DeKstasy Documentation

If you don’t want to read through the documentation, check out the Quick Start section to get up and running fast. There are sample files already loaded into DeKstasy if you dowloaded the application plus sample files. NOTE: The Quick Start section only applies to the downloads that include sample files. If you download the application only, the Quick Start section does not apply.

There is also a short FAQ available. If you have a question that isn’t answered in either the manual or FAQ, please contact us.

DeKstasy Documentation
Overview
Quick Start
The Interface
Main Window
Click track
Import Pane
Importing Audio
Importing MP3 Files
Importing CD Audio
Copying and Encoding Files
Actions
Preview
Set Album Info
Analyze BPM
Correct BPM
Add to Library
Folder is Album
Delete
Typical Scenarios for Importing Audio
Importing Audio from CD
Copy and Encode Options
Songs Pane
Crates
Cueing Tracks
Previewing Tracks
Deleting Tracks
Setting Album Info
Decks Pane
Visual Waveform
Follow Song Checkbox
Beats
Transport Controls
Keyboard Controls
Deck Options
Mixer Pane
Mixer Controls
Mixer Routing
BPM Pane
Dialogs
Audio Setting Dialog
Preview Dialog
Set Album Info Dialog
Advanced Users
Correct BPM Window
Loop Action Menu
Beats menu
Delete Audio menu
BPM Segments Menu
Keyboard Controls
Using the Correct BPM Window
BPM Pane – Advanced Options
Using External Synchronization
Menus
File Menu
Options Menu
General Options
Songs Pane Options
Decks Pane Options
BPM Pane Options
Panes Menu
Audio Menu
MIDI Menu
Help Menu

DeKstasy Documentation

Overview

DeKstasy is the future of DJing. It was designed and created with the professional DJ in mind, so it’s simple, powerful, and totally dependable.

DeKstasy enables a DJ to use digital sound files and a computer interface to replace records and turntables. It even has a rudimentary mixer in case you don’t already have a DJ mixer, or if you have only your Mac’s headphone jack for audio output.

You can import audio files, organize them, create true beat signatures, and then cue up, play, and mix them in sync in a simple, straightforward way, allowing you to concentrate on the mix and not struggle with complicated software.

Quick Start

(NOTE:Only applies to downloads with sample files.)

Launch program: Double click on the DeKstasy icon.
Go to Audio Settings: Select “Audio Settings” from the “Audio” menu. Choose the audio hardware that you wish to use. If you only have your Mac’s built-in speakers, you can skip this step.
Go to Decks pane: Click the tab on the main DeKstasy window that says “Decks”.
Play Deck 1: Press the Play button (the right facing triangle) on Deck 1.
Play Deck 2: Do the same for Deck 2.
You should now hear the tracks playing through whatever output device you chose.

The Interface
Main Window

The main window of DeKstasy displays information that is important to see at any time during a performance. It shows the system BPM clock, remaining audio left to be played, and time until the next deck begins to play. Below this information are tabs that allow you to switch between the five main panes that comprise DeKstasy’s interface.

Songs Pane – Display, organize, and cue tracks for playing.
Decks Pane – Arrange and control playback of your tracks on the four virtual decks.
Mixer pane – Mix the output of any two decks.
BPM pane – Manipulate the BPM in real-time.
Import Pane – Import new tracks into DeKstasy.

Click track

DeKstasy can play an audible “click track” at the system clock BPM. Although it’s called a click track, the sound is a kick drum, making it easy to check beat synchronization. This can be turned on and off through the Audio menu. The click track can be configured to play out of any output device using the Audio Settings dialog.

Import Pane

The Import pane allows you to introduce new audio into DeKstasy. The audio source can be CD Audio (also known as Redbook format), WAV, AIFF or MP3 files. The audio will optionally be copied and/or encoded to MP3 depending on the source format and the specific Import pane settings (described below).

Importing Audio

Importing an audio file to DeKstasy is as easy as dragging it to the Import pane’s file list area. Folders containing multiple audio files and audio CD icons can also be dragged directly into the file list area. An alternate way of importing audio files to DeKstasy is by selecting the Import menu item from the Action menu on the Import pane.

Importing MP3 Files

If the imported track is an MP3 file, DeKstasy attempts to read the track artist, album and track name information from the ID3 tag. If there is no ID3 information the track name will be set to the file name; the other information will be left blank.

Importing CD Audio

If the imported tracks are from an audio CD DeKstasy will attempt to read the CD information from the internet (if this option is checked and your computer is currently connected to the internet). If lookup fails for any reason the track name will be set to the file name; the other information will be left blank.

