The best DJ visuals take live performances to a new level, combining lights, video files, and projectors to fill the stage with vibrant patterns and animations.
Some leading EDM artists have worked closely with venues to push their visuals to the limit, creating an awe-inspiring audio-video experience.
Read on and discover the best visuals of all time, from the groundbreaking live shows from Amon Tobin to more recent live performances by the leading EDM artists.
The 10 Best DJ Visuals of All Time
The evolution of motion graphics, laser rigs, and animation techniques has allowed DJs to play with stunning combinations of audio and video to impress their fans.
We’ve analyzed these various techniques to show you how the best visuals deliver extraordinary live experiences adored by fans worldwide.
Here are our recommendations for the best visuals from the world’s most renowned DJs:
Some of the greatest live performance visuals can be found in the world of EDM, and French DJs Justice have been at the forefront of this genre for many years.
They bring their expertise to bear on stage, coordinating lively and energetic music with an impressive array of video footage combined with lights and lasers.
Their live show from the 2017 Ultra Music Festival is an excellent example of how he combines these with banks of LED screens behind the DJ booth to layer visuals throughout the set.
A massive bank of speakers lines each side of the booth, illuminated in time with the music by vibrant bright lights whenever a track peaks.
The light show isn’t restricted to the stage; Justice brings the audience into the scenes with spinning lights and strobe effects to illuminate the crowd throughout the performance.
Justice effortlessly matches the lighting with the music, so they are timed along with the use of the best DJ effects, taking the performance to the next level.
It’s a great example of how visuals can ramp up the tempo, prepare the crowd for a big drop, and consistently maintain energy levels during an event.
9. Eric Prydz
It’s certainly possible to put on an impressive live event with dazzling visuals using basic lighting and projectors, and many of the best DJs have done so to great effect.
But with new and emerging technology allowing for more elaborate and stunning visuals, many DJs, such as Eric Prydz, have taken their performances to the next level.
Eric Prydz helped break new ground with his breathtaking HOLO live shows, enhancing his performance with a 3D display that filled the entire stage.
Complex geometric patterns swirl around over the DJ’s head, and vibrant colors pulsate to give the performing area a real sense of depth.
With these effects all playing in sync, Prydz has created a multi-layered image full of dazzling special effects that go way beyond what can be achieved with a traditional screen.
If you’re looking into how to start a DJ business, creating impressive visuals to complement your music is well worth considering, and Prydz shows what you can do with a decent budget.
Excision’s international tours and festival appearances have established him as one of the most fascinating live performers to watch.
His Apex Tour in 2019 highlighted his ability to blend pulse-pounding music with incredible visuals that pull the audience into the show.
With 225,000 watts of power driving the music, Excision maximizes the space on the stage with 3D-mapped animations and effects that literally pop out over the audience.
Scaling and rotating effects introduce depth and scope to the visuals, creating the sense that they are receding into infinity in the distance.
While basic visuals might play a sequence of video files, Excision’s shows are full of 3D animated video loops of gigantic robots and spacecraft assembling in time to the beat.
Excision’s impressive mixing and choice of music offer plenty of inspiration for DJs who want to see how visuals can be tailored to truly elevate the music.
7. Flying Lotus
Flying Lotus is renowned for his prolific music output, including dozens of solo releases and collaborations with some of the most innovative artists ever.
As well as being a consummate music producer and DJ, his live shows have a reputation for delivering dynamic lighting and special effects that leave fans talking for days after the show.
Flying Lotus’s events in New York and Los Angeles, with support from some of the most important electronic music artists, have earned him high praise from the music industry.
He sets his music to projected displays that merge fluid and organic shapes with angular, machine-like creations, which combine for a surreal and disorienting experience.
Since Flying Lotus is a master of genre-hopping, his visuals have a similarly wild and eclectic mixture of motifs that veer between traditional video and 3D animations.
Flying Lotus understands the importance of an iconic visual style as a core aspect of building a DJ brand, with imagery repeating throughout his live performances and videos.
If you’re knowledgeable about motion graphics and animation or know someone who is, the visual splendor of Flying Lotus’s live shows are must-see reference points.
6. Martin Garrix
Dutch DJ and music producer Martin Garrix has built a reputation as one of the best DJs in the world and has even performed for the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Many of his live events use the iconic white cross logo found on his social media pages and merchandise, with a vast array of screens spreading the visuals across the stage,
The production value on show here is of the highest quality, with the on-screen visuals getting additional support from a huge light rig.
Throughout his live set, the visuals from each video screen line up perfectly with Garrix’s mixing to form a coherent and consistent experience.
