Traktor Scratch Pro Question(s)
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard Vandalus's Avatar
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    Default Traktor Scratch Pro Question(s)

    I don't know if this is the correct place for this, but I'll give it a shot anyway. My setup is quite simple - 2 TT's with a Korg Zero 4 mixer, TSP and a macbook pro. I will incorporate vinyl also at times, but that's not really at issue. So my question boils down to essentially, Decks A/B are the turntables routed to 1/2 on the mixer for which don't use sync. Where things get a little weird is if I route tracktor C/D to my 3/4 channels on the mixer. I can drop a track, loop, sample - whatever into the C/D sample/remix deck and it will play fine. I have decks C/D set to sync to whatever the master tempo is, which i have set for the track playing the longest (which should be deck A/B). The problem is that if I let the loop or deck c/d play longer than either a/b, then it will take over the tempo of traktor, and then I'm forced to manually keep tempo on the a/b track that is playing with the sample/loop deck continuously until i turn the loop off and let deck a/b take over as master tempo.

    I've only really messed around with this one time because as soon as it happened I got peeved and decided I would not worry about 3/4 deck mixing. However, now I'm thinking I might be missing something or there is some workaround that I don't know about, because it seems like this would be a common problem for us TSP people who don't use sync (on the main decks). Is there a way to remedy this? The issue is, I want the remix/sample (decks c/d) to keep sync'd to whatever the tt's are playing, but because they are tt's the tempo is constantly changing. Not only do I move the tempo sliders as I play throughout a set - when I don't touch them they rarely stay constant, typically drifting between .01-.03 for unknown reasons (perhaps they are too old and need servicing, I don't know - or maybe that's normal.)

    One more side question that's sort of related now that I am thinking about it - for some reason with traktor scratch, when I slightly adjust the record with a finger on the platter, record or spindle (slower or faster), it will give me the corresponding speed up (or down), but then slow right back down (up) so it nets me zero effective change. Everything stays status quo unless I give it enough pressure to really change the tempo. More clearly, lets say tempo is at 124.25 (+/- .02) bpm. If I gently swipe my finger on the spinning platter to get a subtle phrase shift, the tempo will go down to lets say 124.00 as I am physically touching the platter, but then will pop back up to 124.75 before then recalibrating back down to the original 124.25. Effectively this means that very subtle phrase shifts are next to impossible because even when I try to temporarily slow it down, it speeds back up when I let go (or vice versa) and I'm stuck back where I started - unless I pitch bend - which trust me, I am now mastering out of necessity to keep my sanity (so that's a plus!).

    I swear, I am going to have to make a video and put it on youtube to explain this, but it seems like its a traktor issue, and not the tables. When I make small adjustments to the platter when playing on actual vinyl I don't have any issues and it's very responsive and consistent. Any thoughts??

    Sorry for the ridiculously long post.
    http://www.mixcloud.com/CalBearister/
    Technics 1200-MK2; DJM-850; Maschine

  2. #2

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    1) The master tempo is always the deck that's got something playing on it. There might be a way to lock it, but I'm not sure, just explaining what's going on.

    2) Sounds like the drift correction is going into overdrive. Once again, I'm not sure how to adjust it, but that's what's happening.

  3. #3

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    When you brush your record its NOT supposed to permanently change the tempo at which the tt is playing. Pitch bending is used to match up the phase of 2 songs and keep them from playing out of time. In order to permanently change tempo you have to use your pitch fader.
    2 x CDJ 850 | Kontrol S4 | A&H Xone XD-53's | A&H Xone K2 | Kontrol X1 | Kontrol F1 | DJM 900nxs

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    Quote Originally Posted by firebr4nd View Post
    When you brush your record its NOT supposed to permanently change the tempo at which the tt is playing. Pitch bending is used to match up the phase of 2 songs and keep them from playing out of time. In order to permanently change tempo you have to use your pitch fader.
    Look, I'm not trying to sound like a jerk, but I'm not a moron. I understand the concept of a turntable and how a pitch fader works. I'm not seeking to permanently change the tempo when I manipulate the platter with my hand, whether it be by dragging a finger on the rotating platter, gently turning the record with my index finger, or pinching the spindle and either twisting (to speed up) or pressing (to slow down). These are all tricks I've learned over the years beatmatching actual real vinyl. I am attempting, while playing time coded vinyl, to adjust the phrase of the record - it's going the exact same tempo as the "live" record, but is just slightly ahead or behind the beat, and needs to be adjusted accordingly. This works perfectly fine outside of traktor, but for some reason it doesn't work quite the same way when using time coded vinyl.