Upon successfully importing a track, the Import pane will display the following information under each column heading:

File – Name of audio file, folder, or audio CD.
Format – The file format (blank for folders).
Name – If the ID3 tag or CD information lookup succeeds this will be the name of the artist and album in Artist / Album format. If the lookup is not successful, this field will be blank.
Status – Ready, Analyzing, Copying, Encoding.
Time – Duration of the audio file.
BPM – The BPM as calculated by DeKstasy. This field will be blank until a successful BPM analysis occurs, or until the BPM is set manually in the Correct BPM window.
Accuracy – An estimate of the accuracy of the BPM calculation. This field is also blank until a successful BPM analysis occurs.

Copying and Encoding Files

DeKstasy can keep a copy of all the files in the library in a special separate folder. This is useful for reducing hard disk clutter and keeping all files used by DeKstasy in one location, especially if the original files are on removable media. It keeps these files relative to your home directory at ~/Library/Audio/DeKstasy/Audio Files. DeKstasy can also encode all supported non-compressed file types (AIFF, WAV and CD Audio) into the MP3 format. This is useful for reducing the amount of disk space used by the audio files. The options on the Import pane allow the modification of these settings. Details about these options are discussed below. The copying and/or encoding processes take place only when the file is added to the DeKstasy library.

Actions

Once you have imported an audio file into DeKstasy there are several actions you can perform on it using the Actions menu.

Preview

Previewing is useful for hearing a track before performing any further actions upon it. To preview a track, select the track in the Import pane then choose the Preview menu item from the Action menu. Alternatively, holding down the option key and clicking on a track will bring up the Preview Dialog. (See the Preview Dialog section for detailed use of this dialog.)

On some systems with slower CD drives, a CD track directly off the drive may not play properly during preview because the drive can’t keep up with the audio. If this happens, choose Analyze from the Action menu to rip the file first (see below) before previewing.

Set Album Info

To set the album info of a track or group of tracks, select the track(s) in the Songs pane and then choose the Set Album Info menu item from the Action menu. See the Set Album Info section for detailed use of this dialog.

Analyze BPM

Processes the file and attempts to find the BPM of the track and create the beat signature. For Audio CDs this action will also automatically rip the files into WAV format before processing. After analysis is complete, the Accuracy column shows a percentage bar, which indicates how accurate the system thinks it was in finding the beat. No bar, or 0% means it wasn’t accurate all and a 100% means it was completely accurate. Analyzing can be cancelled with the Cancel button next to the Action menu.

Correct BPM

Brings up the Correct BPM dialog, which is used to manually edit the beat signature created by the DeKstasy analysis. See the Advanced Users section for detailed usage instructions.

Add to Library

Adds the selected track(s) or albums to the DeKstasy library. Once in the library the track(s) are ready to be cued and mixed. Before you can add any file to the library, you must first create its beat signature using the Analyze BPM menu item described above.

Folder is Album

When a folder is selected, the “Folder is Album” menu item will become active. To designate a folder as an album, the folder must contain only audio files (and no sub-folders). When this menu item is chosen, the folder icon changes to a small vinyl record icon. DeKstasy will now treat all enclosed tracks as a group when setting artist and album information using the Set Album Info menu item. Any changes to album name and artist name will be applied to all the tracks in the group.

Delete

This will remove the selected track from the Import pane. Note that the actual files are NOT deleted from the file system when you use this command.

Typical Scenarios for Importing Audio
Importing Audio from CD

Insert the CD Drag the CD icon from your desktop to the Import pane Select the Audio CD item in the Import list Pick Analyze from the Action menu When analysis is complete, pick “Add to Library”
Browse for existing MP3, WAV, and AIFF files.
Pick the Import menu item or drag one or more files to the Import pane Select the file in the Import list Pick Analyze from the Action menu When analysis is complete, pick “Add to Library”

To import audio off records, you’ll need to use an audio recording program to create a digital version of your record, in either WAV, AIFF, or MP3 format. You can then import these files into DeKstasy as shown above. We hope to integrate this recording functionality in our next release, so that you can record directly off a record into DeKstasy.

It’s often a good idea to check the BPM analysis yourself in the Correct BPM window. Even when DeKstasy gets it mostly right, you’ll usually want to fine-tune the results manually. See the Correct BPM section for more information on how to do this.

Copy and Encode Options

These options tell DeKstasy what to do with files when they are added to the songs library. The default settings always create new files in DeKstasy’s Audio Files folder. Basically the default settings implement the following rules:

1) If imported files are not in MP3 format, they are converted to MP3 format and put in DeKstasy’s Audio Files folder.

2) If imported files are in MP3 format, but are encoded at a higher bit rate (higher quality audio) they are re-encoded at the system bit rate and put in DeKstasy’s Audio Files folder.

If you want to use audio files in their original locations, instead of having DeKstasy copy them to the Audio Files folder, or if you want to turn off MP3-encoding of imported items, you can adjust these options accordingly.

Songs Pane

The Songs pane displays all the songs in DeKstasy’s library and will be the center of activity for most sessions. The Songs pane is used to perform the following actions on a track or group of tracks:

Organize them into virtual crates.
Cue tracks on specific decks.
Preview tracks you might want to spin.
Delete tracks.
Set album info.
Edit a track’s BPM signature.

