This article describes the settings and functions of the Controller Manager menu in TRAKTOR's Preferences. You can also view the video version of this article. The Controller Manager is the place to create, edit, import and export controller mappings. A controller mapping establishes a relationship between the control elements (knobs, faders, buttons, encoders) of your hardware MIDI controller and the functions of the TRAKTOR software. Each function of the software can be mapped to one or several user-defined control elements of the hardware controller. The Device Setup allows you to globally manage your controller mappings, or Devices. Each individual control of the currently selected Device is added to the Assignment Table of the mapping. Furthermore, a user can specify the behavior and other properties of each command in the Mapping Details section. All changes made in the Controller Manager will come into effect immediately. This means that you can keep it open while configuring your controller and check the added functionality simultaneously in the main Traktor user interface. You may also resize the window by dragging the edges of the Preferences window.
In this section you can manage the mappings for your devices and set their most basic properties, including the computer keyboard, MIDI and (Advanced) HID controllers. It consists of the follow menus and sub-menus:
Device: In the Controller Manager, a controller mapping is called Device. This field selects a mapping from the list for editing. The selection does not define the active mapping, since all mappings are always active unless you set the In-Port and Out-Port fields (see below) to None. In other words, the currently selected mapping in the Device list can be edited by the user but all other mappings contained in the list remain active at all times.
Note: We recommend to set the ports to None for mappings that are not being used in order to avoid undesired triggering of MIDI signals and events.
- In-Port: This defines the MIDI input port for the selected mapping. It is set to All Ports by default and should be set to the MIDI input port value corresponding to your hardware MIDI controller or MIDI interface. Alternatively, you may select a virtual MIDI port if you use this for software MIDI routing between two applications on the same computer.
- Out-Port: This defines the MIDI output port for the selected mapping. It is set to All Ports by default and should be set to the MIDI output port value corresponding to your hardware MIDI controller or MIDI interface. Alternatively, you may select a virtual MIDI port if you use this for software MIDI routing between two applications on the same computer.
- Device Target: Selects a default target of the TRAKTOR software interface for the currently selected Device. Available options are Deck A through D and Focus (meaning the current target is momentarily defined by the currently active section / Deck in TRAKTOR's main screen). This setting may be overwritten for individual Assignments by the corresponding setting in the Mapping Details (see below).
Add...: This opens a drop-down menu with various options for adding new mappings to the Device list.
- Generic keyboard: Creates an empty mapping for assigning your computer keyboard keys to control TRAKTOR.
- Generic MIDI: Creates an empty mapping for assigning your hardware MIDI controller to control TRAKTOR.
- Import: Here you can add a mapping to the Device list from the hard disk. Mappings which are already in the Device list will not be overwritten or deleted. Since this function always creates a new device, you will have to delete the other mappings in the Device list if you do not want to use them all at the same time.
Edit...: This opens a drop-down menu with editing functions for the currently selected mapping in the Device list.
- Edit Comment: Adds a comment to the mapping. It will appear at the beginning of the mapping name in the Device list. You can also regard this option as a way to customize the names for your mappings.
- Duplicate: Creates a copy of the currently selected mapping. The copy will be added to the Device list.
- Export: Allows to store the currently selected mapping as a file on your hard disk in a user-defined location. The mapping file has the extension '.tsi'.
- Delete: Deletes the currently selected mapping.
- AB > CD: Switches all assignments from Deck A to Deck C and Deck B to Deck D.
- AB > AC: Keeps the assignments for Deck A, but switches the assignments from Deck B to Deck C.
- AB > BD: Switches all assignments from Deck A to Deck B and Deck B to Deck D.
Modifier State: This line displays the current value for each of the eight Modifiers within the current mapping. If you work with Modifiers, it is important to know what value is currently assigned to a Modifier, especially if something is not working as intended.
The Assignment Table lists all assignments for the mapping you've currently selected from the Device list. Here you can assign control elements of your MIDI controller (or keys of your computer keyboard) to specific functions of the TRAKTOR software. Each row in the Assignment Table represents a single assignment.
