Mixify .com Review -This DJ's Honest Opinion

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

     Last night I had the opportunity to stream my very first live performance on Mixify.com and while it's not without it's issues all in all it was a lot of fun. Read on for a full review as well as a downloadable version of my set.


     My experience did not start well, my kit consisted of a 2010 Macbook Pro 13" 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4 GB of RAM, Traktor 2.6, Kontrol S4 & Midi Fighter 3D. For the recording I used a relatively new Acer laptop, not sure of the stats but it didn't need to be anything special anyways. I began the set up early in the afternoon so as to allow enough time for a quick run to the store for cables & adapters if necessary. Once the event is set up you're presented with the option to test your sound which is done by selecting your audio in port from a drop down menu within Mixify, in my case that was the headphone jack on my Macbook Pro. No luck, the audio was feeding in but my master signal started distorting heavily but rather than spend the afternoon troubleshooting I opted to use a second laptop to run the audio into Mixify. This is probably a smart move regardless especially for you digital performers so as not to risk negatively affecting your DJ software or DAW, I was surprised at how much CPU was monopolized by the Mixify interface alone. Instant success with the second computer, so I got my levels where I thought they should be and went about my day. 90 minutes before the scheduled start time I began setting up my physical booth and 30 or so minutes before the event I was granted access to the room. This is where the real problems began, the test screen for Mixify's audio had not indicated any problem earlier that day but in the actual room I was greeted with a barrage of messages and alerts about how I was using the wrong version of flash. Now on my Mac updating flash is a simple 2 click process that takes all of 90 seconds with the restart, not on a PC… This began 30 minutes before the show and I started kicking out audio about 5 minutes late, admittedly this is not Mixify's fault but it would have been nice to know about the update during the test process and not once I'm about to start but I digress…


     This is when things started to get interesting, after about 10 minutes I had the levels right and people were starting to trickle in. Social interaction is where this platform really shines, in the beginning writing messages seemed cumbersome and distracting but eventually I started to get a flow going: Mix, track ID then shout out to the crowd... Rinse & repeat I even found myself typing in comments and waiting until the peak of a build before hitting enter to reveal my message to the crowd. A word of advice: interact with your audience. This may be a virtual club environment but it's not a club. At a real night club the DJ is merely one element of the night albeit an important one but not the only draw when you consider alcohol, lighting and the obvious potential for romance. Here however you are the only reason for anyone to show up so Interact as much as possible. It also helps to bring a couple of friends with you as people will pop in randomly and if the room is empty they are less likely to stay, 2 or 3 is all you need. I was surprised at how much interaction goes on between members of the crowd as well, it might even be a good idea to show up to a few events that feature DJs similar to yourself in order to do a little promotion. Wow, DJing sure has changed in the last 10 years.      


     Mixify recently unveiled their first premium package and while some of the features are intriguing, like being able to choose YouTube videos that will run continuously on the screen behind your DJ avatar the price tag is hefty: $99 for the year or $9.99 per month with a 20% discount until the end of December. Click here for a full breakdown of the premium features and pricing.


     Is it perfect? Nope. Is it for everyone? definitely not. Is it fun? Hell yeah! A recent string of big name DJs and the first ever online electronic music festival have pushed Mixify into the spotlight and I'm all for it. The possibilities for this kind of platform are truly limitless, admit it you're thinking about it right now. A few necessary additions for me would be an iOS / Android App, a live camera feed option and a cheaper way for VJs to get involved. As it stands custom video will only be available in the top tier package which doesn't even have a price listed, scary because the plan just below it is $499 per year. With a current spike in the popularity of VJing and recent integration with popular DJ software it seems crazy that they wouldn't want to corner the market or at least get a piece, I guess that's good news for UStream. Below you will find my mix from last nights broadcast on Mixify's native player and be sure to come check me out on Monday the 17th from 7pm - Midnight (or later) for my next broadcast entitled: The Groove Theory.

-DJ Matthew Star


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