How to work with Virtual DJ Home on your Mac
Photo Credit: Lauren Benzo
Have you ever had a house party and wanted to show your “skills” to your company, but you only know how to “press play” on iTunes?
Virtual DJ Home is software that resembles real DJ equipment, but this software makes it easy for any person of any age to start mixing like a pro, and it's free!
Here are some easy steps to get started:
1. Make a playlist of your favorite music on iTunes
Make a playlist from iTunes to drag over to the VDJH application. This will make it easier when you are in the middle of mixing. You will not have to switch from VDJH and iTunes to add songs to the “File” and/ or “Brower” in the VDJH application.
2. Download the Virtual DJ Home App from the App Store on your Mac
Go to the App Store on your Mac and search “Virtual DJ Home”. Once you see the app, click download. You may have to enter your iTunes information. Once it is finished downloading, click on the “Launchpad” icon in the deck on your Mac. Look for the Virtual DJ Home App. The app is a red hand on a vinyl record. Click on the app to open the program.
3. Lean the Basic Layout of VDJH
Once you open the app, the program will be in full screen. Click on the green button on the top left corner to take the program out of full screen mode. This will help when you switch from iTunes and VDJH. There are three main areas of the layout that you will have to familiarize yourself with before you start perfecting your craft.
- Active waveform: this is where you can view the rhythm of the song. If you have one song loaded up, you will be able to view the highs, lows of the song, and know where to break, blend, or mix.
- Deck: The deck is in the form of 2 turntables. The left deck controls what is playing on the left side and the right deck controls what is playing on the right side. You can also view in the deck the amount of .bmp’s in the song. This will come in handy in the future, because you have to make sure every song you mix are close in the measurements of .bmp.
- Mix Table: this is the section where you can adjust the volumes of the left and right decks. You can also adjust other aspects such as the left/right speaker balance by using the mixing table.
4. Drag Songs to VDJH App
Drag the mouse to your dock and look for your iTunes app. Since you already made your playlist ahead of time, you will want to go to playlists on ITunes and click and drag the playlist you want to use. If you are seeking to use songs or playlists that are from Apple Music, this will not work. You can only transfer music that you purchased on ITunes. (I know… that sucks) Once you find the playlist, drag the playlist to the VDJH app, the app will bring up the program, and you can drop the playlist in the “File” section on the bottom left side of the program, or you can drop the playlist in the “Browser” section.
5. Learning the Basic Functions and Buttons
- Play/Pause: You can play or pause the song by pressing the button or pressing the space bar on your Mac
- Stop: This button is used to stop the song and restarts the track from the beginning.
- Pitch: This allows you to increase or decrease the speed of the track which is the .BPM. If you move it up, the tempo will slow down. If you move the down, the tempo will go faster.
- Sync: This button will allow you to play the same track on both decks, at the same time, at the same .BMP rate.
- Cue: This button is used when you want the track to go in and out at a certain point of the song. **I highly suggest to wait on using this function until you learn the program more, because once you “Cue” a section, you are not able to change it. **
6. Learn How to Read the .BPM
If you are playing a song on the left deck and the .bpm is at 120.21 you want to make sure that the song on the right deck is neither more nor less than 3.0 .bpm from the song that is playing. When you make sure the .bpm are close to the same tempo, this makes it easier for the next song to blend in without throwing off your audience. **I suggest to make playlists of songs where the .bpm are similar and make a new playlist file on VDJH. This will help in the future. **
7. How to Blend
There are two ways you can blend on VDJH:
- Crossfade: The “Crossfade Bar” is the horizontal bar that is located between the twin decks you can use this to control the volume on the left and the right deck.
- Effects (Backspin/Break): This button will display a variety of effect noises, but if you use the backspin or the break, this will give the listening a feeling that you are actually blending the two decks when you start the music on the deck that is currently inactive.
After reading this article and doing a little more research  in some articles that give you examples and directions on how to be a good DJ, you will soon become the best home DJ in no time. It may seem hard now, but once you get the hang of it, it will be cool sailings!
Addition Information/ Suggestions
If you plan to have a party as soon as you go over this “How To,” I would suggest that you wait until you get the hang of it. Invite over a friend or family member that is very blunt and will not sugar coat to watch how you are improving. If they give you the green light, then it is time to start planning the house party of your dreams! Starting you as the phenomenal DJ!
Sources and Citations