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American Audio VMS4 & Mixxx User Guide


Recommended setup for Mixxx v1.9.0 and up:

Important: Mixxx expects the VMS4 to be set to “Post EQ” mode for best sound quality. Do this by holding down the Cue button on Midilog 4 while powering on the unit. You only need to do this once. (Each time you do it, it changes the mode back and forth.) Consult the user manual for more information. (To check the status of this in Linux, at a console, issue the command

lsusb -v|grep 'iSerial\|iProduct'

and look at the serial number under the VMS4 device per the instructions in the user manual.)

  1. Make sure the VMS4 is off
  2. Slide the switch on the front of the VMS4 to “4 OUT”
  3. Turn on the unit (and plug in the USB cable if you haven't yet)
  4. Start Mixxx
  5. Open Preferences
  6. Click Sound Hardware. In the right pane:
    1. Set the sample rate to 44100Hz
    2. Set the Master output to None
    3. Set the Headphone output to None
    4. Set the Deck 1 output to the VMS4 device and Channel 1-2 (may show as “USB Audio Device” on Windows)
    5. Set the Deck 2 output to the VMS4 device and Channel 3-4
  7. Plug your headphones into the VMS4's jack on the front. You will use the VMS4's CUE buttons and knobs for headphone control.
  8. Still in the Preferences, expand “MIDI Controllers” on the left
  9. Select the “VMS4 MIDI” device (may show as “USB Audio Device” on Windows)
  10. Click the Enable checkbox in the right pane
  11. Click the drop-down and choose the “American Audio VMS4” mapping
  12. Click OK and the controller should light up. (In 1.9.x, the controller will light up when you load a track to a deck.)
  13. Continue reading below to know how everything is mapped


This guide explains how the VMS4 is mapped by default in Mixxx.

Image courtesy of American Audio. Click on it for a larger version.

Easy customization: We have provided the following customization variables at the top of the script you can set to your liking:

  1. RateRanges: Set the pitch slider range each time you toggle it with Shift+Sync.

Just open the midi/American-Audio-VMS4-scripts.js file in your favorite text editor (Wordpad works too) and you'll see these variables right near the top. Edit & save, then restart Mixxx and enjoy.

Deck controls

Note that there are a number of different face plates in the wild so these images and control descriptions may not exactly match yours. The locations of the controls are the key things to pay attention to.

The controls are the same on both sides of the controller. The left side controls Deck 1 and the right side controls Deck 2.

  • Sync/Range/Hot Cue button - Changes the BPM of this deck to match that of the other. When shifted, toggles the pitch slider range. (See top of page to customize.)
  • Hot cue buttons - Press to set or recall a hot cue. The buttons light up red when one is set.
    • 1.9.x: You can only access hot cues 1-4. Hold shift and press to delete the cue.
    • 1.10.x: Hold shift and press to access hot cues 5-8. (The buttons light up blue for these.) Hold Vinyl and press to delete the cue. (Note: there is a bug in some firmware versions that causes hot cues 5 and 6 to be deleted simultaneously. We are in communication with AA about the issue.)
  • Loop In - Set the in point of a loop
  • Loop Out - Set the out point of a loop
  • Reloop - Toggle a previously-set loop. Lights red when a loop is active.
  • Loop/Smart
    • 1.9.x: Toggle track repeat mode
    • 1.10.x: Start a 4-beat loop. Hold Shift and press to toggle quantization (locking to the nearest beat.)
  • Vinyl/Keylock - (Does nothing on its own when un-shifted at the moment.) When shifted, toggles key lock.
  • « Search/ /2 - Fast-rewind
    • 1.10.x: Hold Shift and press to halve the current loop length
  • Search »/ *2 - Fast-forward
    • 1.10.x: Hold Shift and press to double the current loop length
  • Wheel
    • Move the wheel while touching the top to scratch the current track like a vinyl record
    • Move the wheel without touching the top (so on the sides) to perform a temporary pitch bend

Effects section

  • Select knob - Adjusts the LFO period for the Flanger effect
  • Control knob - Adjusts the depth of the Flanger effect
  • On/Off - Toggles the Flanger effect on this deck
  • Parameter - Currently does nothing

Sample section

1.9.x: This section is currently unused.

1.10.x: The left side of the controller controls Sampler 1, and the right, Sampler 2.

  • Select knob
    • Rotate to move the highlight in the library.
    • Press to load the currently highlighted track into the sampler.
    • Hold Shift and press to eject the current track from the sampler (when the sampler is not playing.)
  • Volume knob - Adjusts the volume of the sampler
  • Play
    • Press to play the sample from the beginning. Press while playing for a stutter-play effect (play again from the beginning.)
    • Hold Shift and press to stop playing.
  • Rec - Currently does nothing

Mixer controls

  • Midilog 1 - used only for analog source control, unused by Mixxx
  • Midilog 2 - In “4 out” mode, this strip is used to control Deck 1
  • Midilog 3 - In “4 out” mode, this strip is used to control Deck 2
  • Midilog 4 - used only for analog source control, unused by Mixxx
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aa_vms4_mixxx_user_guide.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/28 16:15 by pegasus