the location marker…,
- select the type of editing (censorship, removal, stretching).
- . and mark the area to be changed
With the pre-listening function (play button) you can check the results afterwards and if you don’t like them, you can also delete them again individually. By clicking on the disk symbol the edited song version can be saved with a special identifier. In addition, it is also possible to save different versions of a song with different names.
The track editor allows non-destructive editing of songs
VirtualDJ 2020/2021 is equipped with a wide range of editors that can be used to edit digital songs or prepare them for DJing. We strongly recommend to intensively deal with these offered functions, because many potentials of digital DJing can only be used if songs are sufficiently tagged to make them easier to find later on and covered with a suitable beatgrid, so that automatic functions like synchronization, loops, beatjump can be used without errors.
If you like to do mix tricks or use the autoplay feature, you should set hotcue and other markers in the POI editor or trigger script commands with action points. For non-destructive remixes, the track editor is available, with which you can even create and save different versions of a song without destroying the original.