Wow & flutter
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Thread: Wow & flutter

  1. #1
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    Default Wow & flutter

    Ok, so I know TT's aint gonna run perfectly at the same RPM. You have what is called wow & flutter. But I don't get how Traktor, when using timecode and hitting sync, drifts out of time a. so quickly and b. so rapidly. I say quickly as in you hit sync then within seconds it's drifting out of time again, and rapidly as in drifts out of time at quite a fast rate. If I run one TT with a tune that is say 130 bpm and watch the bpm counter, it flickers around the 130 bpm mark but pauses on 130 for a second or 2 then flickers around the 130bpm mark again, no massive changes in tempo due to wow and flutter. But like I already said, I hit sync when 2 decks are playing (obviously not locking due to using timecode), and they drift out of time so quickly.

    I saw another post somewhere saying Traktor didn't do this on older versions due to it using a different method to sync when using timecode. But still, I don't get how it can drift so quick when even regular old vinyl you can lock in time with each other and not have to worry about riding the pitch as much as you have to in traktor.

  2. #2
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    How well is your vinyl tracking ? You should have to do excessive amounts of pitch bending to keep the tracks in time.

    Could be dirty needles, dirty timecode or a number of different things.

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor jimbob5000's Avatar
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    Sorry to say that, but you'll probably have to forget the sync button when using vinyl timecode. Even with the best turntables out there, there is wow and flutter. It's still there when your needles are perfect, your timecode vinyls are in perfect flawless condition, calibration is spot on, all tracks have perfectly accurate BPM values and all connections are in tiptop shape. The point is: Wow and flutter is there, and that is the foundation to a problem that probably cannot be solved.

    Imagine you play two 130 BPM tracks on two turntables at 0% pitch. Add some wow and flutter, let's say 1 percent (which would be excessively bad, but just for the sake of making my point clear). This means that in that precise moment when you click sync, your TC vinyl on one deck might actually play at 131,3 bpm, while the other might be on 128.7 bpm. Traktor will adjust the pitch value accordingly. And that would mean a wrong speed adjustment on both decks. So no perfect sync should be possible.
    Yeah, 1% wow/flutter would be excessive. My turntables have 0,05%, which would result in a maximum speed difference of 0,1 percent. That seems to be pretty miniscule, but in reality, that results in a drift that is audible pretty quickly, especially in the faster genres of music.

    Traktor is (as far as I know, someone please correct me if i'm wrong) not capable of syncing permanently when using timecode. It only syncs the beat phase and the pitch value at a given moment and then assumes the decks will go on playing in sync, as this would be the logical thing that would happen under ideal conditions.

    I haven't used vinyl control on Traktor versions prior to the current "Pro"-Line, I was a DJDecks/SSL vinyl user before. Actually I can't really imagine what older Traktor versions should have done fundamentally different in that area, except for the fact that the older timecode vinyls had less "resolution", were less precise and for that matter would have been picking up less wow and flutter.

    To me personally, the sync function in combination with timecode does not make sense anyway. I mean, timecode is about the hands-on control over the "music positioning" if you will, scratching being a prime example, while the sync function is there to take over that control to give you more time to take care of other things (like FX orgies, cue point juggling and stuff like that).
    My two cents: If you want timecode vinyl, use your ears, which is (with some training) much more accurate in that scenario (and in my opinion more fun anyway). If you want sync for whatever reason, ditch timecode and use a midi controller.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru lethal_pizzle's Avatar
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    This often gets brought up, and although perception is subjective, my answer is always this: in absolute mode the position of the .mp3 is always the position of the needle on the timecode.

    There is no sticker drift in Traktor, so theoretically there should be absolutely no difference between Traktor and normal vinyl. Caveats/reasons:

    1) There is latency, around 5ms or so. This will have some effect on how you perceive a difference between timecode and vinyl, because there is: the 5ms delay.

    2) Visual clues. This is a biggie. You can see exactly where you are, and your eyes (hitherto unused when using normal records) will add to your perception of how you mix.

    An example: people often comment on how Traktor has a 'hill effect', whereby, when you physically slow the platter down and observe the phase meter go to zero, when you let go, it will reverse and go back the other way, like pushing a ball nearly all the way up to the top of a hill, only to have it roll back down again.

    However, this is normal, the engine on the platter reacts again the braking force of your finger, so when you let go it overcompensates, and your records go out of line again. Before, your ears did the work, and now your eyes are overcomplicating things.

    My 0.02cents of course.

    Oh, and one difference to note between TSPro and the old TS: in TS the BPM was only to 1 decimal place, in TSPro it is to 2. So with the wow and flutter it always appears to be moving and psychologically can be undermining.

    I'd encourage people to do 'blind mixing' tests with a trustworthy friend and post the results.
    Last edited by lethal_pizzle; 04-20-2010 at 06:04 PM.
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru charo's Avatar
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    what kind of turntable is it? you will experience more wow & flutter with say a numark tt200 then you will with a technics 1200.

    this thread shows IMO why serato doesn't have sync yet, as it is primarily used in a dvs setup.

  6. #6

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    i had a technics1210. i have a tt200. i experience less flutter on the numark than on the tech´s. just sayin´.
    Samsung R780, Novation Launchpad
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  7. #7
    Tech Guru charo's Avatar
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    i have had the opposite results, and have read about other users experiencing problems with W&F with the tt200.

    i'm certainly not saying your wrong, i think perhaps you got lucky with your tt200?

    sorry for going OT

  8. #8

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    for every rule there has to be a exception, right? i didnt mean to say you´re wrong on any level mate, and i only have had mine for comparision, i dont know anyone else personally that could compare those 2. But im most certainly willing to accept the opinion of several other users and you

    now btt..
    Samsung R780, Novation Launchpad
    NI AUDIODJ 2, DJTECH IMIX RELOAD, BEHRINGER BCD 3000, KORG NANOPAD
    VESTAX VMC002XL, NUMARK DM3000X, NUMARK TT200
    NI TRAKTOR DUO, VIRTUAL DJ 7 PRO FULL

  9. #9
    Tech Guru charo's Avatar
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    i'm not hating on the tt200, i have had mine since 99 or so, works just as good as the day i got it.

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor Roo's Avatar
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    Is it possible to nudge a song in perfectly synced using the sync buttons? I beatmatch fine, but would be nice sometimes not to worry about it..
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