Remote control

A question for the hive-mind.

Anyone done anything with remote control?

I’m looking at a way of having machine running VDMX being controlled from a remote location. I’m thinking some of the lag can be compensated with triggering rules and some automation but I’m wonder what the best option for controlling the setup would be.

MIDI over internet? Screen sharing/Remote Desktop?

Any thought?

Interesting subject but so many variables to consider when working remotely. Would you be on the same network or outside on the internet?

Inside the network is fine (MIDI, OSC, VNC). Outside would be trickier. VNC works and is quite robust, I’ve done that for monitoring and scene changes. But for anything else you would need access to the router for port mapping to get the commands through. Or you use a dedicated 4G connection to the computer which could make things easier (no IT dept to deal with).

I think you will need to provide a bit more detail for people to suggest solutions.

It would be outside the network… in fact in a different country.

The thinking is something like this:
• VDMX running in my studio in the UK. So my network and I have access to the router.
• This is the setup I use to broadcast live DJ sets.
• I have a live feed from my DJ partner in Cape Town, South Africa.
• I layer in visuals with VDMX for his set.
• When his set is done I take over and play my set.
• At this point he would take over control of VDMX to trigger visuals and basic mixing and effects.

My current thinking is MIDI over internet. He’s busy reconfiguring his studio at the moment so not had a chance to test. I’d then also send him a feed of the VDMX screen so he can see/get feedback from his MIDI inputs.

I guess VNC could work but he’d probably want more than keyboard and mouse controls.

Would also have triggering quantised so it’s happening in time with the music. This would compensate for network latency.

I’d be in the studio alongside the master system so could always adjust or correct things.

It’s just a bit of fun to keep us busy during these strange times. :slight_smile:

That sound pretty ambitious. Here’s another way:

VDMX layer stacking 1 = top

  1. Private live video stream from DJ with sound (1080, green screen)
  2. VDMX layer 2 web source – DJ video stream (keyed in VDMX)
  3. Online video library / playlist for DJ (* notes below)
  4. VDMX layer 1, web source - DJ overlay
  5. VDMX layer 3, web source - DJ background

The online video library could be simple web page with a list of videos to play in an iframe, one frame for the overlay and one for the background. The DJ selects a video which loads into the iframe and auto plays. The VDMX web layers (overlay + background) monitor the web page and composite the selected video into the set.

This way you have complete control over the tech side and all the DJ needs to do is click a link or thumbnail to select a background or overlay. At your end you control the FX and additional layers.

I think the trick is to make it as simple as possible for the DJ as he/she/they have enough to think about. Also a web page hosted on a decent quality host is unlikely to fail and as all routers are configured for port 80 you won’t have to mess around with router configs.

Another point is that the set up could look cool, with a nice web page UI for the DJ on a large touch screen or iPad. Or HUD display which would be mad.

1 Like

For the latency issue you could host the web page on a server inside your network and use a dynamic DNS name (if you dont have a fixed IP). I would let go of the sync triggering and just go with the flow, once you have tested the idea you will know the limits and trying to quantise will be tricky I think.

I would step back from the tech and think about it from the DJs perspective. He/she/they will look up for a second, select a video and go back to mixing. It has to be incredibly simple to work well.

BTW we are both in UK so if you want to test anything give me a shout. I have a green screen set up and could send a live stream.

1 Like

I think you’ve misunderstood.

We are both DJ’s. We each have a DJ set to play (in this case 2hrs). While one of us is DJ’ing, the other is controlling VDMX… or that’s the idea.

I’m already brining his video feed into VDMX and mixing it with other content and effects that are synced to the BPM of the music. The Video feed is then output to OBS where the audio is added and then streamed live. Here is an example of that setup:

What I’m looking to do is give him remote control of VDMX when I take over the DJ set. In the current format I’m DJ’ing and controlling VDMX (triggering clips, adding effects, etc). Here is me doing it all:

You can just skip through the recordings to get an idea. :slight_smile:

No need for a green screen as that’s not how we are mixing the visuals.

there is a related thread w tools to collaborate - adding-a-live-remote-feed-with-obs-ninja

The easiest way to do this in my mind - is to set up a separate encoding machine - to receive dj/vj sources in obs - and encode/stream.

Then each user has machine for vdmx/dj set up.

but this depends on equip availability. It seems the cheapest option to set up an encoding machines is to use nvidia 1660 hardware encode w obs.

  • for a/v sync you would want to send the audio to the machine running vdmx - then out to the web. normal rtmp delay is about 20 seconds so makes tight av sync not possible.

otherwise it think vnc/screenshareing would be easiest to set up but would cause performance hit on vdmx machine.

there is this open source osc-web project. that … i dont have concrete suggestion how to integrate it but its out there.

there are also paid cloud based solutions - I’ve been working on project that uses this Though It doe req that your live stream is re encoded … which means the quality goes down. think combining streams locally would be better.

1 Like

Yeah I started that thread :slight_smile:

I have the video feeds sorted. All the remote video and audio is streamed into my studio. Video is then added to VDMX and output via OBS.

So I’m just looking for the best way to give the remote DJ access to control VDMX when I take over from them (as they are then free to control VDMX). Thought I’d see if anyone else had done something similar.

I’ll start with VNC and keyboard mapping. Once he’s sorted his studio I’ll try to get MIDI or OSC over the web.

yeah sounds like vnc is easiest.

I’ve been doing - dj and vj in different locations, and cloud streaming app to combine video and audio.

1 Like