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Traktor Laptop Setup


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Hello my dear tech-heads, this is my first post in this sub-forum.

 

So I have succumbed to the comforts of mixing on a Laptop and bought Traktor 3. I fucked around a bit and mixed just using the mouse and hotkeys, and obviously I feel very limited with the interaction possibilities.

 

So, I need some kinda hardware real-life mixer that lets me manipulate the mixer in traktor. I have regular laptop that just has one audio output, i.e. the headphone.

 

I have no idea whatsoever about soundcards and Midi and such, so if someone could explain to me what to buy and how to connect all that I would really appreciate it.

 

Thanks!

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Check out the following products:

 

The Behringer BCD 3000 (bundled with Traktor)

The M-Audio Torq Xponent

The Numark Total Control

The Vestax VCI-100

 

There are also two threads in this sub-forum that discusses MIDI controllers. One posted by me and the other by SkeletonMan.

 

Good Luck! In the end of the day it will be all about your finances and brand preference. With Traktor, I would just go for the Behringer. It is dirt cheap too...

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Thanks, I did some searching on the net as well, I came up with the same list. I'll probably go for the Vestax, since I have always had vestax mixers and really liked them and my finances are looking good, I think I should reward myself :P

Remember that you will need a sound card too...

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You have to get an external Audio card with 2 outputs at least. There are fairly cheap M-Audio cards. Just make sure that you buy a USB2 or a Firewire card. By no means not a USB1.1 or less card. Unless you want to add glitches to spice up your dj set.

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if it's just playing at home with traktor i would recommend a simple and cheap setup:

 

 

- cheap 2 channel sound card like maya (you need two stereo channels as mentioned above cause you cannot prelisten without two stereo channels). you can also shop at ebay for the emagic 2/6 which is kind of outdated but still very good value for price (you can get it for around 60 euros used and it has even 3 stereo channels)

- cheap midi controller like the oxygen midi keyboard from midiman (best value)

 

if you want to go pro with traktor in actually planning to dj with in clubs and festivals i would recommend something like the following:

 

- multi channel audio card with a good or even very good dsp chip (expect to spend at least 300-600 euros) with 3 or even 4 stereo out channels. good card is from native instruments (audio8 ~400euros), firewire audiophile from midiman (~300 euros) or for the more advanced ones the motu ultra lite (~600 euros) and as a flagship something from rme (fireface 400 ~900 euros). keep in mind that some cards are usb 2.0 and some are firewire.

- good midi controller as mentioned above (I would add faderfox which is very handy, solid and modular)

- I would recommend also to play in external mixer mode within traktor. reason is: mixer emulations are good but imo not good enough for big sound systems (sometimes flat and muddy). also working on eq's and faders through midi is not that direct than on a real mixer (cause of latency). I find it very unhandy to mix in internal mixer mode.

 

about pro setup: in using cheap audio cards, sound can be way worse than playing on cdj's. if you want to get seriously taken as a dj and if you want to avoid discussions and bad comments about laptop dj's "they play always stolen mp3's, doing nothing on a laptop than just pressing play and offering bad sound quality" you have to go pro with audio setup and audio sources (original cd quality). the rest is then art you have to prove by yourself :-)

 

on a side note: if you are coming from a cdj background than i would consider to upgrade to traktor scratch. then you can save more or less a midi controller (or go with a very small and handy one for the loops etc.) and you can integrate your setup seamless in club frameworks.

 

that's how i see it, hope it helped :-)

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Thanks Fohat!

 

Actually, I come from a Vynil background, but I moved around so much lately aqnd I know I will keep moving so I gave away my turntables. I hate playing with CD's, I like this laptop thing a lot better, if I go digital, I will really go digital. I used to use Mixvibes with timecoded Vynils, but like I said I gave all of that away a year ago, but now I ave been itching to start mixing again, in some form or fashion, and as compact and Move-friendly as possible.

 

I will use this mainly in my bedroom to record mixes, but when I return to europe Im sure I will play at a lot of friends parties, meaning around 200-300 drugged up crazy people in some dark berlin basement who are too wasted to notice the difference between good and bad quality. Usually with Mixvibes I played 320 kpbs MP3's from beatport or kompakt-mp3 and no one ever complained. So thats my situation. Definitely not pro, but I will play in low-tech public venues from time to time for people who are not sound-fetishists.