Note: You can sort the Assignment Table by any column if you click on its header. This can be very useful with large mappings. You may add appropriate comments for each Assignment starting with specific keywords. This way you can group your Assignments by individual attributes.
Assignment Table Overview
The eight columns in the Assignment Table display the most important information specific to your assignments:
- Control: This is the name of the Control (the type of action, or function, to be triggered in TRAKTOR). You can add Controls via the Add In... and Add Out... buttons, which are explained further below.
- I/O: States if an Assignment is used for a input or output Control. Use MIDI input Controls when you want to assign a TRAKTOR function to a control element on your hardware device. MIDI output Controls are mostly used when your controller has the ability to receive feedback and visualize panel elements to show the current state in the software user interface. MIDI output signals are generally visualized as lighting or blinking LEDs on your MIDI controller.
- Assignment: This is the target section for the Control in TRAKTOR. The Assignment can be changed in the Mapping Details section as explained below.
- Mode: Shows the Interaction Mode set for a Control in the Mapping Details section. The available modes depend on the selected type of hardware control element. The meaning of the Interaction Modes is explained in the Mapping Details section below.
- Mapped to: This shows either the control source (for input Controls) or the target (for output Controls) of each individual mapping in the Assignment Table. The values for this parameter are displayed as Control Change numbers and their respective MIDI channel (Channel.CC) or as Note numbers and their respective MIDI channel (Channel.Note). Mappings for devices supporting our own NHL protocol (the whole range of TRAKTOR controllers) or the HID protocol (Pioneer, Denon) will display named Mapped to values corresponding to the label of the control element on the device (e.g. Left.Jog.Encoder, A.CUE, as shown in the screenshot above).
- Cond1 and Cond2: Shows the values for the Modifier Conditions as set in the Mapping Details section (see below).
- Comment: Use this field to enter a comment for your assignment. This is useful for keeping an overview of what your mapping is doing at a user-specific level.
Assignment Table Functions
The Assignment Table additionally features four buttons for adding, duplicating and deleting assignments. These buttons and their functions are explained below.
- Add In...: Adds a new MIDI input Control to your mapping. The added assignment will be displayed in the Assignment Table as a new row. Clicking on Add In... opens a drop-down list which groups the available Controls in functional categories. For example, the Add In... > Deck Common > Loop > Loop Active On adds an input Control that allows the user to activate a Loop in the song loaded to a Deck. The target deck is determined by the Device Target setting in the Device Setup (as explained above) as well as the Assignment setting in the Mapping Details section for this Control (as explained below).
Add Out...: Adds a new MIDI output assignment Control to your mapping. The added assignment will be displayed in the Assignment Table as a new row. Clicking on Add Out... opens a drop-down list which groups the available Controls in functional categories. For example, the Add Out... > Deck Common > Loop > Loop Active On adds an output Control which sends a feedback MIDI message to your controller whenever a Loop in the corresponding Deck is set active.
Note: You can find detailed information about the Add In... / Add Out... menus in Chapter 20 of the TRAKTOR user manual.
- Duplicate: Duplicates the currently selected assignment in the Assignment Table, adding a new row with an exact copy of the selected assignment.
- Delete: Deletes the currently selected assignment from the Assignment Table.
The currently selected assignment in the Assignment Table will be highlighted in yellow. If there is another Control in the list which has the same source assigned in the Mapped to column as the selected assignment, this will be highlighted as well in a darker yellow. This feature is useful for debugging large mapping lists.
In the Device Mapping area you can map a control element of your device to the currently selected Control (or TRAKTOR function) in the Assignment Table.
- Learn: This function is available for control elements on MIDI controllers, computer keyboard and HID devices. It allows you to automatically map the control element of your device to the currently selected TRAKTOR Control by pressing, turning or moving it. The Learn function automatically recognizes the MIDI source (*Channel.CC* or *Channel.Note*) associated with the control element you moved and maps it to the selected Control in TRAKTOR. Click on Learn so that it is highlighted in yellow. Now push / turn / move the desired element of your MIDI controller until you see that the corresponding MIDI source is set in the assignment field next to the Learn button (see Assignment drop-down below). The Learn mode will remain active until you press the button again. This allows to assign several Controls in one go. Do not forget to disable Learn again when you are done. This will avoid undesired assignments for your MIDI source.
