Traktor sync or normal beatmatch
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor Joel Santos's Avatar
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    Default Traktor sync or normal beatmatch

    Hey guys,

    Tried to search this topic since I guess it's a pretty common doubt but couldn't find anything.

    I'm returning to djing and this time as a digital dj. My ideas are to mix rock, disco, funk, nu-disco... things around those. So, here I was thinking, Traktor sync or normal beatmatch?

    What are the pros and cons of each?

    As I see, Traktor sync:
    - CON: Needs beatgrid for each music. That's homework and you can't use the tracks on other Traktor computer because it won't have the beatgrids (is this right?)
    - CON: For some beatgrids is necessary a previous warp on Ableton or a lot of work on Traktor
    - CON: Some people like to beatmatch
    - CON: Too much unnatural? (what do you think?)
    - PRO: More time to see what's going on on the dance floor or maybe use effects or just choose the next songs (this may be a con also since you don't have much to do then ehehe)
    - PRO: Better loops and cues (you don't risk to fail a milli second)
    - PRO: Controllers without jogs and 100mm pitch faders (unless for some songs that are just impossible to beatmatch and sound natural but I guess that those would be fine with a pitch knob)

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Tech Guru kooper1980's Avatar
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    Oh dear these threads never end well. I can't believe a search didn't throw up many results because this is debated at least once a month!!

    However.... Yes each track would need a beatgrid. Auto gridding happens when you import a track into one of the decks and this generally only needs minor tweaks for dance music. However, if you are playing a live recording or a tune where the timing is kept by a drummer then you may find these difficult to grid. I'm no expert with this though as I only play electronic music. You have already mentioned one solution to this problem though and that is to warp the track first in Ableton. This does take time but my experience with this has been that its very easy to do if you have a basic knowledge of warping with Ableton Live.

    You will hear various views on whether people feel that using Sync is acceptable or not. My advice would be to use it if you feel comfortable with it. If you dont feel comfortable then dont use it. When it comes to looping and using beat synced effects then it makes things a whole lot easier. In truth whether you use sync or not is t something that someone else can tell you. You either use it or you don't. It's purely a personal preference.

    I would say that if you are having to ask this forum if you should use sync or not then the impression that gives me is that you aren't comfortable with it and you are seeking reassurance on its validity.
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru squidot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sendoushi View Post
    Hey guys,

    Tried to search this topic since I guess it's a pretty common doubt but couldn't find anything.

    I'm returning to djing and this time as a digital dj. My ideas are to mix rock, disco, funk, nu-disco... things around those. So, here I was thinking, Traktor sync or normal beatmatch?

    What are the pros and cons of each?

    As I see, Traktor sync:
    - CON: Needs beatgrid for each music. That's homework and you can't use the tracks on other Traktor computer because it won't have the beatgrids (is this right?)
    - CON: For some beatgrids is necessary a previous warp on Ableton or a lot of work on Traktor
    - CON: Some people like to beatmatch
    - CON: Too much unnatural? (what do you think?)
    - PRO: More time to see what's going on on the dance floor or maybe use effects or just choose the next songs (this may be a con also since you don't have much to do then ehehe)
    - PRO: Better loops and cues (you don't risk to fail a milli second)
    - PRO: Controllers without jogs and 100mm pitch faders (unless for some songs that are just impossible to beatmatch and sound natural but I guess that those would be fine with a pitch knob)

    What do you think?
    from what i've read traktor will save the gridding, cues, and loops in the id3 tags of the track so they can be used on other machines. i believe you may have to lock the track's grid in order for this to occur. anyone know for sure on this?

    if you are going to be spining a lot of rock, funk, old disco where people are actually playing the music, the traktor grid isn't going to hold up very well since it's static. it's not like warping in ableton, so if a track drifts there isn't too much you can do about it outside of beatmatching. if you are going to be spinning mostly that kind of stuff i would recommend going old school on it, or warping in ableton if needed.

    personally i was happy when software started doing the beatmatching for me (though i do get on my turntables every now and then to rock out a vinyl set). sync gives me more time to audition songs and my loops are always on point without fail, but yes i do have to spend time (homework as you call it) setting these things up. in the long run it benefits me and i feel it's worth it, but to each their own and if you enjoy beatmatching or not having to do much prep work, then i completely understand that.

