Using Traktor’s Cuepoints For Reference and Performance

Disciplined preparation creates amazing performances. If you believe in this statement, then having a robust cue point strategy is a great way to start prepping for success. Often ignored, cue points can be used in a variety of ways that will enhance your ability to mix live on the fly. In this article, Ean walks us through the two main uses: using specialized cue points as flags to mark songs for reference, and using hot cues as creative tools to break up tracks from their linear constraints.

FLAGS: GET ORGANIZED

With 300 to 500 songs (minimum) in a digital DJ’s regular rotation, it’s nearly impossible to remember every song’s structure, but knowing your music remains one of the most important requirements for all DJs. Upon loading a new track, the most important things to know instantly about a song are:

  1. Where is the first beat?
  2. Where is the best place to start mixing?
  3. When does the vocal, bass line, or main part of the song begin?
    Stated differently, where should I be done with the mix?
  4. Where are the most natural mix out points in the song?

Fortunately most DJ software has a variety of cue points that can be used as flags to remind you of the critical places in a track. Traktor has a set of cue points which are different colors and serve different purposes, so these are best suited for flagging a track. Here is my personal system for you to reference or adopt:

  • Load Marker: Traktor has a dedicated “load marker” which is yellow. This visually marks the natural start point of the song, which is not always the first beat, but may be the same.

Extra Functionality Alert! The load marker also has a utilitarian function (pictured below). If enabled in the preferences, your songs will always load and cue to the first load marker – streamlining the track starting process.

  • Fade In/Out Points: I use the Fade In marker (flag pointing to the left) as an indication of where I should be fully out of the previous mix and into the next song (vocal might kick in here). In this song, it’s at the breakdown – a natural place to finish the crossfade.

The Fade Out marker (flag pointing to the right) is always an indication of good places to mix out of the song and start my next track. There can be one or several Fade Out markers per track. In the image bellow, I have a mix out point set where the drums drop out, providing convenient room for a new song.

Extra Functionality Alert! Fade In/Out points also can be used to tell Traktor’s cruise mode when to start mixing in the next track. If you have a mix out point marked and a song loaded in the opposite deck, then Traktor will automatically start that song at the right place. This can be handy with really tricky drops or during performances that require too many hands!

HOT KEYS: PERFORM BETTER

It’s important to understand one confusing part of Traktor: you can store up to 32 cue points in the cue list of any song. These can be the standard light blue cue markers or the special flags we talked about above. Any of those 32 cue points can be mapped to the 8 hot keys which allow you to jump to them in real time using controllers or your computer keyboard. Traktor will automatically assign a cue point to the next open hot cue but they can be re-mapped so a cue point lives in the list, but not on a hot cue.

Ean’s preference: I like to map 8 performance cue points to all 8 hot keys, while keeping the song flags in the wave form overview. This provides the best of both worlds, clear visual marking and 8 unique places in the song to jump to!

Hot keys can be divided into two different camps:

  1. Note Jumping: these are “playable” cue points – meaning you’re setting the hotkeys on individual notes within a section. This is great for cue point juggling, playing uniquely re-imagined melodies, or even concurrently with flux mode.
  2. Phrase Jumping: these are cue points that follow clear sections of the song – like intro, breakdown, chorus, verse, peak moment, outro. Oftentimes these hotkeys make great loops (see below) and allow you to jump directly to a key part of the track.

STORING LOOPS AS CUE POINTS

The final type of file you can store as a cue point (and jump directly to) are loops! They can be used really well in 3 ways:

1. Sample Jamming:  Set a loop on a short phrase (1/2 beat to 1 beat) and play the loop as cue point. This trick was critical to my Ozzy Osbornue routine.

2. Mix Out Reminders: Many songs often have brief moments that, if looped, make perfect mix out points. This is commonly a short phrase or fill that will pass by if you don’t have them stored and ready to go. By storing a loop in advance, you just have to hit activate or jump to a cue point and it will play perfectly every time.

3 Ableton Style Loops: If you like to play parts of song and drop them intentionally as loops (a la Ableton clip launching) then preset 32 count loops on all critical parts of the song. Map all 8 cue points to a grid and you have clip-launching style DJing in Traktor. I prefer this over remix sets because they’re easier to manage.

