Over To You: How Can I Make My Controller Louder?

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 16 November, 2017

Keeping out of here is essential for great sound when DJing – but sometimes it’s not quite that simple, as we find out today.

Digital DJ Tips reader Jeff in Florence, Italy, writes: “I’ve got myself a gig at this bar a couple nights a week. The problem is, last night while I showed them what I could do/tested my equipment on their system, I couldn’t get the volume to be quite what they wanted (their regular DJ could, even though in order to do so, he compromised the quality of the sound ie it was distorting the speakers). I think they really need a new amp/speakers, but they just want me to play louder. I’m using Traktor Pro 2, a Reloop Mixage (just like in your How To Digital DJ Fast video course) and a Dell Studio XP computer. I had the Reloop on full volume and for most of the songs (though it pained me to do so) also had them on full gain, and it still wouldn’t get as loud as the other guy’s stuff. I haven’t yet had a chance to experiment with the settings in Traktor; maybe there’s an audio output setting I can adjust? Any advice? I’m really hoping this works out to be a regular gig, but if I can’t play loud enough music…”

Digital DJ Tips says…

Go to your configuration panel (the cog top-right in Traktor) and to Mixer. Experiment with the Headroom control, and also try turning off autogain and adjusting gain on your controller manually. Disengage the limiter. All of this puts the onus on you to ensure you don’t drive stuff to distortion, but will allow you to get the most volume out of your system, even if you choose to push it too hard (as the other DJ seems to be).

Traktor levels
Here’s where you can mess around with your Traktor levels. Note that if you turn auto settings off, the onus is on you to avoid digital distortion, which really doesn’t sound clever.

Unfortunately this kind thing is only too common, as PA systems in bars tend to be locked at lower volumes, because DJs can’t be trusted not to drive things too hard. It’s a vicious circle, because that then means you have to turn everything up at your end too loud to get a reasonably volume which can often distort the final result.

Finally, try using the Mixage on mains rather than USB power – this may boost the output level too.

Over to you. Do you play in a venue where the PA is too quiet, and you don’t seem to be able to get your controller to feed a loud enough signal into it? How did you get around the issue? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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