    I've looked at the NI forums, and it seems that others have experienced the same issue. It could be that the korg is a poor soundcard. Or that my MBP can't handle it very well - perhaps it's a latency issue. I've owned my technics for over a dozen years now, but they are still in great shape. I just played 2+ hours tonight with only vinyl, and they work perfectly fine. It's definitely some sort of latency or something in traktor, because it doesn't happen with regular vinyl. In fact, when making those same adjustments I can see the dots speeding up and then going perfectly back to the original tempo without any dip in speed before getting back to the pre-adjustment speed, so clearly (in my opinion) it's something to do with traktor and/or my computer/soundcard. if anyone else has experienced this and knows either 1) how to fix it; or 2) that it can't be fixed; then I'll move on with whatever the answer is and be happy.
    http://www.mixcloud.com/CalBearister/
    Technics 1200-MK2; DJM-850; Maschine

  5. #5

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    Maybe I'm not reading it well enough then. Your problem is that the tracks don't stay matched up even though they are at the same tempo and you've matched the phrases correctly? In other words...they're drifting even though they shouldn't be?
    2 x CDJ 850 | Kontrol S4 | A&H Xone XD-53's | A&H Xone K2 | Kontrol X1 | Kontrol F1 | DJM 900nxs

  6. #6
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    Watch the dots on the platter before, during and after pitch bending

    Technics decks counteract small pitch bends with an small opposite reaction.
    Most likely you're only noticing this as it's onscreen for you now and you're watching the phase meter too much instead of listening to the phase as you normally would, mixing with normal vinyl.

    If you still think it's not right after watching the platter dots, bending the pitch with timecode and normal vinyl, try adjusting the sample rate and buffer size.

    The master clock panel behind FX1 will let you change the master clock settings. I have some buttons mapped to cycle thro the master clock settings and 4 more buttons mapped to select which deck I want as the master, for example.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebr4nd View Post
    Maybe I'm not reading it well enough then. Your problem is that the tracks don't stay matched up even though they are at the same tempo and you've matched the phrases correctly? In other words...they're drifting even though they shouldn't be?
    No they don't drift. Once at 125 it will stay there, with a little bit of minor fluctuation (+/- .02 I would say). The issue is that as I manually change the tempo with my hand/finger, it will slow down/up, but then immediately go back in the reverse of the direction I changed more than the original tempo. Therefore, if I am just slightly behind phrase and I try to nudge it forward just a fraction, it will move to exactly where I want it, but then temporarily slow below that of the original tempo (from 125 to lets say, 124.20 or something) and then recalibrate back to the 125 - effectively making any minor phrase changes completely worthless - I get back right where I started.

    I tried to make a video, but it's really hard to see everything with my crappy old iphone - and I can't show you the screen and my hand manipulating the record at the same time. However, at 1:33 you can see it the phrase bar getting corrected and then dropping back, and you can see the speed of the record going up and then back down lower than 124.98, effectively making no change to the phrase.



    As I mention in the description, I purposefully got it out of phrase to show the issue - I nailed it on my first correction and if I were playing for real, obviously there would have been no need to make any further adjustments... alas, the irony.
    http://www.mixcloud.com/CalBearister/
    Technics 1200-MK2; DJM-850; Maschine

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hippie View Post
    Watch the dots on the platter before, during and after pitch bending

    Technics decks counteract small pitch bends with an small opposite reaction.
    Most likely you're only noticing this as it's onscreen for you now and you're watching the phase meter too much instead of listening to the phase as you normally would, mixing with normal vinyl.

    If you still think it's not right after watching the platter dots, bending the pitch with timecode and normal vinyl, try adjusting the sample rate and buffer size.

    The master clock panel behind FX1 will let you change the master clock settings. I have some buttons mapped to cycle thro the master clock settings and 4 more buttons mapped to select which deck I want as the master, for example.
    You may be right - maybe they do counteract small changes by going temporarily in the reverse direction, but to me - it's just that it seems much more ... sticky, I guess when using traktor. With vinyl, there are no issues - it feels rock steady - any subtle change I make is immediately noticable, and constant. I never had this issue of feeling like I can't get it in phrase. I noticed it immediately when moving to traktor - and truthfully, I almost never look at the phrase meters. I do use my ears, especially because I never beatgrid my tracks, so if they are off, I don't even look at the screen. The issue is when I can hear it out of phrase, and try to make adjustments only to have it come right back to where I started - that never happens with vinyl. And I have checked the dots, I can't perceive them slowing back down after a speed up, but that could be a human factor - not saying it's not happening.

    For example - another technique for very fine adjustments is to put my index finger on the record near the spindle and just slightly influence its speed forward - I don't mean a nudge - it's more like my finger is on the record rotating with it. With vinyl I can do this perfectly - I can have a record thats slightly slow but keep it in time/phrase while mixing with just having my finger on the record. In traktor if I do this, it sounds perfect when I have my finger on the record - as soon as a let go the record slows way the hell down before coming back to its original tempo, and the adjustment I have made is lost. It's a joke. That just simply never happens with vinyl and it's a different feeling. When you let go, it's rock steady at the tempo that it was supposed to be according to the pitch slider.

    Ultimately, I really think its a latency issue with my computer/soundcard. The korg is a bit buggy already, and my cpu is the oldest MBP with intel chips - Its over 6 years old now, and is the bottom of the traktor specs (2.0 core duo, 2gb ram). It's such a night and day difference between the dvs system and vinyl that it has to be the software/computer/latency. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to play digital files on turntables - and even when traktor says its slightly off phrase, it really isn't audible (usually). For example, in the video I turned up deck A and it sounded essentially perfect despite the fact that traktor said it was behind a fraction, so in reality, this is not an issue - it's just something that I noticed and wondered if anyone else had noticed it.

    Thanks for the words/advice.
    http://www.mixcloud.com/CalBearister/
    Technics 1200-MK2; DJM-850; Maschine

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