What are your secrets to cue point success while mixing, in Traktor or any DJ software? Share your systems in the comments below:

  • George

    Hi all.i have one question .im new with Traktor and I m using X1mk2 controller.when I try to erase a cue point (let’s say it’s was number 1 button) I press shift and that cue I want,cue is dissapearing but in the overview waveform some white stripes are seen .how can I fix the waveform as it was?

  • Federico

    Hi everyone, Ive been using Traktor for quite some time and I have noticed the following behavior :

    Steps:
    1.I set a loop and store it (Hot cue color green)
    2.I start playing the song until it reaches the beginning of the loop and I press the the button to enable the loop. And here is when it gets funny for me and what I want to understand :

    Possible results
    1.sometimes it just highlight the loop on the grid and sticks to eat just looping it
    2.sometimes instead of enabling the loop , mentioned above, it just goes to the beginning of the loop, which is not what I want since it messes up all my mixing.

    What’s the feature to do the scenario described in the possible results 1? Cause that’s the way I rather to work if I miss the first flag of the loop, to just enable it…

    any clues? If this was a mess I can try to explain it better.

    Cheers!

  • Gary

    Hey!!Can any 1 please tell me that can i store a flag in point and 1st loop on cue point no.1 together and how?or is it this way that if i store a flag in point on cue point no. 1,then the 1st loop i want to save will only get stored at cue point no. 2 and so on?

  • Emiliano Galván

    Nice article!
    I have a question: How do you choose the type of hotcue (load marker, fade in/out, etc) and color?
    Thanks a lot!

  • Filip

    Does anyone know how to remove unnumbered loop hotcues? Bad tsi mapping instead of changing loop lenghts filled whole track with lot of loop hotcues. I deleted 2-8, but have there maybe four or more unnmbered. So everytime i play the track it skips in stupid 1/8 loop after start. Thanks!

  • DJ_ForcedHand

    I’m not sure if this is asking to be lazy, but I think it’d be great for DJ programs to begin playing when the fade-in marker is reached (and possibly auto crossfade when the fade-out marker is reached). I probably wouldn’t use it all that much, but I can see where this could help a few DJs reduce stress in hitting a cue at the right time.

  • BadData

    It’d be awesome if you guys said how to create and edit cues 9-32, that’s the only tricky thing in this tutorial, and you don’t really say how to do it… Are we really supposed to make 8 dummy cuepoints and then delete them?

  • BadData

    It’d be awesome if you guys said how to create and edit cues 9-32, that’s the only tricky thing in this tutorial, and you don’t really say how to do it… Are we really supposed to make 8 dummy cuepoints and then delete them?

  • BadData

    It’d be awesome if you guys said how to create and edit cues 9-32, that’s the only tricky thing in this tutorial, and you don’t really say how to do it… Are we really supposed to make 8 dummy cuepoints and then delete them?

  • am3nd

    I’ve only just found out you can store 32 cue points in Traktor. It’s not very obvious on how to do this though, other than filling up the 1-8 slots available and then from there, marking other spots in a track and clicking on the drop down menu to assign your next cue point of choice.

    How does one edit those cue points of 9-32? Flags appear, sure, but what if you want to delete one or edit it? How do you access it?

  • Martin Wilson

    Bonehead Question: How do you drop a cue point, let’s say a load marker or beat grid that then is NOT associated with a cue point NUMBER. I want to have my beat grid be independent of my jump-to-able cue points. I’ve done it on accident before, and It occurs in the vid here, but I can’t figure it out.

  • Seville Lilly

    I LOVE CUE POINTS! Main reason I switched to Traktor. Here’s some stuff I do with them:

    EQ KILL/ FX MARKERS: I use cuepoints to mark the beginning and end of where to kill EQ bands or add effects. This is great for offbeat phrasing, since hooks and vocals rarely land on the bar.

    ROMAN NUMERALS: I’ll add a flag marking where I want to jump to a hotcue, then use a combination of load cues and flags to “count” which hotcue to hit, as a reminder. The load cue = 5, the flags = 1. So hotcue 4 = flag + load (like IV in roman numerals), hotcue 8 = load + flag + flag + flag (or VIII). This is a great way to keep track of complicated live re-edits using hotcues, both while you’re making them and live. It’s also great for marking the size of beat jumps (16 = load-load + load + flag = XVI, for example) or reminding you how many times to leave a loop activated.