Martin Garrix knows how to showcase the best DJ techniques, integrating these tricks into the lighting, video footage, and effects.
Using every device in the playbook, Garrix demonstrates just how far music and visuals can elevate an event when pushed to the absolute limits.
Hosting video footage of your live show visuals and special effects is a great way to promote your DJ business, even if you don’t have the budget for large-scale production.
A large-scale production is precisely what you can expect from a Bassnectar live performance, which plays in the kind of large venues found in places like New York.
His New Year’s Eve shows solidified his place among the greatest DJs in the world, playing killer sets accompanied by 360 degrees of video screen visuals and lasers.
While most DJs sit on a stage, Bassnectar’s podium for his shows is in the middle of the room, surrounding him with the dancing crowd.
Each screen above the decks is positioned so that everyone has a clear view of the visuals, with each video loop and animation timed to edit on the music’s beat.
While it’s difficult to film the scope of the spectacle on camera, the effect is a stunning example of how video and effects can deliver a fully immersive experience.
4. Max Cooper
While some DJs use visuals to drive the crowd along with the rhythm, others, such as Max Cooper, use them to develop a sense of texture and atmosphere.
Cooper, who frequently collaborates with visual artist Kevin McGloughin, such as on his hit music video for Repetition, bears a stylistic resemblance to Amon Tobin.
As such, his video displays often resemble interacting geometric structures forming an alien device over the crowd, full of intricate patterns and pulsing glows.
His live show from the Barbican in London in 2019 exemplifies his production style, with Cooper mixing in front of a huge screen, surrounded by an immense network of lasers.
As each new drop or musical element begins to play, the image shifts continually, with the overall result both hypnotic and mesmerizing.
It’s the best of what motion graphics and video installations can do to ensure everyone walks out of the venue talking about what they’ve just witnessed.
Some of the best DJ websites take clear cues from live performance visuals, and designers often create a similar aesthetic that fits the artist’s brand.
Tipper is an artist who has worked hard to create consistent visuals throughout his career, from his early album covers to his recent live events.
As is clear from video footage of his shows, the production values are of the highest quality, blending video animations with pounding music the moment the music begins to play.
Tipper utilizes video mapping technology to allow each image to play around the physical elements on the stage and stand out to the crowd even more.
It all fits in perfectly with Tipper’s brand visuals, blending trippy psychedelic neon colors with strange hybrid creatures and swirling patterns.
With his prolific output over two decades, Tipper remains at the cutting edge of electronic music and can still put on visually spectacular live shows.
Few EDM DJs have changed the game like Deadmau5, who broke onto the scene with his iconic mouse helmet and has innovated ever since.
Deadmau5 has headlined at some of the biggest festivals and venues in the world, reshaping the space between the DJ and the crowd to bring them together.
His 2019 Ultra Music Festival live set, known as Cube 3.0, saw him encased in a large metal cube with his equipment, surrounded by projection-mapped videos on multiple screens.
As with Martin Garrix’s live shows, Deadmau5 holds his DJ visuals together with recurring appearances of his mouse logo, intermittently flashing up on the videos.
It’s fitting that Deadmau5 has appeared in the video game DJ Hero 2 since much of his visual style replicates the kind of graphics found in gaming.
While some might argue that more recent EDM artists have surpassed Deadmau5 regarding visuals, his contributions to the format have secured his legacy.
1. Amon Tobin
Amon Tobin was one of the first artists to take his live shows to a whole new level, going one step beyond traditional LED screens to create eye-popping 3D visuals for his audience.
His ISAM 2.0 live show from 2016 remains as fresh and exciting today as it was when Tobin first took the tour around the world.
Rather than featuring a large screen behind him, Amon Tobin surrounded himself with a network of cubes on which multiple projectors fired coordinated visuals.
Each video comes together to connect into a coherent whole, allowing large-scale animated machinery and other elements to unfold over the stage.
The technique, known as projection mapping, took the animation team many months of painstaking work to compile, working closely with Tobin to edit the production of the music.
Interlinked networks of patterns and shapes interact with the beat of the music, forming a series of evolving scenes as they connect with one another.
Tobin set the new benchmark for what could be achieved with visuals, inspiring many artists and venues in the years since ISAM first wowed audiences.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this deep dive into the best DJ visuals of all time, exploring the aesthetic style and cutting-edge techniques that bring these shows to life.
As 3D image mapping, hologram technology, and other techniques continue to evolve, we can anticipate even more visually stunning DJ sets in the future.
Check back on this article again, as we’ll update it to include any new outstanding visuals from DJ sets that are worth your time.
Discover the best music from various genres to match your visuals by signing up to ZIPDJs record pool today!