Traktor, beatmatching, and possibly DJ ethics
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Traktor, beatmatching, and possibly DJ ethics

    Alright, I have a bit of a situation. Nothing major but I wanted some input from people with more experience.

    I've recently started practicing mixing a lot more, and am almost getting decent at it. I use traktor and a VCI 100 SE (which is fantastic, by the way), but before that I just used traktor with a regular qwerty keyboard and mouse. Back then when I would mix I would use the sync button in traktor to get the songs at the same speed, but then manually cue the songs and get them in sync. Now that I have a cool controller, I think I should be trying to beatmatch completely manually.

    So my main problem is what and what not to turn off in traktor. I'd prefer to have it at the same level as if I was using two CDJs, so I would probably have the tracks starting BPM displayed. Problem is I don't know if it shows the BPM after the tempo has been changed, a quick look at a CDJ picture shows that the BPM bit doesn't have any decimal places, so I'd guess no. I'd also probably turn off the phase bar thing, though I've come to rely on that a bit. I also usually run traktor at +-35%, which means the pitch faders aren't all that fine, I'd just change it down to +-8% if I didn't use such large tempo changes so often. Maybe if traktor had a setting for 16%+- or something...

    Finally, why not just use sync? I don't really want to start an argument about this, personally I think for the kind of mixing I'm doing (just your normal mix one song into another, not tons of cool effects and controllerism, and what-not) that I shouldn't be using sync. That said, I tried mixing with the BPM and on screen pitch fader whatever it is turned off but the phase meter on, and it seems like it's in the same boat as sync. It does require more work though, so maybe that counts.

    Cliffs: noob got used to halfway using sync, needs to cut that out. What do?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClumsyMoe View Post
    Alright, I have a bit of a situation. Nothing major but I wanted some input from people with more experience.

    I've recently started practicing mixing a lot more, and am almost getting decent at it. I use traktor and a VCI 100 SE (which is fantastic, by the way), but before that I just used traktor with a regular qwerty keyboard and mouse. Back then when I would mix I would use the sync button in traktor to get the songs at the same speed, but then manually cue the songs and get them in sync. Now that I have a cool controller, I think I should be trying to beatmatch completely manually.

    So my main problem is what and what not to turn off in traktor. I'd prefer to have it at the same level as if I was using two CDJs, so I would probably have the tracks starting BPM displayed. Problem is I don't know if it shows the BPM after the tempo has been changed, a quick look at a CDJ picture shows that the BPM bit doesn't have any decimal places, so I'd guess no. I'd also probably turn off the phase bar thing, though I've come to rely on that a bit. I also usually run traktor at +-35%, which means the pitch faders aren't all that fine, I'd just change it down to +-8% if I didn't use such large tempo changes so often. Maybe if traktor had a setting for 16%+- or something...

    Finally, why not just use sync? I don't really want to start an argument about this, personally I think for the kind of mixing I'm doing (just your normal mix one song into another, not tons of cool effects and controllerism, and what-not) that I shouldn't be using sync. That said, I tried mixing with the BPM and on screen pitch fader whatever it is turned off but the phase meter on, and it seems like it's in the same boat as sync. It does require more work though, so maybe that counts.

    Cliffs: noob got used to halfway using sync, needs to cut that out. What do?

    Its not an etics issue, just that some prefer method A while others prefer method B. I have the VCI 100 SE with Traktor as well. Personally I use the sync button to get the songs at the same tempo as well as for beatmatching. Why? Because that gives me loads of time to do other things such as working on effects and looking at what song to play next. So I have anything against DJs who beatmatch by ear? No. This is simply my preferred way.

    In terms of your BPM question. On Traktor, go to Preferences->Deck Details. There you can edit what you want to see on the descks info for the loaded track, including the original BPM.

    Hope that helped.

    -Gianmarco
    GPS of Fresh Wet Paint | "Always Fresh n' Sticky"
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gianmarco View Post
    Its not an etics issue, just that some prefer method A while others prefer method B. I have the VCI 100 SE with Traktor as well. Personally I use the sync button to get the songs at the same tempo as well as for beatmatching. Why? Because that gives me loads of time to do other things such as working on effects and looking at what song to play next. So I have anything against DJs who beatmatch by ear? No. This is simply my preferred way.

    In terms of your BPM question. On Traktor, go to Preferences->Deck Details. There you can edit what you want to see on the descks info for the loaded track, including the original BPM.

    Hope that helped.

    -Gianmarco
    My problem is I don't spend that free time doing anything really useful. The only thing that's come close to that is when I do live sets (via intertubes) I usually try and play songs I've never heard before, so I'll spend that time listening to the other track to make sure it will work (and fixing the grid). Every time I get near the FX I make a mess of things...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClumsyMoe View Post
    My problem is I don't spend that free time doing anything really useful. The only thing that's come close to that is when I do live sets (via intertubes) I usually try and play songs I've never heard before, so I'll spend that time listening to the other track to make sure it will work (and fixing the grid). Every time I get near the FX I make a mess of things...
    Then practice beatmatching in your ear then. this way you can explore your boundaries and see if you like it or not. Be sure to have scratch off on your VCI so you can use the jogwhells as a pitch bend.

    Practice, practice, practice!

    Have fun with it!

    -Gianmarco
    GPS of Fresh Wet Paint | "Always Fresh n' Sticky"
    DJEditorHugger

    Fresh Wet Paint: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Site
    GPS: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gianmarco View Post
    Then practice beatmatching in your ear then. this way you can explore your boundaries and see if you like it or not. Be sure to have scratch off on your VCI so you can use the jogwhells as a pitch bend.

    Practice, practice, practice!

    Have fun with it!

    -Gianmarco
    If I had a dollar for every time I left scratch mode on by accident...

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor Whyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClumsyMoe View Post
    Every time I get near the FX I make a mess of things...
    Why not practice on that part instead of focusing on something that can be done for you?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whyte View Post
    Why not practice on that part instead of focusing on something that can be done for you?
    I'm (very) slowly getting a bit better with the FX, the only thing I can use well is the filter. I was playing with the gater earlier today and learned that your grid has to be spot on for it to sound right... I do need to practice them more often though.

    Thanks though, sometimes you just need someone else to say "go practice that". I'll probably spend the majority of tomorrow working on the FX.

  8. #8
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    I had a similar idea a while age and changed the interface for manual beatmatching so I could practice for using CDJ's in clubs. I found it more fun than using the sync and now manage to beatmatch very easily on any setup. Here's a screenshot of my manual layout:



    I don't use BPM counters at all so I just have the tempo there for a reference.

    Hope that helps

    By the way I find it easiest to use 35% pitch range with Ean's .Tsi pitch settings

  9. #9
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
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    There are no ethics in DJing as long as your not miming or pretending to do anything that your not doing.

  10. #10
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlos Santos View Post
    There are no ethics in DJing as long as your not miming or pretending to do anything that your not doing.
    Kinda like this?

    Chris Jennings FHP

    Podcast - Soundcloud - Mixcloud - Beatport Charts - x

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