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