Assignment drop-down: Here you can manually assign a control element of your device. This is the only way to assign a MIDI output Control to add visual feedback to LEDs on your device. The available assignments include MIDI CC, Note or Pitchbend messages, which all are available for any of the 16 MIDI channels. If no assignment is working, check which MIDI channel your MIDI controller is set to for sending and receiving MIDI. This can usually be adjusted in all MIDI devices.
Note: Please refer to the documentation of your MIDI controller for a reference list of the MIDI Control Change and Note numbers associated with the control elements. In most cases, these are the same for input and output messages, however in some cases a control element may send out a different message than the associated LED is configured to receive. This depends on the manufacturer's specification of the hardware and drivers.
- Reset: This button removes the assignment.
- Comment: In this field you can enter a comment which is stored with the Control assignment. It appears in the Comment field of the Assignment Table as described before.
Modifiers are Control types in TRAKTOR which can be used to define conditions for other assignments in the same mapping. A modifier's value can range from 0-8 depending on the type of hardware control element it is mapped to. The actual values of the Modifiers are shown in the Modifier State section. You can define Modifiers and their values as a condition for any assignment via the Modifier Conditions setting. The Control will only be active if all conditions are met. This way you can assign different functions to the same control element, each with their own unique set of conditions. Different assignments of the same control element can be enabled depending on which Modifier values are set. For example, Modifiers can be used to set up a shift button or key to toggle between different assignments for other control elements. This way you can extend the functionality of a controller with a limited number of control elements. It can also be used for a variety of creative applications where a number of Controls depend on each other. In the screenshot above, the Modifier Conditions for the selected assignment read as follows: The assignment will take effect if the value of Modifier M1 is 0 and the value of Modifier M2 is 1 (or short: IF M1=0 AND M2=1). In order to change the value of a Modifier, the corresponding Modifier Controls (M1...M8) need to be assigned to control elements of your device. They can be added to the Assignment Table via the Add In.../ Add Out... > Modifier # command.
Note: A basic tutorial about using Modifiers can be found at the end of this article. Make sure you fully grasp the concept of Modifiers before using them, as Modifier mappings can become very complex and difficult to troubleshoot. Modifier Conditions are optional, so if you want to keep your mapping simple, you may ignore those fields and leave them blank.
Control Behaviour and Assignment
In the lower section of the Mapping Details you can find the following important settings. These determine how the control element on your device interacts with the function in TRAKTOR it is assigned to.
Type of Controller: The choices given for the Type of Controller are specific to the control target (or TRAKTOR function) of the currently selected assignment. For example, the Play/Pause function only allows Button controllers, other parameters (such as Filter Adjust or Volume Adjust) also allow to assign Fader / Knob controllers.
- Button: Use this Type of Controller if your are assigning a function to a push button or two-stage switch on your device.
- Fader / Knob: Use this Type of Controller if you are assigning a function to a standard rotary knob on your device (analogue potentiometer).
- Encoder: Use this Type of Controller if you are assigning a function to an endless dial on your device (digital encoder).
Interaction Mode: The options available for the Interaction Mode will vary depending on both the Type of Controller as well as the control target of the currently selected assignment. For example, the Interaction Modes for the Play/Pause control (with Button set as the Type of Controller) are Toggle, Hold and Direct. The Interaction Modes for the Tempo control (with Button set as the Type of Controller) are Direct, Inc, Dec and Reset.
Interaction Mode (Button): Below is a list the available Interaction Modes with Type of Controller set to Button.
- Toggle: When you press and release the MIDI button or computer keyboard key, the TRAKTOR button becomes enabled. When you press and release it again, it becomes disabled again.
