TRAKTOR's underlying audio engine does not color the sound so you can generally expect the sound quality of your music files to not be altered at all. This article names possible reasons and solutions in case that you perceive changes or issues on the audio quality when using TRAKTOR.
If you hear crackling, distortion or dropouts in your audio signal, you are most likely experiencing performance issues on your system. Please read our corresponding Tuning Tips articles for Windows or OS X to obtain more information.
TRAKTOR offers various EQ Types. While they will not alter the sound when the knobs are set to the zero position, each of the EQ models will color the original sound quality differently when the knobs are set to other positions (frequency boosting / cutting). You can switch EQ Types under Preferences > Mixer > EQ/Filter Selection.
Note: The Z ISO EQ does affect the phase of the audio signal even in middle position. However, this is not audible in practical use. It's a characteristic of all full-kill isolator EQs in DJ applications.
The EQ and filter sections are always active even if they are not visible in the selected screen layout. This also applies to the External Mixing Mode. To make the EQ and Filters visible in the TRAKTOR main screen, proceed as follows:
- Under Preferences > Mixer > Mixer Layout, make sure that the options EQ + Fader and Filter + Key + Gain + Cue + Balance are both checked.
- On the top right corner of TRAKTOR's main screen, make sure that the Mixer layout is selected from the Layout selector field so that the software mixer becomes visible.
Now in the main screen you can make sure the EQ knobs set to zero and the filter is not engaged (filter switch should not be lit up blue).
In TRAKTOR PRO 3, it is possible to bypass the EQ when mixing externally. Under Preferences > Mixer > External Mixing Mode, the checkbox Enable EQ + GAIN allows you to activate / deactivate it.
Key Lock Settings
Key Lock locks the pitch of a track, even when the tempo is changed. It can be toggled on and off via the circle next to the KEY knob in the Mixer area of TRAKTOR.
In TRAKTOR PRO 2, the note symbol on the corresponding Deck will be lit when Key Lock is engaged.
In TRAKTOR PRO 3, the display differs - with Key Lock engaged, the Key Widget will show the Resulting Key and up/down arrow buttons which allow you to change the key in semitone steps.
Depending on the source material, this can introduce audible artifacts in the audio playback. In general, the greater the displacement in tempo (tempo fader at non-zero position) and / or in pitch (KEY knob at non-zero position), the more audible the artifacts will become when Key Lock is enabled. However you may still experience audio artifacts even at zero position.
- If you are not using Key Lock actively, disable it by turning off the circle next to the KEY knob.
- If you do use Key Lock actively, make sure the settings under Preferences > Transport > Key Lock are adequate to your system performance and usage.
- For TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO 2 users, we recommend to select the ECO quality setting and Scratch mode in the Key Lock settings.
- If no timecode is being used, choose the Normal mode. The HiQ quality settings should only be used on fast and optimized systems.
- With its improved time-stretching technology, TRAKTOR PRO 3 only gives you the choice between Scratch and Normal mode.
Note: Using Key Lock may require a higher Latency setting in Preferences > Audio Setup. Increase it in case you are experiencing crackles and drop-outs when using Key Lock.
The TRAKTOR software provides a wide variety of audio effects, available via the FX Unit panels located at the top corners of the TRAKTOR user interface.
While some effects will alter the original audio playback on the Deck dramatically (e.g. Beatmasher, Wormhole), others will only do so slightly (e.g. Reverb with a low amount of Dry/Wet signal). To ensure that your audio quality is not being accidentally altered by an audio effect, make sure that the FX Assign buttons are disabled (not highlighted) for the Deck that is playing. These buttons, labeled after the number of the FX Unit being routed, are located in the software mixer section of the TRAKTOR user interface.
TRAKTOR PRO 3 additionally offers 4 Mixer FX, accessible via the drop-down underneath the knob which is assigned to the Filter by default.