The Songs pane displays several columns of information about each track.
Checkbox at the far left, indicates whether the track is in the current crate (see below).
Artist – The artist name for the track.
Album – The name of the album for the track.
Track – The name of the track.
# – Track number on album.
Length – The duration of the track when played at its native BPM in HH:MM format.
BPM – The beats per minute of the track as calculated by DeKstasy.
Status – One of Ready, Cued, Playing, Missing, or Played.
Format – The bit rate and file format of the track.

Crates

Crates are a convenient way to group tracks for easily recalling set lists. A crate is an arbitrary group of tracks. The current crate contents are always displayed above the track list area. Once any change is made to the set of tracks that are in the current crate, DeKstasy will prompt you to save changes if an attempt is made to load another crate or create a new crate. The following operations can be performed on crates:

To create a new, empty crate pick the New menu item.
To save the current crate pick the Save menu item.
To save the current crate under a different name pick the Save As menu item.
To load a previously saved crate, pick the Load menu item.
To merge an existing crate with the current crate select the Merge menu item.

Normally you can tell if a track is in your crate by the checkbox to the left of the track’s information. If it’s checked, it’s in your crate. You can also hide all the tracks that aren’t in the current crate with the checkbox labeled “Display crate contents only”. In this state, when you deselect a track’s checkbox, the track will disappear from the screen.

Cueing Tracks

To cue a track, select the track in the Songs pane then choose the Cue Track menu item from the Action menu. Then choose from the list of decks available. This action loads the track into the specified deck. The status column will change to “Cued”. A track cannot be cued on more than one deck, and a track cannot be cued onto a deck that already has a track on it. Un-cueing a track is accomplished in the Decks pane.

Previewing Tracks

To preview a track, select the track in the Songs pane, then choose the Preview menu item from the Action menu. Alternatively, holding down the option key and clicking on a track will bring up the preview window. If the track can be previewed, the preview dialog will appear. A track can only be previewed if it is not already loaded into a deck. See the Preview Dialog section for detailed information on use of this dialog.

Deleting Tracks

To delete a track, select the track in the Songs pane then choose the Delete menu item from the Action menu. Deleting a track deletes the reference to the track and any file that was created by DeKstasy (that is any file either copied or encoded to DeKstasy’s Audio files folder). DeKstasy will never delete an original file. Note that you can’t “undo” or restore a deleted track!

Setting Album Info

To set the album info of a track or group of tracks, select the track(s) in the Songs pane, then choose the Set Album Info menu item from the Action menu. See the Set Album Info section for detailed information on use of this dialog.

Decks Pane

The Decks pane controls track playback and represents DeKstasy’s virtual turntables. Each deck displays a waveform of the track that is loaded into it. The tracks are cued onto the decks from the Songs pane or from the Preview dialog. Once a track is cued on a deck, it can be played, looped, rewound, stopped and ejected from that deck. Each deck can only contain one track, and each track can only be cued on one deck at a time; that is, you can’t mix the same track with itself. The play speed of any track on any deck is always locked to the system BPM clock. Tracks are adjusted to this BPM from their respective native BPMs.

Visual Waveform

A DeKstasy deck displays a waveform of any loaded track. The two white arrows represent the (virtual) needle. The needle points to what audio is currently playing or will play, depending on whether the deck is playing or stopped, respectively. All decks are synchronized to the same needle position. Unlike a real turntable, you adjust what part of a track is playing by repositioning the track waveform, not the needle. You can reposition the Waveforms simply by clicking on it and dragging. Using the Zoom slider, the entire waveform or a very small portion of it can be viewed in the display. The needle can also be repositioned by dragging, but this will adjust the play position on all tracks at once.

Follow Song Checkbox

DeKstasy gives the option of keeping either the needle or the waveform stationary and in view during playback and looping. When checked, the Follow Song checkbox keeps the needle stationary during playback. When not checked, the needle moves during playback and the manual scrollbar control can be used to find where the needle is.

Beats

When zoomed into the waveform closely enough, the red lines in the waveform indicate where DeKstasy has calculated a beat. The red lines are called beat marks. When dragging the waveform of a stopped track, the needle will always align itself to a beat mark. When dragging the waveform of a playing track, the needle will still always align itself to a beat mark, but the specific beat mark it aligns to will depend on the Align To menu setting. If the Align To menu is set to 16 beats, for example, the needle will align itself to every 16th beat mark. This feature allows you to skip within a song without interrupting a musical phrase that is longer than a single beat.

If there are no beat marks in just one portion of the song, it means that the first beat that DeKstasy detected comes later in the song. The needle will still be appropriately aligned but the beat marks will only appear after the point in the file where Deskstasy found the beat. See the Correct BPM section to find out more about DeKstasy’s beat indicators.

