Setting up Midi Maps in Traktor

Midi mappings are the link between Traktor and your controller, so without these files your midi controller has no way of communicating with the software. Working with mappings can be tricky at first, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Today Ryan Dejaegher, our tech support specialist, is going to show you common mistakes many new djs make with midi mappings and how to avoid them. This article is for those new to using mappings at all, to get started creating your own check out “Building a Basic Midi Mapping” 

Stop! Save Your Traktor Settings First

Before you start playing with mappings, it’s important to backup your existing Traktor settings so that you can easily get back to your original settings. You can do this by clicking the big “Export” button in the bottom left corner of the preferences window and making sure all the boxes are checked. Now you have a complete back up of all your settings in Traktor that can be restored through the big import button. Once you’ve done this you’re ready to start messing around with mappings.

Export_settings
Backup all your Traktor settings before adding new midi maps.

Ean Golden, a mapping expert for over 10 years recommends the following: 

Save all of your settings this was each month with the following format (March2015SAFE) so you always have a clear history to roll back when things fail or you mess up mappings. This simple habit has saved my butt many, many times!

Importing Your First Mapping

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 12.43.04 AM

If you’re using a third party controller, not made by Native Instruments –  you’ll need a midi mapping for it to work in Traktor. This applies to controllers like the Novation Launchpad, Midi Fighter 3D, and the Pioneer DDJ controllers.

The best source for custom mappings is DJTT Maps which has thousands of settings for all software and hardware

There are 2 ways that mappings can be imported:

1) Use the big “Import” button in the bottom left corner of the preferences window. (Shown above)

This will important all personal settings including mappings so be careful! The IMPORT method will override all of your mappings and is usually only used when restoring all of your settings (for example from a back-up) or if there is special effects settings with a mapping. This button allows you to select which settings should be imported, as many mappings might have additional information.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 12.31.28 AM

KeyBoard, Controller, GUI, Favorites, Effects, Other – are all usually personal preferences and should not be imported otherwise they will override your settings.  The only time this method of mapping import should be used is with files that contain special effects settings like the DJTT Kontrol S4 MK2 mapping or Midi Fighter 3D All-in-1, both which have interesting FX combos.

After IMPORTING a mapping, you can add back older ones using the 2nd method:

1) In the Controller Manager (Add —> Import TSI —> Import Other…) and then select the .TSI file (this is the mapping file format).

Controller_Manager

 

This method will only add the mapping file and is how you can run many different mappings at the same time. If you are adding a single mapping for the first time, this is probably the best method.

Keep in mind that maintaining many large mappings can slow the performance of the controller manager.  Switching between mappings or even opening the preferences can take much longer than usual. If you’re no longer using a mapping it’s best to delete it from the Controller Manager (choose the mapping from the device menu, then click “Edit” —> “Delete”)

Don’t Forget to Assign Your Controller – In/Out Ports

The next step after importing your mappings is to make sure that they’re all assigned to the correct controller. A common mistake is forgetting to assign the controller to a mapping or having one controller assigned to multiple mappings. This can cause your controller to be unresponsive or wrong commands to be triggered.

In_out_ports
If the mapping isn’t assigned to a controller, it won’t work.

Anytime you import a new mapping, check the in/out ports (beside the Device drop down menu) to make sure the mappings are assigned to the correct controller. Never choose “All Ports” for mappings. That means the mapping is going to listen for midi from any controller that’s connected to your computer, which we don’t want.

Working With Native Instruments Controller Mappings

img-ce-gallery-traktor_kontrol_x1_gallery_intro_07_2x-2c6d3b5b8859616ce1e0160f25dd709d-d

Native Instruments controllers such as the Kontrol S4/S2, Kontrol F1/X1/Z1 are automatically detected by Traktor. These controllers are automatically mapped so there’s nothing to setup or configure. This is the advantage of using a native controller.

You can still use custom mappings for NI controllers (such as the DJTT Kontrol S4 Custom Mapping and Tekken’s Kontrol F1 Isolator mapping). If you import a mapping to replace the default mapping i.e. Kontrol S4, ensure the default mapping for the controller is no longer assigned to the controller. What if you want to revert to the default mapping? Delete the mapping you imported from the controller manager, then under Device click Add –> Traktor –> (Your Controller) –> Default to restore the default mapping.

A final note on NI controllers. For the best compatibility make sure you’re running the latest version of Traktor. Each time a new controller is released it’s usually accompanied with a new version of Traktor that adds support for that controller. For example if you try to use the Kontrol S8 with a version of Traktor before 2.7, it won’t work. So always make sure you’re running the latest version of Traktor.

Testing Your Controller

CTRL

If you import a midi mapping and your controller doesn’t work, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean your controller is broken, so don’t rush off to return it. An easy way to check if your controller is indeed working is by looking at the “CTRL” icon in the at the top of the Traktor window. Press a button on your controller, if that icon lights up then that means Traktor is receiving midi from your controller. If nothing is happening then follow these quick steps:

  1. Import the mapping again
  2. Delete any duplicate mappings
  3. Check that the controller is assigned to the correct mapping via the in/out ports
  4. Make sure the controller isn’t assigned to multiple mappings
  5. For Midi Fighters specifically, several mappings include a .mfs file (this is for the Midi Fighter Utility) and it’s used to configure the midi channel, LED colors, and motion settings. Make sure this is imported into the Midi Fighter Utility (File –> Import Settings –> choose the .mfs file –> click “Send Changes To Midi Fighter”)

Several mappings in the DJTT maps section include manuals, instructions, or diagrams showing the parameters that are mapped to a controller. It’s a good idea to test all the controls to see if they match up with the mapping diagram. As a general rule never perform with a new mapping until you’ve tested it thoroughly and you’re familiar with it.  If you found a control that doesn’t work as it should then leave a comment on the mapping page so the creator can fix the mapping if necessary.

