Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Yes, I Do Write These Things

Overview

Traktor provides a simple introduction to computer DJ software. You don't need turntables, extra equipment or extensive technical knowledge to sound like a professional with Traktor.

Getting Started

Traktor can be installed onto either a Mac or Windows-based computer. Once it is installed, open the software by double-clicking on the Traktor icon. You will see a full-screen layout of channels and knobs.

Adding Songs

On the left side of the screen, you'll see an "A" deck, and on the right a "B" deck. These are the virtual turntables. Once songs are in your Traktor playlist, you will be able to drag and drop songs into these decks. Your playlist is the long section below the decks, and is divided into sections like "Title," "Artist" and "Time." Bring music files into this playlist by dragging them from a folder that stores your music directly into Traktor's playlist section. Make sure that whatever folder you're using to drag files from doesn't get deleted, because that will cause the files in your Traktor playlist to become unplayable. The source of your music files must remain on your computer if you intend to use them in Traktor.

Mixing Songs

Once you've added a few songs to your playlist, try your hand at mixing. Drag one song from the playlist into deck "A," and drag another into deck "B." Look for each song's BPM (beats per minute). They will most likely be different numbers. Once two songs are loaded into place, a waveform is created and a "sync" button becomes available in each deck. If you want the song in deck "B" to play at the same speed as deck "A," hit the "sync" button on deck "B." So if deck "A" has a BPM of 99.8, and "B" is 132.0, hitting "sync" on deck "B" will slow the speed of the song all the way down to 99.8. The beats will now play in sync. Conversely, hitting "sync" on track "A" would have sped that song up to 132.0, a faster beat, but in sync with deck "B." Once they're both synced, hit the play button on one of the decks. When you play a synced song with the track already playing, start the new beat with the rhythm of the song already playing. The waveform will scroll left when the song plays, and will show lines indicating beats. Hit play on your synced track exactly when the song playing is hitting one of the beat lines on the waveform.

Mixing with Effects

In the middle section of the Traktor layout, between the two decks and above the playlist, you'll find knobs and faders for adding effects to your mix. The possibilities of sounds are infinite, and require experimentation with various tracks in your music library. Effects include flanger, delay, reverb, EQ, looping and Beat Mashing.

Resources


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