Transport Controls

Above each deck waveform are the transport controls, track information, the playback status message, and the play time remaining.

The transport controls (Play, Loop, Rewind, Stop, and Eject) are described below.

The Play button causes the track to play at the current location of the needle and changes the status to [playing].
The Loop button causes the track to be looped starting at the position of the needle; the loop length, or the number of beats to play in each loop, is specified in the Loop By menu. You can tell when a track is looping by the track status field, which will be set to [looping].
The effect of the Rewind button depends on whether any decks are currently playing. If no decks are playing, Rewind repositions the needle to the start of the track for that deck and the track will start playing from the beginning. If one or more decks are playing, pressing the Rewind button repositions the track so that the beginning of the track as at the needle.
The Stop button stops any current looping or playing on that deck and sets the status to [stopped].
The Eject button will unload the track from the deck and set the status to [empty]. You can only eject a track when the deck is in the [stopped] state.

Next to the playback status indicator, information on the currently cued track is displayed. This information includes the native BPM of the track, the artist name, and the track name. The popup menu the right of the track information provides various options for that particular deck, explained below under Deck Options. At the far right, a time is displayed in minutes and seconds. If the deck is playing but the track hasn’t started yet, this field shows the time till the track starts (as a negative number). When the track is playing, it shows the time remaining in the track. If the track isn’t playing or has finished playing, it shows the total duration of the track when played at the current BPM.

Keyboard Controls

You can control each deck to a certain extent by using keyboard controls. To select the deck that will be affected by the keyboard, press the Tab key until the deck you’re interested in is highlighted in a blue box. In this state, you can use the following keys to control the deck:

l (lowercase L) – Toggles looping for the selected deck.
Spacebar – Plays or stops the selected deck.
Right arrow – Skips the track ahead one beat.
Left arrow – Skips the track back one beat.

Deck Options

The small Deck Options popup menu above and near the right edge of each deck allows you to perform various actions related to that particular deck:

Set BPM from song – Sets the system BPM to the current song’s BPM in one abrupt jump. (See note below, though.)
Adjust BPM to song – Gradually adjusts the system BPM to that of the current song. The system picks an adjustment rate that tries to keep the speed-up or slow-down relatively inaudible.
Beat mode – Changes the beat mode of the deck as follows: “Normal” plays the track normally; “Beatless” plays the track at its native rate, without any attempt to beat-match to the system beat; “x2 BPM” plays the track at twice the system BPM; and “x1/2 BPM” plays the track at half the system BPM.

Note that when a track is being played back at double or half speed, the “Set BPM from song” menu item behaves differently: it will set the system BPM to the effective current BPM of the deck, and adjust the beat modes of all other decks accordingly. Thus, if the deck is set to “x2 BPM”, and the system BPM is 80, “Set BPM from song” will set the system BPM to 160 and the beat mode of the track to “Normal”, causing no discernable change in the output of the deck in question. In addition, the beat modes of any other playing decks will be halved as well, from “Normal” to “x1/2 BPM”, and from “x2 BPM” to “Normal” (beatless tracks/decks are not affected). This function is useful to seamlessly transition to the BPM of a double- or half-speed song.

Mixer Pane

As of version 1.2, DeKstasy has a rudimentary mixer for users who either don’t have a multichannel sound card, or don’t own a DJ mixer. It provides basic two-channel mixer functionality, including trim, pan, 3-band EQ, 3-band kill switches, channel level, and separate master and headphones output settings (level, pan, crossfade).

Mixer Controls

Currently all controls on the mixer must be adjusted using the mouse. We are aware that this is less than ideal; we will address this issue in the near future and provide a way to configure control of the mixer by keyboard or MIDI. Until then, there are a few tricks to make using the mouse easier:

Command clicking on a control will set it to its default or centered value.
Moving a control with the shift key down will move the control slowly and evenly.
Holding the option key down while moving the control will cause no change in the sound until the mouse button or option key is released.

Mixer Routing

When the “Mixer On” checkbox is not checked, the mixer is off, and all decks play through their normal, configured channels. In this state, changes to the mixer controls will not affect the audio.

When the mixer is turned on, the two decks selected in the popup menus above each mixer channel will be routed through the mixer. Output will no longer go to the channels selected for each deck; instead, it will pass through the mixer and out the “Mixer Master Output” and “Mixer Phones Output” audio channels (which can be set in the Audio Settings dialog). Either or both of the mixer output channels may be the same as the channels selected for each deck.

BPM Pane

The BPM pane manipulates the BPM of all currently playing music. The simple manipulations are Hold, Set To, and Adjust (gradually). The advanced options are discussed in the Advanced Users section. Hold keeps the current BPM constant. The current BPM can be adjusted by +/- 1 BPM with the adjustment arrows to the right of the current BPM display. The playback speed will increase or decrease in real-time. The Set To option will immediately set the BPM to a specific value entered into the text box. The Adjust To option will ramp up or ramp down the BPM in real-time to the specified value over the specified number of seconds.

