This week Dubspot Digital DJ instructor DJ Endo breaks down everything you ever wanted to know about Native Instruments’ Traktor 2 preferences. In this exploration of Traktor’s inner-workings, Endo explains not only what different features do but also why and how they work the way they do.
One thing I always tell my students and other DJs is, if you really want to learn how a program works, try learning and configuring the preferences. While Native Instruments TRAKTOR has proven to be the most powerful DJ program on the market, some people might have some issues with the program because it’s not configured correctly. In this article, I am going to go through the preferences in Traktor step by step to show you how to configure your Traktor setup for maximum dance floor destruction!
To get to the Traktor Preferences, click on the Preferences Icon which is the gear icon in the upper right hand side of the screen. If you’re just getting started with Traktor, I’d recommend using the Setup Wizard.
The Setup Wizard is great for getting started with Traktor and will help configure a lot of your audio, MIDI, screen layouts and other preferences for the way you DJ. (Pro Tip: If you already have some custom settings loaded, I don’t recommend using the Setup Wizard because it will overwrite your settings to Traktor’s default values.) Here’s how to use the Setup Wizard.In the bottom left-hand corner of the preferences window there is a button to start the Setup Wizard. Here’s what the opening screen loops like.
Next you’ll want to connect everything that you’re going to use when you DJ, including your sound card and any controllers to your computer, then click Next. Then you’re going to choose if you are using an external controller and select what manufacturer makes the controller, and the model of the controller.
After you’ve selected what kind controller you are using (if any) the next thing your going to do is choose what kind of Deck Layout you’re going to use. You can choose from a combination of track decks, sample decks, scratchable track decks and live inputs. When you’re done, the Setup Wizard will tell you what your Traktor setup will be. If everything looks good, click “Finish” and everything will be configured for you.
IMPORTING AND EXPORTING SETTINGS
In the bottom left-hand corner of the Preferences window there are Import and Export buttons. This is where you can load and save your Traktor settings such as Key Commands, MIDI and Controller Mappings, Screen Layouts, playlist shortcuts, Effects Settings, file paths and broadcasting settings.
To import settings, click on the Import button at the bottom of the screen, then load the file you want to import and choose which settings you’d like to import. To export, or save your settings, click on the Export button and choose which Categories you’d like to save. Take note that if you’re importing and exporting MIDI mappings or keyboard mappings, it’s best to do this in the controller manager, and not by using the Import and Export buttons, since this can overwrite your other mappings.
When getting setup to play live in Traktor, there are three very important sections of the preferences to check: The Audio Setup window, Output Routing, and Input Routing. Most audio problems and troubleshooting is usually done here.
The Audio Setup window is where you choose and configure your soundcard settings. In the Audio Device menu, you choose what soundcard you’re using (i.e. Traktor Audio 10, Traktor Kontrol S4, etc.) If you don’t have a soundcard connected, you can always use your computers built in soundcard.
Below the Audio device menu, you can choose your Sample Rate and Latency settings. The recommended setting for using Traktor on most MacBook Pro is 44100 Hz Sample rate and 512 MS Latency. This is because this is the standard sample rate used by most CDs. If you’re a turntablist, you might want to use a lower latency setting. It’s worth noting that a lower latency will give you a quicker response, but it will also stress your computer more, and possibly cause audio dropouts. Keep an eye on your CPU meters when your using Traktor. If the CPU meter is going in the reds you might need to raise your latency.
The Phono / Line section is for users of the Audio 8 DJ and Audio 4 DJ. This is where you choose if your using Vinyl timecode control (which is Phono) or CD Timecode control (which is Line). If you’re using the new generation of Audio Interfaces such as the Traktor Audio 10 or Traktor Audio 6, you have to configure your inputs using the Audio 10 or Audio 6 settings tool located in Applications / Native Instruments.
The Routing tab lets you re route the channels within Traktor. This is useful if you accidentally plugged in your RCA cables backwards and want to switch the routing without having to re-plug everything. While this is useful, it’s the best practice to make sure everything’s plugged in correctly in the first place.