    CROSSFADE SLAMS: 1-, 2- and 4-beat loops make great crossfade slams. You can slam to 8 unique hotcued phrases all over a track, in 3 different lengths, seconds apart. The loop makes your CF slams fail-safe by keeping out parts of the song you don’t want to hear. I’ll duplicate a file, set all the hotcues to loops of nothing but crossfade slams and flail away on those hotcues to foreshadow it as the next track. I don’t set the hotcue to the loop itself, but to other color-coded cue points: blue (cue) =1-beat loop, yellow (load cue) = 2-beat loop, white (grid cue) = 4-beat loop. Sometimes the cuepoint will be inside the loop instead of where the loop starts, for a cool off-downbeat effect.

    These techniques are mostly visual reminders. They mark ideas and help me execute those ideas live. They could be used/ abused to completely pre-plan a mix, but I use them as a map, not a playlist.

    This shiz is all over… well, all my mixes since 2010, but especially on my youtube video mixes. Here’s one: http://youtu.be/4xNtPAgLtMg

  • Steve Bauer

    This is exactly the kind of system we teach at DJ Depot in Canada. We have a 10 week advanced Traktor course starting up again soon. We also do free weekly workshops on Traktor and Maschine. Remix decks are much more fun once you discover the better and easier way to use them.

  • Jake Bergeson

    I’ve totally been doing this exact setup for awhile now. And when I moved to Rekordbox when I got CDJs and moved away from the laptop, I still do the same. Having this setup works so well. Drops and mixes will seem pre mixed, but will be able to be mixed on the fly. This is a great secret to playing amazing sets that not many amateurs know.

  • DjCh3

    So, how exactly does one place markers 9-32?? I’d like to be able to set load in, fade ins and fade outs without using up my hot cues. Thanks

    • Anonymous

      You just store a cue point, like by clicking on “store” with a mouse.

      If there are fewer than 8 numbered cue points, it’ll get assigned one of those slot numbers, but you can always step forward/backward between cue points while
      the track isn’t playing (using the arrow buttons above “1” and “2”), and then assign that cue point to a slot number 1-8, by clicking “map” so it lights up, and next click on one of the numbered buttons.

      Thus: you assign a cue point to one of anonymous (9-32) cue point slots, by simply putting another cue point in its place.

      • am3nd

        How do you then edit those cue points that are from 9-32?

    • Robert Wulfman

      You use up the first 8 then use add cue. you can delete the first 8 when you are done.

      • Joaking

        Thanks you answer my question! Important Tip!!

  • Atom Active

    Awesome write-up, there is definitely some valuable information here.

    I’m a bit confused with how to map / set cue points 9-32.

    If I understand correctly, you have to first fill your 8 hot cue slots and then you can set cue points 9-32? Which ‘control’ do I map for ‘set next cue point’ ?

    Is it then possible, for example, to map a button to assign cue points 9-16 to hotcue slots 1-8 ?

  • Deksel

    Wait. What?
    32 cue points?!?
    Capow!
    How?

  • Amazing article…It’s serendipitous because this is something I’m really trying to focus more on in my sets. Keep up the good work.

  • seb nz

    great article. totally had forgotten about the fact you can relabel normal cue points as fade in/fade out etc. very powerful feature

  • dee

    This is a great article. I used to needle drop on vinyl to shortcut mixes, double drop, tease, and get in & out of tunes fast. Now I use cue points and drop to cue in Serato to do the same thing across 3 decks more efficiently and implement a continuous mashup style. It makes what I already know how to do more exciting and less linear. That’s what the tools are for- to take the fundamentals of DJing to the next level. It’s great to see someone break down why the features of the tools are important beyond just the vinyl emulation.

  • Andrew Sager

    Thanks Ean, more vids like this would be appreciated, it’s given me a few ideas

  • DJ_ForcedHand

    Naming the tags, the “n.n.” helps too. The really stupid part is that Native Instruments still hasn’t made mouse-over flags (on the waveform or the cue buttons) so you can see what they are. I’d really like to see this function implemented because they already implemented the count-down to cue feature… perhaps if NI implemented this, they might also want to implement the auto-loop (for n number of times) option.

    Just sayin’.

    • JayCohh

      YES !!! I WISH NI would Implement this! I started out changing the name or the “n.n” as someone mentioned earlier but I can’t see them unless I go to the “cue” menu which is annoying

  • Jr Goodman

    cool stuff – I wish you guys offered a course, there is so much I need to know about Traktor

  • Keynote101

    damnit I saw the photo and thought the article was going to be about hacking the GUI to make parallel waveforms…great article still tho!

