DJ Expo 2013: Native Instruments’ Traktor Pro is one of the industry standards when it comes to DJ software. It’s flexible and powerful and can be a complete performance tool in its own right.
Just as importantly, it’s also incredibly stable and offers a large selection of plug-and-play hardware for all budgets. And when you’re ready to step into the booth, Traktor integrates with high-end Pioneer equipment already installed in most clubs around the world.
For beginners, Traktor can be overwhelming. Its customisable nature can lead to confusion and new users can spend hours learning functions they may not even need. Feeling comfortable with your tools is vital for live performance, so we’re here to guide you through Traktor, its layout and some basic mixing methods.
In the mix
Traktor allows you mix up to four tracks together, and includes a mixer and effects section. Of course, there’s a lot more the software, but it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the basic layout before you attempt to master it all - we can come back to the more creative and unique-to-Traktor functions later.
For the sake of this introduction, we’re going to assume you want to mimic a traditional DJ setup of two decks and a mixer and are going to control the software with a MIDI controller. A MIDI controller is a piece of hardware that sends signals to Traktor, controlling different aspects of the software from a slider, knob, button or jog wheel. This is the most common setup for beginners.