The Multi-Core Processor Support lets you turn on or off the Multi-Core functionality of Traktor. Be careful with this one. If you’re running Traktor and ONLY Traktor and have Multi-Core processing on your computer, then turn this on. If your using other real time applications with Traktor or don’t have multi-core processing on your computer, make sure this is turned off as it can cause CPU issues.
The Output Routing tab is where you can configure the signal path from Traktor to your audio interface. Before configuring your Output Routing, you have to select what Mixing Mode you want to use. If you’re using an External DJ Mixer (such as a DJM 900) you would choose External Mixing Mode. If you’re using Traktor’s Internal Mixer, you would choose Internal Mixing Mode. This is good if you’re using a Traktor Kontrol S4, or only use your computers mouse and keyboard to control Traktor’s internal Mixer.
One new feature in Traktor Pro 2 is the ability to combine outputs. You can actually share the same output of two different decks on the same channel of your audio interface. For example, if you have a two channel mixer, you can run a Deck and Sample Deck through the same channel on your DJ mixer. If you’re using Internal Mixing Mode, you can select the output for the Monitor Output and your Output Master. The Output Monitor is where you can pre-listen and cue tracks in your headphones. The Master Output is where the house signal will come out of. The recording output is used to send the Master Output to an additional recording device or Mixer Input. Here are two examples of some good Output Routings.
Example 1 – Using the Traktor Audio 10 with 4 decks and an additional channel for send and return effects, or a microphone output. Notice how I combined Deck D and Traktor’s preview deck onto the same channel so I can either use the preview player or a track on channel D.
Example 2 – Using Traktor’s Internal Mixer with the Audio 2 DJ – Notice how the Master output is coming out of Channel A and the Monitor Output (where your headphones are plugged into) is coming out of Channel B.
The Input Routing section is where you select the inputs for each Deck, and it will also show you if your getting signal on that input. Here is an example of an input setup using a Traktor Audio 10 with up to 4 available turntable / CD inputs and an additional channel for a microphone or send effects input.
The MIDI Clock section is where you can choose to send MIDI clock to external devices such as MASCHINE, Ableton Live or anything else that can receive and sync to MIDI Clock. To start sending MIDI, select the check box for Send MIDI Clock. If you prefer, you can offset the MIDI clock signal to add a delay to your MIDI Clock. This is useful if you are trying to sync two Traktor systems.
The Timecode Setup window is where you can configure Traktor for using with Timecode Vinyl or Timecode CDs. These options are only available if you own a Scratch version of Traktor. Here are all of the other options this window:
Timecode Inputs section is where you can see the signal coming in from your turntables or CD players. If the signal is a complete circle then you have a healthy signal coming in. If it’s a horizontal or vertical line, it means a channel isn’t plugged in. If it’s a square or small circle, you need to select the correct input mode such as phono or line.
Decoder Gain will show you the volume of your timecode input signal. The higher the volume, the better your tracking will be.
Track Start Position allows you to choose what location on the record corresponds to the beginning of the track in Traktor. If the beginning of your timecode vinyls is worn out, you can use this option to make the start point further in on your record.
Turntable Speed option is where you can choose 33 or 45 RPM vinyl handling. If you choose 45, you will have to put the turntable on 45 RPM or Rotations Per Minute.
Load next track when flipping record is a feature where you can load the next track in a playlist when you flip the record over. This feature is handy for battle DJs who have planned routines who don’t want to go to the computer each time they want to load the next track.
Use playlist scrolling zone is another fun feature where you can actually use the timecode vinyl or timecode CDs to scroll through your tracks in Traktor’s browser. If you’re using timecode vinyl control, you would use the inner most grooves on the record to scroll through your tracks. If your using timecode CDs, you can use Track 3 of the Traktor CD to scroll through your browser.
If Switch to Absolute Mode on Lead In enabled, if you use Vinyl, when you place the needle on the outer most part of the record (which is called the lead – in), Traktor will switch the playback mode to Absolute Mode automatically. If you use CDs, switching Traktor’s timecode CD to track 1 will switch the playback mode of that deck to Absolute Mode.
