A Simple Question regarding Traktor Pro Controllers
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  1. #1
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    Default A Simple Question regarding Traktor Pro Controllers

    hello all,

    I've got a pretty simple request. I'm looking to buy a controller for traktor that will fit what I need. I've done my research (Novation zero SL, UC33e, Vestax VCI-100 being the main contenders so far), but I still don't have an answer. I'd appreciate it if someone on this (very useful!) site could help.

    I've been playing around in Traktor Pro for several months and have reached the limits of what I can do with hotkeys and my MacBook's mouse. I think the program is amazingly well designed & easy to use. (shameless self promotion: I did a twenty minute dubstep mix you can listen to here, [hotkeys and mouse only!]: http://www.zshare.net/download/52608858d30ab02e/ . Critique at will!) I will play mostly minimal, tech/house, and some electro and dubstep.

    Basically, I'd say I just want to take what's on the main traktor screen and create a palpable version of that.

    Specifically, here's what I need:

    1) I am a HUGE fan of a) TPro's effects and b) looping, especially in tandem, and especially using two or more effects simultaneously. So I think I'd need lots of knobs (the UC33 has been recommended in this regard, but doesn't meet some of my other criteria, I don't think).

    2) I only want to touch my computer keyboard to search and/or load a track into a deck.

    3) I often use more than two decks.

    4) A cross-fader would be NICE but is not required-- mostly I use the filter and/or gain buttons to "eliminate" a track. I also prefer four EQs (mid-hi, mid-lo) to three, but this is a relatively minor issue (as I understand it, I could just program a knob to be the missing EQ, right?).

    5) I need the ability to prelisten to tracks. I know this can be done via external soundcard, which I am open to using if necessary, though I can't say it's preferable.

    7) What I don't need: scratching ability, or a bpm counter really. Frankly, I am LEAST concerned about beat-matching (am I preaching to the choir?); for you purists out there, I am decent, though far from perfect, on real vinyl, and I refer anyone who is offended by this to Mr. Hawtin's views on the matter.

    8) Less important things: I kind of suck when it comes to anything approaching computer programming, so if the controller were easily mapped to Traktor, that'd be nice. Also, if the controller were somehow useful for producing music in addition to mixing, that'd just be the cherry on top.

    9) My price range peaks at about $700.

    --------

    Ok so maybe I lied in the title. Basically, every option recommended by people didn't seem to meet one of the necessary criteria (1) lots of FX/Looping flexibility (2) multiple decks (3) [(<) V (~)] $700

    One thing I'm especially concerned about is the "FX ON 1" and "FX ON 2" buttons found right under Key control in traktor, because from my observations, it doesn't seem like some of hte controllers would allow to apply two effects (or perhaps more?) at a single time. Of course, I'm a relative noob at this, so feel free to tell me I'm wrong. (Also, I'm wondering if .vst's can be downloaded and used as new effects? But that's neither here nor there)

    MANY Thanks to anyone who can help me out. And I realize the tone of this post is a little dry, but I'm actually pretty friendly, I just wanted to be as accurate as possible in my description. My apologies for the length.

  2. #2
    DJTT Dominator JesC's Avatar
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    How about a BCR-2000? The thing has more knobs for all the fx's that tpro has...

    Controllerist: Think different | SoundCloud | MixCloud | Twitter |

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor nemo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JesC View Post
    How about a BCR-2000? The thing has more knobs for all the fx's that tpro has...

    Now you unleashed the devil! Tekki will be all over this place! Personally I find the Remote Zero SL attractive, but then again, I am djing with turntables (Scratch) and an external mixer, and use the controller (although the 25 SL, not the Zero) to control looping and efx, and for that it does the trick

  4. #4
    DJTT Dominator JesC's Avatar
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    I wish the bcr had a cross fader in the middle I would be all over like a fat kid on McDonald french fries.
    Controllerist: Think different | SoundCloud | MixCloud | Twitter |

  5. #5
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    I have a novation remote zero sl, and I'm quite happy with it.
    But as said before, the combination with an external mixer would be more pleasant.
    For me mainly because the faders on the remote zero sl are to short, its hard to be precise with the levels.
    And because you never seem to have enough buttons, knobs and sliders. Though now with the modifiers section in the MIDI programming page of traktor Pro it has become much more powerful. When I feel done with my mapping (its still evolving quite a lot) I'll probably share it on this forum with some explanation.

