TRAKTOR offers both automatic and manual functions to detect and set the correct tempo and beat measures of a track. This information is needed to make correct use of the Sync function, quantized Beatjumps as well as snapping Hotcues and Loops to the beat of the track.
Analyzing Tracks Automatically
TRAKTOR's Analyze function will detect the Beatgrid of your tracks automatically. To check if a track has already been analyzed, load it into a Deck and verify if the Stripe is displayed. TRAKTOR generates the Stripe during the analysis of the track. It's shown as a track overview waveform at the bottom of each Track Deck:
TRAKTOR will analyze new tracks automatically when you load them to the Deck if the option Analyze new tracks when loading into Deck in TRAKTOR Preferences > File Management has been set. Alternatively, you can manually trigger the analyzation of tracks in the TRAKTOR Browser:
- Select one or multiple tracks for the analyzation from the Track Collection or a Playlist.
- Open the context menu by right / ctrl-clicking on the selection and choose Analyze (Async), to start the track analysis.
- TRAKTOR will then prompt an Analyze dialog box. The options are explained below.
- Choose All (recommended) to let TRAKTOR analyze your track(s), applying the default parameters 78-155 BPM, Set Beagrid. As you can see, All will analyze the track using the default BPM range 78-155 BPM which will render the correct tempo in most cases. The Beatgrid will be set here by default as well, setting a Gridmarker tagged as Hotcue with its corresponding number at the beginning of the track.
- Choose Special to customize the parameters to be included / excluded in the analysis, including Key and Gain values.
- The additional option Parallel Processing should only be enabled when you are not operating TRAKTOR actively (i.e. no Decks are playing and no actions are being performed in the software). It renders the analysis of (multiple) tracks faster at the expense of a higher processing load.
- Click OK to start the analysis.Once analysis is finished, TRAKTOR will have automatically computed the options specified in the Analyze dialog-box.
Manually Setting the Beatgrid
In few cases, you may notice that the Gridmarkers – the white, vertical stripes along the waveform that make up the Beatgrid – are not sitting exactly at the downbeat (the first beat of a musical bar). In other words, there is a visual offset between the Gridmarker and the beginning of the actual beat:
You may also notice an audible offset during playback of the track in spite of using the Sync function with another track. These two observations are clear indicators that TRAKTOR did not analyze the track correctly, in which case you will need to manually adjust the Beatgrid. Below you can find step-by-step instructions on how to manually set a Beatgrid in TRAKTOR.
Note: For more information regarding Beatgrids and the corresponding controls, also read the chapter Beatgrid Panel (GRID) in the TRAKTOR 2 Manual.
- Load the analyzed track to Deck A.
- In the Waveform (upper display) of the Deck, move the playback position (red vertical stripe) to the beginning of the first beat. You may use the Zoom + button for more accurate positioning.
- If no Beatgrid was set during analysis, you will need to set a Gridmarker on the first beat. To create a Gridmarker, first make sure that the Advanced Panel can be unfolded underneath the Deck. Do this by going to TRAKTOR Preferences > Decks Layout and setting the Deck Size to Advanced.
- Now return to the Deck and click on the GRID tab to switch to the Beatgrid Panel.
- In order to place the Gridmarker on the first beat, you may either select Auto Grid (AUTO button) or click on the Gridmarker icon. If a Gridmarker was already in place but is offset to the beginning of the first beat, you can delete the Gridmarker by clicking on the Trashbin icon. Then you can place a new Gridmarker at the appropriate position of the downbeat.
Note: If TRAKTOR analyzes the tempo incorrectly, the resulting tempo may be exactly half or double of the original tempo (e.g. 70 BPM instead of 140 BPM). In order to quickly set the correct tempo, simply click once on the x2 button (to double the tempo) or the /2 button (to halve the tempo). Additionally, the analysis might set the Beatgrid to the snare drum instead of the kick drum on the first downbeat. In order to set the displaced Beatgrid right, proceed as explained above to delete the Gridmarker and place a new one on the correct downbeat.
- Once the Gridmarker has been set, it will be tagged with a Hotcue number (1 in most cases). All subsequent grid markers will align to the first Gridmarker keeping the same distance from each other as determined by the BPM. Now scroll forward through the track and check if the Gridmarkers (white stripes) are sitting exactly at each Downbeat of the waveform. If not, you can adjust the tempo (i.e. shift the distance between Gridmarkers) by increasing or decreasing it. Do this by using the ||||||< and | | | |> arrows or by click-dragging the BPM display in the Beatgrid Panel. You may also shift the whole Beatgrid to the left or right by clicking on the corresponding buttons located above the BPM increase/decrease arrows.
- Repeat this fine-adjusting operation throughout the whole track until you have made sure that the Beatgrids is sitting at the beginning of each Downbeat, as in the example below.
Note: Most music performed by live instruments does not have a precise beat structure due to the loose, imperfect nature of the human sense for rhythm. For these songs, it might be impossible to attain a 100% accurate Beatgrid, in which case you may place a second Gridmarker to correct offsets or you may only use a section of the song where the Beatgrid sits accurately for playback within a DJing context.