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Tips & Tricks: Getting The Most Out Of NuVJ

Published: Mon February 16, 2009  News Feed

NuVJ empowers VJs to work with video the same way a DJ mixes music. With NuVJ, you can trigger images and video clips, add effects to them, mix them with the DJ-style crossfader, and tweak them to create unique and spectacular visual shows. The controller works seamlessly with other DJ gear and the software is compatible with Mac and PC.

OS 1.5 is a free download from numark.com/nuvj. It adds 22 new features to NuVJ’s ArKaos software.

Beat-Reactive Video
One of the coolest tricks for NuVJ is to take the “booth out” or another output from the DJ’s mixer or computer and feed it into the NuVJ’s computer. Now NuVJ’s Live Generators react to the beat of the music being fed in.

While this has always been possible with NuVJ, It’s even more powerful now with an improved algorithm for frequency and beat detection.

The input volume slider at the top of NuVJ software can be extremely useful for balancing the signal being fed into your computer and you can use it as a quick way of cutting the audio sync on/off on the fly.

If you are working with a DJ and you want to run a cable between their setup and yours to sync your video to their music, make sure you’ve got the appropriate input chosen to reflect this in your sound preferences:

  • Mac: Apple → System Preferences → Sound → Input → Internal Built-in mic or other third party audio hardware input
  • Windows XP: Control Panel → Sounds and Audio Devices → Audio → Sound Recording → {Name of internal soundcard} → mic or Line In or Channel In
  • Windows Vista: Control Panel → Sound → Recording → Analog Mix or Microphone
  • Launch NuVJ 1.5 and add a Live Generator such as Pulsating Square 3 and slowly turn up your input volume control at the top

Play a track and you’ll see the meters start moving. Fine-tune the sensitivity with the input control and you’re off.

You will also find beat-sensing effects and animations that can groove along with the music, such as the Bass Zooms, which when mixed half way with the Master FX Mix, will create crowd-pleasing video pulses to the beat.

Masking and Keying
The new and advanced luminance and chrominance masking controls offer a powerful ability to key out, or punch out content behind the source. This can be useful for displaying the name of the club where you are performing, or the name of the show on the big screen over your visuals.

NuVJ’s video interface incorporates layers. Deck A is the first or bottom layer. Deck B is the second or middle layer, and the middle video-preview window is the third or top layer. You can drag content to the middle preview window to act as a third video deck. The object you want to appear on top should be in Deck B.

Sticking to black and white content for now, add your favorite far-out video or animation to a cell in Deck A from your Files list. Add a Text animation to Deck B (found under Sources) and type in some text below.

Set the crossfader all the way to the right and choose the Text cell.

Tip: If you don’t want to restart a loop, right-click the cell and ignore the menu it brings up. This will select the cell without restarting the loop.

Choose the Luminance option from the cell controls at the bottom of the screen. This enables black and white shade masking:

You will be presented with the following window:

The top markers control the precision of the mask – the amount. The bottom markers control the width or range of the mask. The secret weapon is the middle grayscale bar, which you can drag left and right and choose the shade to mask. You are masking out a specific shade or range of shades to the layer behind it in Deck A. Choose an appropriate shade to mask around to the visual in Deck A.

For instance:

In Deck A choose the shape:

In Deck B choose the Text:

Then choose the following settings from the lower half of the screen:

The resulting image will look like this:

Now you can experiment with the crossfader position to mix the two visuals. Experiment with the shade-bar position as this determines what shade to mask out. Here’s a taste of what to expect if you flip the decks and apply a wide mask range to the non-text visual:

The settings here are:

Try the same basic effect with color visuals and experiment with the chromatic-radiance menu. You can use masking to create thousands of artistic, effectual, or wild outcomes. Here’s another example: Try combining the Comic effect to the output preview, using the Lazery Lights on Deck A and your favorite video on Deck B. Then apply a high-contrast, low-brightness setting to the center frame. The squares will randomly be captured at varying colors creating a stained glass or comic book frame effect:

Slice and Dice
Have you ever found yourself reaching for a video clip in the file vault during a gig and realized that it’s just way too long? NuVJ v1.5 has this covered too!

This is the new loop-point-selection tool for all video files loaded into NuVJ. Simply drag these points to the desired IN and OUT points prior to playing or even on the fly.

Put a Bow On It

With 22 new features, NuVJ OS 1.5 is a powerful package. And the price is right. FREE at the NuVJ Docs and Downloads tab.

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