traktor controllers

Discussion in 'DJ's, MC's & Turntablism' started by danwell, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. danwell

    danwell BAAAAAAAAAAAAABE WAIT

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    5,630
    Likes Received:
    711
    traktor heads! i'm making the switch and i dont wanna have to keep touching the mac every time i want to flick through my tunes. what do you own? what is good? etc. this is unknown territory for me and dont wanna buy something that wont benefit me. sorry if this has been spoken about already but im pushed for time so cant look through endless pages of threads..

    thanks in advance :)
     
  2. ilovelondon

    ilovelondon Call me Jens.

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,629
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Belgium
    I first had an akai lpd8, which is a good controller, plastic but still quite sturdy... I paid 50 euros for it.

    [​IMG]


    Then I switched, because I didn't really use the knobs a lot and needed more buttons. You got 4 banks for the pads though, but you have to press program, then select 1 - 4 with the bottom 4 pads, and then press pad. So that's 3 buttons to press before you get to the other banks - what I didn't really like - and most frustrating: you can't tell in which bank you are (except when you press program to select it, the current bank is lit up then). I often forgot that I'd switched to the bank where the loop mappings are in when I was actually trying to select a tune... So too often I wound up with a 1 bar loop or something playing out by mistake. Therefor I never really got to switching banks when playing out, out of fear of messing up in front of an audience. If you think you can get all your primary functions on one layout en just put a few extra that you don't use all the time in another bank, I'd recommend it.

    So then I got this one: iCon iStage. Kinda happy with it, it works like it should, but the akai buttons were of a better quality (sometimes a button doesn't respond and you have to press it again, so if you're going to use this controller for cue juggling and live beatmaking etc this controller won't do), the akai was almost half the weight as well since I'm comparing the two. The akai is a bit cheaper as well, I think I paid 70 euros for this one. But, I'm still happy with it, and think I'll be continuing to use it for quite some time. :)
    [​IMG]


    You may notice that I'm going for the long thin controllers when I could also get a shitload of buttons on something like a novation launchpad, but the reason for that is the following: with these controllers I just push the mixer a bit further away from me and lay it in front of it, so I've got quick and easy access to all my controls.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  3. ilovelondon

    ilovelondon Call me Jens.

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,629
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Belgium
    So the question is: what do you want to do with it?
    Think about your mapping before you make the buy: I need at least ... buttons & ... knobs. You've got a few controllers with faders as well (check the akai range for example) but those tend to be quite a bit bigger, and when playing out it's kinda hard sometimes to find a good spot for it, especially in club dj booths that often don't have an inch of desk space left in length...

    When you're thinking about the amount of buttons & knobs: keep in mind that in traktor you can assign up to 4 'modifier' buttons, so you can assign multiple functions to one button/knob/fader, and get the right function by pressing the right modifier button at the same time: compare it with buttons like shift, cmd and alt on your regular keyboard.

    If that was a shitty way of explaining it, here's an example:

    Button 1: load track into deck A
    Button 1 and modifier button 1 pressed simultaneously: load track into deck B
    Button 1 and modifier button 2 pressed simultaneously: load track into deck C

    etc etc
     
  4. danwell

    danwell BAAAAAAAAAAAAABE WAIT

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    5,630
    Likes Received:
    711
    I basically just want one to scroll and select tunes and cue points. Ill have a good read thru your posts tomorrow jens but I'm pretty drunk right now.
     
  5. MLT

    MLT Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    7
    Traktor X1 thats is all you need.
    If you decide to use Serato instead you can use the X1 to do the same thing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  6. ilovelondon

    ilovelondon Call me Jens.

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,629
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Belgium
    Haha too funny mate! Have a look at akai's nanokey and nanopad as well. More buttons than the lpd8 but no knobs (if you're sure you won't need 'em).