Switch to Absolute Mode will enable the playback mode of the deck to Absolute Mode when you load a track. This is handy for those who are used to playing actual vinyl or CDs who want the time of the deck to match where they place the needle on the record. If your using controllers, relative mode, or DJ with a mouse, I would leave this option turned off since you will have to keep switching the playback mode for each track that you load.
The Loading section is where you can configure how tracks are loaded in Traktor. Here’s what all of the loading options are for:
Loading only onto stopped deck will make it so you can’t load a track into a deck if it is playing. If this option is checked, you will need to stop the deck from playing before you can load a new track into the deck.
Stop playback at end of track will stop the deck from playing when it gets to the end of the song. If you have this turned off, the deck will continue playing even in between songs until you push the play button to stop it.
Duplicate deck when loading same track option will allow you to load automatic doubles of a track that your playing. If a track is playing in one deck and you load the same track into another deck, Traktor will duplicate that track into the new deck at the same time and speed as the deck you copied it from. You can also make automatic doubles of a track by clicking and dragging a deck that’s playing ‘s header and dragging it into a deck that isn’t playing.
Having the Load next at end of track option on will load the next track in the selected playlist into a deck when the track before it has finished playing.
Initially cue to Load Marker will allow you to use Traktor’s Load Markers. A Load Marker is a special cue point that when you load a track that has a Load marker in it, the track will Load right to that cue point.
Activate Fade In & Fade Out Markers will let you place special cue points in your tracks called Fade in And Fade Out Markers. These markers will mark when the next track will start playing and the current track will start to fade out, allowing for automatic crossfades. This option is good if you want to use Traktor in cruise mode which will put Traktor in autopilot mode allowing for playback and even syncing of your tracks for hours on end without having to be at the computer.
The Cruise Loops Playlist option is also for cruise mode, and will restart a playlist at the beginning once its finished playing the last track in the playlist.
Reset all deck controls when loading track will reset all of the deck controls when you load a new track such as the tempo fader.
Reset all mixer controls when loading track will reset mixer controls like the EQ and Filter when you load a new track. If your using the Traktor Kontrol S4, S2 or any other MIDI controller for Internal Mixing I would leave both of these options off since the knob position won’t match the software when you load each track.
The Tempo section is where you choose your tempo range. This is like customizing the pitch fader on a turntable, except your customizing Traktor’s internal pitch fader range, and telling Traktor how much it can increase or decrease the internal tempo. In order to pick a good tempo range, you would want to think about the speed or BPM range you want to play at during any given set. If your playing a mix of Hip Hop and House you probably want a 35 – 50 % tempo range, where as if your playing only one genre like Dubstep which is almost always the same BPM you can use a smaller BPM range like 4-8 %.
Tempo Bend Sensitivity – The Tempo Bend Buttons are the forward and backward arrow buttons in the decks in Traktor. Pushing them is like nudging the metal edge of a turntable, or the outer edge of a CD player. It will give the track a push or pull forwards or backwards. The tempo bend sensitivity adjust will adjust how sensitive these buttons are when you press them. If you want the buttons to get progressively more sensitive as you hold the button down, choose the “Tempo Bend Progressive Sensitivity” option.
Now lets talk about Sync Mode. There are two types of Sync in Traktor: Tempo Sync and Beat Sync. The Sync mode that you use determines how the sync button will behave when you press it. Tempo sync will sync the BPM of the deck to whatever deck is the master and it will also temporarily sync the phase of the deck (which will move the phase meter to the zero position). Once the deck’s phase drifts from the zero point on the phase meter, the sync button will be dimmed. Beat Sync will keep both the BPM and Phase sync’d at all times while it’s on. If you scratch a deck, the sync button will be dimmed temporarily while its out of sync, but will be re-sync’d automatically when the deck is playing normally again.
In the Key Lock section you can choose what kind of Key Lock mode you want to use. Key Lock will fix the pitch of a song while letting you alter the tempo, so when you slow the song down it doesn’t sound like evil monsters and when you speed the song up it doesn’t sound like chipmunks. Key lock is the little yellow musical note inside of Traktor. The type of key lock you should use depends on if your using scratch control or not, and how powerful of a computer you have. If you have a slower processor you will want to use Eco Mode. If you have a fast processor you can use HiQ mode. If you’re using timecode CD, timecode vinyl, or even jog wheels to control Traktor, you will want to use Scratch Mode. If you are not using timecode control or jog wheels you will want to use Normal Mode. Scratch Mode will fix the pitch all the way to + 50% /- 35% while Normal Mode will fix the pitch all the way to -90% / + 100%.
