Traktor Pro Video Tutorial: ‘Load Markers’ + DJ Tips by DJ Endo

When a DJ is about to start mixing in a new track, they must do a couple things to make sure that the track will mix correctly. They must adjust the gain so that the tracks are equal in volume. They also must find the “one” of the track, which is usually the first kick drum, or section when a beat comes in. They then will play the track starting on the “one”, and then beatmatch the two (or more) tracks, and do creative EQing, effects, and loops in their mix. In my previous articles and videos, I talked about how to use Traktor’s “Autogain” feature to match the volume of your tracks, how to set Beatgrids to make your beatmatching perfect in Traktor, and also how to Mix Harmonically to help you program your sets better. Here is another feature in Traktor that will speed up your workflow. It’s called setting “Load Markers.”

In Traktor Pro, you are able to set as many Cue Points as you would like to, enabling you to jump to any point in a song quickly and in sync with a click of a button. In Traktor Pro, there is a special kind of cue point called a “Load Marker.”

A Load Marker is a special Cue Point that marks the specific beat of a track that you want to load to each time you play that track. A track with a Load Marker will automatically load right to this special Cue Point, saving you the time to manually cue to this point in the track.

Load markers come in handy for tracks that have dead air in the beginning, and also tracks that have ambient intros that you would like to skip over. Some Traktor DJs that I know use Load Markers religiously are hip hop legend Grandmaster Flash, and house and Techno guru’s Dubfire, Victor Calderone, and Pete Tong.

For DJs like Grandmaster Flash, Load markers are used to jump right to a specific drum break in the track, and allow them to jump into each track quickly. Grandmaster Flash uses a combination of Load Markers, and also Traktor’s feature called “Load next track when flipping record” where you can load the next track in a playlist when you flip the (timecode) record. So each time Grandmaster Flash flips the record on the turntable, the next track loads, and it loads right to the beginning of a drum break!

For DJs like Dubfire and Pete Tong, who play using all MIDI controllers, and use 4 decks in Traktor, Load markers are a lifesaver because they save them finding the first beat of each track. Dubfire also uses my Triple Macro for “Cue / Play / Sync” which I described in a previous video, and using load markers that are mapped to “Hotcue 1” are very crucial to his workflow, since he has a button to jump to the load marker, play the track, and beatmatch the tracks with one button.

For DJs like Victor Calderone, who use Pioneer CDJs to control Traktor, Load Markers are very handy because rather than having to seek through a track using a CDJ, Traktor will load each track right to the Load Marker when you load them into a deck in Traktor, and will essentially map the load marker in Traktor to the “Cue” button on the CDJ.

Here is how to set a load marker in Traktor:

1) Set your mouse control mode to “Snap” mode in Traktor Preferences / Transport. This will make it so you can directly click on a beat in the song to set a perfect cue point.

2) Now turn on the Preference for “Initially Cue To Load Marker” in the Traktor Preferences / Loading. This will activate your Load Markers.

3) Click on the first kick drum of the track, or part of the track where you want to load to by hovering over the track and clicking on the white beat marker that you want to load to.

4) Set a Cue Point on this beat by opening Traktors Advanced Panel and click on a blank Hotcue slot in the cue window.

5) Click on the Cue Type drop down menu and change the Cue Type to “Load.” Traktor will change the Cue Point to a Load Marker and you will get a yellow cue point in the track, and in the Cue section. Now Traktor will always load to this cue point (Load Marker) when you load this track into a deck.

6) You can additionally map this Cue Point to Hotcue Slot 1. This is good to do if you have a beatmarker for the track as well as a load marker. That way you don’t take up two Hotcue slots in the Cue section. You can do this by clicking on Cue point 2 (The Load Marker), then clicking on “Map”, and then click on the Hotcue Slot 1.

This will assign the Load Marker to Hotcue Slot 1, but will not delete your other cue points. They will just be hidden, and not mapped to the assignable Hotcues.

Endo is a DJ and product specialist for Native Instruments and lives in Brooklyn. Listen to mixes from him at www.djendo.com.

2
  • Craig Wood
  • 10/19/2010

Fantastic article. Cheers!

  • Craig Wood
  • 10/19/2010

Fantastic article. Cheers!