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How to Maximize Screen Real Estate in Traktor Using Layout Manager

Since starting in my role at DJTechTools, I’ve been on the lookout for different topics I can cover for tutorials and demos. Through talking to my DJ buddies and colleagues, I’ve come up with a few ideas, some of which are very in-depth, which you’ll see in the coming months, and some which are, like today’s, very simple, but often overlooked. So, friends, in this video I’m going to look at the Layout Manager in Traktor Pro and Traktor Scratch Pro, and help you maximize that screen real estate no matter the DJing situation.

Now I’m sure there are many of you out there shouting, “Who DOESN’T know about that?” But I have spoken to a few working DJs who chose a layout when they first installed the software, maybe tweaked a few things, and left it at that. So, if you’re new to Traktor, or have never experimented with the layout manager, here’s a few reasons why you should get to know it:

  1. It’s quicker to select between multiple, pre-designed layouts than it is to adjust the layout on the screen mid-gig. You can even MIDI-map the selection process.
  2. If you use multiple hardware setups, it’s great to have easily accessible layouts tailored precisely to each one. Likewise, some gigs you might need four decks, some only two. Why fiddle about in Preferences when you can have that ready to go?
  3. Screen real estate is always limited, unless you have a massively high-resolution display. On my 1280×800 Macbook Pro screen, I just can’t fit all the features I might ever want on there at once—so multiple layouts mean I can quickly get missing panels or functions into view, and hide them again just as fast.
  4. Some tasks require very specific layouts which might not transfer to your ideal ‘performance’ setup. For example, I don’t ever display the status/error messages bar (found in Browser Details) in my gig layouts, but I always use it for my preparation/importing layouts.

Basically, I really like the Layout Manager, as you’ve probably guessed by now. For me, it offers a great middle-ground between the relatively limited options in Serato DJ and the box of crazy that gets opened when companies allow user skinning. If you’re a Traktor user, and you haven’t already, I urge you to check it out.

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Give it a try and tell us what you think in the comments below.


  • Rufus Sanders

    that was awesome. cheers.

  • CUSP

    In the same light, many DJs using Traktor don’t realize that there is a virtual deck assignment right there on the crossfader tab. The letters next to crossfader (on both sides, in the “cross” (A,B,C,D)) are the deck crossfader assignments, indicated by the white letter (assigned) rather than the grey letter (unassigned). By default, Deck A is assigned to the left side of the crossfader, and Deck B is assigned to the right side. Clicking on a letter toggles deck assignment on that side, so it is very possible to reverse the “normal deck crossfader curve”, or assigning all decks to one side of the crossfader, but not the same deck to both sides of the crossfader.

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  • Paul Muller

    So glad you raised this under-appreciated topic. If you’re starting out as a digital DJ and you’re anything like me, it’s easy to believe you need a 17″ Macbook Pro simply to provide enough screen real-estate for the mixer, faders, etc. Once I started playing out with external mixers (and even some control surfaces), I realised that most of what’s on the screen is useless for most day to day work (setting up a new controller not being a day to day thing for me), and a Macbook Pro 11″ works just great (especially at a club with CDJ 2000s as controllers).

  • Aaron Leese

    seriously? Just get software that lets you flex the screen real estate to whatever you want.

  • Pedro Garcia

    I miss the “modular system ” from traktor dj studio 3 ,where you can put the scratch panel on top,at one side the efx panel ,recorder etc …I wonder if NI would put this for the next version of traktor with the parallel waveforms

    Marco Hooghuis to make the browser big just press the space button on the keyboard ;

  • Erik Airrik Dale

    I never understood the point of cover art in traktor. It seems like a waste of screen real estate as well as cpu

    • Patch

      Does showing cover art significantly effect the CPU?

      • Mojaxx

        Not sure about CPU, but the reason I got rid of all my album art is that it made browsing very slow in Scratch Live when using mk1 CDJ-2000s in HID mode.

        I’m not fussed about it so I don’t miss it, but I know a few people who find it invaluable.

      • rene

        The NXS are much faster than the normal 2000’s.

    • It makes DJing a practical reality for Dyslexia sufferers.

      • Earl

        yea,but not everybody slanders people like you do,so your opinion, Mark,dont hold no water,,,,,maybe telling the cats at DJTT what you really say behind their backs… you did at NAMM,saying,and In you words….”they are a sinking ship and I will own them soon…Pounds?-Dollars?….c’mon…..time to just finisher er’ up while you guys cover what we covered a month before…….at least be 21 about it Mark…

    • Marco Hooghuis

      I like cover art, it helps me recognize tracks. Some people have a more visual memory and cover art helps them distinguish tracks.

    • Filippo

      have you ever played with vinyl?

  • Marco Hooghuis

    I’d like to add that if you have a small screen it pays to map a button to ‘browser on’ IIRC so you can have large waveforms when you’re mixing and a large browser view when looking for your next track. Just like you get when touching the browser button on the X1 Mk2.

    • Taylormade

      I think you can just hit the spacebar to make the track brower section larger. Thats how I manage on my 14″ screen.

      • Marco Hooghuis

        You’re right, the spacebar does it too. But my point is that using this feature you can have a lot more on screen (just not at the same time) and the video doesn’t even mention it.

  • It can be easy to overlook the little things that will simplify your workflow. Nice work!

  • Futureglue Musik

    As always Chris: great vid!

  • Patch

    Layout manage is something that I’ve been meaning to get to grips with lately. Looking forward to watching this vid…

    The plan is to have 3 or 4 layouts that I can toggle/click through with a single button…

    • Patch

      Sorted this last night – no need for any modifiers! Just set your layouts (I hae 4), then map a button to Layout Select>Inc, and you can cycle through your layouts with 1 button.

      • Mojaxx

        I’m glad you confirmed that, Patch; I was sure that was the case but I didn’t want to suggest it was so until I checked. IIRC one of the default user mappings on the Kontrol F1 includes that.

  • LarsLB

    Simple and effective tip! Even if someone knows about it, this article will make them go back and look at their own layouts again .. Thanks