I would like to experiment with live videos when I'm playing as a DJ. I'm a windows user but I can migrate to GNU/Linux and I have money to spend on software.

I remember trying Virtual DJ's video capabilities, but I wanted to know if there are alternatives.

Also, I also remember watching a presentation on QUARTZ which is a Macintosh exclusive software for manipulating video live with complete midi control - he even explained how to hook a WiiMote to the software

So my question is: What are the options for manipulating video live?

  • 1
    I'm making this a community wiki since there are going to be several legitimate answers. So: one solution per answer please, so they can be up- and down-voted individually, and anyone with insight can add to them. Feb 17, 2012 at 15:48

3 Answers 3


The Max/MSP modular environment has a package called Jitter which is used for modifying videos in realtime. I've not had the chance to play with it myself, but I've seen it used in video art installations. Max supports several kinds of control such as MIDI and OSC, so I imagine all of these could be used to control video.

You'll have to make your own patches though - it's not an 'out of the box' solution so much as a realtime programming environment.

  • From Wikipedia " In addition, a number of Max-like programs exist which share the same concept of visual programming in realtime such as Quartz Composer (by Apple) and vvvv which are both focusing on realtime video synthesis and processing. Pure Data also remains in widespread use. Feb 17, 2012 at 15:59

Besides Max/MSP or Pure Data, which have already been mentioned, you can look into software like Processing, which can also be used to generate visuals, I believe.

Pure Data supports OSC and MIDI I believe, which makes it easy to hook up the software to input devices which you can use in your DJ sets. So you can potentially control the visuals at the same time as controlling the music or sound from your input device.

If you are looking to be visible yourself as a DJ rather than having people watch the videos you mix up on the screen or projection, you might want to look into MIDI controllers or OSC devices that also offer visual feedback, like the audiocubes.

  • Are you affiliated with Percussa? If so, please disclose this in your answers. This is a good answer otherwise, though :) Sep 17, 2012 at 15:13
  • Note: I am a fan and user of audiocubes myself.
    – b20000
    Sep 17, 2012 at 16:06
  • To clarify, you don't need to say anything if you're just a fan. You only have to disclose affiliation if you're actually affiliated with the company/product. I asked because a few of your answers mentioned this specific product and it read a bit like advertising. Sep 17, 2012 at 16:45

If you're looking for visual programming environments:

Max/MSP and Jitter by Cycling 74 http://cycling74.com/products/max/

VVVV: http://vvvv.org/

Derivative TouchDesigner: http://www.derivative.ca/

If you're looking for products oriented towards VJing and more general live video performance (and less programming):

Modul8: http://www.modul8.ch/

Resolume Avenue: http://resolume.com/

GrandMA: http://www.malighting.com/en/products/control/control/ma-lighting/grandma2-onpc/gma2onpc-grandma2-onpc.html

Professionally, I use TouchDesigner, Max/MSP, and Resolume, but all of the above are excellent pieces of software.

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