The Loops – Auto detect size option will determine the length of time that a track is considered a loop. I have mine set to 48 seconds, so any track that is under 30 seconds is automatically considered a loop, and if I load it into a deck, the loop will be turned on automatically. This is great for if you want to play home made samples you’ve made with the sample decks in a deck in Traktor.
Minimum Play Time adjusts the time you need to play a track before it is marked as played. If a track is marked as played it will be added to the history section for this session and will be marked with a check mark, and it will also show up in the Archive for the session, and its play count will be raised.
Now lets talk about the Beat Counter. The Beat Counter will count how many phrases, bars and beats you’ve played for and can be displayed in the deck’s header. A Bar is 4 beats, and a Phrase is how many bars you determine with the Bars Per Phrase slider. I have mine set to 8 bars since most dance music is made in 8 bar phrases.
The Mouse Control section describes the behavior of the decks when you click and drag directly on the waveform view in a deck. These are the different mouse control modes:
In Vinyl Mode, Clicking the waveform will stop the track. It’s like putting your hand on a record on a turntable. Holding the mouse and dragging it back and forth works like scratching or spinning a record.
In Snap Mode, the Mouse arrow will always snap to the nearest beat or transient in the track, marked by white lines on the waveform. If you click and hold on the beat, it will play as long as the mouse button is held down. If you right click on the beat, the deck will play starting where you clicked.
The Cue Play button or CUP button will play a track starting at a temporary cue point and can behave in two different ways depending on the Cue Play (CUP) Mode.
Instant Mode will instantly start playing the track when you push Cue Play.
On Release Mode will start playback after releasing the Cue Play button.
In Traktor’s preferences there’s four sections of the preferences where you can make custom layouts, and fully customize different “screen sets” for how you DJ. The four sections to create and edit your layouts are Decks Layout, Decks, Mixer, Global Settings, Browser Details, and Layout Manager. Here is what each section of the preferences does in detail:
To create a layout in Traktor, you will go to the Layout Manager.
To create a new layout, click on the Add button, and then rename the layout by clicking the “Rename” button. You can reorganize the order of your layouts by clicking on the Move Up or Move Down buttons, and you can rename your layouts by clicking on the Rename button. Once you’ve created your layouts, you can click on the name of the layout and customize it using the Decks Layout, Decks, Mixer, Global Settings and Browser Details sections.
The Deck Flavor is what kind of deck you will be using. For each Deck (A,B,C and D) you can choose it to be a track deck, sample deck or live input. A Track Deck is used to play whole songs, but can also play loops and any other audio files. A Sample Deck is made to play clips of audio shorter than 48 seconds and can play loops or one shots, and a Live input is used to route external audio sources into a deck in Traktor.
The Deck Layout section is where you change the deck size. For each Deck Size, different things are showing or hidden in the Deck. For example Micro view shows only the stripe (or waveform overview) and the play button. Essential view shows a larger waveform display and track overview but has minimal deck controls to make it easier on the eyes, and Advanced mode has all of the deck controls and Traktor’s Advanced Panel visible for quick access but takes up more screen real estate.
If you are in Advanced view, you can actually choose which Advanced Panel you see underneath the Decks.
Move panel gives you controls for BeatJump, and loop editing.
Cue panel gives you controls for triggering, editing, naming and deleting cue points
Grid panel gives you controls for editing Traktors beat grids.
If you want to show 4 Decks, you can check the option “Enable Deck C & D” and you will have 4 Decks showing.
If you want to see the Tempo Fader inside the Decks, check the “Tempo Fader” box for each Deck that you want the tempo fader shown.
In the Platter / Scope section you can choose if you want to see the Timecode Scope or Platter in the decks or not, or if you want to have them minimized. If you choose “Off”, the Platter isn’t showing. This is good if your not using any timecode control.
