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Synchronizing Laser Light Displays with Music

by MIYA LASERS on Sep 13, 2023

Synchronizing Laser Light Displays with Music
Increasingly, individuals find themselves captivated by laser light displays. Laser shows, with their myriad colors, shapes, and patterns, possess the ability to completely immerse an audience, providing a gateway to a different dimension.
Historically, crafting laser presentations and harmonizing them with music demanded significant time and expertise. However, thanks to the latest functionalities incorporated into MIYA Laser Show Software, such as QuickShow and BEYOND, the process of synchronizing your preferred music with stunning laser effects has become more effortless than ever.
Let's delve even deeper into the art and master the precise synchronization of your cherished music with your preferred laser display effects!
dj laser show


There are essentially two primary categories of laser shows that one can produce: "live" laser shows, where the performance is executed in real-time, synchronized with the rhythm of the music, and preprogrammed laser shows, where the entire show is meticulously scripted beforehand, typically set to a particular song or audio file. Consequently, the choice between these two forms of laser shows significantly influences the method of synchronizing them with music. To illustrate, we will commence by elucidating the synchronization process for live laser shows in conjunction with music, followed by an explanation of how this can be achieved with a pre-programmed laser show.

"To synchronize music with laser displays, laser show software is essential."

To achieve flawless synchronization between laser displays and music, it is imperative to employ specialized laser show software that facilitates the design and creation of effects that seamlessly complement the accompanying music. At MIYA, we take immense pride in our position as the leading global provider of laser show software solutions, offering two exceptional software solutions meticulously designed to accomplish this synchronization with finesse. These remarkable software solutions are known as QuickShow and BEYOND.
QuickShow is the perfect choice for those who are new to laser technology or seek an intuitive and user-friendly interface for designing captivating laser shows. QuickShow boasts an array of built-in tools that simplify the synchronization of laser displays with music. Among these tools are our BPM tool and the innovative Virtual Laser Jockey Feature. Furthermore, QuickShow offers advanced plugins for popular DJ software such as Virtual DJ, with plugins for Serato and others in development.
On the other hand, BEYOND represents a premium, professional-grade laser show software that builds upon the features found in QuickShow, providing a broader range of effect options and advanced multimedia control tools. Additionally, BEYOND offers an array of supplementary timing and synchronization features, as demonstrated in the tutorial video series dedicated to BEYOND.

"Essential Components for a Live Laser Show"

dj laser show
When orchestrating a live laser performance, such as at a festival laser show, it's crucial for the operator to seamlessly synchronize laser effects with the DJ's music. DJs often make spontaneous changes to their playlists, necessitating the use of tools to maintain perfect synchronization throughout the show.
Both QuickShow and BEYOND laser show software incorporate a customized BPM (beats per minute) tool, enabling you to precisely trigger your effects in harmony with the live music being played. This ensures that your laser show stays in rhythm.
To achieve this, you, as the laser operator, can manually tap out the music's beat, a process facilitated by a lighting console, MIDI console, or PC. To activate this feature, the BPM recognition function needs to be enabled just once. Then, by pressing a button (on a console) or a key (on a PC) a few times, the beat rate becomes visible on the top display. This can be done in conjunction with or independently of the music genre.
Alternatively, a second method to synchronize a live laser show with music involves having the software automatically detect the music's beat as it plays. Both QuickShow and BEYOND include an AutoBPM recognition tool within their laser show software, and you can designate an input source for audio capture.
This input source can be any device recognized by the operating system as a recording source, including the internal sound mixer responsible for handling incoming audio signals. This method works best with music characterized by a distinct, prominent beat. Once activated, the software displays the incoming beat on the BPM screen. The BPM values are clearly visible, and even when the beat changes, the BPM counter adjusts accordingly.
A third approach to synchronizing a live laser show with music involves utilizing our DJ plugins. Presently, we offer plugins for popular DJ software like Virtual DJ, with plans to introduce more for other widely-used DJ software such as Serato in the near future. These plugins are exceptionally user-friendly.
MIYA laser show software detects when Virtual DJ or compatible DJ software is running, enabling it to extract a timecode signal directly from the DJ software. This allows for instant BPM and audio track position retrieval, ensuring seamless integration with the DJ's set.

"Requirements for Preprogrammed Laser Shows"

dj laser show
Preprogrammed laser displays find widespread application in various events where you possess prior knowledge of the music selection. These events include concerts, theme park attractions, corporate gatherings, and more. Preprogrammed shows offer a significant advantage over live laser presentations: ample preparation time. This allows laser show designers to meticulously plan and schedule their displays.
The key to this meticulous planning lies in creating a timeline that syncs seamlessly with the chosen music. This is achieved by importing the audio file into the software and visualizing its waveform directly on the timeline. Subsequently, the laser show components, encompassing beams, graphics, animations, and other creative elements, are meticulously positioned along the timeline. Convenient marker and snapping tools facilitate precise alignment with the music's waveform.
Both Quickshow and BEYOND boast robust timeline features, a testament to their prowess in the laser show industry. Their excellence in this regard has even earned them ILDA Technical Achievement awards. Let's delve deeper into these capabilities.
The journey commences with the music loading process. Quickshow allows one music track per show to be imported into the background. On the other hand, BEYOND permits several media files to be placed on a media track and then visualized as a waveform. In both software suites, laser content is arranged on the timeline, be it beams, graphics, animations, or any other imaginative content. Convenient marker and snapping tools enable precise synchronization with the music's waveform.
Furthermore, both Quickshow and BEYOND offer the ability to define custom start and end markers. These markers delineate a specific segment of the music for continuous playback, allowing for precise placement of animation elements. BEYOND, being a more advanced laser show programming and control software, offers an array of powerful tools, including a beat marker for precise timing, automatic crossover effects, and more.
Moreover, BEYOND goes the extra mile by supporting the widely-used SMPTE timecode protocol. This feature enhances synchronization between lasers and music, making it suitable for large-scale multimedia exhibitions, festivals, and events.
You can see screen shots of the timeline in both QuickShow and BEYOND, below.