Serato Video vs Mix Emergency – What’s The Best Video DJ Platform?
Serato Video, an expansion pack for Video DJs who want to manipulate video playback, is made by Serato and has a great reputation in the community. The latest release is supported only by Serato’s Serato DJ software, however, forcing some users to upgrade or change their primary platform. Much like the transition that happened when TRAKTOR fell behind in development and was overtaken by newer programs that caught the Video DJ imagination; Serato’s dominance of the marketplace is now in question. TRAKTOR has improved its product and the user interface, leading some people to reconsider their program of choice. The newfound diversity in the market for video DJ software is causing people to look at alternatives, like Mix Emergency, for their video editing and live manipulation needs.
There are enough different software platforms out there that the dedicated VJ can spend hours looking for the right program. But the key is finding the solution that works for the type of work that you do, and not overinvest in hardware or software that doesn’t add anything to your product. Decide if you need multiscreen functionality, how important stock video footage is to you and what effects you need access to. Is it critical for you to be able to layer other footage on top of your production, even live video feeds? Both multiscreen and layered footage are becoming more and more common, and keeping up with the expectations of your fans, while not going overboard with your gear is the way to go when you’re looking for Video DJ software.
What’s Serato Video Got?
Some long time users of Serato Video have claimed that the program is so full featured, that no level of annoyance with the developer will be able to force them to replace their main gear. The feature set of the newest version of Serato Video is impressive. The list of supported hardware platforms is large, the visual effects library impressive and now the new version allows you to use audio and video linked FX. You can add your own content or leverage the content at serato.com to output impressive content, and you can do it to a secondary display. That’s a lot of power under the hood for $74.50.
- Compatibility with the very full featured, highly industry standard Serato suite
- Significantly lower price point than Mix Emergency 3
- Great support resources and community of users
- Stable and well known software product with a big name behind it
- Serato’s a suite based modular product line which can make a user feel trapped
- Less modern user interface
What’s Mix Emergency Got?
Mix Emergency by Inken is a video DJ app that is Mac-only. The performance ratings for Mix Emergency should be its biggest claim to fame, with the latest iteration of Mix Emergency (version 3) outperforming all of the competition by a landslide. The ability to overlay up to eight samples, and with included editing and composing tools, Mix Emergency 3 brings a lot to the table. Its ability to record your performance, without generating the lossey degradation that many recording softwares face, is a great value add. The coolest feature available in 3 is being called Quartz Composition. This is essentially an overlay management tool, which will let you put anything from Twitter feed updates to live video feed onto your video stream. That’s a lot of features for a little program, but the price is pretty high compared to Serato, at $199. The software is compatible with Serato’s DJ and Scratch Live programs.
- Some new features that blow the competition out of the water
- Lighting effects management built in
- User adjustable delay compensation features
- Compatible with ScratchLive
- Wide variety of video processing output options
- Mac only
- Not compatible with the whole Serato suite
Comparing Mix Emergency to SeratoDJ
Compatible with SeratoDJ?
Compatible with ScratchLive?
Both systems offer plugins that are impressive in range.
- Users can download tracks easily
- Any audio file type accepted
- Huge audience available for your mixes
- No limits on the file sizes uploaded
- Clear and easy to navigate UI
- With a Pro unlimited account you can track your audience’s location
- Expensive subscription service if you want to take full advantage of features
- Mixes and other content are frequently removed due to copyright infringement
What Else Is Out There?
Virtual DJ Video
One of the first platforms for DJs to add video, Virtual DJ Video is a great old standard which is known worldwide and tends to work very well on more limited hardware platforms. The library of effects is very impressive, probably due at least in part to Virtual DJ Video’s relative age in the marketplace.
Compatible with timecode or MIDI controllers, Virtual DJ Video is PC and Mac compatible and the PC Full version retails for US $299.
MixVibes VFX 1.3
MixVibes has some capabilities that other software doesn’t, including the ability to play music and video along with Flash. Live video feed, and fun extras like perspective adjustments, are great tools. The program comes with over eight gigs of free video loops. It’s compatible with a variety of hardware options, and can even be purchased with its own hardware controller. The HID compatibility allows you to interface with existing hardware that probably exists in your venue.
Choosing a Solution
Picking a solution for your video DJ needs is a matter of balancing the right cost and investment with the knowledge that your video DJ business will continue to evolve and you want your software platform to keep up. Selecting something that will just make do for now, with the intention of upgrading later is all well and good in many cases, but when you’re talking about a modular platform with plugins and lots of add ons, you will have to consider those lost sunk costs if you later change your platform.
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