- Hold: This is the default setting for buttons. The TRAKTOR function will be active as long as your MIDI button or computer keyboard key is pressed. If you release the MIDI button or computer keyboard key, the TRAKTOR function will be disabled again.
- Direct: Sets the corresponding control to a defined value. Set this value by changing the Set to value field in the Button Options section. For example, assign a Volume Adjust control to a button. Set the Interaction mode to Direct and define a specific volume level under Set to value. Hitting the button will now always force the Volume Fader to jump to the specified value. For example, if you set the value to 1.000, the button will fully punch a channel into the mix with a single press.
- Inc: Increases the value of the respective TRAKTOR function by one step. Only applies when you are using a button to control a TRAKTOR function with more than two different possible values, for example the Deck Volume or the Pitch Fader.
- Dec: Decreases the value of the respective TRAKTOR function by one step. Only applies when you are using a button to control a TRAKTOR function with more than two different possible values, for example the Deck Volume or the Pitch Fader.
- Reset: Resets the value of the respective TRAKTOR function to it's default value. This is the same as when using the mouse and double-clicking a function in the TRAKTOR user interface. Only applies when you are using a button to control a TRAKTOR function with more than two different values, for example the Deck Volume or the Pitch Fader.
- Interaction Mode (Button): Below is a list the available Interaction Modes with Type of Controller set to Button.
Interaction Mode (Fader / Knob or Encoder): There are two different modes available when the Type of Controller is set to Fader / Knob or Encoder.
- Direct: The position of the external control always matches the value of the TRAKTOR function. This mode is mainly intended for standard faders or standard rotary knobs (analogue potentiometers) with a limited control range.
Relative: Moving the external control element will change the value of the TRAKTOR function relative to it's current position. This mode is mainly intended for endless dials (digital encoders). If you are using this mode with a standard rotary knob, the controllable range of the TRAKTOR function depends on it's initial value as well as the sensitivity and resolution of the encoder. For example, a common application for Relative mode to use it for the pitch fader control at high resolution. This allows to use the Sync function and then fine-control the pitch fader in addition to the position determined by Sync.
Note: The behaviour of a control element in the Direct and Absolute modes depends on it's hardware implementation as specified by the manufacturer of the device. We recommend to try different settings with both modes and monitor the results until you get the desired behaviour.
Assignment: This determines which area in TRAKTOR is going to be affected by the Control. It can be any of the following options.
- Device Target: The assignment will apply to the Device Target as defined in the Device Setup section (see above).
- Deck A through D: The assignment will apply to the specific Deck.
- FX Unit 1 through 4: The assignment will apply to the specific FX Unit.
- Remix Deck 1 through 4, Slot 1 through 4: The assignment will apply to the specific Remix Deck Slot.
- Global: The assignment will apply to the whole TRAKTOR interface. Global assignments are reserved for actions that are not specific to Decks or FX Units (i.e. Browser, Loop Recorder, Modifiers).
This section will show up when Button is selected as the Type of Controller. It enables you to further refine the behaviour of the selected assignment. The given options are specific to the chosen Interaction Mode and Control. Below you can find a list of the most common options.
- Set to value (Interaction Mode Direct): Choose a specfic value which is recalled when you hit the assigned button. The available range of numbers depends on the selected TRAKTOR control. Some controls only allow integers while others allow to define fractions.
- Invert (Interaction Modes Toggle and Hold): Inverts the action. For an input controller this means that the TRAKTOR button is pressed when you release the MIDI button or computer keyboard key and vice versa.
- Auto Repeat (Interaction Modes Inc and Dec): The function will be triggered repeatedly when you hold the button on your device down. This is only available for specific controls. For example, you can use this for the input controller Browser > List > Select Up/Down. If you set this control to Button, the Interaction Mode to Inc and then enable Auto Repeat, the cursor will scroll through the track list automatically as long as you keep the controller button pressed (no need to press the button for each step through the list).
- Resolution (Interaction Modes Inc and Dec): Allows you to adjust the resolution of the steps when using a button to increase or decrease the amount of a function with more than two different values.