Dialogs
Audio Setting Dialog

The audio settings dialog sets the output audio device and channel of each of the four decks and two mixer outputs. By default each deck is configured to play through the device with the most outputs. Any deck can play out of any device and channel combination.

For each output source, you can specify whether audio will be played in stereo (using two hardware channels), in mono (with both of the source’s stereo channels mixed into a single mono channel), or turned off.

DeKstasy uses the input channel to record audio and to synchronize playback to an external audio signal. You can read more about external synchronization in the Advanced Users section.

To quickly set up DeKstasy to use a particular audio device, choose the device name from the “Set defaults for device” menu. You can then modify the mapping of decks to the device’s audio channels using the individual deck/channel menus.

If there are any MIDI devices connected to your system, they will be displayed in the bottom half of the Audio Settings window. DeKstasy is capable of sending MIDI Sync messages to MIDI hardware and software in order to synchronize external audio sources to its own playback. To instruct DeKstasy to send MIDI Sync to a MIDI device, check the box next to the MIDI device.

Note that no changes are applied to the audio setup until you press the OK button.

Preview Dialog

The preview dialog provides instant playback of the selected track. This may be useful before cueing or performed some other action on the track. The dialog displays the track name, artist name, album name, length of the track, and its native BPM as analyzed by DeKstasy. To preview the track at the system BPM, select the “Sync to Beat” check box. If unchecked the track will be previewed at its native BPM. A track can be previewed on any empty or stopped deck. The slider allows seeking through the track. When previewing a track that is already in DeKstasy’s library, the track can be immediately cued to the selected deck from this dialog using the Cue button. Note that the deck to which the track is cued will be automatically put in the play state. If there is already another song in that deck that isn’t playing, it will be ejected. Clicking the Stop button stops previewing and closes the preview dialog.

Set Album Info Dialog

The Set Album Info dialog sets metadata information for the selected track or tracks. The dialog displays current artist name, album name, track name, and track number information. The album name and artist name are set in the text boxes on the left. DeKstasy will build a list of similar artist and album names in the popup menus on the right hand side of each text box. Choosing one of these menu items copies the text from the menu item to its respective text box on the left. This is to aid in choosing the exact spelling for albums and artists, which is important because anything but an exact name match will cause DeKstasy to treat it as a different album. To change the track name or track number, click on its text. The Save button will apply the changes. The Cancel button will make no changes. Any changes to the artist and album name will apply to all tracks in the track list.

Advanced Users
Correct BPM Window

DeKstasy’s success in finding a track’s beat signature varies greatly with the type of music it is analyzing. Generally, electronic dance music with a prominent, steady, and non-syncopated beat works best. When some or all of these conditions are not met, however, DeKstasy’s BPM analysis may be inadequate. As a result, it will be necessary to manually set the beat signature for the track. This can be done in the Correct BPM window.

You can access the Correct BPM window from either the Songs or Import pane by selecting a track and picking Correct BPM from the Action menu. (On the Import pane, the track must be analyzed before you can correct its BPM.) No other tracks can be playing while correcting a track’s BPM.

The Correct BPM interface elements are described below; you can also skip ahead for a quick tutorial on using this window.

Track information – The top left corner of the window shows the artist, album, and track name, or, if this information is not available, the name of the file.
Song length – At the top right, the duration of the track in minutes and seconds is displayed.
Deck menu – Just below the song length is a popup menu that allows you to listen to the song on any of the four virtual decks.
Waveform display – Contains deck controls that work the same way as the ones in the Decks pane: transport controls, play status indicator, waveform zoom slider, follow song checkbox, scroll bar, and play position display. The waveform display also contains a needle indicator, which can be repositioned by either dragging or clicking on the waveform, just as in the Decks pane. Note that UNLIKE the Decks pane, the waveform cannot be repositioned by dragging.
Loop Action, Beats, Delete Audio, and BPM Segment menus – These menus allow you to modify the beat signature for the track, and are explained individually below.
Show Beats & Show Peaks checkboxes – Determines whether beat marks (in red) or “peak marks” (in green) will be displayed. Beat marks, as described in the Decks pane section, indicate the location of beats in the track. Peak marks, which are only available when correcting a track’s BPM from the Import pane, show the points at which DeKstasy suspects other alternative beats might occur. When the Show Peaks checkbox is checked, you can also select the “Snap to peaks” checkbox, which will cause the needle to “snap” to the exact peak location when it is near one.
BPM indicator – Shows the current BPM for the track.
Click Track checkbox – Turns the click track on and off. The click track is an important tool in helping you determine the BPM for a track. It will revert to its original state when the window is closed. If the click track doesn’t turn on, it’s because the click track channel needs to be configured in the Audio Settings window (see that section for further details).
Save and Cancel buttons – Save and cancel changes to the track, respectively.
Revert button – Reverts the track to its original state when the Correct BPM window was opened, but doesn’t close the window.

