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Prepping Acappellas in Traktor

Today we get back to the basics with a good old fashioned Traktor tutorial. After months of requests, we finally address a common problem- how to get the BPM for and beatgrid an acapella. If you have any questions, post them in the comments and we will update the post.

  • Fernando

    I have spotify premium,how do I sync, play music to Traktor S4…Any ideas anybody..I have a party to do for tomorrow night, please help me somebody to figure this out..

  • k3ik0

    [quote comment=”34417″]What to do when you’re trying to figure out the bpm of, let’s say, a 70’s reggae tune when the band has a very chilled attitude towards metronomes and the like. A lot of tunes I’ve been trying to mix waver randomly at +- 5 bpm???[/quote]

    You can use multiple beatmarkers, and tune sections of the song to different bpm’s. Or better yet, use Ableton (for instance) to do an edit of the song, keeping it to a specific bpm.

  • Jonny

    Your video’s are very helpful, would love to hear you play in Scotland! Thanks for your great video’s, you bring such alot to the dj community.

  • KILLMeDJ

    Just a small addition to Trademark’s post.
    As well as a drum intro I find if I actually place a small clap through the whole acapella I can more easily adjust the tempo manually, say if you want to mix it over a slightly less rigid type of track.
    from the audience perspective they wont notice a clap adding to the original track, keep it small so only you notice. setting the beat grid in Traktor will work better too.
    Also if you do a set using CDJ’s and don’t have the luxury of auto sync, you’ll find having a small clap
    through the vocal will make life way easier.
    Love your posts BTW Ean!

  • Traktor is pretty sweet software. I’m only playing with the trial version at the moment but I’m going to purchase this app. Great tutorial too by the way.

  • Vicious

    What to do when you’re trying to figure out the bpm of, let’s say, a 70’s reggae tune when the band has a very chilled attitude towards metronomes and the like. A lot of tunes I’ve been trying to mix waver randomly at +- 5 bpm???

  • Seems simple enough…

    Ken_UF

  • calvin01

    i’ve tried it on others with no problems.gonna render it to a new file and try again.thnx for your help moonie

  • calvin01

    yeah.i followed the tutorial which ean set the bpm in the window then selected the grid marker.but no grid??

  • Calvin01,

    Traktor should set a grid if you have a bpm set, and have at least one grid marker. Are you sure you have a bpm set against the track ?

  • calvin01

    thanx for this.i’ve tried copying exactly what you did ean with a fairly easy to mix acapella(ruffneck ‘everybody’)but it wont set a beat grid.it says grid in the cue menu and is white but theres no grid??.im using the latest v of traktor.any suggestions

  • Ericko

    acapella must be in the same key to sound good?

  • As Dj Trademark said, its a lot easier to do it with a daw like ableton first, determine your bpm and stuff, warp it, and then export it with a simple 32 bar kick loop or if you like a real drum loop.
    Then I set the load marker at the beginning of the acapella.

  • Good tutorial.

    I do a lot of live mashup sets with just instrumentals and acapellas, and I use a little different technique to get everything sounding good.

    Use your favorite production application (Ableton, etc.) I personally use logic for all my production, so here’s the BEST way to get everything synced up.

    Everyone knows Traktor is great because you can use a beatgrid for loops, syncing, etc. This makes using instrumentals extremely easy. However, like you said, acapellas are a little tougher.

    Use some kind of BPM counter (There are a lot of good widgets out there for Dashboard) and figure out the average BPM. Doesn’t have to be perfect.

    Open Logic and drop your acapella in. If you have the original song, find it and look for instances where the Beat hits on a word or syllable. That will be your starting point.

    Trim the acapella to that, then drop it at the beginning of a measure or bar. Apply the round-a-bout BPM you found in the tempo window, then open up ultrabeat, any drum loop will do. Now is the tough part. Turn on ultrabeat so it plays with the track you’re working with. Keep playing it through until you find a spot where it starts to not sync with the acapella. Adjust accordingly in the tempo window until you get a perfect tempo throughout the whole acapella.

    Once you find the correct tempo, go back into Ultrabeat and turn it off. Then, grab a 4-bar loop and drag it to the “1” measure position of the entire track. Before you loop the drum, make sure you have stretched out the acapella from the starting point backwards. To do this, click on the bottom left of the actual track and simply drag.

    Now, to make everything perfect, loop that 4-bar drum as a 32 bar loop. This will allow Traktor to make a beat grid. Then, place the acapella track right after the drum loop. Now, when the track is bounced and imported into traktor, you’ll have a long drum intro followed by your synced acapella equipped with a beat grid.

    You can even beat juggle from the drum to the acapella with hotcues, a nice effect for blending into another song.

    Hope this is a good alternative.

  • Great tutorial there Ean. Gonna Tweet it

    Anyone who needs Free Acapellas & Dj-Tools, just Google ‘acapellas4u’

  • lhaksdf

    [quote comment=”34286″][quote comment=”34283″]Pretty cool, I have always wondered about how to use Acapellas in my sets…[/quote]

    try beatmatching and mixing them, sorta like a DJ or something.[/quote]

    hahahaha this one really made me laugh

  • Anonymous

    haha +1 @meh

  • meh

    [quote comment=”34283″]Pretty cool, I have always wondered about how to use Acapellas in my sets…[/quote]

    try beatmatching and mixing them, sorta like a DJ or something.

  • Pretty cool, I have always wondered about how to use Acapellas in my sets…

  • Great tutorial. very simple and super useful!

  • Ean great article

    just what i needed to keep me busy untill my MF arrives..

  • Anonymous

    this is awesome ean! thanks for the help

  • Exigence

    Any way to get the mp3 through Mediafire or someplace I don’t have to enter my email?

  • Anonymous
  • Ean…thanks for all your info…you are so on a different level when it comes to stuff like this in traktor…thanks!!!

  • The Happy Few

    This is a usefull video indeed!
    But where can the MP3’s be found?

  • SirchOne

    great stuff man.. i really want to start doing some more remixes when playing live. thanks, very helpful 🙂

  • WilliamVII

    Very nice, but where are the MP3s and more info?

  • fusion

    Awesome, once again another truely helpful tutorial!