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Thread: Longest 40 secs! VDJ got me!

  1. #1
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    Longest 40 secs! VDJ got me!

    Hey gang this is a 2 part question.

    I have been using VDJ since the beginning. I run VDJ 7 on my main system (I prefer the video and slideshows vs V8) and I run VDJ 8 (newest) on my music only quick rig. So, yesterday I have my reception system all set up and ready to go, outside system ready to go..... played 10 mins of "seating" music, did the mothers seating song, got through 8 of the 10 bridal party and the music stops! I tapped the mic, speaker was working, looked at VDJ and platters were not spinning, (bridal party kept moving) I restarted VDJ reloaded the song and the wave line would only quiver. I turned to the coordinator and held up one finger and mouthed, one minute. I rebooted, (thank god for SSD). loaded VDJ and hit the bridal Chorus, music.

    First off, nobody had a **** fit, bride was like NP, half the guests were in shorts so it was pretty laid back. I told them the system over heated due to the weather (it was in the 90's and we were in the sun.)

    So,
    1) Has this happened to anyone else? Any idea what happened? (Alienware 15 laptop, 1 year old on Win10 (updated)) The only thing that was touched.., as the music was playing and the the bridal party was coming down I reached for my camera and barely touched the wire going from the PC to the speaker (I saw no need for a mixer to play this short sequence.) That was the exact moment the music stopped. Any ideas? I guess the wire between the PC and speaker could have done something when I touched it???

    2) and more importantly. Now how do I prepare for this next time... should I have 2 computers running, 2 speakers, and a mixer in the future. During the reception I have an MP3 player hooked into one speaker with a couple different 10 min mixes, if anything goes south I hit the MP3 player and that gives me 10 mins to replace whatever crapped out but that won't work during a service. I am thinking a small mixer, laptop, and a backup tablet plugged into the mixer.... ideas? What do you do?

  2. #2
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    Well...Up until this year I ALWAYS...ALWAYS put the Ceremony music, intro, 1st dance, and parents dances on a CD. I use to ALWAYS PLAY off of CD for those particular songs. Sure, there is a chance of the CD Skipping, but very unlikely on a freshly burned CD. I believe playing these songs from CD is more reliable and the safe thing to do compared to playing digitally through a program on the laptop. It seems like so much more work to set up 2 Laptops for just the ceremony as well.

    Now, I have been getting lazy, not burning a CD, and playing this music off of my laptop this year and knock on wood, I have not had any issues, BUT after reading your story, I'm second guessing my decision to do that, and might just go back to burning a CD to play through a CD Player for the important ceremony and dances during the reception.

    I know you were very embarrassed by this occurring!

    I also believe you don't need a Alien Ware Gaming Laptop for deejaying. Those laptops run HOT, and require louder fans to keep the motherboard cool. Using that in 90 degree heat could have been the culprit. I use a HP with a I5, and I also have a new Dell with a 7th gen I3 that has been working perfectly so far. I don't play any games on these machines either.

    I think this was a laptop issue due to the heat, and your laptop froze, or the processor started lagging big time and couldn't keep VDJ running smoothly playing music so it froze up. That happened to me on an older Toshiba AMD A8 1300 MGHZ laptop using VDJ 7. Luckily it was during cocktail hour music outside, and it didn't make a big deal. That once instance is why I bought the new Dell Laptop to replace that secondary machine.

    The only other thing I would recommend is having your phone or an IPOD plugged in along with your laptop with the ceremony music all set and ready to go as well so you can quickly move to that to play the song if your laptop freezes on you. Otherwise, just play ceremony music off of a CD!

  3. #3
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    Anytime I had this happen it was because the soundcard wasn't set right. But this sounds like it happened while in automix? Anyway, what's happened to me is deck one plays fine but deck two does what you're saying; The waveform looks like it's vibrating kind of like a one nanosecond loop and no sound! Go into audio settings and make sure both decks are set right.

    Also are you using a controller?
    Bob DeYoung

  4. #4
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    Ricky, my ceremony setup utilizes a CD/USB player. I load all the important songs and playlists onto at least 2 thumb drives, as well as burning a CD. If my player were to crap out, mid-event, I have my trusty Ipod with the same playlists loaded. As I am looking at ways to reconfigure my ceremony setup, I am considering using my backup laptop for the ceremony, but not 100% convinced that is what I wanna do yet.
    I could get a second media player, but I am trying to keep my ceremony system as compact and portable as possible, for very fast load-outs, for times where I have to get from the ceremony to the reception hall ASAP.

