Ever wanted to program a party on your computer? Well now you can!
The LightDJ software is a blend of automatic and manual. It gives the LightDJ software high level control when he/she wants it, but leaves many of the music synchronization tasks to the computer. There are a number of different plugins (or Visualizors) that the LightDJ can choose between that allow the computer to control certain aspects of the lights automatically, based on what's going on in the music. The LightDJ can also add lots of flare and special effects to mirror the music that would be very difficult to program a human to detect. For example, strobing, pulses, flashes, etc. can be immediately and quickly executed. that The interface is completely keyboard driven for speed.
The interface works as follows. The top of the screen shows the current state of the lights. It is this that will be sent over serial to the actual lights. Below this, two plugins run simultaneously, one on the left and the other on the right. These two plugins can be "mixed" or cross-faded together using the cross fader knob right below these plugins. Mixing plugins can be really cool, and you can also automatically "fade" between different plugins.
The bottom left shows a life spectrogram of the input music signal, and the top left shows the current tempo (entered by the LightDJ by tapping keys). Pressing spacebar opens up a menu where different plugins can be selected. Various other keys (especially the function keys, like F8) add many other useful effects critical for great LightDJ'ing.
How the Software Works
For an in-depth look at how the LightDJ software works, and how to modify it and write new plugins, check out the PartySystem/Software Architecture page.
Becoming a LightDJ
This page contains information how to get and run the LightDJ software: PartySystem/Getting and Running the LightDJ Software
Becoming a good LightDJ requires time and practice, and you have to have the software down cold. One place to start is to learn the current list of plugins: PartySystem/LightDJ Plugins. Learning them is no substitute for trying them however, so download the software, practice, and mess around a bit. Once you know the plugins, use the other post processing effects to add cool things like strobes and flashes: PartySystem/How_to_LightDJ
To be a good LightDJ, you have to know the shortcut keys like the back of your hand. Seriously, the interface is *entirely* keyboard driven to optimize for speed. So, being quick with your fingers is a good skill that's useful at parties ;-)
Here is a typical screenshot from LightDJ'ing:
Notice the large colored squares - these represent the lights. The top row shows the front lights, the bottom row the rear lights, and the middle lights show the UV/strobes.
The DJ software allows