This article provides instructions on how to set up the TRAKTOR KONTROL Z1 as a MIDI controller and audio interface in Ableton Live. In our example, the TRAKTOR KONTROL Z1 is used to control an Ableton Live Set which emulates a basic two-channel DJ Setup with DJ mixing functions.
When the TRAKTOR software is not running, the TRAKTOR KONTROL Z1 automatically switches to MIDI mode. When MIDI mode is active, the MODE and Cue A and B buttons on the Z1 are lit white and blue respectively. In this state, you can use it with any software. capable of supporting MIDI.
Note: Learn more about automatic and manual switching to MIDI mode in this article.
General Settings in Ableton Live
These steps establish the connection between Ableton Live and the TRAKTOR KONTROL Z1 and set up the audio routing for standard DJ-style prelistening.
- Open the Live Preferences and go to the MIDI / Sync tab.
- Activate the Remote button for both the Traktor Kontrol Z1 Input and the Traktor Kontrol Z1 Output.
- Go to the Audio tab in the Preferences and select Traktor Kontrol Z1 (0 In, 4 Out) as your Audio Output Device.
- Click on Output Config under Channel Configuration in the Audio Preferences.
- Activate all outputs as shown in the below screenshot.
- Close the Preferences and go to Live's Session View.
- Open the I-O settings by clicking the corresponding button on the right edge of Live's Session View.
- Select the output 1/2 as your Master Out and and 3/4 as your Cue Out.
- Click on the Solo / Cue mode button until it shows Cue to activate DJ-style prelistening via the Solo / Cue buttons of each channel.
Setting up an Ableton Live Set
Before starting to assign the control elements of the TRAKTOR KONTROL Z1 to parameters in Ableton Live, we will set up a Live Set resembling a basic two channel DJ-Setup. The Set consists of the following tracks, effects and settings:
- Two Audio tracks for playback of your files.
- The Ableton Audio Effects Utility, EQ Three and Auto Filter are added to both Audio tracks in order to accomplish typical DJ-style mixing functions like channel gain, Kill-EQs and a Filter.
- The Crossfader function is enabled via the X button on the right edge of the Session view and assigned to the two Audio tracks via the A and B assignment buttons respectively.
The below image shows an overview of the Ableton Live DJ Setup.
Mapping the MIDI Controls
The following steps describe how to map the Z1 controls to parameters in your Ableton Live Set:
- Enter the MIDI Mapping mode by clicking on the MIDI button in the upper right corner.
- Click on a function you want to assign, for example the volume fader of the first Audio track. It is highlighted around the corners.
- Move the control element of your choice on the TRAKTOR KONTROL Z1. In our example, we use the left channel fader.
- The controller number of the chosen control element shows up above the function in Ableton Live when the mapping has been successfully set in place.
- Repeat the above steps for all functions you want to assign.
- While MIDI Mapping mode is active, you can see a list of all mappings in the Browser area on the left side of the screen. The below screenshot shows all mappings in our example Live Set.
Note: In our example, some of the control ranges are adjusted with the Min and Max settings in order to get more usable results in the DJ-context. For example, the Gain settings are limited to -12.0 dB and 12.0 dB just like the Gain control in TRAKTOR.
- When you are done with the mappings, click the MIDI button again to leave the MIDI Assignment mode.
You can now control your Live Set with the TRAKTOR KONTROL Z1.