In Get Started With The Traktor Kontrol S8, Pt 1, we looked at how the new flagship controller from Native Instruments works with your music files, and in Part 2 we looked at external inputs and wiring everything up. In Part 3 we took on beatgridding, and today it’s the turn of looping. Below is the background info you need to make the most of this lesson, and the video training itself is at the bottom of the article.
What is looping?
Looping is simply taking a section of a track and repeating it over and over again, by setting a start and an end point. Digital DJing has helped DJs to improve on the “manual” looping idea (setting in and out points with very accurate finger presses on in/out buttons) by linking looping to beats and bars (so the loop is always “tight”) and by the concept of “quantising”, which “snaps” the loop to the nearest beat whether or not you actually touch the button at exactly the right moment.
The Traktor Kontrol S8 takes it even further by giving you a pile of performance and customisation options, and of course by showing you on the on-board screens exactly where you’re at so you don’t have to gaze at your laptop.
In the video below you’ll learn about:
- The loop encoder – It’s devilishly simple to get started with tight, great sounding loops, made even easier by the way Traktor’s looping is implemented on the Kontrol S8
- Flux mode – Combined with tightly timed loops, Flux mode opens up a whole realm of possibilities for on-the-fly looping that (at least) always ends well
- Looping using the performance pads – The performance pads take it a stage further, by letting you do stuff you can’t on the encoder, and by their sheer ease of use
- Jumping rhythmically through your song – Want to cut out or double the length of a break “on the fly”? Skip to the outro? Get two beatmatched tunes that are a beat apart back “on phrase”? Performance pads and looping can come to the rescue…
- Customising the performance pad behaviour – How to totally change loop lengths and the size of beat jumps on the performance pads to suit your playing style
What to do next
Firstly, if the tracks you want to do this with aren’t properly analysed and beatgridded, please go and do that now, watch Part 3 of this series if you need to; accurate beatgrids are paramount for successful looping.
Then, watch the video to learn how to do all of the above. You can use the same track I use if you wish, it’s the “House 1” track in the Loopmasters sample tracks that come with Traktor Pro 2. Good luck!
The tutorial video
Check out the other parts in this series:
- Video Training: How To Use The Transport On The Traktor Kontrol S8
- Video Training: How To Connect External Devices To The Traktor Kontrol S8
- Video Training: How To Set Beatgrids On The Traktor Kontrol S8
- Video Training: How To DJ With Stems & The Traktor Kontrol S8
Got any specific questions about the Traktor Kontrol S8, looping or otherwise? Want to add anything to this tutorial’s info? Please feel free to do so in the comments.