VLight




    This is a standard SWF (Flash file) mixer, and can play up to 3 layers of flash files on top of each other. The documentation and layout of this program is extremely well done. I came into this program as a brand new VJ and was surprised at the ease in which I picked up the MXR.

The most notable feature of this program is that it can be used without scan converters or dual monitor setups. You can simply set the program on full screen mode and easily control the whole shebang with the keyboard only. 

Your 3 layers are controlled by number keys 1,2, and 3. Press the key once to select your layer, and again to toggle visible/invisible. Each layer has it's own selection of up to 26 flash files, each assigned to it's own key. From there it's as simple as selecting your layers and files.

The only problem with interface I have noticed is a small coding bug that affects letter Q,W, and E in layers 1,2, and 3 respectively. When you're in fullscreen mode, these keys simply don't work. I noticed this bug in an earlier build and it's still here in the new version.

Other shortcomings include the inability to control the speed of your SWF files. Vlight locks the speed of all files to 31fps. This isn't a problem when you're creating your own files, but if you're getting stuff from the internet or from other people who haven't taken this into consideration, it can be an issue.

Scale is addressed somewhat, but is limited to 1X,2X,3X etc, instead of a % increment. Also, there is no way to change scale effectively in fullscreen mode. You also have to manually increase the scale for a file every time you use it. The scale lock setting is layer-specific only, not file specific.

The VLight mixer isn't very power hungry, but this actually depends more on the files you're using rather than the programs itself. I was able to run 3 layers of flash files with no slowdown on a 500MHZ system, except with very demanding flash files over 500K.

Adding your own files into VLight is accomplished now in the VLight.CTRL portion of the program. Although it is pretty simple, and there is CTRL documentation available in English, it's still too bad that the CTRL is in German.

As far as reliability, I have been using the VLight.MXR program for
 the past 3 weeks at my residency and it hasn't crashed once. Vlight is made to ignore several SWF commands, but unfortunately still allows files to open HTML windows if that was coded into the file (so be forewarned if you plan on stealing web flash). This will bring an Explorer window or Netscape window up over your program, and that's never fun.

There are a number of other more advanced features included that I don't touch on such as the sound reactive CTRL portion of the program, the Record feature, and the Colors feature. From basic use of them, they work nicely, but I will leave them to be touched on by those who use them frequently.

All in all, I consider this program to be good all around, and essential if you want to put together an extra rig but don't want to spring for another scan converter or dual card, or most importantly a powerhouse computer.

Areas of improvement are a better integration into the keyboard of advanced functions such as scale, colors, and tint. The option to switch Layer categories through the keyboard as well would be nice. And finally I hope that the next version of Vlight allows for the use of Flash MX video embedding.

Please visit the publisher's website here.

review taken from VJC by DocSavage