A/V / Video Scratching with Traktor

Using Traktor to control and manipulate video clips

There are already well-established ways of performing A/V scratching. Serato Scratch has had the ability to control video as well as audio for some time now. You can also do this in PCDJ Dex and Virtual DJ. The technique isn’t new either. As far back as 10 years ago, Coldcut were already doing this with their own purpose-built software, VJamm.

It’s always been a feature that’s been lacking from Traktor though. It’s something that’s asked for time and time again on the Traktor forums, although NI probably have a very good reason for not including this as a standard feature, choosing instead to concentrate purely on audio.

Here we’re showing how to sync audio in Traktor with video playback in Resolume Avenue, allowing you to scratch, loop and hotcue-juggle video / audio clips simultaneously.

We’re using Traktor and Resolume Avenue here but any DJ software that can output a MIDI message based on track position, and any VJ software that can receive a message to control the playhead will work using the MIDI method described in the video. Note that the OSC method described in the video and the TR Bridge software provided for this will only work in Resolume Avenue.

Here’s how to do it:


Note that Windows users need some way of sending and receiving internal MIDI messages between programs, eg., LoopBe1 or MIDI Yoke.

Note also that this only work if you have audio disabled in the video clip. To disable audio in the clip, just click the ‘x’ near the audio file to delete it and you should see the waveform disappear from the playhead background.

Download

If you need to convert the MIDI to OSC, as described in the video, you can download the PC / Mac software to do so here: http://digitaldjtools.net/downloads/TR_Bridge.zip

Ms. Pinky

If you’ve already got a Traktor Scratch Pro setup and want something a little more reliable than the method shown above, it’s well worth getting your hands on the Ms. Pinky time-coded vinyl and accompanying software. It comes at a very reasonable price and includes two standalone apps (one for audio and one for audio and video). You also get a VST plugin and a Max for Live patch. The included instructions are clear and thorough and setup is really easy, especially if you already use Traktor Scratch Pro. Just swap your NI timecode vinyl with your (shockingly pink!) Ms Pinky vinyl, enable your soundcard in the Ms Pinky settings and you’re all set.

The only downside to Ms. Pinky is if you’re used to having BPM detection and a Sync button. The Ms. Pinky software is relatively basic and although it’ll handle hotcues and loops, there’s little in the way of effects and you’ll have to beat match the old-fashioned way. If you’re already using Traktor with a vinyl setup though, the chances are you’re from the old school of DJing and not having a sync button won’t present too much of a problem anyway.

Here are the results after about an hour of messing about with Ms Pinky:

And some more…


Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Oliver Wood for providing the video clip for the tutorial video

TR Bridge was made in Max 6 and uses the external OpenSoundControl Version 1.9.16, by Matt Wright, Andy Schmeder – http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/patch/4029

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