  • Rat Patrol Riddim

    No wonder why some Traktor DJs are being kicked outta venues left & right. Half of us DO NOT know how to use this gargantuan piece of DJing software rofl

  • Mike Graham

    Use a hot loop on the downbeat to ride the mix out longer or get out of it faster if wanted or needed. That’s something I find that helps me personally

  • robbie

    You think you could do a demo set of this in action please?

  • technicaltitch

    Great article thanks Ean

  • James Chen

    A nice give up indeed…

  • Anonymous

    I like for my songs to have very long mix blends. (house music) and I can tell where what I want is, just by looking at the waveform or cueing in headphones. Also I tend to learn my songs very well. I assume this article is going to be more useful for the turntablist type of DJ? I guess I could set up cue points for the first downbeat, chorus in and out, and closing section of a song, but then I start to feel like I’ve made things almost too easy for myself.

    Does it sounds weird for me to say that the possibility of making a mistake is one of the things that makes performing out such a fun challenge? I like the goal of getting better, tighter mixes each time and minimizing errors. I don’t think I want everything pre arranged perfectly for me.

    • orge

      I also like to create flowing mixes between tracks, but I don’t see this as an technique to make it easier to nail phrasing/timing etc. Instead, I see it as an opportunity to re-jig the flow of a particular track so that it fits the energy you are trying to create; most likely this would be used to shorten a track, but could also be used to loop something in the mix until you are ready to continue. I actually think that keeping track of where you are is likely to be more difficult with this kind of dynamic mixing (particularly if you are jumping around the cue points of 2 or more tracks).

      The secondary use of the cue points is for beat juggles and fills. Have a go at flux mode and see how this can be lot of fun for creating your own variation. Even a simple cue on the kick of a song can be used to double up kicks as desired. Pretty cool!

      I’d been holding off from configuring my F1 for this task, as I also didn’t feel it suited my style of playing. However, after a little messing around, I can actually see myself using this a lot. Having coloured buttons for different types of marker makes it very intuitive to perform with the cue points! 🙂

      Mapping a hotcue to the beginning of a breakdown, a different drop and a nondescript loop in the intro/outro is a nice way to instantly inject a dynamic build. Then do this with two tracks and pick which way you want to drop at the last minute. 🙂

  • Tyler

    I had no idea there were 32 cue points per track.. I’ve been having to narrow it down to 8 for sooo long, that’s a huge help.

  • Anski

    In other news, the haircut looks great.

  • Frank

    Excellent article. I allready “cue” my tracks like this. Just an extra visual way of knowing al my songs.
    Nice one Ean.

  • The Mad Beaver

    That MidiFighter Uno in the background is just AMAZING! You guys have a GREAT sense of humor! Keep it up this way! 🙂

    • Best Legs

      first thing i noticed lol

  • AENSLAED

    Why there are flags with no numbers on them? you do you put those on place?

    • Rotem Ayalon

      After filling the first 8 hotcues you can press on “Store” and store more cues.
      Than, by selecting the Cues list you can see all of them 🙂

      • am3nd

        How do you then edit those 9-32 hot cues though?

        I hit “Store” and can see them in the list, but no flag appears in the waveform.

  • Rudi-J

    What a pity we don’t have banks for hotcues.
    Imagine Traktor would support 4 banks of hotcues – here is how it could work out:
    bank 1 would be your default bank (MIDI functionality fully backwards compatible with current versions of TPro). Once you’ve mapped and used up all hotcues there, you switch to bank 2, 3 or 4 (i.e. by a new MIDI-command “select active hotcue bank 1..4 for deck A…D”). Existing hotcues 1-8 of bank 1 would then still persist, the only thing that happens during this switchover is that that their labels 1-8 would disappear because you are now allowed to map and work with further 8 hotcues within your new “current bank”. As soon as you switch back to bank 1 or another bank labels would exchange again. Traktor already supports 32 cue-points today. and many controllers are limited to 8 (or sometimes just 4) hot cue-buttons. Therefore sticking with 8 hotcues makes sense

    ….But wouldn’t you agree that above desribed concept would allow us smarter and more convenient access to these 32 cue points simply organized in 4 hot-cue-banks?

    • Nolej

      Additional thought: as many controllers have at least 4 hotcue buttons, a shift+hotcue button setup would make it easy to switch mid-song.
      I could see using bank 1 for switching load cues and bank 2-4 for controllerism-style perfomance.