Mapping_Diagram
Stewe’s mapping diagram for Midi Fighter 3D Remix Deck control

Ignore the Setup Wizard

Setup_Wizard

One thing that causes a lot of confusion is the Traktor Setup Wizard. The Setup Wizard appears the first time you setup Traktor and it’s great if you’re using Native Instruments controllers. For most other controllers it can be ignored. Traktor does have some default mappings for third party controllers but it doesn’t have mappings for every single controller ever made. So don’t be paranoid if your controller doesn’t show up in the setup wizard. This just means you need to either import a mapping for your controller or create your own.

Building Your Own Mapping? Save, Save, Save!

Export_Mapping

Creating your own mapping can be pretty time consuming. The last thing you want is for your computer to freeze or shutdown and lose all your mapping progress. For this reason it’s a good idea to back up regularly as you’re creating your mapping. You can save individual mappings through the Controller Manager. Under the “Device” drop down menu, click Edit –> Export. Name your mapping and save it. I find it’s a good idea to create a dedicated mapping folder and save a new version everytime I export the mapping. Now if your computer shuts down you can import your mapping in progress and pick up where you left off.

Ready to start building your own? Then read “Building a Basic Midi Mapping” 

  • Donald Tragik

    I’m trying to get Xone DX up and running with TP2. Ive updated firmware and I have imported a TSI from Allen & Heath, But the controller still wont do anything. It does show that its powered. I have also ensured that In-Out Ports are set to the DX. Anybody have any suggestions on what may be the problem and possible solution?

  • Oliver Chris Ludwig

    i’m trying to use the midi-fighter, and followed the setup correctly. i have the tsi file imported in traktor. in -and outports are correct. i have imported the mfs-file in the mf utility program and sent to the twister. the led’s blink accordingly, yet nothing happens at all when i turn knobs or push buttons. i really have no idea what’s wrong. i know how to assign midi-controls in ableton, reason, hell even in traktor. but when i download a premade setup i don’t get it to work. traktor doesn’t react. the ctrl-icon is not blinking.

  • KD0OSU

    I am having problems with my in-ports and it recognizing my mappings? They only way for it to recognize my controller is if its in “generic midi” … any ideas? I can provide details… thanks

  • rasp haunt

    how come every time i add a new tsi to my set up…everything slows waaay down…even traktor itself takes 3 minutes to open and it used to open in 10 seconds,,,my computer has 18 gigs of ram,mad fast and a terra byte HD…so its not that…any idea…all kinds of people have been complaining about this lately…we even rolled back a few versions…same.

  • nice one! are there any people working with TWITCH and Traktor?

  • Tomii Forsythe

    Great article! Ive learned allot for djtechtools articles over the past few years. Ive edited and mapped my VCI-100, Kontrol F1 and S4. Ive been working on my new Maschine MK2…. thing is.. I just don’t have the time to do it. Being a father of three, a full time firefighter, and a husband; I want to spend what precious time I have mixing. Not mapping. Don’t get me wrong, for a basic mapping its pretty easy and straight forward. But when you start adding modifiers, time just slips through my hands.

    Im glad you wrote this article Mr. Ryan Sir. I hope you write more. Ive downloaded your Maschine mk2 mapping, explored it for a while ,and really like it. I understand that your time is money, as is mine. I would totally pay you 150 bones to map my maschine. I have an exact idea of what i want and Ive made a diagram of each button and knob.

    Thing is, sending a pay pal to just anyone aint going to happen. Stewe aint got a Maschine and well, I’m pretty sure there won’t be any shady shit between you and I.

    Peace

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  • RODCAP

    Is it possible to merge two different mappings or two TSI files between them ???

    • qazen

      yes, a piece of software, called “xtreme mapping”, can do that. but if the two mappings share the same modifiers, you will have conflicts!

      • KD0OSU

        what is a modifier ?

        • qazen

          it’s a number, that can be set by mapping. e.g. if you press button X, then make “Modifier 1” get the value “3”. Each modifier can have values from 0 to 9. And then you can set conditions to other mapped parameters. e.g. press button Z to turn LED Y on, but only if “Modifier 1” has the value “3”. In this example you’d have to press X first and then Z for the LED to turn on. Clear?

  • Marky Young

    Good reads! It’s always good to keep the Traktor tips current and fresh.

  • Znakebyte

    Thanks for a great article. I’ve recently made a custom mapping for the NI Kontrol Z1 for controlling 4 decks (instead of the default two). I use the Mode-button to switch between decks A/B and C/D. All functionality (both in and out) works well and all, but I can’t get the orange LEDs in the level meters to light up (only the blue). Anyone have any idea/tips?

    • frankiefilth

      Same here, unfortunately, seems to only work in HID mode. IMO, makes the Z1 useless in MIDI mode.

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