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Three Flux Mode Tricks For Playing Traktor Like An Instrument

Though it came out almost a year ago, many digital DJs may not have noticed the Flux Mode feature available in Traktor Pro 2.6 and up. Flux Mode kind of works like an advanced Looper, allowing you to do all sorts of crazy tricks like jumping around hotcues or adding glitchy effects without accidentally backtracking in a song.

In today’s video DJ TechTools resident Mad Zach takes us on a journey through Flux Mode and explains some of his techniques for adding a little spice to a regular DJ routine:

Flux Mode can be useful for a lot of performance oriented improvisations, almost letting you play your tracks like an instrument. To turn it on, right-click one of your decks in Traktor and select “Flux Mode”. If you run a Kontrol Z2 mixer there is a dedicated button for toggling this, but if not it might be a good idea to set up a mapping on your controller. As for tricks you can pull in Flux mode, here are some of Mad Zach’s signature moves:

#1: Casual Backspin

This one is great for adding a little slice and dice to your set. Having Flux Mode enabled will make it so that you can scratch on a track without losing your place. Some helpful tips for getting the most out of a Casual Backspin:

  • Use this technique only on beats, not a whole song. Your mix will get muddy otherwise.
  • When adding backspin be careful that the platter doesn’t keep spinning.
  • To get better platter control use your other hand to slow the side of the platter.

#2: The Impromptu Build

Builds can be created many different ways in a mix, but by using Flux Mode, a looper, and a one-shot riser you can create simple impressive climaxes. To start, set up a looper on one deck at 1 beat (for best results). On your other channel, load up a build or riser sample in a remix deck.

Since we’re in Flux Mode you can layer the beat repeat from the looper over your rise effect without having to worry about missing the next beat. At the same time you trigger the riser, engage the looper. Now you can do a beat roll on one track while the build up come through on the other.

#3: Alien LaserBots

Last but not least, we can take elements learned in the first two techniques and combine them to produce weird glitchy zaps and bleeps, perfect for some improv breaks in your performance. The Alien LaserBots effect mostly comes from looping/rolling a sample on the remix deck, but you can do the following with Flux Mode enabled to get really crazy results:

  • Use the platters to scratch your sample back and forth
  • Flick the pitch control up and down to get a nice wobbly sound
  • Layer in some effects like a reverb for extra trippyness

Once you turn off the looper, your song will pick up right where you left it.

Have any other Flux Mode tips or tricks? Share them with us in the comments. Also don’t forget you can find some of the sounds featured in Mad Zach’s videos by visiting the DJ TechTools store.

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  • Scoox

    Does not work with regular loops, only with loop cue points.

    • Scoox

      OK, apparently flux mode works with loops but only when mapped to a MIDI controller. If you click the loop length buttons with the mouse, flux mode won’t work. This is not consistent behaviour because flux mode works if you click hotcue buttons.

  • Guest

    Sounds like shit!

  • Gonne

    Can these be used with timecode vinyl and the Z2 ??

  • technicaltitch

    The turntable effects in Traktor are disgusting, but the brake, combined with flux or used while going wet to dry or dry to wet can sometimes fit well when playing heavy, sparse dub.

  • tetrix

    Richie Hawtin uses the last one alot in his sounds. Really morphs and changes the songs to make them freaky and cool…

  • Sagar Samtani

    cool stuff 🙂

  • Chaser720

    Impromptu build is nice. I’ve been doing the same thing with a Flight Test and Mulholland Drive mapped to auto increase. Not as clean as the riser sample but eliminates the use of the remix deck.

  • Strages

    Cool Zach thanks

  • Eric Aprill

    Can anyone tell me which soundpack Relevant Riser is in?

    • Mad Zach

      its from the “How to Make a Soundpack Soundpack”

      • Eric Aprill

        Thank you so much! Great stuff man

  • David Whalen

    That Boeboe remix tho…

  • Mayne Tayne

    Nice Tutorial.. =).
    How do you get the flux mode to work on the remix deck if your using the Z2

    • Mad Zach

      not sure, maybe just map something to it or click it

    • SebAdee

      There’s flux button on the bottom of the mixer below your cue buttons.

  • jeremysexton

    Kicking myself for not coming up with that loop build.

  • Nice techniques!

    • Mad Zach

      thanks Ean 🙂

  • tr4gik

    Video unavailable?

  • Jay

    If I heard that shit live I would leave the room or cover my ears – it is not pleasant.

    • Mad Zach

      its just an isolated technique – intentionally stripped down for the video, as part of a live performance it would be integrated seamlessly and only used if it were pleasant or improving the performance 🙂

      • Nukemi

        Any chance you could post an example of how these can be used in a performance? For me, this seems like a cool thing, but cant come up with too many ideas on when to use them (except for the backspin)


        • Mad Zach

          yeah sometime soon 😉

          • Nukemi

            Thanks, that would be awesome! Keep up the good work, great videos, really inspiring!

      • scamo

        Actually, the first two techniques you did a good job explaining and demonstrating and I was able to imagine using them within a mix. However the Alien Laser Bots you sort of went ballistic with. Love the mean crazy look you did there. Not a pretty DJ face though. LOL!

        It is still yet another cool video Zach. Makes me want to play more with my S4 again. Thanks for the effort! I sure appreciate it.


    • matt

      You log on here and click on a GUIDE video to yell at someone? lol you serious? If you knew everything you wouldnt be here dipshit. We all know you used the
      methods shown in this vid 🙂

      • J Crenshaw

        I agree with Jay; regardless, “seamlessly” I would still leave the room/club/floor. Then again I don’t enjoy hearing turntablists (scratching) when I go see a Dj Either, its ear grating and annoying.

        After Dubstep DJs have abused backspin into the ground to completely destroy the art of DJing that genre, I wouldnt be able to stand hearing another one 😛

  • Patch

    I like that casual backspin – can this be done with control vinyl???

    • Kraal Wiggins

      yes and no you will need to ‘hold ‘ a loop to do any flux mode effects with the turntables

      • Patch

        Cheers – I wonder if this can be mapped? I’m thinking mapping a buitton on a Dicer to emulate touching the platter on the S4 for teh Casual Spinback…

        Or, maybe map a button to a midi pedal?

  • Dj Hustleman

    Cool post…that s4 looks different

    • Chaser720

      How so? I don’t see anything out of the ordinary.