Mostapha's Setup - Page 12
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  1. #111
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlayForMoney View Post
    To be honest, I though this is something that is common knowledge. If for nothing else then for the fact that, when using external mixing with Traktor, volume of Traktor decks set on 0db deck gain and 0db master gain (in software) is MASSIVELY higher than the volume of CDJ's outputs into the RCA's of the same mixer (of course, with trim/gain knobs on the mixer set at 12 o'clock for example).

    Lowering the Traktor master volume (for me it is -14,3db value) enables the deck autogain feature of Traktor to be on and enables me to mix between Traktor/CDJ sources without the need to change trim/gain on the mixer's channels when doing so.
    It's actually worse than that. If you set it that high, it at least causes intersample modulation distortion. The only reason it's not painfully obvious is that Traktor habitually lies about it's gain staging and they're doing some things behind the scenes to try and limit that a little (e.g., they turn down the master 3dB if you're using external mixing).

    It might be standard practice now, but it's not in the manual. And a few articles on NI's site actually explicitly say not to do it (they're wrong). I was out of DJing for a while. The last time I did these tests, the right place to turn them down was the channel gain if you wanted effects to sound right.

    If you turn it down at the master, the song goes through the efffects units first, and they were all distortion effects more than whatever they were called. They fixed that, and everything got simpler. I'm pretty sure the problem before was that they switched Traktor's internal representation without correctly adjusting the reference levels that the effects were expecting.

    It's a lot better/simpler this way, and I'm not sure when it changed. I think the last version of Traktor I used was 2.6.something. Maybe 2.8.something.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikMinekus View Post
    I've always found the opposite. Traktor's deck gain and master gain are set to 0dB and autogain, limiter and headroom are off. Traktor is connected via USB to my DJM-750 MK1. My XDJ-1000 MK1 is connected via analog RCAs.

    Playing the same song, Traktor is about 4dB quieter than the XDJ. Increasing the USB Output Level in the DJM setting utility doesn't change anything.

    With my Audio 10 MK1 it's about 2dB quieter.
    Well, 2-4 dB either way doesn't matter as long as you're not too close to 0dBFS or whatever the upper limit of analog gear is. That's what gain/trim controls are for.

    The difference is that in my (and I think SlayForMoney's) case is that we're going through a DAC before the mixer. As soon as that happens, 0dBFS is set in stone and absolutely the loudest thing the signal can handle (i.e., headroom-the thing, not the settting-is all below that point).

    Traktor uses 32-bit floating pecision internally, and I believe the Pioneer mixers do as well. Regardless of settings, Traktor will use the highest precision it can whenever it can. You can prove this easily...Traktor's recordings (even when fed off an analog input) are 32-bit float and whatever sampling rate you have set.

    What that means is that it's almost impossible to clip traktor's mixer internally and it's at least very difficult to clip the DJM internally if not impossible. The DJM knows that and regardless of it's internal bit depth, it's scaling things according to some heuristic that gives a sane level.

    It might be slightly more important/complicated for me because I use an analog mixer (I don't know what Slay uses). For it's headroom and noise floor to be appropriate, it's expecting a specific reference level. In a studio context, that level for unbalanced line level signals would be -10dBu. The 2016 appears to expect something more like 0dBu and has a little more headroom than my sound card. So, for me, pretty much anywhere between about -6 and about -30 on Traktor's output gain work about as well...and since it's not doing any processing (besides gain and summing), it's not as necessary that it's set perfectly. But, it's still worth getting it right for a bunch of little technical reasons.

    And the difference is night & day. It's not just the headache thing. Running it the way NI's published advice says to and setting the levels on my Rane will effectively raise the noise floor, makes it easy to overdrive the mix buss, and somehow sucks all of the dynamics out of the music. Just turning Traktor's output down gives it the punch, warmth, and clarity that everyone wants.

  2. #112
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    So, I ended up spinning a short thing tonight (nothing even noteworthy) with just my SX and rekordbox (because simplicity) in IEMs. Apparently the SX doesn't do split cue. I'm not sure I actually noticed that before. It still worked, but mixing with only IEMs without split cue is quite weird.

    Still no issues with it. But, it was quite an odd experience. Apparently, the stuff you're playing with drastically changes how you think about things, not just how you listen to what you're doing. Among other things (and despite not using sync, because why bother?), I had to fight the temptation to futz around with effects and mix quickly (sooner, not necessarily shorter mixes).

    I think that alone is a good enough reason to play however you want.

    I also kind of want a DDJ-RR now. Because it was so simple to just have that one thing. And, I don't "need" the extra decks as much with a better delay effect and a sampler that records.

  3. #113
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    I did some things...



    As usual, the setup changed slightly already. In that setup, the F1 was both controlling some utitlity functions in Traktor and Live's sends (routed with an aggregate device of soundflower and my A10). I kind of decided that the Live effects weren't worth it. That being said, I do like send reverbs better than Traktor's implementation. So, if I ever upgrade to an ARS4100 or 9000, I'll add a hardware reverb unit.

    The other thing on the top screen is a loudness meter, which I really really like.

    Apart from switching from User to MIDI for the F1 (to control both apps), nothing changed in the Traktor setup.

  4. #114
    Tech Guru kooper1980's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    So, I ended up spinning a short thing tonight (nothing even noteworthy) with just my SX and rekordbox (because simplicity) in IEMs. Apparently the SX doesn't do split cue. I'm not sure I actually noticed that before. It still worked, but mixing with only IEMs without split cue is quite weird.

    Still no issues with it. But, it was quite an odd experience. Apparently, the stuff you're playing with drastically changes how you think about things, not just how you listen to what you're doing. Among other things (and despite not using sync, because why bother?), I had to fight the temptation to futz around with effects and mix quickly (sooner, not necessarily shorter mixes).

    I think that alone is a good enough reason to play however you want.

    I also kind of want a DDJ-RR now. Because it was so simple to just have that one thing. And, I don't "need" the extra decks as much with a better delay effect and a sampler that records.
    Ive just made the switch from Traktor to RB and Ive found the transition pretty fun. RB offers everything I need for "traditional" mixing. I had a look at the RR and the RX and... I dont know, there was something about the short throw pitch fader that I didnt like on the RR (which is completely irrational because my Traktor set up that Ive had for years consisted of 2 X1's and a mixer so no pitch faders in sight) so I went for the RX. Having said that I got $300 AUD off so that probably swayed my decision as well.
    MacBook, HD25's, Kontrol Z2 Midi-Fighter Classic, Midi-Fighter Twister, 2x NI X1 mk1, NI Audio 2

  5. #115
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kooper1980 View Post
    Ive just made the switch from Traktor to RB and Ive found the transition pretty fun. RB offers everything I need for "traditional" mixing. I had a look at the RR and the RX and... I dont know, there was something about the short throw pitch fader that I didnt like on the RR (which is completely irrational because my Traktor set up that Ive had for years consisted of 2 X1's and a mixer so no pitch faders in sight) so I went for the RX. Having said that I got $300 AUD off so that probably swayed my decision as well.
    I can't blame you there.

    I'm going to just keep my SX for the time being in case I need to do something like that again. It works fine. I also let my RB trial run out, and I'm not missing it that much. I'll probably buy some piece of hardware that comes with a license eventually, but I'm still happy with Traktor.

    I just hope they don't screw it up too badly whenever they decide to update it.

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