Located just below the left edge of the waveform display, this menu determines what action will be performed when looping the track. In the Correct BPM window, looping has a different function than on the decks in the Decks pane. Here it is used to precisely locate the beat by looping the section of music under the needle while you adjust the location of the beat within the loop. (The click track must be on for this feature to be useful.)

When you click on the loop button, a 2-beat section of music is displayed, with the beat being set shown in the center. As you move the needle to the right and left of the center, you will hear the beat of the click track move behind and ahead, respectively, of the beat in the music. When you feel the beat location is correct, stop the loop by pressing either the Play or Stop button. The action DeKstasy takes will be determined by the setting of the Loop Action menu:

Loop sets first beat – The point selected by the needle will mark the first beat of the track. BPM is adjusted accordingly.
Loop sets last beat – The needle will mark the last beat of the track. This also resets the BPM.
Loop shifts all beats – All beats will be shifted forward or backward by the amount the needle was moved. This action does NOT change the BPM.
Loop creates BPM segment – This action is useful when the BPM is not constant throughout the song. By creating BPM segments, you can normalize the entire track to a constant BPM. BPM segments are explained at length in the section below.
Loop does nothing – If you want to prevent the loop from changing anything, select this option.

This menu can be used to set the first or last beats at the current needle position, clear all beats in the track, or jump to the first beat. Setting the first or last beat may modify the BPM of the track. This menu is not available when the track is playing.

Use this menu to delete portions of a track, either at the beginning or end of the track. This menu is not available when the track is playing or when BPM segments have been created (see below).

Sometimes the BPM can vary in the course of the song. This may be due to inexact production methods or an ambient section in the middle of the track, but is most common on live DJ mix CDs, where the BPM often gradually speeds up over the entire CD. Normally DeKstasy wouldn’t be able to use such tracks, since it requires a constant BPM throughout the song in order to maintain synchronization with other tracks. However, DeKstasy provides a mechanism for normalizing the BPM of the song by speeding up some parts and slowing down others to produce a consistent BPM signature. By dividing the song into two or more BPM segments, you indicate to DeKstasy that you want it to perform such normalization.

You can create new BPM segments by looping when the Loop Action menu is set to “Loop creates BPM segment”. A new segment will be created, starting at the point specified by the needle during the loop. If no BPM segments were present before looping, two BPM segments will be created, one from that start of the track to the loop point, and one from the loop point to the end of the track. When the needle is in a given BPM segment, all other segments will be grayed out. You will also notice that the BPM display changes with the segment that is selected. Changes made to the first and last beats will now only affect the first and last beat of the current BPM segment, not the rest of the song.

The BPM Segments menu is only available when BPM segments have been created. You can use it to perform the following actions:

Merge with next – Merges the current BPM segment with the one that immediately follows it. The new BPM will be a weighted average of the BPMs of both segments. If there were only two segments in the track, both BPM segments will disappear and the track will revert to its normal, non-segmented state.
Merge with previous – Similar to “Merge with next”, but merges a segment with the one that immediately precedes it.
Clear all segments – Clears all BPM segments.
Resample – Normally, resampling of a segmented song takes place after saving your changes in the Correct BPM window. Resampling is necessary to normalize the BPM segments of the track to a single constant BPM. If for some reason you wish to resample before closing the window, you can choose this option. You might want to use this to check the resampled track before overwriting the original.

Keyboard Controls

When the track is playing, pressing the Return key repeatedly and in rhythm at least 10 times will cause the BPM to be set to the tapped beat.

Pressing the spacebar will start or stop the track.

When the track is looping, you can use the left and right arrow keys to adjust the needle position by very small amounts. Each left or right arrow press will move it by half a pixel, so you’ll only be able to see it move with every two presses.

Using the Correct BPM Window

DeKstasy’s beat synchronization can only be as accurate as the beat signatures of the tracks it plays. Therefore, it is important to make sure that these signatures are set accurately. DeKstasy’s automatic beat analysis works well in many cases, but depending on the type of music you are spinning, its results can range from nearly perfect to completely wrong. Even when it comes up with a good analysis, you may still want to fine-tune the results to get that extra tight sound. Learning to use the Correct BPM window quickly and effectively will go a long way in enhancing your performance on DeKstasy.

The first step when correcting a song’s BPM is doing a quick sanity check on the analyzed BPM. If it’s a slow house track but the BPM says 145, you know DeKstasy didn’t find the beat. You can also quickly play the track with the click track on to see if it even came close.

If the BPM is way off, you’ll need to get it in the right ballpark by “tapping” out the beat. Turn off the click track, rewind the track, and press Play. When you can hear the song’s beat, start tapping the return key in time with the beat. Ten taps is enough to set the BPM, but you should really go for 20 seconds or more to get an accurate reading. Press Stop when you’re done, or just press the spacebar. The BPM display should now have changed to indicate the new BPM.