  5. #5
    Upgrade to the latest vdj version! Also, have backup on an iPod, iPad, cd player, anything.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by seannycash View Post
    Upgrade to the latest vdj version! Also, have backup on an iPod, iPad, cd player, anything.
    No matter what you got it covered. Live musician steps-in if all else fails. Seanny live!
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  7. #7
    Why don't you look at your computers Log files and see what was happening at that time? It might be a legitimate error or (if your laptop was online) something to do with the Windows 10 Creators Updated.

  8. #8
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    I wish there was a precise way to nail this down for you. Utilizing the system error dump file is one way, IF your know and understand what everything means, what the exceptions are, and if the cryptic messages relate to anything VDJ.

    With the limited amount of detail provided in the original post, two things jump to mind instantly. 1) If all you truly did was touch a speaker cord, I'd be replacing it with a new one immediately; 2) using Win 10 or Win 10 Pro? Only with Win 10 Pro can you effectively halt any attempts to update the system or drivers. Win 10, as I understood it to do before I installed Win 10 Pro, was to use whatever means available to update e.g. internet, wifi, other computers and hotspots. The timing of one such update attempt may have been coincidental with what you were doing at the time.

    One final suggestion. VDJ 7 and VDJ 8 can run concurrently with each other. Not only that, WinAmp (yes, WinAmp) can also be running on the same machine at the same time. For crucial moments such as was your activity, there's no harm in having all three programs loaded with those tracks all at the same time. If the system stalls on all three, there's a hardware glitch, most likely in the sound card drivers.
    Cap Capello, Musical Host
    Celebrating 37th Year Of An Ongoing Mobile DJ Career
    Bose L1 & F1 Systems
    (518) 399-7451 EDT
    http://www.imadj.com

  9. #9
    This is always a risk with ANY computer.

    You really have to take a good look at what you are doing and what you are charging. It sounds like you had a rather ad-hoc setup for this with no backup plan. That's fine if both you and the customer are okay with what you charge for this, and you can live with the embarrassment when a computer SNAFU happens.

    If on the other hand you have real financial and business risk associated with such failures then you need to step up your game for these important sound pieces. Sure, it may be only one song but, if that song is the whole reason they hired you - nothing else you do that day will matter very much.

    At the very least, use a mixer and have an iPod running concurrently on an adjacent channel. If the iPod is just a few seconds behind the PC then instead of 40 seconds it's more like 2 or 3 and to the audience it sounds like a dropout rather than a total equipment failure.

  10. #10
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    I make a playlist on both laptops with the special songs and have the second laptop plugged in with an aux cord. I've only had VDJ freeze once and quickly hit play on the second machine while I restarted the first one.

    Windows 10 has been fine for us though I've noticed a couple times where VDJ lags for a second. Not common though.
    last night a CDJ saved my life
    http://www.facebook.com/inthemixcanada

  11. #11
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    If you bumped the USB cable when it happened, then THAT can be your culprit. USB cables can fail. It's a possibility, especially when we pull those cables in and out, fold them up and jam then into the back of the case, etc.

    JOE A. DELFIN (JAMMIN'DOWN JD)
    Entertainment Director and Broadcast Consultant
    ULTRA EVENTS CHICAGO
    ([email protected])
    2015-16 Vice President - American Disc Jockey Association, Chicago Chapter (2015 Chapter of the Year)


  12. #12
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    Sorry that happened to you. Not sure why it happened. Could have been you touching the cord. Heat issue with it being that hot outside. The heat index makes it even hotter. That crack about needing to upgrade from VDJ 7 to 8 isn't the issue. I have been using VDJ 7 every since I became a computer DJ and only issue for me was making the mistake of closing the laptop down too far. Just had to restart the program and back up and running again.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby D View Post
    Anytime I had this happen it was because the soundcard wasn't set right. But this sounds like it happened while in automix? Anyway, what's happened to me is deck one plays fine but deck two does what you're saying; The waveform looks like it's vibrating kind of like a one nanosecond loop and no sound! Go into audio settings and make sure both decks are set right.