    For selecting the tunes, you could go with a controller that has a knob with no beginnning/end so you can use that to scroll through the list, but I do it like this:
    I've got 4 buttons for going through the list: 10 tunes up, 1 tune up, 1 tune down & 10 tunes down (you can set the amounts yourself). Heck I'm pretty sure you could
    also map a button that it will go down the list as long as you're pressing it. I then got another 4 buttons: load selected tune into deck A, B, C & D (you could work
    with modifier buttons here as well to cut down on the amount of buttons you're using, but that's a bit risky: imagine if a button loads a tune into deck A and with a
    modifier it loads into deck B, if you haven't decently pressed the modifier or something you're gonna be loading it into deck A instead of B and if deck A was playing out,
    it'll be like taking the needle off the wrong record: embarrassing)...

    Yeah, if you like paying too much... Or can't be arsed to do 10 minutes worth of midi mapping. That thing costs about 4 times as much as the akai lpd8 i posted above,
    and what will the benefit be if you look at what he needs?
     
  7. danwell

    danwell BAAAAAAAAAAAAABE WAIT

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    5,630
    Likes Received:
    711
    Yeah blt you fucking sandwich :teeth: thanks again jens. Will look into it more tomorrow. Thanks for the reply tho blt
     
  8. ilovelondon

    ilovelondon Call me Jens.

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,629
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Belgium
    Yeah but I'm guessing you can make custom midi mappings in serato as well, just like you would do in traktor - if not, i'd wonder why serato is leading the DVS market - so that's no good reason to go for the x1 neither...

    No prob mate
     
  9. hazdaman100

    hazdaman100 Bum 'n Face

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    4,725
    Likes Received:
    92
    Location:
    Uk
    anyone used the nanokrontrol?
    looks neat, will fit under the tuntable nicely, look quite simple, good price, but is it any good for the basics....ie cue point mapping and track loading and selecting
    [​IMG]
     
  10. danwell

    danwell BAAAAAAAAAAAAABE WAIT

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    5,630
    Likes Received:
    711
    Do you know of any that do this? I don't even know where to look
     
  11. ilovelondon

    ilovelondon Call me Jens.

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,629
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Belgium
    Why the nanokontrol if you don't need the faders? It'll work though, but why this one if you're probably better off with the nanokey or nanopad?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Whatever you pick, just make sure the buttons/pads/knobs/faders you want to use send out midi notes!

    The way I do it is just going on various websites that sell audio/dj gear, go to the midi controller category sort by price going up and start comparing...

    There's no controller in this shape/price region that I can think of immediately (my icon istage has such a knob, but it doesn't send out midi notes, so
    I can't map it as a scroller), but for instance a controller that has a jog wheel would work as well (as long as it sends out midi notes, so make sure it does).

    My system works fine though, with buttons for going up/down. You just need the 10 tunes up & 10 tunes down (or whatever amount you'd like) to go
    through your tunes fast enough. You could for instance also work with one modifier button somewhere, if you hold it down, the 10 tunes up becomes
    a 50 tunes up button and 10 tunes down button becomes a 50 tunes down button...

    You can really get creative with these mappings...
     
  12. danwell

    danwell BAAAAAAAAAAAAABE WAIT

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    5,630
    Likes Received:
    711
    Sounds pretty cool. What sites do you use? This is complete new territory for me
     
  13. ilovelondon

    ilovelondon Call me Jens.

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,629
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Belgium
    Haha, most of the time I use the website of a dj/studio gear store here in brussels, that way if I find something I like I know I can get it quick snap ;)

    It really doesn't matter, think of a large dj store and visit their website.

    I've been doing some googling the last 5 mins because I remember this controller by reloop.
    It's a bit more expensive, but still half the price of an x1.

    Downsides: you have to lay it next to the mixer vertically like an x1 (which doesn't really seem like a problem until you have to go play at a club
    with a tiny ass dj booth where the desk space is exactly enough for 2 decks and a mixer. And if you're playing at a party with other djs and have to
    take over, using a DVS is already a pain in the ass, well it will even more be if you have to move shit around.

    Another downside: it needs power, so apart from your macbook charger you're gonna have another charger for the controller (this is obviously again
    only a downside if you're playing out).

    But here's the good news:

    It has buttons, faders, knobs and even a jog wheel. The sky is the fucking limit, haha!

