Traktor Is The Best MP3 DJ Software

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Traktor (by Native Instruments) is a very impressive piece of Mp3 DJ software.

If you cannot afford to get two turntables/CD players and a mixer then I totally recommend getting this DJ software. The beautiful thing with DJ software is that you can learn to beat mix as a virtual DJ with just your computer and decide if you like it before spending thousands of bucks on DJ equipment.

Traktor can match the tempos of the two tracks automatically so you can start by hearing what the two tracks sound like "in time". When you are first learning to DJ it is very hard to get tracks "in time" let alone match the tempos. So this is great DJ software if you want to train your ear so you can beat mix with turntables or CD players in the future.

Another advantage is that you can use any tracks you have on CD so you don't have to go out and spend extra money on vinyl.

However, if you want to be a professional DJ you will have to get some experience on some real DJ equipment. You cannot play out at a party or club with your computer, people are just not that broad minded.

There are also some things that DJ equipment can do that no Mp3 DJ software can do. This involves advanced techniques using the crossfader and of course scratching.

That said, Traktor is a complete software program for the budding virtual DJ and will allow you to create professional quality mixes as good as the best international DJs around. You can then burn these mixes to CD and impress you friends.

Here's the best deal I've found on Traktor software:

Now let's look at how Traktor MP3 DJ software works in detail:

Traktor works more like two very advanced DJ CD players than a pair of turntables. There are two Mp3/audio players that you load the tracks into. These media players let you adjust the tempo manually or automatically so that the two tracks have the same BPM (beats per minute).

You can also give the tempo a nudge forward or backwards (when playing) to get the two tracks perfectly synchronized or "in time".

Let's look at the interface for Traktor DJ software:

The Traktor interface is made up of a number of panels (identified in the picture below). You can choose which panels are visible by clicking on the buttons at the top of the main panel.

A = The main panel. To the right of the A are the buttons that allow you to configure the Traktor interface. The record button to the left records a wav file of your mix.

B = This display shows you the what the track looks like and helps you spot breakdowns. The B is also on the controls for setting the tracks tempo.

C = This is the crossfader. You use this to gradually bring in the next track. There are also 'punch in' to the left and right that let you drop the other track in for a short burst effect.

D = This is the cue panel. The big round button sets a cue point in the track. The other buttons allow you to adjust its position and set Traktor to loop between two cue points.

E = This is the playlist. Here you load in individual tracks or directories. You also set the order you want them to play in.

Let's look at what the different panels do in Traktor Mp3 DJ software:

You do not have to have all the panals loaded at once so I'll take you through each panel individually.

Main Panel:

This is the main panel that always loads. It is where you bring up the different panels and record your mix as audio. As you can see there is a master volume and monitor volume and the time remaining for each track. The three buttons in the middle let you set Traktor up to either let you play live, play or record your automated mixes or automatically load and fade tracks in the playlist.

The Eq Panels:

One Eq panel is load for each track player.

This button brings up the Eq and filter control panal. Eqs are essential for doing quality mixes. They allow you to cut the bass and make your song transitions much smoother. Filters let you do fun things to the track and are entertaining to play with.

The Player Panel:

This button brings up the two Mp3/audio players. In the window an intensity graph comes up that lets you see the individual beats and any upcoming breakdowns. Above the graph is the controls for setting the tempo and nudging the track in time (pitch bend buttons). The players also have a bar for quickly skipping through the track.

The Cue Panel:

This brings up the cue panels. These panels (one for each track) allow you to set cue points. Traktor can be set to loop between two cue points or begin a mix. Traktor can therefore be set up to automatically mix tracks with the cue points you have set.

The Playlist Panel:

This brings up your paylist. Simply browse your hard disk to add tracks/directories and create the play order.

Traktor Setup:

At the top of the interface is a red "setup" button. This takes you to the sound setup and preference page.

The soundcard setup in Traktor is quite advanced. This is because you need two separate outputs in order to beat mix properly. When getting a track in time it is best to have one track playing out through the master while the track you are fiddling with only comes out of your headphones. This makes it possible to compare the two tracks and make changes to one so that the tempos can be matched before you start the mix.

Traktor allows you to have separate outputs if you have two souncards installed, a soundcard with two outputs (e.g. Soundblaster Live!) or you can have each channel mono and separate the channels from your regular stereo output.

I could beat mix with Traktor on my laptop with one output using headphones. One ear would hear the master and one ear would hear the cue channel.

If you understood all that you will now know that Traktor can let you beat mix even if you only have a simple soundcard like the ultra budget one in my aging laptop.

However, if you have a Soundblaster Live you will be able to get the most out of this program.

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