    Also are you using a controller?
    Same here, only happens when soundcard settings has been changed.
    On another note, how do you feel using an IPAD pro for critical backup? I have never had a computer failure working an event, but it's always in the back of my mind. My spare is always with me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by discodenny View Post
    Same here, only happens when soundcard settings has been changed.
    On another note, how do you feel using an IPAD pro for critical backup? I have never had a computer failure working an event, but it's always in the back of my mind. My spare is always with me.
    I have a 2nd generation Ipad and I use it to obtain songs that I don't have on my HD'S. No major issues other than outside it was so hot that I had to shut it down till the weather cooled down.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the great discussion. I believe that the fact I was using the aux out into the speaker (to my qcs12) was probably the culprit, yielding a driver issue or maybe the actual wire, either way, I will use a controller next time and have my Samsung tablet plugged into the speaker as the the backup.

    Foot note: I got an email from the bride today "Thank you so much for making my wedding wonderful! Everyone couldn't quit complementing on how great you were!!! "

    https://www.facebook.com/WhatanightE...type=3&theater

  16. #16
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    Hooray!!!!
    Cap Capello, Musical Host
    Celebrating 37th Year Of An Ongoing Mobile DJ Career
    Bose L1 & F1 Systems
    (518) 399-7451 EDT
    http://www.imadj.com

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by vbchaz View Post
    Thanks for the great discussion. I believe that the fact I was using the aux out into the speaker (to my qcs12) was probably the culprit, yielding a driver issue or maybe the actual wire, either way, I will use a controller next time and have my Samsung tablet plugged into the speaker as the the backup.
    I would avoid making mix connections at the active speaker itself. The more you move around when a glitch occurs the more anxiety you provoke in other people. If a computer freeze occurs - merely raising another channel garners little or no attention - and the more relaxed and in control you appear the more confident and reassured everyone around you will feel.

    Think of it as the difference between the airplane captain making an immediate announcement about some minor turbulence, versus that same announcement while you watch the co-pilot rush back and forth between the cockpit and lower cargo hold.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance View Post
    This is always a risk with ANY computer.

    You really have to take a good look at what you are doing and what you are charging. It sounds like you had a rather ad-hoc setup for this with no backup plan. That's fine if both you and the customer are okay with what you charge for this, and you can live with the embarrassment when a computer SNAFU happens.

    If on the other hand you have real financial and business risk associated with such failures then you need to step up your game for these important sound pieces. Sure, it may be only one song but, if that song is the whole reason they hired you - nothing else you do that day will matter very much.

    At the very least, use a mixer and have an iPod running concurrently on an adjacent channel. If the iPod is just a few seconds behind the PC then instead of 40 seconds it's more like 2 or 3 and to the audience it sounds like a dropout rather than a total equipment failure.
    What the hell does what a person charges a client have to do with equipment failure? Anything can happen at any time. It's man made not God made. I don't know any one of us that hasn't had something that was unexpected. Things happen. Glad to hear he got a great review from the bride. They were more than satisfied and that's what counts the most.

  19. #19
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    Performance, i agree with you.... we must be cool ... not only look in control, be in control. In this case I was standing right behind the speaker and it was a QSC which has a 2 channel mixer in the back. But, a mixer would be better still, I just try to minimize the parts in order to minimize the possible failures. I have have a mixer go bad and a sonic maxcon fail in the past.

    Follow up on the actual problem..... last night I recreated the set up and it happened again (song froze and waveform shook), on the same song, but this time it fixed itself after 2 secs. I tried for an hour more and could not re-created it. I searched the boards and forums and found several DJ had a similar problem with the lastest version of VDJ8. VDJ recommended using an earlier version before the problem (I am not sure I could figure out which it is/was so I will back up to a Jan 2017 version just to be safe...... and still implement the other physical safety measures.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by djmachoman View Post
    What the hell does what a person charges a client have to do with equipment failure? Anything can happen at any time. It's man made not God made. I don't know any one of us that hasn't had something that was unexpected. Things happen. Glad to hear he got a great review from the bride. They were more than satisfied and that's what counts the most.
    It never looks good when technical problems occur. Cables and cords going bad is probably the most common culprit. Just do everything possible to prevent technical problems and have a back up plan.
    Bob DeYoung

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