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Headphones are at the same time the smallest and the most significant part of a DJ’s gear. They figuratively save DJ lives and are the key passage from your software, mixer, and controller to the speakers that provide the final result to the crowd.
Connecting your headset to your Traktor DJ controller seems like an easy task, but it can be a problem for some, especially if you’re not a tech geek yourself.
But don’t worry! In this article, I’m gonna show you step by step, how to connect them and adjust your Traktor Pro settings so you’ll have the right channels to play through your headphones.
Connecting The Cables
Before you go to Traktor Pro software and start working on the preferences, you must connect the headphones with your DJ controller. On Traktor Kontrol S2, the front of the unit contains the headphone output, where you should plug in your set.
You will need a ¼” headphone jack which I’m sure you have if you own at least half-decent headphones. Even if you’re using a cheaper version that only has a 3.5 mm jack, there are adapters that you can buy for some $5.
That’s all you need to begin with. However, your journey doesn’t end here because you still want to have them actually work, just like you would do with your speakers.
As a DJ, one of the most important things is headphone cueing in order to beatmatch your tracks perfectly for your mix. You also want to assign sound signals to each of the channels that will help you execute your best mixing.
Getting Started With Traktor Pro
Since you’re using the Traktor Dj software, I only assume that you have compatible hardware as well. Most likely, you’re using Traktor Kontrol S2 or S4, or maybe some other DJ controller produced by Native Instruments GmbH.
Personally, I still use the Traktor S2, so I’m going to show you how I do it with my unit. However, the same applies to all the other versions, so stay with me here.
Obviously, the first thing you gotta do is to download the software and install it on your laptop. The Traktor Pro 2 is compatible with both Mac and Windows, so that’s not going to be an issue regardless of what you’re using.
Once you’ve run the setup wizard, you should be able to open the Traktor Pro 2. Just as I said in the introduction, you should be able to cue your track in order to prepare it in terms of beat tempo so it matches the track that’s currently playing.
In case you’re not sure what headphone cueing is, it’s the possibility to choose which channels you’ll be listening through your headphones. Will it be both at the same time, or will it be just the master output? Well, it can also be just the cued track, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Anyway, to make sure you’ll be the one choosing, you have to go to your preferences icon on Traktor Pro 2, and click on it. It’s the one that looks like a cogwheel. Once you open it, a menu will show up on the left end of the screen.
The first tab is the Traktor Audio Setup tab. Once you click on it, you’ll have the option to choose your Audio Device. That should be the device that has a multi-channel sound card because your goal here is to be able to split the channels and have concrete signals going to your headphone set.
For me, it’s going to be the Traktor Pro S2. If you’re using a different controller, then go with that one.
Next on the menu, we have the Output Routing tab. The first thing you have to do is to set up the Mixing Mode to Internal. That will send the sound from all of the decks through one output master.
The next thing you wanna do is make sure you’ve set the Output Monitor. This is the output that’s gonna reach your headphones. You want to set the channels that will correlate with your headset. For example, under R, Headphone Right and the same with L, Headphone Left.
Cue Signal In Reality
That was all Traktor audio theory. Let’s see how all this looks once you start with your DJ work and actually try to cue mix. On your Traktor Kontrol S2, above the pitch faders, you have two cue buttons, each dedicated to one of the decks.
Usually, a DJ works with two tracks simultaneously. One is called the master track, or the one that can be heard through the speakers, and one is cued. The first is being played on deck A, and the second one on deck B.
You will choose which audio you’ll listen to. If you trigger the cue button for deck A, that’s the one that will reach your ears. The same will happen if you trigger the other one. But now that you’ve set the preferences in Traktor Pro 2, you can choose to listen to both.
Hopefully, it’s now clearer to you how to set the Traktor Audio preferences to have your headphones ready for your next DJ adventure. Let’s quickly go through everything that has been said, so that we can make sure it’s all ready to be tucked away in your head for later use.
The first thing you need to do is to properly connect your headset to your hardware. Then, open your Traktor Pro software and go under Setup where you’ll choose your Device, which represents your DJ mixer or controller.
Next up is the Output Routing tab where you have to assign an audio signal to your headphones. That’s basically it – all that’s left after that is to test the sound and choose what deck you want to hear.
How Much Does Traktor Pro Cost?
Traktor has a demo version that is free to download but with certain limitations. Pro 3 costs $99, but users who have already purchased Pro 2 will be able to upgrade for $49.
Can You Run Traktor On iPad Pro?
Traktor doesn’t support the iOS operating system. It only supports OS X and Windows.