Traktor S4 (copy) build log
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru Archies'bald's Avatar
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    Default Traktor S4 (copy) build log

    Ever since the announcement of the S4 I've wondered if I could build a reasonable copy of the beast so I could use it when (if) the software is made available. Obviously this is a major task and not one to be undertaken without a lot of thought. I'm still nowhere near the starting stage yet, but here is what I've got so far.


    I've had a go at doing some mods before and I've had a fair bit of success with them, but I've never been happy enough to keep them. I'm hoping this is the one that I can hold on to at home for some time to come.

    It will have a wooden base and an acrylic plastic top. Included inside the unit will be two EKS XP10's, 1 Leo Bodnar controller, 1 X Session Pro and some PS one joypad controllers. I will also put in a powered usb hub. I already have these in my possession and everything has been bought from Ebay a lot cheaper than the retail price, some second hand, some new.

    In the first draft photo above, the red buttons are led lit and latching. They will be hard wired so I don't have to worry about mapping midi outs. The white buttons are arcade buttons. The silver knobs are encoders. The black/grey knobs are .... well knobs. The blue buttons are a smaller type of button that I have sourced from Ebay.

    Obviously I can't include everything the S4 has, but I'm hoping I can have the same basic functionality. The drawing is not to scale, just a rough guide and I don't expect the layout to stay exactly the same either. I'm hoping to complete this before the end of the year as I'm really busy with other commitments at the moment, but if I make any more progress I will post it on here.

  2. #2
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    definitely going to follow this one. sounds like a fantastic build.

    been seeing a lot of mod ideas featuring the xsession pro lately. i may be following suit very soon. curious to see other ideas.

    best of luck! can't wait to see the progress

  3. #3
    Banhammerized theory28's Avatar
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    i like the idea. but why not add/ remove/ move things so it better suits you. unless this is perfect for you.
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  4. #4
    Tech Guru Archies'bald's Avatar
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    The idea was to keep the layout as close to the S4 as possible as it's been designed to work with the new software. Also, if I ever decide to buy one then it will feel intuitive. There are a few more buttons on my design too.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru Archies'bald's Avatar
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    Just noticed I've left two other pots off the drawing. These would be for master volume and headphones.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru MiL0's Avatar
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    very nice Archies - you're certainly getting some mile'age out of those XP10's!!

    have you thought about adding LED VU meters like the S4 has? A pair would cost around 20 to buy and the software is free (check my sig for all the tools you need)

    Man, I can't wait to get back from Thailand (lol) so I can get cracking on my controller.

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard
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    I'd just buy the S4 if I was you. You're undertaking a massive task and it's just a complete ball-ache. I wouldn't do it unless you're creating something that doesn't already exist.

    The S4 is really well built, you're not going to get jogwheels as good as them. It's got a soundcard, is all totally ready to rock with tracktor etc..

    I've been building my own controllers and the S4 has made me weep as apart from DJing out, it's made my home setup obselete and I'm selling everything to buy one and just have that, my home made controllers and a set of studio speakers.

    Check out what I've been doing:
    http://www.monstamusic.co.uk

    It is not cheaper to build your own than to just buy one.
    Monsta

  8. #8
    Tech Guru MiL0's Avatar
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    true, but it's cheaper to build your own controller if the controller you want doesn't exist! I'm assuming Archies is going to build an S4 clone that is tailored exactly to his design/spec. Also, he's already got a lot of the important components from previous diy controller projects so no added costs. Infact, I'd argue that it wouldn't be >that< difficult to build an S4 clone for less than the S4's RRP. Particularly as you can pick up EKS XP10's for 60 odd quid from ebuyer which straight away gives you a pair of decent'ish jog wheels and 2 soundcards.

    But yeah, it's not for everyone - I personally enjoy building DIY stuff as much as I enjoy DJ'ing. For me, building a controller is half the fun

    edit - nice blog btw; I've seen it before on the midibox forums I think? good to see you posting on here

  9. #9
    Tech Guru Archies'bald's Avatar
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    Thanks for the warning Monsta, I totally agree with the sentiment of your post. The thing is I have all these parts lying around from previous projects and they're not getting used, so it seems a waste just to leave them gathering dust. As I said I'm in no hurry to complete this - the end of the year will be just fine - and I too enjoy playing around with the hardware just as much as I do DJing.

    This will be used only at home - I haven't played out anywhere for some years - and I see this as a bit of an expensive hobby for me. I will put down a parts list as I go and let people know how much I paid for everything.

    Your project looks much more advanced than anything I've done, I like it a lot.

  10. #10
    Tech Wizard
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    Thanks guys! Yeah it's been a long time coming, just starting to pick it up again, but I have to do some serious routing. The PCBs are all built up though and my homemade stuff is all ready.

    I'll post some images/videos when it's done.

    Good luck man, I'm sure you'll love it
    Monsta

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