How To Create Instant Gratification-Style Effects for Traktor and Play Them Musically

Today we are going to demystify the popular Instant Gratification mapping, a one press = many effects concept that made big effects fills crazy easy. A while back I explained how to MIDI-map your own super-combos, but that was the gravy to the Gratification’s mashed potatoes. Here we’ll dive into the core concept of that mapping, which was intuitive, fun, and (most importantly) consistent-sounding. Read on to learn how to MIDI-map these button-friendly effects and also a sneaky trick to play a row of effect buttons musically.  While the instant grat mapping was easy to play and seemed simple at a first glance, for each button press there are at least seven Traktor mapping commands The mapping commands required to get familiar with in order to produce the end result of “one press = always amazing” are:

  • Button 1/2/3 or Unit On (Effect On)
  • Effect 1/2/3 Selector
  • Knob 1/2/3 (Effect Parameter)
  • Dry/Wet Adjust (FX Unit)
  • FX Unit 1/2/3 On (Routing On desired deck and Off others)
  • FX Unit Mode Selector

WHY ALL THE BONUS COMMANDS?

Too many MIDI commands, too little time.

Some of these commands may seem superfluous at first, but they will come in handy, especially if you are using a mapping in tandem with others or ever use the mouse to control the software. In short, it’s important that one magic button always work and that every possibility is accounted for. Each button press on your controller does all the following steps:

  • Sets the effect you want (ex: beatmasher or delay?)
  • Sets the exact effect speed (ex: fast or slow?)
  • Sets the effect bank dry/wet to a mix level
  • Turns on the FX routing and turns off any unwanted FX routing
  • Sets the FX bank to the proper mode (ex: group or single?)

Once you combine all of these elements, you have one-push instant gratification-style button effects, customized just how you want them.

BEHIND THE BEATMASHER: PLAYING FX MUSICALLY

How do those beatmashers work so well, anyway?

So now that you know the format for how to make instant gratification-style effects, we can move on to one important principle:

How to press a lot of “super” buttons at the same time? 

All of the Beatmasher buttons on that mapping (there are 4) are turned on using the “Hold” mode seen bellow. They turn on the effect when you hold down any of the buttons and turn the effect off whenever you release any of the buttons.

Each button also moves a single beat masher knob to different rates (1/4 note, 1/8th note, 1/2 note ect..) allowing you to play the repeats in a musical way. Very handy!

The problem is this, if you are going back and forth between the buttons and ever have two fingers on two at the same time,  the effect turns off. This may not seem like a huge issue, but musically – it is. The result is effects gaps and silence. The solution is to use a simple modifier trick to keep track of how many buttons are being held down at one time and using those modifiers to turn off the effects.

The simplest way to achieve this is to use a single modifier and have each button (of this group of the same effects) to increment the modifier when the button is held down and to decrement the modifier when the button is released (also known as the invert command –  the command is applied on the MIDI Off signal from the button rather than the MIDI On signal). As shown in the video above, the modifier you select will be at 0 with no buttons held and go up sequentially to 1, 2, 3, and finally to 4 when all four buttons are held down. With the same logic, as you release each button the modifier value goes down by 1 until going back to its original state of 0 when none of the buttons are being held down.

If for some reason you can’t get invert commands to work on your controller, you can also do the same process with four different modifiers that each just “hold” directly to 1 when each corresponding button is pressed down and then will automatically go back to 0 when released.

TRACK YOUR BUTTON PRESSES

Now that we know how to set up some modifier commands to track how many buttons are being held down, we need to add some modifier conditions to our existing effect/button on commands so that they work when you are holding one button down. To do this, we are going to go to each effect/button on command and add a modifier condition of whatever modifier you used to track the button presses (M2 as shown in the example video) and set it to 0. This will turn the effect on when you don’t have any buttons held. We are also going to need to duplicate all of these effect/button On commands and make another with the modifier condition equal to 1. This condition is for the case when you only have one button left held and release it to turn off the effect.