    That said, the novation zero sl is a very good controller for its price, its very flexible. All buttons, pots and rotatry behaviours are highly programmable/adjustable.

  6. #6
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    Im a fan of the Novation SL series of controllers, they have rotaries, traditional knobs, buttons, faders, a joy stick and an XY pad. I can say i dont own one, but i wish i did

    One of the most imporant things about these interfaces is that they need to have lots of different methods of interfacing with the computer. This is because all the different things that you can do are all suited suitable to different types of controls.

    Your gear should reflect this, so that your setup has lots of different ways of interacting with the music

  7. #7
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    I bought a uc-33e for 2 months ago and I hated it.
    You could break off the knobs easily, no quality at all.

    So I returned it and decided to but a M-audio xponent instead.
    The only downside with the controller is that it looks like a toy, but the quality is good.

    You have 2x 4 knobs with 1 button under each wich is perfect for effects.
    And the buttons under the jog wheels can be used to switch what deck you control, one side being Deck A or C and the other Deck B or D, this is great for controlling 4 decks.
    Also there is alot of loop and hotcue buttons to play around with, and a midi pad that can be used for effects or control the mouse (this pad is a little bit sketchy though).

    It also has 4 eq knobs but I use the gain one for filter instead of having the mid-lo and mid-hi.

    There is a TSI file with mappings posted on the Native instruments forum for the xponent, I downloaded it and it was great, I just made a few customizations myself wich isn't hard at all to do.

    Hope you will consider the Xponent, it is a great controller for the buck!

  8. #8
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    hey everyone, thanks for your replies..

    it seems that this idea of "midi modifiers" means I don't ACTUALLY need that many buttons/knobs...but I'm still a little fuzzy on how it works-- is there someone willing to put it in easier terms?

    And minguzz, thanks for that-- you confirmed my fears about the UC33..However, I almost purchased Torq software until I played around with Traktor Pro, and I can say I really didn't like it, which is making me a little skeptical about purchasing an m-audio product.... As I would likely not use the touch pad so much, it's not that big of a deal to me, but besides that, is the quality/make good? It does seem a bit of a steal at $600 given that it's got a soundcard too!

    Lastly, does anyone have any thoughts on the vestax vci-100 and how useful it could be for me? My main issue with it is that I'm not sure it has enough flexibility in terms of programmable buttons and knobs...but maybe I'm wrong?!

  9. #9
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    I think that the buttons on the Xponent is one of the best ones i've tried.
    The knobs could be better but they do not in any way suck.
    Another plus with the buttons and knobs is that they are backlit, so you can see what effects that are on etc, by just looking at the controller instead of looking at your laptop screen.

    Alot of people here love the Vestax, I think that the buttons feel aweful to press, and they are too few. Plus it does not have a soundcard.

    Other than that the crossfader has a better feel on the vestax, and I think scratch dj's like the jog wheels more than the Xponent, but I am not a good scratch DJ so I don't really have a opinion on that.

    I think that you should either consider a VCI-100 or a Xponent, I don't think you'll be dissappointed by any of those 2 controllers.

    P.S. If you live in europe and you are to buy new gear, I would use thomann.de (don't know if they ship worldwide), I sent my UC33e back and got my money back with no questions asked, and they have a 3 year warranty on all the stuff they sell.

    If you are afraid that the Vestax/Xponent would break, that warranty would come in handy.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru charo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sraid77 View Post
    hey everyone, thanks for your replies..

    it seems that this idea of "midi modifiers" means I don't ACTUALLY need that many buttons/knobs...but I'm still a little fuzzy on how it works-- is there someone willing to put it in easier terms?
    it means you are using a modifier or shift key to make physical knobs/sliders/buttons control different actions then they do without the modifier.

    i think the vci-100 with ean's tks for pro and the overlay is a very powerful pro controller.

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