If you choose Minimized – The Platter / Scope isn’t showing but its easily accessible by clicking on the maximize arrow inside the decks. This is good for DJs who sometimes use timecode control, but not always.
Choosing Platter shows a sticker view of the deck. This is good for turntablists who use Relative Mode and use a sticker on their record to mark the location on the vinyl.
Scope shows a picture of the timecode scope (which is the same picture you would see in the timecode setup window of the preferences). This will give you a good visual reference of the signal coming into Traktor from your Turntable or CD player.
In the Decks section, you can edit the info that’s displayed inside of Traktor’s decks, and choose how the decks are displayed. In the Deck Heading section you can edit what information you see at the top of the Deck.
Show Cover Art will show you the tracks album artwork in the decks
Show Phase Meter switches Traktor’s Phase Meter on or off – which is Traktor’s way of visually mixing
Permanently Show Sample Deck Indicators Switches the Sample Deck Indicator slots on or off, allowing you to see the Sample Deck’s Cue, Key Lock and FX Indicators.
Top / Middle / Bottom Row will let you choose what info is stored in the Decks Heading. The top row is the biggest so it’s best to put the most important information at the top.
In the Miscellaneous section, you can edit the appearance of the decks.
Grid Mode choose how bright the beat markers or transient markers are in the decks. Full will show bright beat markers. Dim will give you dimmed beat markers. Ticks will give you dots above where each beat marker is and invisible will only show you the wave form with no beat markers.
Also in the Miscellaneous section, Show Minute Markers will add a marker in the stripe view of the Decks marking each minute of the track.
Track End Warning will make the entire Deck blink Red when there is a certain amount of time left in the track. You can set the time for the Track End Warning here.
Play Marker position is the red marker within the deck that will show you the current playback position within the track. At Zero, the Play Marker will be at the beginning of the deck. At 50 (which is the default) the Play Marker will be in the Middle. At 100, the Play Marker will be all the way to the right.
Stripe View Fit will switch the stripe view from the length of the timecode vinyl or cd to the length of the actual track that’s loaded.
Default Zoom will determine how far a deck is zoomed in or out when you launch Traktor.
Color Mode gives you different color options for the decks waveforms. The options are Infrared which is similar to the old Traktor Pro colors but more fiery, Spectrum which are multicolored waveforms that are color coded due to frequency, X-Ray which was the default Traktor S4 waveform look, and Spectrum which gives a blue waveform.
In the Mixer Section, you can customize what you see in Traktor’s mixer, and how the mixer sounds and behaves.
In the EQ Selection you can choose the EQ Type. Traktor has four built in internal mixer algorithms that you can choose from. The “Classic” mixer has a Classic 3 band EQ. The P600 is an Emulated Pioneer DJM 600. The Nuo4 is an Emulated Ecler Nuo4 mixer and the Xone is an Emulated 4 band Xone 92 mixer.
In the Filter section you can choose from two different filter types. The Ladder filter is very similar to the Pioneer DJM 800 filter, this filter is also used in the Traktor effects section.
The Xone filter is an emulated Xone 92 filter, which is also used as the Filter:92 in the effects section.
In the Crossfader section you can customize the crossfader and choose how long your auto crossfades will be in Cruise Mode. The Auto Crossfade Time slider adjusts the time it takes to auto crossfade between tracks in Cruise Mode and the Smooth / Sharp slider adjusts the crossfaders curve.
In the Level section you can control the Master Levels in Traktor. If you want each track to be the same volume when you play it, turn on Set Autogain When Loading Track. This will use Traktor’s autogain values to adjust the internal gain for you, so you don’t have to mess with the gains on your DJ mixer.
To Prevent clipping, you can turn on Enable Limiter. This is recommended for people who mix using Traktor’s internal mixer. If your using an External mixer, its best to turn this off and make sure your master levels stays out of the red for the best sound quality.
Another setting that will help you control your levels in Traktor is the Headroom setting. This will give you more digital headroom and will help prevent you from having to adjust the Master Level knob. If you are only mixing two tracks, -3db is usually acceptable. If you’re mixing four tracks or multiple samples, -9db is recommended.
