MixEmergency is a new attempt to expand the DJ techniques into the visual realm in a single, integrated environment. And once again, Serato is the backdrop.

We saw Serato’s own Scratch-Live, which provides digital vinyl control in Serato, when dj rndm gave us a detailed hands-on earlier this year. The VIDEO-SL focused on vinyl control of video and integration with the TTM-57SL Rane mixer required for the product. MixEmergency is a bit different: here, visualizations and MIDI are the centerpiece in place of video and scratching. (They’re there, but they’re not the main draw, according to the developers.)


  • QuickTime video mixing and scratching
  • Quartz Composer visual compositions, taking advantage of QC’s 3D and image-processing / generative capabilities
  • Visuals react to play position and velocity of media, and audio and video signals
  • Custom layer and transition effects, frame bending, image and text layers
  • Drag and drop preview and playback, drag and drop of folders
  • Assignable MIDI control (including MIDI in QC compositions), and support for Scratch LIVE control

MixEmergency Product Page

The software is currently in public beta, Mac-only. The full version will cost US$179 (the demo is watermarked and doesn’t support fullscreen output). As with a number of recent Mac apps, you need a MacBook Pro or other Mac hardware with dedicated graphics. Happily, 10.4.10 works — 10.5 isn’t required.

So who is this for? A lot of the push has been for giving DJs visuals easily — with the danger being potentially eliminating VJs or dumbing down visuals, which isn’t really good for anyone. (See Jaymis’ rant about that direction.) But I don’t get that sense here. In fact, the ability to create custom visualizations means DJs could commission visuals from a VJ and tour with them. The developers actually tout collaborative performance controls and VJs working to design and perform with reactive visuals alongside the DJ. Integrating the two could encourage that kind of collaboration, as dj rndm and Robotkid discovered in our VIDEO-SL review. On the other hand, many VJs will remain happy in their existing environment. But it’s nice to have more choices.

If you try the demo, let us know what you think. I expect we’ll see this are continue to grow and mature.