Traktor

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This article is about the software package. For the Russian arena, see Traktor Ice Arena. For the song by rapper Wretch 32, see Traktor (song).
Traktor
Developer(s) Native Instruments
Stable release 2.7.1 / Nov 11, 2014
Operating system Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Type Digital DJ Software
License Proprietary
Website www.nativeinstruments.com

Traktor (previously known as Traktor DJ Studio) is a DJ software package developed by Native Instruments. The most recent version, Traktor Pro, offers seamless looping, effects, automatic beat-gridding of tracks, advanced beat detection and Sync Lock for automatic synchronization of tracks, key detection, a 4-channel mixer, emulating the Xone:92 4-band EQ and filters by Allen & Heath and five other equalizer models, real-time track management with incremental search, artwork browsing, iPod and iTunes compatibility, automatic gain control, integrated recorder supporting internal and external audio input, support for multiple MIDI controllers and advanced MIDI assignments, as well as the syncing of external gear through MIDI clock functionality. Traktor is also used as a "sub-brand" for several of Native Instrument's associated hardware products.

History[edit]

Traktor was first released in 2000 and has gone through several major application changes. The initial versions of Traktor were Traktor Studio and Traktor DJ, with Traktor Studio being more full featured (and expensive). In 2002, Traktor DJ Studio 2 was released, which offered several new features including scratch macros. It also expanded its looping, MIDI, and cue point functionality. In 2003, Traktor DJ Studio 2.5 was released. This new version expanded the time stretching functionality, added Open Sound Control (OSC) support, and gave the user limited ability to customize the look of the interface.

In 2003, Native Instruments partnered with Stanton Magnetics to develop the software for their "Final Scratch" digital vinyl system. This partnership gave Stanton a Win/Mac version of the Final Scratch software (which previously ran in a version of Debian Linux) and allowed Native Instruments to use the Final Scratch timecode engine in their own Traktor line.

In 2005, Native Instruments added vinyl emulation capability to version 2.6 of Traktor DJ Studio. Version 2.6 included live input, streaming internet broadcasting, support for more file formats, and greatly expanded MIDI capability. Soon afterward, Traktor DJ Studio 3 added two more playback decks (for a total of four), built-in effects, Beatport online store integration, a four-channel mixer, a Universal Binary version, deck caching, and minor improvements to existing features.

On October 11, 2006, the partnership between Native Instruments and Stanton Magnetics ended, and Traktor DJ Studio 3 was renamed Traktor 3.[1]

In 2008, an updated version of Traktor Pro, and a new version of the DJ studio, Traktor Scratch Pro were released. Traktor Scratch Pro had additional DVS functionality enabled, includes the specifically designed Audio 8 DJ audio interface, and timecoded CD or vinyl control.

On April 1, 2011, version 2 of Traktor was released. This upgrade includes new sample decks, "truwave" waveforms, an optimized UI, a loop recorder, and a new series of traktor audio interfaces, among other features.

On April 2, 2011, version 2.5 of Traktor was planned to be released on May 30, 2012. This upgrade is set to include "Remix" decks and will be released on the same day as their new "Kontrol F1" controller.

On May 25, 2012, version 2.5 of Traktor has been released.

On Feb 20, 2013, version 2.6.1 of Traktor has been released. This upgrade include TRAKTOR DJ SYNC, ENHANCED MIXING, FLUX MODE AND MACRO FX.

On Sep 26, 2013, version 2.6.4 of Traktor has been released.

On Nov 11, 2013, version 2.6.5 of Traktor has been released. Integrates the updated TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 soundcard. Fixes Loop Recorder issues when recording from an external source (EXT). Fixes stability issues when controlling track decks C and D with TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 MK2

Features[edit]

Four playback decks[edit]

The DJ now has the ability to layer up to four different sound sources. The four decks have Sync functionality, either to a designated “Master” deck or the Master Tempo. Decks also have independent key and tempo adjustment, giving the DJ the ability to freely change the pitch or key of a song to facilitate harmonic mixing. The DJ also has the capability to interchange the "Master" deck property between the four decks.[2]

Each deck allows the user to see the waveform of the loaded track in two different views. The top display offers a zoomable waveform scrolling against a fixed play marker. The lower display shows a fixed waveform of the entire song with a moving play position marker. Clicking with the mouse in either display will start playback at that position. Loop function is accessed also in the deck display, with the possibility of choosing different loop lengths and precise loop in and out cues. A much improved auto beat gridding and sync features make looping very intuitive, although checking the gridding of tracks is strongly encouraged to ensure that the beat grids are correctly placed. Also in the display are the track information, cover art, tempo, pitch and time remaining.

Effects and EQ[edit]

Each playback deck has now two assignable effects processors. However, the master output channel effects capability has been removed from Traktor Pro. Traktor Pro features 32 effects (as opposed to only 5 effects on Traktor 3), chainable in groups of six or as a single effect with level editors. Native Instruments also offers effects packages that include themed effects tailored to specific genres of music. The basic Traktor Pro effects are; delay, reverb, flanger, flanger pulse, flanger flux, gater, beatmasher 2, delay T3, filter LFO, filter pulse, filter, filter:92 LFO, filter:92 pulse, filter:92, phaser, phaser pulse, phaser flux, reverse grain, turntable FX, iceverb, reverb T3, ringmodulator, digital LoFi, mulholland drive, and transpose stretch. Effect settings can be saved to allow for automatic settings reload the next time the effect is used.