      • DJ_ForcedHand

        Shift + cue (button-press) normally deletes the cue point.

        • Nolej

          Thanks for pointing that out, I wasn’t sure.

        • thebigblaa

          Traktor has more than one modifier. Just like Shift Alt Ctrl Cmd are on your QWERTY keyboard, you could use and of these or a combination to do implement your suggestion. Each of these keys modifiers could be assigned to anything on your controller

          • DJ_ForcedHand

            I think there are 8 “modifiers.”

          • DJ_ForcedHand

            I think there are 8 “modifiers.”

      • DJ_ForcedHand

        I believe Traktor is more ready for what you’re asking than most people are. The functionality you are seeking is doable right now with a little bit of Controller Manager scripting. The trick NOW is taking good notes about what you’re doing and mastering an instrument you’ve created… by using buttons and parts of a song.

      • DJ_ForcedHand

        I believe Traktor is more ready for what you’re asking than most people are. The functionality you are seeking is doable right now with a little bit of Controller Manager scripting. The trick NOW is taking good notes about what you’re doing and mastering an instrument you’ve created… by using buttons and parts of a song.

    • DJ_ForcedHand

      I have done this with my Twitch (as there are 4 “bank select” buttons for the 8 trigger pads… per deck), but the cue markers got a *lot* confusing… it’d be nice if there was some sort of feedback for cue markers without having to trigger them.

      • Rudi-J

        Dont’t really get how you actually suceeded in implementing my “bank”-suggestion for having random access to all 32 cuepoints. Can you give an example of the workflow: how you trigger – let’s say … cue point 17 on your Twitch?

        • DJ_ForcedHand

          In one Traktor configuration I used (as you can save and use as many as you like, then load in any other you want at any other time), I had set all of the trigger buttons as cue points (I don’t use this very often because I don’t need 32 cue points per deck very often). Since there are 8 buttons per “bank” (all color assignable between Green and Red… there are about 4 useful colors which stand out in this range including Yellow and Orange). Those white buttons above the row of 4×2 LED lit triggers are for bank selection. “Hot Cues, FX, Loop, and Beat Grid” are simply what the default Traktor commands are, you can change them to be anything Traktor understands, and in this case, I assigned them to be cue triggers (with LED color-change feedback so I’d know what bank I was in at a glance).

          So, (from the top left to the lower right) bank one (Hot Cues) is 1-8, bank two (FX) is 9-16, bank three (Loop) is 17-24, and bank four (Beat Grid) is 25-32. I copied these functions for decks A through D. So, for example: cue trigger 17 was the top, left button of bank three (“Loop”). The only real flow interrupter is having to hit another bank button before hitting a trigger button for something outside of the bank range, (it’s fast, but not instantaneous). Example: I’m triggering cue buttons in the 17-24 range with no extra bank button push required, but if I wanted to trigger a cue trigger in the 1-8 region, I’d have to press the “Hot Cues” bank select button and then one (or more) of the cue triggers in the 1-8 cue range. I had found myself wanting to color-code the flags in Traktor, but those colors have different meanings and are not user-assignable like the colors on the F1 or Maschine.

          I presume you could do the same thing with your Native Instruments controller, but I’m not sure how the local firmware works. My “bank select” changes are really just reassigning the MIDI Notes for the buttons I’m already using and the bank buttons are just range modifiers.

          In a different layout, I had even mapped a simple piano (single octave) by shifting the sharps and flats to the left above the white key, using the red LED color for black keys and yellow for white keys and then selected parts of a song that corresponded to the note (thank you “Acoustic Guitar Tuner” for iPhone) I wanted to try and save a layout that shifted pitch by changing the frequency (pitch slider), but it seemed like too much work for too little payoff… plus, I have a piano controller now… I think this is a better way to play notes/chords.

          I hope this helps.

          • Rudi-J

            Thanks for these explanations ForcedHand, so i do understand how you manage your buttons for bank selection and triggering hotcues but i still don’t understand the mystery of how you assign the hotcues. Do you use the mouse for that? To my knowledge there are no MIDI commands to assign a hotcue randomly to one of the 32 cues of the list. I only see traktor midi commands to assing the current floating cue point to be the next free hotcue or a midi command to set and store a cue point at the current position. how to you organize the assignment of these 32 cues then?

