One of the more personally entertaining bits of 2020 for me was resurrecting–to a certain extent, at least–my DJ Wüdi alter-ego. Aside from a few appearances at some Rodeo City Rollergirls derby matches in 2012, and a couple Thursday night dances for Norwescon, my DJing endeavors have been mostly a fond memory since I moved down to Seattle in 2001.

I’d been missing the DJing, and so at the start of 2020, I’d decided to start playing with using the game streaming service Twitch for broadcasting DJ sets, which I’d seen a few other DJs experimenting with. I got started, got a few weeks in…and then COVID hit. And suddenly there was an explosion of DJs showing up on Twitch, as clubs worldwide shut down and DJs and club goers scrambled to find a way to keep going, even if only from our homes.

So, as it turns out, in a sea of hundreds (at least) of DJs around the world using Twitch to broadcast sets, keep their friends and fans happy, and make a name for themselves…well, I’m one of them, but I can’t really say much more than that. Which is fine, as even pre-pandemic, this whole thing was basically a vanity hobby that I just wanted to do for fun. And in that respect, this project has been a resounding success! Some days it’s just me broadcasting to no-one, but some days there are a few people who pop in, and I even have a few regular listeners, so I’m happy with how it’s going.

In 2020, I posted 38 sets (aiming for one a week, with occasional weeks off when I had other obligations that took priority). Most of the time, I just wing it, with no set plan, just grabbing whatever I feel like at the moment. Some weeks, though, I took the time to play with a particular idea, put a set of tracks together, set them in order, and plan and practice the transitions.

I also had fun working on evolving my Twitch display as the year went on. While I can’t do many of the fancier tricks that many DJs do, with “emote” graphics dancing across the screen (things like that are reserved for streamers who broadcast more regularly and have built up enough of an audience to actually work on earning money; I’m nowhere near that level), I do like where I’ve ended up.

Twitch screenshot

The cute little avatar version of me was originally artwork by Sharii, and I’ve set it so that the graphic on the t-shirt changes every 30 seconds. The background is a motion video loop, and can be swapped out with other loops. The text overlay is just a text file that I keep open and update as I go with whatever track is currently playing. At the top, the waveforms and decks are clipped out of the djay Pro AI window. And finally, of course, there’s that goofy guy in the middle of the screen generally making a fool of himself. :)

I broadcast on my Twitch channel, and then later (usually the next day) upload the audio recording of the mix to my MixCloud account for listening at any time, and organize the mixes into playlists. Once uploaded, I posts links to the mixes along with the final track lists to my DJ Wüdi blog.

Here’s one playlist with all 38 of my 2020 mixes…

…but if you just want to sample some of the highlights, here’s a playlist with just the “theme” weeks:

For 2021? I’m just going to keep going and see how long I can keep this project going. At the very least, I figure I’ll be going until we start emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and actually want to go places and do things with our Saturdays once it’s safe to do so again. In other words, I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon.

If you listen, thanks, and I hope you continue to do so, whether live on Twitch or later on MixCloud!

Have a couple hours to kill this Saturday before the evening revelries? Join my DJ alter-ego for Spüki Tünes with DJ Wüdi on Halloween Afternün!

1 p.m. (Pacific time) on my Twitch channel. Old classics, newer goofiness, and some stuff I just thought would fit in.

Need a webcam? Want to hook up a second webcam for multi-cam streaming? EpocCam from Kinoni lets you connect your phone to your computer as a second video input!

It works either wirelessly over WiFi or with a direct USB cable connection for lower latency.

I’ve only played with the iPhone version, but there looks to be an Android version as well, and they should both work with either Mac or PC computers. It’s slightly fiddly to set up, but I got it working:

  1. Install the EpocCam app on your phone.
  2. Install the driver from Kinoni’s website on your computer.
  3. Reboot.
  4. Launch the EpocCam app on your phone. It’ll show a “connecting” screen.
  5. Launch whatever app you want to use the video input.
  6. Go into the video settings and choose EpocCam as a source.
  7. Magic!

There’s a non-zero probability that I may be using this setup as part of my weekly DJ livestreaming on Twitch on Saturday mornings. Just saying. :)

DJ Wüdi on Twitch

I tried a little experiment this morning with DJing live to my Twitch channel, and I don’t think it went terribly badly…so I’m thinking I may do this on a semi-regular basis.

Background: Like many, many people…I used to be a DJ. ;) Lately I’ve been missing it, so this is a way for me to start practicing again. I have no visions of getting back into clubs or anything along those lines (though it’s always a fun fantasy), but this should at least help scratch the itch a little bit.

I’m using djay Pro 2 and a Pioneer DDJ-400 mixer, and figured out how to use OBS (with some assistance from Loopback to route the audio stream from djay to OBS so I wasn’t just broadcasting whatever my computer’s internal mic could pick up) to stream to Twitch. I’m also recording the video and audio output locally, and will upload those to my YouTube and MixCloud accounts within a few days after broadcasting.

Here’s the video for my first attempt (the audio kicks in at about 45 seconds).

And here’s the audio on MixCloud.

In the future, I’ll figure out how to keep the Twitch chat channel up on a second screen so I can take requests as well (on the off chance people actually stop by to watch and listen live).

It’s an experiment, and I’m not sure how long I’ll keep doing it, but for now, at least, it should be fun to play with.