    It has buttons that let you switch between 4 banks (and it's just pressing button 1, 2, 3 or 4 on top of the controller, not like with my akai lpd8), so
    you can really put a lot of functions inside this controller. It's actually made so you can mix with only the mixer and this controller (it has four outputs
    on the back that you route to your mixer), that's why you've got the 4 banks, so you can select the deck you're working in: A - D and then have the entire
    controller controlling one deck.

    I've quickly researched if there's any buttons that don't send out midi and that's the case: the 4 buttons above the jog wheel, the 4 buttons to change banks
    and the shift button. Cool thing about the 4 buttons is that - i think - you can use these to have the jog wheel control different shit: for instance that you can
    map it that button one is for scrolling through your tunes, button two is to alter effect parameters or something like that, ... which would be pretty cool.

    Please do note, I've quickly searched this for you, and that doesn't mean that everything I'm saying is gonna be true, so before you buy anything please
    do enough research on it. I don't want you to buy it and end up regretting the purchase because some things didn't work like you thought they would.
    So if anything I'm saying isn't correct: don't shoot me for it.
    ;)

    Anyway, once you've found a controller that you kinda like: google the shit out of it. Add 'custom midi mapping traktor' or something to your search query
    or watch youtube videos and look how other people have mapped it. Since this reloop controller is already designed for traktor you're probably mostly gonna
    find videos of people using it with the standard mapping though... But google it, normally you'd find some sites where you can download custom midi mappings
    people made and uploaded. Most of the time they put a manual with it to explain which button/fader/knob does what: out of this you'll learn if the button/knob/fader
    is custom mappable and normally you'd get some inspiration out of it as well, especially if you've never mapped a midi controller before.

    I still don't know all about midi, just enough to get the two I've bought so far working. Don't worry: at first it'll all seem like chinese to you but normally all you
    have to do is plug these in (sometimes install a driver, if it says traktor ready - like this reloop - that should mean that the driver is already inside traktor): it's
    fairly easy, all you need to do is experiment a bit with the functions you can assign in traktor, and then it's just thinking out how you're going to use the faders/
    buttons/knobs and what functions you're going to assign to what hardware. :)

    Here's a pic of the reloop controller: Reloop Countour Interfae Edition

    [​IMG]



    Damn this is half a book i've written! I'm too good for this world, actually should get some work done instead, lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
    danwell likes this.
  14. Howitzer

    Howitzer Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Derby, UK
    getting your hands dirty with midi is fun, and can have gratifying results when you nail it down. You'll save yourself a bit of money too if you get a cheap LPD8 or something.

    I went down this route initially, ive owned a reloop digital jockey 2, augmented that with LPD8's, midi fighters, MPD24's, etc. All cheap, all good fun, none of them compare to an X1.

    Now I rock 2 X1's and DVS. All the controllers in the world do not compare to a good piece of hardware made specifically for the program. Everything you'll need to do inside traktor as far as transport functions, looping & effects are all catered for out of the box. If theres something else you need, then get involved with midi mapping.

    One thing that is painful about midi mapping is actually remembering what youve set all your buttons to do. It can get really mind bending, especially when you start throwing modifiers into the mix.

    I know too many people though, that really, really cant be arsed with midi. their loss.

    As far as fitting controllers in a booth goes, ive never had issues with fitting an X1 in, and ive played in some tiny, shitty booths. Theyre the perfect size for inbetween the mixer and a TT.
     
  15. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    10,438
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Feltham
  16. ilovelondon

    ilovelondon Call me Jens.

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,629
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Belgium
  17. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    10,438
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Feltham
    yeah ;)
     
  18. FoulMouth

    FoulMouth New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    I got a Traktor S4, loving it.
     
  19. ilovelondon

    ilovelondon Call me Jens.

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,629
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Belgium
    And the award for most useless comment goes to...

    Read before you post mate ;)
     
  20. danwell

    danwell BAAAAAAAAAAAAABE WAIT

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    5,630
    Likes Received:
    711