Cue Lists and Key Detect

Hi Everyone!

I’ve done some research and haven’t been able to figure out a solution. I essentially have an interactive display that I am running through VDMX 5, where I have video/audio/and Kinect running at different points in the cue. For example, I have video files and Audio files running on different cue lists, at the same start and stop time for consistency. In order to control and jump around quickly, I set up key detect to control all of the cues starting stopping and restarting. This is where the problems occur.

Many times I find myself restarting the cues just to have an audio play out of time or not at all, or sometimes the key detect kicks out and is unresponsive. For example I have made a perfect project file with 3 fully aligned and functioning cue lists, complete with the key detect to control the timing unanimously, but when I save, close, and reopen the program, things become a mess. sometimes my entire project is gone, cue list missing, and key detect simply is unresponsive and has to be reset. This is a huge issue when I want to show a client a work I did using VDMX and can’t simply load the project and begin a smooth playback.

I know this is a lot of information, and if anyone has any insight on this I would greatly appreciate it. I’m fairly new to this program, and im sure there are more things I can learn. I can also upload a screenshot of my work environment if that will prove helpful to anyone. Thanks so much!!

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A few things to get started,

  1. Any time you run into any sort of problem with VDMX (becomes unresponsive, something doesn’t seem to save properly), please immediately use the Report Bug option from the Help menu – this will send us your recent console logs; bonus points if you can provide a project file and a clear set of steps we can follow to recreate the issue for ourselves.
  2. Offhand you didn’t mention what video codec you are using for your media files, but you might want to try switching to HAP if you haven’t already (
  3. As a general workflow tip, if you are working with multiple cue list plugins that you’d like to keep in sync, you can use a Timecode plugin.
  4. My shot in the dark thought about why you are losing settings is that you’ve accidentally assigned a shortcut to retrigger a preset (in the workspace inspector under presets). I’ve seen one or two people have this happen where they have a key press that resets them to a previous state. If not, please do follow up with a bug report!


  1. I will make sure to send that bug report and collect that information.

  2. I’m working with .mov files, and .mp3 files for audio. Playback is smooth once the timelines are running in sync, although there is a processing power issue when Processing application (which could just be an issue of not enough processing power).

  3. Are you suggesting I use timecode plugin in tandem with cue lists, or should I use timecode plugin strictly?

  4. Also I did use a key detect on all of the audio/video files in the 3 cue lists to be able to restart them all simultaneously while keeping them in sync, which created issues as some audio would play in the beginning and I would have to run through the cue lists before they restarted in sync.

Ultimately I want to just have an Audio file play in sync with a video file, changing at different time intervals as it loads the next ‘scene’. Is there a reason I would have to re-link the key detect for buttons every time I open VDMX?

Thanks for looking at all this information, much appreciated.

hello jaredmsamuel, a clarification before continuing. MOV is the container of the movie and it can be encoded in any codec (jpg, apple pro ress, HAP etc). This confusion is quite common, but essential to understand how the material will play in its reproduction. It is best to code with codecs without interpolation of frames if you want to have a more accurate interpretation. As David says, HAP is a good option (in my opinion today the best for real time). The codecs with interpolation of frames, have to invent the frames that do not exist. Between frames 1 and 3, the 2. must be invented and each video will be different those points. Speculating, can be a starting point to know if your problem comes from here. You can very easily know which specific codec is your video with quicktime; cmd + i and you will see all the relative information. I hope it helps you.

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thanks for the response! I will look into using HAP as a more efficient codec within that container (as a side note, do you think this format is ideal for creating high-quality video for upload to sites such as instagram and youtube?)

But as of now, my main issue is that when I work within a VDMX5 file, I build out the file via cue lists. For example, the intro video plays at 00:01, and the intro audio plays at 00:01, and then at 00:10, another video and audio clip are supposed to trigger to play within the cue lists.

The issue is that there is a break in consistency when trying to do this for multiple items throughout the timeline, and this isn’t due to a video playing poorly due to the file type, rather me not using the software correctly I’m sure. So my main question is, how do I ensure smooth and perfectly synced playback between multiple video and audio files in VDMX? If I have a presentation, I can’t spend 5 minutes tinkering with the file to try and get everything to play in sync again. Thanks

In a lot of simple cases you can get by with just using a Timecode plugin, which has its own built in option for specifying interesting points which is published as a few different data-sources that can be applied in a few useful ways.

You can also use them in tandem with cue lists if needed; when you are trying to ‘program out’ some complex behavior for an installation or user interface that responds to inputs and changes states, there are often nuances and often there is no one right way to set something up in VDMX. If you’ve got a flow chart or something that explains the exact behaviors that you are trying to configure I could perhaps give more specific directions, other than that I can just suggest that the Timecode plugin is both really useful on its own and alongside various other plugins.

In particular you may want to check out the “Using a Backing Track Movie to Drive Timecode” section in this tutorial, as the same basic idea would work with an audio only track,

Also note that LFO / Step Sequencer plugins themselves can sync their time positions against a Timecode plugin as well (either by syncing the time slider or using the sync menu like in the screenshot), so you can create patterns at set them to run alongside.

You shouldn’t have to relink key detects after restarting, as I mentioned if you’ve got a reproducible test case of this please send us a bug report with steps we can follow to recreate the issue!

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