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Digital DJing Discussions (Traktor, Serato)

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I have been playing around with my Traktor settings since i read the posts here according to sound quality, because sometimes i thought that something was missing in the sound of Traktor.


Before I always had the autolimiter on, although i never went into the red, but somehow i have the feeling, that it cuts off some frequencies, even if the signal is not in the red yet. I don't know if someone else has this feeling too? As always the opinions i found at the net are contradictory.


As a solution i took down the main volume knob to -5db and turnded off the autogain function. Also headroom is set to -6db. So when recording a mix now, i balance the missing volume in the recorder or afterwards with the normalize function at audacity and i think that it might be better for the dynamics of the sound.

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The missing frequencies can be also from Soundcard, the sound quality coming from Traktor is a very important topic for me. I heard few DJs saying about the great quality of CDJ vs Traktor, but i haven't experienced it personally. I saw many artist playing with NI Audio 2 soundcard.


In present moment i am a bit concerned about the frequency isolators and EQ in the traktor software. I just got 2 Pioneer CDJ 1000 + analog mixer, so will try to listen carefully and try to see the difference to get my personal opinion on Traktor vs CDJ battle.

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As for Traktor configuration


My current setup is following:

Traktor 2.6.8 

Native Instruments Traktor S4 ( i have also NI Audio 2 and NI Audio 8, but most of the time i use S4)

My Main volume is -3db

My Rec Gain is +3db

Headroom is -6

Autogain is OFF


The analog volume knob on traktor is in the middle and i amplify to the "yellow" on external DJ mixer.


My current issue

i recently noticed an issue (maybe because of a recent Traktor software update) that with my previous settings (My Main volume is -3db / My Rec Gain is +3db) a recorded mix is getting distorted (distortion is not very audible, but mix is all red when opened with Audacity).


So now my record is between -3db  and 0db, don't remember exactly)

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Thanks for your detailed answer.


I was also thinking that it might be because of the soundcard, but on the other hand the S4 is not a cheap mixer and also Tony Andrews says that Traktor sound cards are pretty good. He seems to be a sound guru for many people, so i hope that he is right.


As for now to improve sound quality i turn off all the features which affect the sound and which i don't need. I also leave the eqs in the middle position, except for during the mixing


According your issue with the settings, i also experienced that i had to adjust the gain after a software upgrade again. At the moment i also use version 2.68, as it is a stable one and recent updates didn't bring too many improvements which are important for me at the moment.

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stems (multichannel audio files) are close to be adopted by traktor and music shops ! So we can have separate channels for : kicks, bass, vocals and FX.


Producers, DJ friends - Any thoughts?

Do you think "downtempo/chill" producers will bother to make effort in creating stems file? 


i was dreaming about this since many years and it looks we are getting one step forward to a multi channel audio for DJ's. I hope this or similar technology will be adopted more and more. As a DJ,  i  regularly feel limitations in relying on EQ isolation and looping to divide the layers of the track. This new format will allow us to juggle with a 4 channel audio files.


i am not sure that the technology is perfect in the actual proposal, but ths will definitely move the market forward. The first downside i see is the compression, second is probably related to the mastering of the files. 


Also the question is price.... As probably additional mastering will be required for each track....


Well time will tell.


more info:


and video

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C&P from our FB discussion - thought it might be nice to continue the conversation here.


It would be great if everybody took a look at adopting the production practices to make this format a success - especially downtempo/chill producers, because imagine the flexibility in playback, not just for DJs on NI hardware (or whatever), but for inventive presentation / performance of one's own music. Think about it - you don't necessarily have to break out the stems according to NI's guideline. You could do a quad-mix... whatever you want.

We'll definitely be looking at this with Ascendant, and hopefully artists on Ultimae Records & Altar Records, etc., will too.
Re; compression. They (NI at least) will probably want to keep the stems as mp3 (or similar) for file-size and bandwidth...
The practical matter is that now, no matter what, the .stem.mp4 file size be 4x larger than the constituent stereo file. Imagine you have four decks now with four stems each on an S8. That's going to require a lot of bandwidth (and storage). So I'm guessing in TRAKTORWorld, they'll be looking for mp3 stems most likely, though the spec may not limit you to mp3s. (We'll see soon.)
Re: Mastering. There will def. be added cost, because in addition to mastering the stereo file, there is now the addition of mastering the stems, and you'd need to make sure that the tracks remain 100% in alignment and that the stem.mp4 file matches the stereo file (when it's playing back in stereo mode). 
Alot remains to be seen on how the .stem creator works - that will be good information to get asap. i will definitely be accommodating this delivery method @ IO Mastering.
re: Workflow. Not 100% sure yet. There will probably be a dropper-type file creator provided by NI, whereby you'll drop the 4 mp3 stems and it will wrap them into a .stem.mp4 file.
You can see in the video, when he drops the file into Traktor, it looks (and sounds) like a stereo file. It's not until you get at it w/ a controller that you can start manipulating the stems. (Time will tell how all this works.)
As for production workflow, the easiest way would be to simply create four "master busses" and route the constituent parts to the relative busses, and then export per-bus - this in addition to the master stereo version. 
These all get shipped off to mastering, or one could DIY with STEM creator.
The trick will be to figure out how the summing of the stems works w/ the creator for stereo playback. It's probably simple, but early days right now, so who knows...
Soon, hopefull you'l be buying these stemmed versions on Bandcamp. (Surely Beatport will sell them as well.) I'm guessing there will be a premium charge for stemmed versions.

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The problem with FB that it will all disappear, i don't even know how to link it here :)


i am not sure that the technology is perfect in the actual proposal, but this is definitely a move forward something new and advanced.


currently i see following issues:

1 - copyright issues (stems are much more easier to sample and re-use, some producers will be "afraid" to take risk)

2 - additional time / work for artist / label (to prepare , and sell)

3 - price.... (as additional time for mastering is required, and most likely the demand is not very big (only a digital dj's might be interested in this).

Also If the price is too hight not many of us will buy it, is price is too low it will not make sense to artist to work extra hours.

4 - compression (i don't see how the file will be compressed, but i guess not more then equivalent of 320kbps mp3). While the difference is audible, still many DJ's play mp3s.


time will tell and we will need some time to test and adopt it, in any way DJ's and artist shall make additional effort and it is hard to predict if they will make it. I think that it can be easier in fashion to release this way or not. I don't think many "chill" artist will re-release they tracks in this format.... But i would really love to play with it.

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