Once you’ve got a reasonable estimate of the BPM, you should fine-tune it. First set the Loop Action menu to “Loop sets first beat”. Then rewind the track once more and then press Play. When you hear the song’s beat, press the Loop button. Once the song is looping, turn on the click track. The beat from the click track will probably sound pretty “off” at this point. Click on the waveform to move the needle around. When you’ve got it positioned so that the beats are in perfect sync, hit Play again to exit the loop. You’ve just set the first beat of the song.

As the song continues to play, listen to the synchronization between the click track and the song’s beat. If they start drifting apart, hit the Loop button again. The Loop Action menu should now be set to “Loop sets last beat”; if not, set it manually. Position the needle to sync up the beats once again, and then hit Play to exit the loop. Now the last beat is set.

Continue along through the song like this, repeatedly correcting and advancing the last beat position as you go. If after a while it seems like the beats are no longer drifting apart, you can skip ahead in the song and check the synchronization further ahead. If by the end of the song, the beats are still in sync, you’re all set: click the Save button to save the new beat signature.

If, on the other hand, the beat keeps going out of sync, it’s likely that the song’s BPM is not consistent. In that case, you’ll need to create some BPM segments to normalize the song’s BPM. First, try to find the point in the song at which the BPM of the song changes enough that the click track becomes noticeably out of sync. Loop the track at this point and set the Loop Action menu to “Loop create BPM segment”. Reposition the needle to correct the beat sync, and press Play to exit the loop. The song will now be divided into two BPM segments.

Now, set the Loop Action menu to “Loop sets last beat”. When the beat of the playing song starts to deviate again, hit Loop again and correct the beat position. This time, you will have set the last beat of just this BPM segment, not the whole track – the BPM of the first segment will stay the same.

You can repeat this process, creating as many BPM segments as are necessary to “wrap” properly to the song’s varying BPM. When all points in the song are in sync with the click track, you’re done. Press Save to save your changes; DeKstasy will then resample the song at a constant BPM.

BPM Pane – Advanced Options

At the top of the BPM pane is a checkbox labeled “Show advanced options”. These options control synchronization of DeKstasy’s playback to an external audio source, such as a turntable, CD player, etc. If you wish to incorporate other audio sources into your performance, you will need to check this checkbox.

When “Show advanced options” is checked, a new set of controls and displays will appear. (You can also skip ahead to “Using External Synchronization” for a quick tutorial.)

Auto-sync – Attempts to automatically synchronize the beat clock to the external audio source. If the “From current beat” checkbox is set, the current beat clock is used as a starting point in finding the beat in the external audio.
Tap beat – Indicates that DeKstasy is trying to set the beat from a series of taps on the return key. If the “And then auto-sync” checkbox is set, the beat that was tapped in is used as a starting point in finding the beat in the external audio.
Maintain sync – Shows that DeKstasy is maintaining synchronization with the external signal. If synchronization is lost, you can click on this option to try to restore synchronization, but it may not work if the external signal and the system beat have strayed too far out of sync.
The Auto-sync group box, on the right half of the BPM pane, contains the following items:
Input level indicator – Shows the level of the input signal. It is important that this signal doesn’t max out or clip, since that will reduce the accuracy of the auto-sync feature.
Beat indicator – Provides a rough visual indication of when the system beat occurs.
Progress indicator – When performing an auto-sync, or when setting the beat by tapping, this progress indicator shows how much more time is necessary before acquiring a beat.
Stability indicator – When performing an auto-sync or in “maintain sync” mode, this progress bar shows the stability of the estimated BPM over time. Low stability is an indication of an inaccurate reading.
Estimated BPM – Shows DeKstasy’s estimate for the BPM of the external signal. Immediately to the right of the estimated BPM is a percentage with a + or – in front of it. This number tells you how much you would need to speed up (+) or slow down (-) the external audio to match DeKstasy’s system BPM. This value is useful when syncing a record or DJ CD player to DeKstasy – if it says +3.2%, for example, you can set the pitch adjustment on your turntable to that value to play it in time with DeKstasy’s output.
Delta BPM – Shows the change in the system BPM over time.
Set BPM checkbox – When this is checked, DeKstasy will set the system BPM from the estimated BPM, maintaining sync between DeKstasy’s playback and the external signal. When it is not checked, the estimated BPM of the external signal is displayed but DeKstasy will not change the system BPM. This is useful when you wish to just check the BPM of the external signal without having it affect DeKstasy’s playback.
Maintain sync checkbox – Determines whether the system maintains sync after auto-syncing. If this option is not set, the BPM will be set just once upon completion of an auto-sync, and will not vary if the BPM of the external signal changes. Otherwise, DeKstasy will attempt to track the external signal and speed up or slow down playback accordingly.
Min. level – This slider sets the threshold signal level for maintaining sync. If the external signal drops below this level for a full beat, DeKstasy will stop maintaining sync and hold at the current BPM. The slider is correlated with the input level indicator at the top of the Auto-sync group box. This control is useful for long breaks when the beat drops out of the song, or to make sure that if the external signal ends (for example, at the end of the record), DeKstasy will not alter the beat randomly.
Error – Shows the estimated difference, in milliseconds, between the system beat and the external signal.

