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Thread: Traktor Pro 3 not good for older/non-dance tracks?

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    Traktor Pro 3 not good for older/non-dance tracks?

    My apologies in advance if that was covered but I've searched wrong (still a n00b...).

    Some pre-history: I have not touched mixer for more than 20 years, and in many ways lost my music collection with just some ripped MP3's left on a hard drive. However, that "DJ feeling" never went away, I was lurking occasionally on new technologies and etc (i.e. controllers and digital DJ'ing) . And when my 8 years old expressed his wish to become a DJ (), it sounded to me as a good excuse to buy some basic stuff and try it out. By no means neither I have any aspirations (just pure "bedroom/cellar" DJ for my own fun), neither there will be tangible with my kid (just to play couple of times and it will go away soon). So long story short, after reading many reviews and various forums (including this one - thanks!), I have settled on Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3 (+basic active monitors) - good entry price, comes with full software licence, great reviews as a beginner controller, supports iOS version of Traktor app for my kids to play. However, one negative part I found almost in all - Traktor Pro 3 does not work well with older or non-standard beat tracks (i guess it is called dynamic beat grids ), which would require a lot more manual intervention or adjustment. And since I would still like to have some "oldies" in the mixes - here is a question: is it really a problem in real life? How off-the-beat should be the track for Traktor to fail? Shall I be looking into Serato (and then perhaps to Pioneer SB3)? Or just buy NI S2 with not much of the thinking? Any other ideas or suggestions? Many thanks in advance for any help and advice!

  2. #2
    Deez Beats! KLH's Avatar
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    Welcome to DJF, Babas!

    I'm an avid Traktor Pro 3 user, so hopefully I can help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Babas View Post
    Traktor Pro 3 does not work well with older or non-standard beat tracks (i guess it is called dynamic beat grids ), which would require a lot more manual intervention or adjustment.
    This isn't an easy topic. Let me see if I can simplify it. Since electronic music has taken off (think early 90s), the tempo of dance music has most often constant at a fixed BPM. As such, Native Instruments decided that Traktor will simply work with this constant BPM... which is great... until you mix music that doesn't have a constant BPM. I'm looking at you, 70s and 80s genres.

    Most DJs manually adjust to account for this variance in BPM - transitions are short or use non-BPM dependent transitions (spin-backs, drops, cuts, or even silence). You'll hear the expression "Use your ears!" and "Learn how to beatmatch!" often in response to this issue. What these really mean is to practice so that you can manually address variations in BPM in real time without using other tricks.

    What other tricks? About 10 years ago, several DJ apps used adjustable beat-grids to account for variable BPM tracks so that other tracks, effects, and samples never lose synchronization with the main track. It requires manipulating grids so that they line up on downbeats - which keeps allows the DJ app to adjust the BPM to account for changes in BPM. It takes about 2-5 minutes per track to do.

    Going the other direction, many DJs use Digital Audio Workstation (think music composition tools like Ableton Live) to force a track into a constant BPM - making a new version of the track. The difference between the DJ app method and the DAW method is that the DJ app adjusts the BPM of the mix (leaving the track alone) where the DAW method changes the track itself.

    Again, Native Instruments have said "Nah, we don't need adjustable beat-grids!" and so Traktor doesn't have them. Serato's DJ app does. RekordBox does. Mixvibes Cross does. M-Audio's Torq even did (if you can remember that far back). Actually, Traktor might be the only DJ app that doesn't. Huh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Babas View Post
    is it really a problem in real life? How off-the-beat should be the track for Traktor to fail?
    If you mix a constant BPM track with a track that has a variable BPM for long blends... Yes, it will be a problem. You'll have a mix that turns into what we DJs affectionately call a train-wreck. Here's an example:



    Quote Originally Posted by Babas View Post
    Shall I be looking into Serato (and then perhaps to Pioneer SB3)? Or just buy NI S2 with not much of the thinking? Any other ideas or suggestions? Many thanks in advance for any help and advice!
    That's what I call up to you. Adjustable Beat Grids is my #1 most requested feature of Traktor, but it hasn't stopped me from using it for over 10 years! I say pick your software first and then pick your controller.

    Bottom line: You'll be fine with or without adjustable beat-grids. After all, adjustable beat-grids are just another tool.
    -KLH
    Visit DJF's Beginner's MEGA thread and drop by my Facebook Fan Page.

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    Thanks a lot, KLH for explanation. I hope I will be able remember how to beatmatch , as back then it was all "manual", so Traktor shall be good enough for my needs then (and even way above). If there any other suggestions, I would be more than happy to look into them. Once again - thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babas View Post
    If there any other suggestions, I would be more than happy to look into them. Once again - thanks!
    I won't tell you what to get - I'll tell you what not to get.

    @KLH metioned Mixvibes Cross DJ. Do not get the newest version V4 - it is a work in progress. The last of the older version, V3.4.3, is good, but I don't know if they are still selling licenses for it.

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