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VirtualDJ 8

I was mucking around with my computer and controller for the greater part of yesterday, using VirtualDJ 7 and I was thinking about an upgrade to VirtualDJ 8. It seems that it has been totally re-designed from the ground up, with support for many controllers built-in. I was wondering whether to upgrade or not. I had a look at some of the new features and here is what they are:

First of all, the sandbox feature. I have used an application called Sandboxie and I find it pretty useful. It basically allows you to install software on your computer, t try it out and then you can uninstall it with no issues. That is what Sandbox is to VirtualDJ 8. It is a feature that helps you prepare your next mix while the audience is still listening to the previous song. When sandbox is engaged, you can jump to the end of the current track, and try to mix into the next track, hearing it only in your headphones, until you find the perfect exit-point and entry-point where you’ll want to mix. You can then disengage sandbox, and calmly wait for your current track to reach the point where you’re now confident you should start your mix. It’s interesting because the number of new songs available now, with new remixes coming up all over the place, we as DJs do not know where the break-point is. This will help immensely.

Then there is the new sampler. I do not use samplers much. I mean, I used to…very handy for dinner and dances back in the day with my trusty Beats, Breaks and Scratches from Simon Harris cued up on one turntable. The new sampler in VirtualDJ 8 has shed all the limitations of the old WirtualDJ 7 sampler. It can now play an unlimited number of samples simultaneously. Samples can be audio, video, or still images. Video samples can have alpha transparency. Samples can be organized by group and triggered like an instrument bank. Slots can be arranged on a grid, and have colours and icons. Useful feature once again for dinner-and-dance DJs

Another thing updated was the sound engine in the software. In VirtualDJ 8, all the internal audio components, like pitch-stretching, limiter, equalizers, filters, etc, have been rewritten to harness all the power of modern computers and give crystal-clear sound. The internal sound engine processes everything in high-quality 32-bit audio, but the internal sample rate can be adjusted in the options. But for me, I will stick with standard 44.1 kHz. It worked then and t works now.

There are too many enhancements to name but I just highlighted the few that were of interest to me. Is it worth the $299 upgrade? I should think so. I have been a VirtualDJ user for some time and I think I will be for a long time yet.

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