The EQ section offers several modes of operation, including emulation modes for the popular Pioneer DJM-600, Ecler Nuo4, and Allen & Heath Xone92 mixers.

Looping, beat jumping, and deck caching[edit]

Traktor Pro has extensive support for looping. Loop lengths are selected by the DJ and are musically logical in length (from 1/32 of a measure to 32 measures). Start and end points are quantized based on the BPM of the song. Once a loop is set, that loop can be moved using the Loop Move buttons, again in musically logical values. If the DJ desires, loop start and end points can be set manually to non musical values. In Traktor Pro, the loop function is now easily accessed through a bar below each deck.

Beat jumps work in much the same way as looping does, allowing the play position to be moved forward or backward within the song at a value determined by the DJ.

Both looping and beat jumping features still benefit from the deck caching functionality introduced in Traktor 3. In previous versions of Traktor, moving a loop or beat jumping would introduce a small pause in the audio. As its name implies, deck caching allows the user to determine how much RAM is assigned to each set of decks, and songs loaded into those decks are cached into that RAM for instant access by Traktor. This, combined with the “Snap to Beat” functionality, allows a user to move seamlessly within a song and opens up more possibilities for on the fly remixing. Like most of the features in Traktor, the looping and beat jumping functions can be mapped to a MIDI controller and/or mixing desk.

Track selection and Crate Flick[edit]

Traktor's file browser is similar to that of iTunes. It lists audio files by row, with columns available to describe various track properties, including comments, tags, and ratings. Information from each song’s ID3 tag is parsed by Traktor and made available in the browser, and can be edited from within the program.

Traktor Pro also introduced a "Crate Flick" browsing system. Crate Flick shows the top portion of each track's cover as you flip through your track collection, in an effort to emulate the, quick image-recognition based, browsing of sleeves in a crate of records. Crate Flick can also be used for file formats that would normally not support artwork (AIFF, WAV) as Traktor Pro allows the user to assign the cover art to these files. All metadata saved by Traktor is fully portable, allowing users to easily move tracks between different computers without losing any of the saved metadata.

Traktor LE[edit]

A special entry-level version of Traktor called "Traktor LE" is being bundled with many of the newer MIDI devices recently released, including the Kontrol X1 ( NI Traktor ready out-of-the-box controller ), Allen & Heath Xone 3D, Behringer BCD3000, Numark Total Control, Faderfox and the Vestax VCI-100. MIDI templates for Traktor are also bundled with the Feena Electronics FMDJ9303, the KontrolDJ, and the Ecler Nuo series of mixers. But a dedicated controller isn’t necessary because any MIDI device can be used to control Traktor’s features. Likewise, Traktor is compatible with a wide variety of audio interfaces on both Mac and Windows.

Variations of Traktor[edit]

Native Instruments features a lower-priced version of its DJ studio, Traktor Duo, which features two decks, a single 3-band EQ for each channel, and six effects.[3] [4] The company also released Traktor Scratch Pro and Traktor Scratch Duo, which contain the same respective features as their standalone counterparts, along with vinyl control capabilities. In August 2010, Native Instruments released Traktor Pro S4 with the Traktor Kontrol S4 hardware.

Traktor Hardware[edit]

The Traktor brand has several hardware products associated with Traktor. The range is intended to be used with Traktor, but can be used with any software supporting certain standards. All Traktor hardware products use USB to connect to a computer.

Controllers[edit]

Traktor Kontrol Z2[edit]

The Z2 is the first 2+2 channel mixer by Native Instruments. It is a standalone mixer and a Traktor controller at the same time. It gives access to effects, samples and hotcues, and it comes with Traktor 2.6.1 that includes the new flux mode.

Traktor Kontrol X1[edit]

The X1 is intended to supplement DVS systems to give access to looping, effects and other parts of the software which couldn't be accessed through the turntables or CDJs. It was designed to be small enough to fit into any DJ setup without being too small to be unusable. While it is a Traktor product, it can also be used with Serato as the controller uses standard MIDI to interface with the hardware.[5]

Traktor Kontrol S4[edit]

Traktor Kontrol S2[edit]

The S2 is a 2 channel, 2 deck controller very similar to the S4, S2 is the number after S1.[6]

Audio Interfaces[edit]

All Traktor audio interfaces operate at 24 bits at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz sampling rates and are "plug and play" with Traktor software. They can be used with ASIO, Core Audio, DirectSound or WASAPI software drivers. The Traktor Audio 6 and Traktor Audio 10 also support 16 bit mode and a "Direct Thru" mode.

Traktor Audio 2[edit]

The TA2 is a 0 input, 4 output (2 stereo pairs) USB powered interface. Each stereo pair has an independent volume control.[7]

Traktor Audio 2 MK2[edit]

Updated version of TA2 with support for iOS devices.

Traktor Audio 6[edit]

The TA6 features 6 inputs and 6 outputs (3 in/3 out stereo pairs). It is USB powered but needs an external power supply for use of "Direct Thru" mode. Two of the stereo pairs have phono pre-amps (can be used with turntables).[8]

Traktor Audio 10[edit]

The TA10 features 11 inputs and 10 outputs (5 in/5 out stereo pairs plus 1 mono microphone input). Like the TA6, it requires an external power supply for direct-thru mode unless powered by USB. Four of the stereo pairs have phono pre-amps (can be used with turntables). MIDI hardware is also connectible via 1 in, 1 out MIDI ports.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]