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 Soft Take-over or Non-MIDI Mixer

Q: The on-screen crossfader, volume sliders and EQ do not move when I move them on my external controller or mixer

When using a MIDI controller or external DJ audio mixer you may find that the on-screen pitch slider, volume slider, gain knob, EQ knobs and/or effects knobs do not respond or work intermittently. This may be because you are either using a non-MIDI capable real hardware DJ audio mixer (example: Pioneer DJM-300) or a MIDI controller that has a real hardware audio mixer built into it (example: Numark MixDeck).

Otherwise if you are using a MIDI controller only it may be caused by 'soft take-over', which is applied by default to the following controls on most MIDI controllers:

  • Pitch sliders
  • Volume sliders
  • Crossfader
  • Gain knobs
  • EQ knobs (VirtualDJ v8 only)
  • Effect slot parameter knobs (VirtualDJ v8 only)

Hardware audio mixer

Most traditional hardware audio DJ mixers are not MIDI capable. The mixer section of some MIDI controllers such as Numark MixDeck are also not MIDI capable. This means that it is not possible for them to update the on-screen controls in VirtualDJ. For an external hardware audio mixer, this is also not necessary - To see where the controls are, simply look at the real knobs and sliders on your real mixer.

If your mixer does have MIDI capabilities but is not currently mapped, please see MIDI mapping an external DJ mixer.

What is soft take-over?

Soft take-over is a safety feature that will prevent any changes from being made until the slider or knob on the controller is moved to the correct position, as indicated by the on-screen sliders/knobs on the VirtualDJ skin. This is to prevent a sudden change in pitch, volume or gain (as appropriate) that might occur otherwise. A mismatch between the hardware and software knobs/slider positions can occur due to auto BPM matching features of the software and automatic gain.

In VirtualDJ skins, the mismatch is clearly shown using transparent ghost sliders. The ghost slider shows the position of the hardware knob on your controller. Simply move it to the position of the solid software slider to pick it up and be able to make adjustments again.

NOTE: On some controllers, the soft-takeover may be implemented in the firmware of the controller itself. This is usually the case for 4 deck controllers with two layers (Buttons to toggle between decks 1&3 and 2&4.) Some controllers may allow you to optionally disable this if you wish. Please consult the user manual and/or contact the manufacturer for further information.


If you prefer to manually beat match, then to avoid a pitch mismatch every time you load a new song, you should set the options autoBPM, resetPitchOnLoad and resetEqOnLoad to No. All of these options will change the software pitch slider position appropriately on song load, resulting in a mismatch.

Also, if you use the SYNC button or automix then this will change the pitch of the song as appropriate to match the BPM, resulting in a pitch mismatch.


The amount of gain will change from one song to another, depending on how much VirtualDJ determined was needed when analysing the song. In most cases, the gain determined by VirtualDJ will normally be correct and you should not need to make any manual adjustments.

When loading a song for the first time, make sure that you do not start playing it until it has loaded in full, otherwise the gain may be too high/low and will then suddenly 'jump' to the correct automatically determined level once song loading completes and VirtualDJ has been able to detect the correct value.

To avoid this, we would recommend pre-analyzing your music collection - Please see: Pre-analyzing your music library


Soft-takeover is also applied to the EQ knobs to avoid any sudden increase/decrease in EQ due to a mismatch of the hardware/software knobs.

If the resetEqOnLoad option is enabled and you have made EQ adjustments, then these will reset back to 0 (12 o'clock) on loading the next song, triggering soft-takeover. You can disable this option to be able to keep your manual EQ adjustments from one song to the next.

Effects and sample volume

Soft-takeover also affects parameter knobs and sample volume. When browsing from different effects, it's common for the parameters to be different from one effect to the next, so you will need to move your controller's parameter knob(s) to the correct position. The exception is if your controller uses endless encoders for its parameter knobs instead of absolute knobs (With a min/max stopping point.)

Disabling soft take-over

Providing that the soft take-over is being performed by VirtualDJ and not by the hardware firmware of the MIDI controller itself, you can optionally change the soft-takeover mode by changing the options controllerTakeoverMode and controllerTakeoverModePitch (The soft-takeover mode for the pitch slider is set separately to other knobs/sliders.)

The gradual option will gradually move the software knob/slider position back to the hardware knob/slider position as you move it. This means that you can immediately make adjustments and the two will eventually catch up and synchronise with each other.

You can also disable soft-takeover altogether if you wish.

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