In the Mixer Layout section you can choose what will be displayed in Traktor’s Mixer section.
EQ + Fader will show the EQ section and volume fader on Traktor’s mixer
Filter + Key + Cue + Gain + Balance will show all of these in the mixer section
Crossfader will show Traktor’s crossfader section, which allows you to adjust your monitor output, cue mix and assign the decks individually to the crossfader.
In the Browser details section you can customize the Browser section of your layouts.
Show Preview Player will allow you to show Traktor’s Preview Deck, which is used to pre-listen to tracks before you play them out in Traktor.
Show Cover Art will display a cover art window in the lower left hand corner of the browser.
Show Playlist Favorites will display shortcuts to your favorite playlists, or folders on your computer.
Show Track Info will give you a zoomed in version of whatever track is highlighted in your browser and it will show you the artist and title of the song in bigger letters.
Show Status Bar / Error Messages will display the bar that shows error messages at the bottom of your browser.
Allow Inline Editing in List Window will allow you to edit track names, and info in the Browser section by double clicking and typing. Currently, this will only work in Traktor playlists, the Explorer and the Track Collection and will not work in the iTunes node.
The Font & Font Size menu will allow you to change the font in Traktor and also change the size of the font.
The List Row Height will let you create more space between tracks in the browser to make it easier to read.
The Global Section is the section at the top of the screen, which gives you access to your Effects, Master Clock, Master Levels, Loop Recorder, Audio Recorder and more. In the Global Section part of the preferences you can choose which Panels to show in the upper left and upper right hand side corners of the screen. You can choose either Master Clock or Effect 1 for the left side and Audio Recorder of Effect 2 on the right side.
Fullscreen Resolution determines the zoom factor of Traktor’s Full Screen view. If you set it to Desktop, Traktor uses the native resolution of your computer at a 1:1 ratio. When using another view, Traktor appears zoomed in.
If you have Switch to Fullscreen on Startup selected, Traktor will fill your entire screen when you launch the application.
Tooltips are a great way to learn Traktor if your just getting started with the program. If you have “Show Tooltips” enabled, short descriptions will pop up when you hover your mouse over different sections in the program.
Deck Focus will let you decide what deck is the “Focus” deck either on the hardware or software. If Software is chosen, you can click on a deck’s header to make it the focus deck.
If Show Value when over control is checked, any knob that you hover over will show its value.
The Reset Hidden Dialogs button will reset all dialogs that have been hidden by clicking on the Don’t Show This Again checkbox.
The Effects section is where you can customize Traktor’s effects panels and choose which effects will be available to you. Traktor has two different effects modes – Insert and Send Effects.
Insert FX is the most popular used mode since there are no extra cables needed. When the effect is in Insert Mode, it’s placed in the signal chain right before the channel filter, and you can control the dry wet amount with the dry wet knob.
Send Effects Mode requires you to use an extra input and output of your soundcard. It receives input from an external source and feeds it through your effects chain and out of another output of your soundcard.
In the Effects section, you can also choose if you want to use two or four effects units, providing you with even more options for creative effects chains and effects routing combinations.
If the Restore parameters when switching FX box is checked, each time you switch effects, it will change all of the parameters to whatever default value you set.
In the FX Panel Mode box, you can set each of your FX panels to be either a group effect of a single effect. Single mode gives you four knobs and four buttons to control only one effect. Group mode will give you 3 FX in each panel with one button and one knob to control each effect.
In the FX Pre-Selection window, you can choose which effects you want to have available to you, and remove effects that you don’t use very often. To add an effect to your arsenal, click on an effect from the available effects window and click “Add.” To remove an effect from your arsenal, click on an effect in the “Pre-Selected Effects” window and click “Remove.” If you’d like to re-order your effects, you can click on the effect you want to move, and then click the Up or Down buttons to move it up or down in the list.
The Mix Recorder section is where you can choose how you are going to record your sets in Traktor and where they will be stored.
If you’re using an External DJ Mixer, you will want to choose an External source and then select your input. If your using the Audio 10, a good input to choose is the Input FX Send (EXT) so you can plug in your DJ Mixer to the Main inputs of the Audio 10.