 

I guess a good Midi Controller (I looove that Vestax, it looks so pretty, I'm in love :wub: and like i said I always had Vestax mixers for some reason) and soundcard around 200-300 will do it (any concrete suggestions, how about that audio-1 from NI?) Thats definitely in my budget, as well.

 

BTW, Sammy, i did some research online and everyone advised heavily gainst that Behringer all-in-one thing cause it always crashes?

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BTW, Sammy, i did some research online and everyone advised heavily gainst that Behringer all-in-one thing cause it always crashes?

Nah, I would never buy it either :lol: I was not sure about your level of DJing and thought it would be easier as you would not have to re-map all the MIDI functions, but you seem to know more than a thing or two about the art. I personally would have gone for the Xponent, but it is bundled with Torq, making it difficult to justify your recent Traktor purchase.

 

Anyway, good luck with your new set-up! I will PM you in a month or two for a review...

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Nah, I would never buy it either :lol: I was not sure about your level of DJing and thought it would be easier as you would not have to re-map all the MIDI functions, but you seem to know more than a thing or two about the art. I personally would have gone for the Xponent, but it is bundled with Torq, making it difficult to justify your recent Traktor purchase.

 

Anyway, good luck with your new set-up! I will PM you in a month or two for a review...

Yeah, I started Dj'ing in 1995, I actually have over 1000 Vynils still sitting in my friends basement who are screaming to get digitized when I return to Germany next year. I'm just not much of a computer expert and have no idea of MIDI and such. My music playing was always totally analogue, i totally skipped the CDJ phase cause I dont like the handling of it.

 

Now, with the Traktor 3, as far as I have figured it out, there are lot more possibilities then just normal mixing. Plus its so comfortable and easy to transport, perfect for my grown-up always moving lifestyle now :P

 

Thanks for everyones advise, but what do you think of that Audio Kontrol 1 by NI soundcard thing. That would be what I need, right? And you are 100% right getting the Torq would mean having wasted money on the Traktor 3... but I think its better to get into Traktor anyways since I figure it will be the indiustry standard in the future.

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the audio control 1 from ni should be ok but a little bit pricey imo for what it offers (only 2 stereo channels). in addition to this it has control functionalities you would not need then if you go for the vestax (from the forums i could see that people just love it). so for the price you should get better value but from quality it should be pretty much ok. but how about spending 100 euros more for the audio8? this one has a really good dsp chip built in and it rocks (that's the one I own now after I was using the emagic 2/6 for 4 years). also when ever you will decide to play on more than two decks you are prepared for it :-)

 

about the behringer i fully agree: just crappy stuff (like almost everything from them), stay away from it. also the hercules console is a plastic toy imo.

 

but finally it is very difficult to recommend anything in particular cause it is always very subjective and based only on own experiences. do you know the forums of traktor? they discuss setup issues all the time. a really good source to get information about.

 

about the mp3 320 thing: there are so many discussions around and it is like a religion. it's based upon believe ;-) I believe in original quality but I hardly can tell in clubs whether somebody is playing with mp3's 320. mp3's 192 are belonging to another story and they are imo a real no go.

 

if you have any further particular question just pm me...

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So I got that Vestax controller, and I have to say it's pretty awesome! Especially those dual function jog wheels are really cool, it almost feels like a vynil, well not quite, but its a very good emulation. I only have good things to say about that controller, except that the EQ knobs go really, really heavy, I hope they'll soften up with time.

 

Other then that, I still have to figure out all the little tricks and gadgets of the Traktor software, but with "normal mixing" i pretty much got it figured out. Just one thing, DO NOT TRUST THE SYNC BUTTON!!! It is evil if you dont manually establish a beat grid for the songs in the mix. It's good to get an approximation, but in the end my naturally learned beatmatching skills come in very handy, because somehow i always have to finetune every mix. And establishing beatgrids for every song in my collection just seems very silly.

 

Anyways, heres the first mix I recorded with my new toys, its mostly deep hypnotic melodic techno, I gave it the pretty name I'm a little birdy and I can flyyyyyyy

 

Like I said, no fancy Traktor trickery yet, just a straight up blended DJ Mix.

 

Thanks a lot Sammy and Fohat for your help again, I'm really enjoying myself with all the new gear :)

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Sound like you are having fun GSH! I am downloading the mix now, looking forward to it...

 

I was totally going to buy a Torq Xponent a couple of months ago, but bought some CDJs instead. Kind of feel I should have gone for the MIDI controller now... Well Well, next time around :lol:

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