Using External Synchronization

There may be times when you want to synchronize DeKstasy’s playback to an external audio source. This might happen if you are tag-teaming with another DJ, or incorporating records, CDs, or other audio sources into your performance.

The first step is configuring DeKstasy to monitor the external signal. Go to the Audio Settings window and set the Input channel to the appropriate audio device and channel. Set the mode menu to Stereo if it will be a stereo input, and Mono otherwise. It doesn’t really matter whether you use a mono or stereo source, but the menus need to be set appropriately for either case.

Next, go to the BPM pane. You can confirm that DeKstasy is getting a good signal by looking at the Input Level indicator. It should peak somewhere between the middle and the end of the indicator, but be careful that it doesn’t max out or clip, since that will make it difficult for DeKstasy to synchronize properly. Adjust the level on your mixer or audio device until it is in the proper range.

Usually the most reliable way to do an external sync is to tap out the beat first by hand to give DeKstasy a “hint” as to where the beat is. To use this mode, set the “And then auto-sync” checkbox under the “Tap beat” option. Then tap the Return key in time with the external beat, at least 10 times. After the 10th tap, you will notice that the “Progress” indicator will start moving by itself, even after you stop tapping. When the indicator shows that auto-sync is complete, DeKstasy will adjust the BPM to that of the external source.

To maintain synchronization, make sure the “Maintain sync” checkbox is set. The BPM will vary continuously with the external signal. In addition, the “Maintain sync” option (on the left side of the pane) will be set, and it will say “Sync: On” at the top of the window.

If the external signal drops below the minimum level (which can be set with the “Min. level” slider), the “Hold” option will be set and it will say “Sync: Off” at the top of the screen. This means that DeKstasy has lost the signal and is no longer trying to maintain synchronization. However, it will maintain the beat that was set prior to losing sync. Generally, this happens during a break or quiet passage in the external audio in which there is no beat. Once the beat comes back in, you can try to restore synchronization by choosing the “Maintain sync” option. This will only work if the external beat and system beats haven’t strayed too far apart in the intervening time.

Sometimes, DeKstasy can’t find a beat in the external signal, or latches on to the wrong beat. If this happens, you will need to disable auto-syncing and synchronize manually. To do this, turn off the checkbox labeled “And then auto-sync” under the “Tap beat” option. Tap the beat out on the Return key as you did previously. When the “Progress” indicator is full, you can stop pressing the Return key. If the beat starts drifting out of sync after a while, press the apostrophe key in time with the external beat a few times to correct it.

Close – Quits DeKstasy
Save – Saves the current state of the Songs library

General Options

– These options are not specific to any particular pane.
Performance mode – When this option is checked, DeKstasy will try to warn you against doing anything that will interrupt your live performance, such as quitting or stopping the only audible track.

Songs Pane Options

– These are only available when the Songs pane is showing.
Delete missing tracks – Permanently deletes tracks that are missing; i.e., for which the song’s audio file couldn’t be found.
Display crate contents only – Shows or hides tracks that aren’t in the current crate; same as the checkbox by the same name.
Pick/unpick track – Toggles whether the selected track(s) are in the current crate or not.
Quick-cue track – Cues the selected track in the next available deck.
Preview track – Performs a preview of the currently selected track. (Note: this option also works in the import pane.)

Decks Pane Options

– These are only available when the Songs pane is showing.
Follow songs – Toggles the “Follow song” checkbox (see the section on the Decks pane).
Line up all tracks – Lines up the beginning of each track to the needle; only enabled when at least one track is cued on a deck and no decks are playing.

BPM Pane Options

– Some of these options are only available when the BPM pane is showing.
Auto-sync – Performs an auto-sync to an external source.
Hold BPM – Turns off any external synchronization and holds the BPM constant.
Faster – Increases the BPM by one.
Slower – Decreases the BPM by one.

– Allows selection of the Songs, Decks, Mixer, BPM, and Import panes.

Audio settings – Brings up the Audio Settings window.
Click track – Toggles the click track between on and off; if this option is disabled, you need to configure the click track channel in the Audio Settings window.

MIDI active – Enables or disables output of MIDI sync to all enabled MIDI devices.
Send MIDI start – When MIDI is active, this option sends a MIDI Start message to all enabled MIDI devices. (The MIDI Start message tells a device to start playing.)

DeKstasy help – Brings up this help document in your web browser.
Show help tags – Turns help tags on or off; when help tags are on, most controls in DeKstasy will display a little yellow box with information on that control when the mouse is held stationary over it for a few seconds.