Fader / Knob
This section will show up when Fader / Knob is selected as the Type of Controller. It enables you to further refine the behaviour of your assignment. The given options are specific to the Interaction Mode and Control of the selected Asignment. Below you can find a list of the most common options.
- Soft Takeover (Interaction Mode Direct): Enable this to avoid parameter jumps when the value of the TRAKTOR function and the position of the hardware control element do not match. For example, the filter is set to -50% in the TRAKTOR user interface, however the knob on your controller assigned to the Filter Amount is fully opened. When you now begin to move the knob on your device with Soft Takeover disabled, the filter in TRAKTOR will immediately jump to the position of the external control. If Soft Takeover is enabled, you will first need to move the knob on your controller until it matches the position of the filter control in TRAKTOR. Only then the knob on your controller will 'take over' and change the Filter Amount.
- Invert (Interaction Modes Direct and Relative): Inverts the action of your external control. High values of the control element become low values in TRAKTOR and vice versa.
This section will show up when Encoder is selected as the Type of Controller. It's also available for the Fader / Knob type in Relative mode. It enables you to further refine the behaviour of your assignment. The given options are specific to the chosen Interaction Mode and Control. Below you can find a list of the most common options.
- Rotary Sensitivity (Interaction Mode Relative): Defines how fast the value of a TRAKTOR function will change relative to the movement of the assigned hardware control element. This setting also affects the available resolution of a control.
- Rotary Acceleration (Interaction Mode Relative): Makes the parameter changes respond more sensitive to fast movements of the hardware control element than slow ones. With a setting of 0%, moving the control element in a particular range will always implicate the same parameter change in TRAKTOR. Increasing the Rotary Acceleration the parameter changes in TRAKTOR will be different for slow and fast movements of the control element.
- Invert (Interaction Modes Direct and Relative): Inverts the action of your external control. High values of the control element become low values in TRAKTOR and vice versa.
Example Modifier Mapping
Below you can find a basic example for a Modifier mapping. We are creating a single Play/Pause button on a MIDI controller, which can either control Deck A or Deck B. A 'Modifier toggle' button is used to switch the functionality back and forth between the two Decks. Step 1 explains how to create it. The 'Modifier toggle' is a very helpful mapping concept: One button is switching between two different Modifier states, usually 0 and 1. The Modifier will alternate between the two values upon every press of the button. Step 2 explains how to make the Play/Pause function depend on the value of this Modifier in order to switch between the Decks.
Step 1: Create a 'Modifier toggle' button
- Press Add In... and choose Modifier > Modifier #1 from the drop-down list.
- Enter Learn mode and press a MIDI button on your controller to assign it.
- Make the following adjustments in the Mapping Details and Button Options sections:
- While the Modifier is still selected in the Assignment Table, click the Duplicate button.
- Make sure that the Learn function is still active and press the same MIDI button again to assign it to the duplicated Modifier #1 as well.
- Switch off Learn now.
- For the duplicated Modifier #1, change the Modifier Conditions to M1 = 0 (instead of 1) and Set to value to 1 (instead of 0).
- The 'Modifier toggle' button is now ready. See the Modifier value toggle between 0 and 1 in the Modifier State section.
Step 2: Use the Modifier to toggle the focus of the Deck Play/Pause button between Deck A and Deck B
- Press the Add In... button and choose Deck Common > Play/Pause from the drop-down list.
- Enter Learn mode and press another MIDI button on your controller to assign it (use a different button, not the one you have assigned to the Modifier #1).
- Make the following adjustments in the Mapping Details section:
- While Play/Pause is still selected in the Assignment Table, click the Duplicate button.
- Make sure that the Learn function is still active and press the same MIDI button again to assign it to the duplicated Play/Pause as well.
- For the duplicated Play/Pause, change the Modifier Conditions to M1 = 1 (instead of 0) and the Assignment to Deck B (instead of Deck A).
- Here is how your Assignment Table should look like:
- You can now use your mapping. Play and pause either Deck A or B by pressing the Play/Pause button and switch between the Decks with the button assigned to the 'Modifier toggle' function.