          • DJ_ForcedHand

            When a song is first added to any play deck, there are no cue point triggers assigned except for the load cue (which can be turned off, but I like to leave it on). On the Twitch (and I presume this is standard protocol for most other controllers with Traktor as it worked with the Kontrol S2 I used to configure for a dance club), the first time you press a hot cue it assigns a flagged point (on the waveform), turns on the on-screen “cue” number button and lights up the controller’s cue button corresponding to the hot cue button you pressed if your controller has LEDs in the cue buttons (hot cues do not have to be stored in chronological order).

            To extend the number of hot cues available to me, I simply copied the behavior from the Hot Cue bank into the other 3 banks (meanwhile removing any of the commands that were already assigned to the cue triggers in those banks and added a little color flare with the add out control). At this point, the controller is prepped so that Hot cues 2-8 on the first bank are available and when I want to add hot cues 9-16, I first press the bank 2 (FX) button and then continue as normal. The “mapped to” note assignment directly relates to the Hot Cue number. All I need to do at this point is assign the hot cue markers while preparing the tracks.

            Assigning all 32 buttons is a painstaking process (per Track Deck), because it’s not just a simple Assign this to that and you’re done. If I recall correctly, there were 3 commands assigned to each trigger, and a modifier which needs to be managed. Two ins and one out (the out being the LED light “state”) deal with the button behavior, the modifier changes the behavior (of the what command gets sent… essentially allowing the user to map multiple commands to one control without losing control of individual functions). There’s a
            really good DJ Shiftee tutorial on how to do all this on youtube from Dubspot.

          • Rudi-J

            Hmm …
            Looked for shiftee’s tutorials on cue points in dubspot but only found a rather basic one where he explains how led feedback for hotcues works and how a modifier can be used to assign different functionality for one button.
            What i would rather appreciate if someone could point me to a downloadable mapping in the djtt mappings section (for any type of controller) that features usage of more than 8 hotcues. I could then download and study this mapping to learn how hotcues can be mapped randomly to any of the 32 stored cues…
            Nerver mind forced hand it seems your technique is quite unique so if you didn’t yet post your mapping on the DJTT mappings page you probably should consider to do so as a lot of others ( including myself) could learn from it…

          • DJ_ForcedHand

            I’ll take a look for it. Quite literally, I copied what was already there (looked at the Shiftee video) and pasted the exact commands (without conflicts) and simply assigned those commands to the trigger button I wanted (well, I also changed the color of the button per bank, but that had more to do with planning). The controller manager has MIDI learn, it’s really not that hard.

          • DJ_ForcedHand

            When a song is first added to any play deck, there are no cue point triggers assigned except for the load cue (which can be turned off, but I like to leave it on). On the Twitch (and I presume this is standard protocol for most other controllers with Traktor as it worked with the Kontrol S2 I used to configure for a dance club), the first time you press a hot cue it assigns a flagged point (on the waveform), turns on the on-screen “cue” number button and lights up the controller’s cue button corresponding to the hot cue button you pressed if your controller has LEDs in the cue buttons (hot cues do not have to be stored in chronological order).

            To extend the number of hot cues available to me, I simply copied the behavior from the Hot Cue bank into the other 3 banks (meanwhile removing any of the commands that were already assigned to the cue triggers in those banks and added a little color flare with the add out control). At this point, the controller is prepped so that Hot cues 2-8 on the first bank are available and when I want to add hot cues 9-16, I first press the bank 2 (FX) button and then continue as normal. The “mapped to” note assignment directly relates to the Hot Cue number. All I need to do at this point is assign the hot cue markers while preparing the tracks.

            Assigning all 32 buttons is a painstaking process (per Track Deck), because it’s not just a simple Assign this to that and you’re done. If I recall correctly, there were 3 commands assigned to each trigger, and a modifier which needs to be managed. Two ins and one out (the out being the LED light “state”) deal with the button behavior, the modifier changes the behavior (of the what command gets sent… essentially allowing the user to map multiple commands to one control without losing control of individual functions). There’s a
            really good DJ Shiftee tutorial on how to do all this on youtube from Dubspot.

          • Rudi-J

            Thanks for these explanations ForcedHand, so i do understand how you manage your buttons for bank selection and triggering hotcues but i still don’t understand the mystery of how you assign the hotcues. Do you use the mouse for that? To my knowledge there are no MIDI commands to assign a hotcue randomly to one of the 32 cues of the list. I only see traktor midi commands to assing the current floating cue point to be the next free hotcue or a midi command to set and store a cue point at the current position. how to you organize the assignment of these 32 cues then?