If you’re using Traktor’s Internal Mixer you would choose the Internal option. This is good for users of the Traktor Kontrol S4 or Traktor Kontrol S2, or for people who DJ only using their mouse and keyboard.
In the File window you can choose the folder that your recorded sets are saved to. I like to set my folder to the Desktop. You can also choose a prefix for your recording so it adds a prefix to your file name.
The Split File at Size option is good if you want to split your recordings into CD length sizes. A typical CD can hold 700 MB of audio. If 700 MB is selected, Traktor will split the file at 700 MB. I like to select the maximum size of 2048 so my recordings aren’t split, so I can go back and split them myself manually afterwards.
The Loop Recorder section is where you can customize the behavior of the Loop recorder.
Record Latency will adjust the latency, or delay of the loop recorder when your using it in External Mode.
Overdubbing will adjust the percentage of time that it takes for recorded audio to fade out when you’re overdubbing.
The File Management section is where you can point to where your music and collection folders are, and choose how Traktor handles and manages newly imported files.
The Music Folders section is where you can point to different music folders on your hard drive. Be careful when choosing this option because if you choose Import Music Folders at Startup it will import all the music in the folders that you point to. You might not want ALL of your music in Traktor. I personally just point to only my new music folder.
If Determine track-time automatically (before analysis) is selected, Traktor will automatically determine the track time before analyzing it.
If Analyze new imported tracks is selected, any time you import a track either by automatic import, dragging it into a deck, or adding it to the track collection or Traktor playlist, Traktor will automatically import the track for you.
If Analyze new tracks when loading into deck is selected, Traktor will automatically analyze new tracks when you load them into a track deck. Be careful with analyzing tracks while your playing live because analyzation can raise the CPU load.
File Structure Mode will determine how your tracks are organized when you export a playlist. If you choose None, Traktor will simply copy your tracks to the folder you choose and won’t organize them into subfolders. If you choose Flat, files will be named in a 01 Artist – Title format during the exporting process. If you choose Artist, Traktor will separate the tracks your exporting into subfolders based on the artist name. The same goes for if you choose Label. You will have subfolders of tracks separated by Label.
In the BPM Detection window, you can choose your analyzation range. This means when Traktor analyzes new tracks, the BPM detection won’t detect any BPM outside of the range you choose, so I would recommend setting a BPM range that is 10 BPM slower (Min) and 10 BPM faster (Max) then what you would typically DJ at.
Set Beat-Grid when detecting BPM will automatically set a beat marker for you where it thinks the first beat of the song is. It will then place a series of evenly spaced white lines across your song where it thinks each beat is.
Store Beatmarker as hotcue will automatically place the beatmarker it set for you as a saved cue point in the cue panel. I like to have this turned off so it doesn’t take up the extra cue point slot.
The Directories tab is where you point Traktor to where your Traktor collection is stored and where your iTunes Music Library is stored. If iTunes is working correctly in Traktor, and you aren’t having any problems loading samples or having collection problems, don’t touch this section. If your iTunes library is missing in Traktor, point the iTunes Music Library to your “iTunes Music Library.xml” file located in Music / iTunes. To change any of the directory locations, just click on the “…!” button and then locate the file or folder.
The Controller Manager is where you can Load, Edit, Save and manage your controller and keyboard mappings. Since the controller manager is such a deep topic, we will be covering this in other tutorials and also cover this in our online Digital DJing with Traktor online class.
In the Device Setup Window, the Device menu is used to select which device you want to view and edit. If you want to Import a mapping, you can click on the Add button. If you want to change the name or delete the mapping you can do so by clicking on the Edit button. Additionally you can choose the MIDI In-Port and Out-Port. By default the In-Port and Out-Port will be set to All Ports. You will want to change this manually to whatever corresponds to the controller your mapping.
The Assignment Table lists all the commands for whatever device you have selected in the Device menu.
The Device Mapping and Mapping Details section are where you can further edit each MIDI command.
I hope that by this point you will have configured Traktor to your own personal needs and learned a lot about how Traktor works under the hood. Enjoy you’re newly customized Traktor setup, and don’t forget to PLAY IT LOUD!