DJ Shiftee vs Lil’ Shiftee! Analysis of Shiftee’s Traktor Kontrol Z2 Routine for Native Instruments

In this video, DJ Shiftee breaks down his incredible Traktor Kontrol Z2 routine for Native Instruments with assistance from his microscopic homie, Lil’ Shiftee. Together they get up close and personal for an analysis of the performance and the hardware.

Dubspot’s Shiftee and his tiny friend Lil Shiftee break down the Traktor Kontrol Z2 performance routine for Native Instruments and take us through the features of the Z2 mixer and some of the functions that were used in his routine. Shiftee offers an overview of the Z2 mixer including the MIDI control features which offers intuitive and tactile surfaces where he can trigger samples in the the Remix Decks, hit cue points, and access effects comfortably. Big Shiftee is also using Maschine to control the same Remix Decks and cue points set up on the Z2.

Big Shiftee is a generous man. He’s made his Maschine MKII mapping available for free download on Facebook.

We sat down with Shiftee for a chat on his process in putting together the routine and how he used the Z2 mixer and Maschine.

So, how did you approach this new routine?

I wanted to make use of the Z2′s features to explore creative possibilities otherwise impossible. Elements like pad placement for easy cue point + sample use, the magical FLUX mode, and joining pad stuff with turntablist techniques all come into play.  After that, it was just about trying to make everything sound cool and cohesive.

How long did it take you to prepare?

I started making the routine about a week before filming, putting in at least five hours a day.

What are your favorite functions of the Z2 mixer?

I love the layout. Nothing is too cluttered and the pad placement is perfect. I love having pads so close to the records, because it allows you to combine turntablism and controllerism in new ways. FLUX mode opens up a lot of interesting performance tricks. The crossfader is also smooth like butter or, better yet, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, a product underrated for its smoothness. Fabio was its spokesman for crying out loud!

In the video, it seems like you are hitting pads which trigger samples via Maschine while filtering with a knob on the mixer, can you tell us how you have mapped the mixer? Maschine?

For the Maschine, I custom mapped two main layouts for different sections of the routine. Sometimes I’m controlling samples, sometimes cue points, and sometimes both at the same damn time. Shout out to Future. I just used the default mapping for the mixer. In the part you’re describing, I’m actually using one of Traktor’s new Macro FX (“Event Horizon”) to achieve a robust alteration of the sound via a single knob. Meanwhile, I’m triggering cue points AND samples with my left hand via one of my custom mappings.  The color coding options on the new Maschine are very helpful.

Do you plan on incorporating the Z2 in your solo sets as well as Mostly Robot?

Yes, I’ve actually started bringing it on the road to all my gigs. Makes perfect sense for Mostly Robot too with its easy MIDI OUT capabilities.

Any new projects you want to tell us about?

I just had a single and mix come out with Badman Shark on Slit Jockey Records.  The single is “EKG Riddim” and the mix is called Time To Die. Evil grime vibes. Then I have a collab EP dropping in January with Rx on the most patriotic label in the universe Hot Mom USA. Meanwhile remixes coming soon for Seclusiasis and Chaungo Records. Also be on the lookout for Vol. 2 of my mixtape project with Elijah (Butterz) called UK Meets USA (listen to Vol. 1 here), which we will be touring in 2013.  All about that GRIME.

What were your top 3 favorite shows you played this year?

1.  Mostly Robot – Sonar Barcelona. So fun, like summer camp.  The first one was probably the most fun since we weren’t sure we could pull things off. Plus there was lots of gazpacho. 2.  Comfort 13, Tel Aviv w/ Dismantle. Crazy crowd, crazy club, amazing city. 3.  Ogden Theater, Denver w/ Cookie Monsta. Denver is one of my favorite cities to play in, open-minded crowds + the promoter there, Nicole from Sub.Mission, is awesome.

What is one important thing you learned this year about DJing or being on the road so often?

Being in a band is way different than doing solo gigs.  People are counting on you, and seemingly simple things like soundcheck become way more involved.  I also learned a lot about Justin Bieber from watching the movie Never Say Never on one of my many flights.

What’s going on in the last minute or so when you are swiping the pads on Maschine and the F1?

At the end, I’m using 100% samples. The Z2 and the Maschine are controlling the same sounds, but on Maschine I can change the playback mode between “latch” and “gate” via my custom mapping. My left hand is playing drum samples while my right hand plays musical notes. Plus, it looks cooler to move back and forth. Plus plus, I need exercise.

Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro

The definition of DJing has changed dramatically in the last decade. Laptops, controllers, and software have emerged alongside more traditional turntables and CDJs, smashing the barrier to entry. In today’s digital age, anyone can become a DJ. To reflect this renaissance, Dubspot has created the Digital DJing with Traktor program. In both our physical and online schools, students will learn how to DJ entirely with Traktor’s cutting-edge technology. An emphasis will be placed on the concepts of DJing rather than simply learning how to use the software.

What’s Included

  • Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro 2 Level 1: Introduction to DJing
  • Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro 2 Level 2: Phrase Mixing
  • Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro 2 Level 3: Beyond The Beatmatch

“I love the class, and the content! Shiftee and Endo are very funny, and very clear, so the material is easy and fun to follow! I wish my college teachers were more like these two!” – Leandro Martinez, Chicago IL

More start dates and information about payment plans can be found here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.