Considering Video SL was only available to Serato Scratch Live users, the ITCH enthusiasts among us may have felt left out in the cold. Thankfully, Serato’s latest update, Serato Video is now available as a plug in with ITCH 2.2. Therefore ITCH’s range of hardware controllers can now be used to manipulate, mix and chop video along with audio in your DJ set. Let’s have a look at how to best combine Serato Video with ITCH.
Before the fun can begin, you will obviously need to get your hands on some video content. You don’t want to have to worry about copyright infringement so you’ll be delighted to know there are plenty of options at hand. One such option is that Serato Video customers get free access to ten, what can only be described as mind bending, psychedelic video clips which can be downloaded from the Serato website. There is also plenty more VJ content available from the deceptively named beeple-crap.com. Once you have all the video content on your hard drive, it's time to organize your files inside ITCH. Just as you would with audio you can use crates to store your video content and sub crates to further subcategorize your files.
Launch Serato Video by clicking the Video tab in the panel area of ITCH. Now scroll to the particular video clip in the library and load it onto a deck screen on your video interface. You can now experiment with the vast amount of video effects at your disposal by scrolling through the two effect selection menus on each deck.
To save your chosen effects and levels to your video clip, click the FX save button at the bottom of the interface.
Serato Video also allows you to animate text by clicking the Text Effects button underneath the main output display.
Using the Hot Cue buttons on your controller to manipulate video, in the same way as you would with audio, can really enhance your VJing set. In this case we don’t want the music to be affected by our video manipulation, so our audio is going to come from the left deck and the video will play from the right video screen. While looking at your video, scroll through the empty waveform on Deck B in ITCH and find the point where you would like to add your first cue point. Press the first Hot Cue pad on your controller. It will light up indicating that the cue point is now set. Repeat this step with any remaining Hot Cue pads on your controller enabling you to access several points in your video clip instantaneously. These will be indicated by different coloured triangles in Deck B’s blank track view. Now you can press these pads in time with music for a complete hands-on, customized VJ performance.
Novation Twitch’s performance modes offer unlimited Video mashing potential.
Serato ITCH allows you the create and save up to nine manual loops per track so let’s take advantage of this for our video clips. In offline mode, load an audio track on to the Offline Player. Then load your video on to the Video Offline Player and click the Video Association button. Now the loop settings for the audio track will be mirrored on to your video. Scroll through the audio track again keeping an eye on the video clip. When you find the point on the video where you want the loop to begin click ‘In’ to set the in point. Click ‘Out’ to set the out point. To turn the loop on/off click ‘Loop’. If you would like to jump straight to a particular loop, set your cue point at the same place on the track as your loop’s In point. To alter the loop length of the video as you play live use the various Loop Roll and Auto Loop pads on your controller.
Hopefully this will have given you a taste of what Serato Video can offer ITCH users and is definitely a welcome gift for those of us wishing to make the transition from DJ to VDJ.
Learn more about Serato Video here.
I have been an audio enthusiast and DJ hobbyist since I was a young lad. I currently work as a researcher on The Gadget Show on Channel 5 in the UK where I specialize in all the audio and music tech related content on the show. Before that I have worked in the sound department on a number of feature films doing everything from location sound mixing to foley recording. My main passion, however, lies with electronic music performance and production through Ableton Live and a whole host of virtual synth plug ins.