Pretty cool, huh? That very well could have been something that you never realized was going on in these mappings but it definitely has a profound effect on being able to play the effects musically, the way your brain and hands naturally intend to. Remember, this concept isn’t specific to the Midi Fighter and can be applied to any MIDI controller with 2 to 7 buttons – in the event you wanted to play that many different rates/styles of one selected effect. Why is seven the limit? Because Traktor MIDI modifiers only have integer values ranging from 0 to 7, remember?

FREE ONE DECK INSTANT GRAT-STYLE MAPPING

It’s time to take this knowledge and put it to good MIDI-mapping use! While you may conceptually understand this and follow along with the video fine, the work to set up a mapping with this many commands can be daunting. With that all in mind, I’ve made a free one-deck Instant Gratification-style mapping that will work seamlessly with any Midi Fighter, and can be re-mapped to work with any other 16-button MIDI controller. The bottom two rows control one effect (like the beatmasher), while the top two rows control eight other one-push Instant Gratification-style effects.

This mapping is only for Deck A, so you’ll need to duplicate it, make FX-routing tweaks, and remap the controls if you want it to work for Decks A and B—or even all four. As an extra help, each command in the mapping has a button number (going from 1 in the bottom left to 16 in the top right, going across and up) so you can sort by buttons and understand the mapping.

flashflooderinstant gratificationInstant Gratification-Style EffectsMappingsMidi Fightermidi mapping
Comments (27)
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  • Richard Alden

    I can not get the modifier to work with incress Decrees I have traktor 2.11 is there something I need to do more

  • Cann Man

    Hey thanks Flashflooder for the great article/video! Has been a huge help. One question though, I’m writing a mapping of this style to use with Maschine MK1, I’m done with all my commands and have everything how I want it on Deck A – now I’m trying to duplicate it for Deck B using different pad pages on the Maschine. In preferences under controller manager I duplicated the mapping in the device dropdown and switched all the deck assignments from A to B (and the B to A) and it works perfectly until I enable the routing for both mappings. (select maschine controller virtual input under in-port and maschine controller virtual output under out-port) As soon as the mappings for Deck A & B are routed, it goes all wonky. Any suggestions? Thanks!!!

  • Patrick Wolf

    very usefull… but a quite hard to map and understand.

  • Glenn

    Hey Flashflooder, great article – thank you.
    I’ve followed this tutorial step-for-step, mapped my 4 consecutive Beatmasher pads as per your video. As soon as I let go of a pad (even with others held down), the effect turns off.
    I’m mapping this on a Maschine MK2.
    The modifier states ‘inc/dec-invert’ method isn’t working on Maschine.
    In Controller Manager, the modifier states don’t increment or decrement when I walk up and down the pads..
    Is there another way to do it?
    Have I left out something in the mapping or needing to add additional commands for Maschine?
    Has anyone out there successfully mapped this on a Maschine MK2?

  • gunnga

    very usefull… but a quite hard to map and understand…. maybe using 3 knobs in group mode thru the kontrol X1…can be easer to aply the effect and take control over that effect… anyway….. very nice article

  • DJ RJC

    Awesome tutorial, very thorough, my MIDI skills need to be stronger thank you for this great information

  • shufflesam

    Flashflooder please make all of the instant grad effects on the VCI 400 EGE have the multiple button modifiers!! It would take me literally weeks to do this, but it would be really awesome to be able to play the slicer and beatmasher musically without the effect going on and off…. Please please!

    • Flashflooder

      I’m pretty sure the Beatmasher buttons on the VCI400SE mapping do have this already in it. I don’t remember if the Slicer buttons do but it should be possible to add. Maybe I’ll do it if/when I make another update to that mapping.

      • shufflesam

        You’re right the beatmasher does have it! But I definitely notice it on the slicer and have kind of adapted the play style of just holding them down until I am out of fingers…lol. I wouldn’t have asked, as you have done so much work and updating on that mapping (thanks a million!!), but I saw that you still have the VCI 400 on your desk! As a laptop stand in the video, but still you have it on your desk so I thought maybe Flashflooder is still rockin the VCI 400!