    most controllers have knobs you can map to fine tune the tempo by .01 so it won't really matter there if you don't mind using a knob for beatmatching. couldn't speak for the jogs for nudging since i don't use them in that manner and i guess it depends on the controller.
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  4. #4
    Tech Mentor Joel Santos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squidot View Post
    from what i've read traktor will save the gridding, cues, and loops in the id3 tags of the track so they can be used on other machines. i believe you may have to lock the track's grid in order for this to occur. anyone know for sure on this?

    if you are going to be spining a lot of rock, funk, old disco where people are actually playing the music, the traktor grid isn't going to hold up very well since it's static. it's not like warping in ableton, so if a track drifts there isn't too much you can do about it outside of beatmatching. if you are going to be spinning mostly that kind of stuff i would recommend going old school on it, or warping in ableton if needed.

    personally i was happy when software started doing the beatmatching for me (though i do get on my turntables every now and then to rock out a vinyl set). sync gives me more time to audition songs and my loops are always on point without fail, but yes i do have to spend time (homework as you call it) setting these things up. in the long run it benefits me and i feel it's worth it, but to each their own and if you enjoy beatmatching or not having to do much prep work, then i completely understand that.

    most controllers have knobs you can map to fine tune the tempo by .01 so it won't really matter there if you don't mind using a knob for beatmatching. couldn't speak for the jogs for nudging since i don't use them in that manner and i guess it depends on the controller.
    When I talked about the beat grid and the ableton warp I was talking about importing to ableton, warp it right and then export it once again.

    So the question still remains sync vs old-beatmatch :P

  5. #5
    Tech Guru kooper1980's Avatar
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    I dont understand your question now?

    Do you want a difinitive list of pros and cons or do you want us to tell you that its acceptable for you to use sync (because it is)??

    BTW, all beatgrids and cue points are stored in the collection.nml file not as ID3 tags so in order to use them on a different machine you just have to copy that file accross.

    The advice Squidot gives is spot on with regards to live tracks.
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  6. #6
    Tech Guru squidot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sendoushi View Post
    When I talked about the beat grid and the ableton warp I was talking about importing to ableton, warp it right and then export it once again.

    So the question still remains sync vs old-beatmatch :P
    if you've warped it correctly in ableton, then gridding in traktor will be easy. the question doesn't remain for me. i happily use sync most of the time since i play a solid amount of electronic music that grids easily and i have to do relatively little work...setting up my cue points takes me much longer than gridding. try sync, if you don't like it, don't use it.
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  7. #7
    Tech Guru squidot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kooper1980 View Post
    BTW, all beatgrids and cue points are stored in the collection.nml file not as ID3 tags so in order to use them on a different machine you just have to copy that file accross.
    i think it does but i haven't run any tests myself to try. there was an article on the dubspot blog a few years ago that says:
    13) Once you are done, and the metronome perfectly lines up with the track from beginning to end, click on the LOCK button to save the beatgrid to the track. This will save the beatgrid to the tracks ID3 information and will make it so if you send the track to another Traktor user, they will have your beatgrid, cue points, and loops inside the track. If you do not click the lock Icon, Traktor will still remember your beatgrid in your Traktor collection, but will not write the beatgrid to the actual track.
    http://blog.dubspot.com/beat-griddin...perly-dj-endo/

    and there's a discussion on it here: http://www.native-instruments.com/fo...d.php?p=740187
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  8. #8
    Tech Guru kooper1980's Avatar
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    wow you learn something new every day! Thanks.
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru squidot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kooper1980 View Post
    wow you learn something new every day! Thanks.
    no problem, i'm still unsure if you need to lock it though, but djproben says it isn't necessary in that ni post. i may have to try it myself, but i'm probably too lazy in all honesty. i would rather just play some music rather than tinker with file transferring and testing. though, if it does need to be locked to save that's pretty important in case my laptop dies. no way i want to do all that gridding and cueing again.
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  10. #10
    Tech Mentor Joel Santos's Avatar
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    The question i've made from the beginning was made to gather a list of cons and pros yes because there is no technique that is fully pro.
    Beatgriding doesn't seem to me a problem now. Thank you!
    Pretty interesting!

    One thing that kind of bothers me a lot (i'm kind of a perfeccionist)... do you find the sync to be unnatural? Like... the beats are so "glued" that may seem unnatural?

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