        • DJ_ForcedHand

          In one Traktor configuration I used (as you can save and use as many as you like, then load in any other you want at any other time), I had set all of the trigger buttons as cue points (I don’t use this very often because I don’t need 32 cue points per deck very often). Since there are 8 buttons per “bank” (all color assignable between Green and Red… there are about 4 useful colors which stand out in this range including Yellow and Orange). Those white buttons above the row of 4×2 LED lit triggers are for bank selection. “Hot Cues, FX, Loop, and Beat Grid” are simply what the default Traktor commands are, you can change them to be anything Traktor understands, and in this case, I assigned them to be cue triggers (with LED color-change feedback so I’d know what bank I was in at a glance).

          So, (from the top left to the lower right) bank one (Hot Cues) is 1-8, bank two (FX) is 9-16, bank three (Loop) is 17-24, and bank four (Beat Grid) is 25-32. I copied these functions for decks A through D. So, for example: cue trigger 17 was the top, left button of bank three (“Loop”). The only real flow interrupter is having to hit another bank button before hitting a trigger button for something outside of the bank range, (it’s fast, but not instantaneous). Example: I’m triggering cue buttons in the 17-24 range with no extra bank button push required, but if I wanted to trigger a cue trigger in the 1-8 region, I’d have to press the “Hot Cues” bank select button and then one (or more) of the cue triggers in the 1-8 cue range. I had found myself wanting to color-code the flags in Traktor, but those colors have different meanings and are not user-assignable like the colors on the F1 or Maschine.

          I presume you could do the same thing with your Native Instruments controller, but I’m not sure how the local firmware works. My “bank select” changes are really just reassigning the MIDI Notes for the buttons I’m already using and the bank buttons are just range modifiers.

          In a different layout, I had even mapped a simple piano (single octave) by shifting the sharps and flats to the left above the white key, using the red LED color for black keys and yellow for white keys and then selected parts of a song that corresponded to the note (thank you “Acoustic Guitar Tuner” for iPhone) I wanted to try and save a layout that shifted pitch by changing the frequency (pitch slider), but it seemed like too much work for too little payoff… plus, I have a piano controller now… I think this is a better way to play notes/chords.

          I hope this helps.

    • Seville Lilly

      This is possible with modifiers, but how desirable is it? Personally, I find 8 hotcues to be “just right” 90% of the time. Whenever I think I need more, I usually decide 45 minutes later that I was overthinking it. To each his own of course.
      I would find banks of hotcues useful to me for alternate 2-minute, 3-minute and 4-minute re-edits of the same track. As it stands, I just duplicate the file and rename it. But it would be nice if, say, I could switch from 4-minute to 2-minute or vice versa live because of crowd reaction without loading another deck. I think banks would be too complicated live though.

  • Adau

    Any way to use cue points of Deck B as cue points 5, 6, 7 and 8 of Deck A on the Kontrol S4?

    • bnado

      You can switch to using the sample deck buttons for those cue points.

      • Adau

        Good idea, I’ll try that. Thank you.

  • thesammon

    I’ve always wanted to expand my usage of cue points; now I can!

  • Billy Badazz

    It’s sometimes difficult to see when you’re using fade and fade out markers which is which. Fade in is pointed to the left and fade out to the right, but maybe it would be handy if Traktor had a separate colour for the fade out marker, so you can actually see what you’re doing when you’re half drunk Dj-ing in a dark DJ-booth

  • safadao

    I finally have the time to catch up on so long overdue track prep.
    This tutorial appeared right on time.
    I didn’t realize that fade-in / out markers could be used without actually assigning to a hot key.
    Good stuff and just what I needed.

  • AENSLAED

    Traktor could definitely use Trim-like markers or cue points…

  • Gordo de Primavera

    Traktor is crazy unfriendly (that is NOT mean complicated)
    Beatgrid cue should be “hidden”..in the unstable track you can see a lot of White “triangle”…is annoying

    Cue on first cue point seem Too easy to set instead of Load? maybe an option…maybe

    Best Cue management is Serato Dj (great beatgrid..simple management of several cue point..) and even in Rekordbox is definitely not bad.

    my 2 cents…

  • Marquee Mark

    Nice one, Ean! Loving that you’re doing basic tutorials again, more of this please.