Your Questions: Using Loops & Cues With Traktor DVS & CDJs

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Last updated 7 November, 2017

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Traktor Scratch Pro
Traktor Scratch is a great way to use a club’s DJ gear while still keeping your laptop and digital music… but what about cues and loops, asks our reader?

Digital DJ Masterclass owner Angela writes: “One of my favourite things to do on my Traktor controller is to mess around with loops and beat juggling as a way of introducing the next track. If I were to buy a digital vinyl system, would the hot cued loops from my Traktor software translate to the CDJs?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

Good question, and the answer comes in two parts. Firstly, in “purist” mode (otherwise known as “absolute” mode), digital vinyl systems won’t respect software-defined loops etc, because they treat your timecode CDs or vinyl as if they were an actual recording – move forward and the music moves forward etc. So a loop would be physically impossible (at least, on vinyl it would). However, in “relative” mode, in theory all loops, cues etc are be fine, because the control vinyl or CD is only really telling the software where you want to be playing from relative to the last thing you did.

However, in practice, a straight, standard DVS set-up won’t use the CDJs’ hotcue buttons or loops at all to control your software, as the only information being relayed to the software from the CDJs is the timecode audio; so you’ll need an extra controller for that – that’s what the Traktor Kontrol X1 is for, for instance. Higher-end CDJs (Pioneer CDJ-2000s) can do this (indeed, they will just connect direct to your laptop, no need for control CDs at all), but I wouldn’t bank on always finding those in every venue you play in. Best to just buy a Kontrol X1 or similar and be sure.

Do you use Traktor as a DVS system in clubs or bars? What do you do to control your cues and loops – X1 or something else? Please share your advice with Angela in the comments.

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