  • Nathan Papermaster

    Is there a trick for using switching between which effect is selected on a single button smoothly? I am assuming its some modifier trick. (on a F1) I am trying to go from a beatslicer to beatmasher in the same effect using different buttons. I have this working but i have to tap the button twice (once to load and again to use it).

    Also would l love to see an article on the FX Store Preset like Stewe said

    • Flashflooder

      You can use the FX Store Preset to do this like Stewe eluded to but it doesn’t always completely work for me when I start adding multiple presets.
      One way I’ve got around this which kinda works in some cases if you’re toggling the effect on is to also map the effect on under a certain condition on the invert. But still pretty janky. Would really love to be able to control the order of operations for simultaneous commands

  • Mavis Concave

    Thank you, Flashflooder!!! I’ve been trying to decode this on my own for a long time. Extremely helpful information that opens up a WORLD of mapping possibilities.

  • CUSP

    Good stuff! I’ve used the scripting/controller editor mostly with success, but I really enjoy seeing how other people solve problems. Thinking about how to solve a problem is often tricky, especially when what you’re trying to do wasn’t something the developers intended.

  • Emiliano Galván

    Hi Ean! How are you? Great article!
    I have a question for you: How do you find the mapping of a specific button in the large list of mappings? I mean, if you have a lots of mappings, you get lost there… Is there a shortcut or something for find the mapping of the button-knob-etc you press?
    Thanks and saludos from Argentina!

    • Stewe

      Let me answer that for you. The easiest way, for me at least, would be adding a new (temporary) command > enable MIDI Learn > press the button for the assignment that you wish to target > disable Learn button… Now, when you scroll trough the mapping list all the commands which are already mapped to that Note/CC should be highlited in yellow – find one you wish to edit and you’re good to go. Just don’t forget to delete your temporary command that you’ve previously added to prevent any possible conflicts it may cause. Happy mapping 🙂

      • Emiliano Galván

        Thats exactly what Im doing now! The “only way” I found. But I wanted to ask, maybe you have an especial option for that. Thanks Stewe for de answer!
        There are a lot of things like this to improve in Traktor…

        • CUSP

          Yeah, I almost want to script in a standard scripting language, but I that might open up the program to unwanted (and potentially dangerous) behaviors.

    • marquee mark

      just fyi Ean didn’t write this article – look at the writer name at the top, it’s Flashflooder who makes some many of the awesome Djtt mapping like for the VCI-400 and Midi Fighters

    • Flashflooder

      Yeah, I agree with what Stewe said. It’s basically what I do as well except I usually comment all my mapping commands and then just duplicate whichever one I’m on for the test Learn. Then it’s also obvious what the temp command was because it has no comment in case the sorting gets confused. There are also two other things I do in relation to this.
      1. Use Midi Monitor (Mac) or Midi-Ox (PC) to see exactly what is happening Midi-wise to be sure (some buttons or things have multiple commands coming out at different times like the MF3D for example) and then cross reference Traktor as sometimes the note terminology can be slightly different
      2. Comment all the commands from a single button/knob/section based on the general function they are doing so it’s easier to find them all in one chunk together by Comment sorting. This is especially helpful if you say have lots of commands for one button but some of them are in different modes, doing different things. That’s when things can get really confusing without some method of organization

      • Emiliano Galván

        Hey thanks for the answer! Im going to try the Midi-ox! Thanks again!

  • Stewe

    One thing I’d like to add to this great article is the usage of the ‘FX Store Preset’ command. This command line does help you to instantly select the new effect and engage it at the one time/button press by saving the effect snap shot.

    • Ean Golden

      that should be it’s own article!

      • Leetenant

        Ean, I would like to see an articles that can help us better understand how to take control of MIDI from a DAW in the area of controller changes and bank patch changes for instance if I wanted to take my virus to play a live set I’d like to learn how to get the DAW to change the bank for me to call up my custom presets or do some other forms of automation. I have an intermediate understanding of MIDI, but all the advanced information out there goes over my head. I want to be a MIDI master!

    • Robert Wulfman

      That is the one command I’ve never quite understood