Building A Basic Midi Mapping With Traktor

One of the most powerful features of Traktor is it’s midi mapping capabilities. Midi mapping allows DJs to create custom controller mappings that are unique to their workflow or performance and it is what has made things like the Midi Fighter Instant Gratification mapping possible with Traktor. It can be intimidating to create a mapping so today Ean Golden is going to walk through the basics of making a simple midi mapping.

Midi mapping is really the secret sauce for Traktor and there are a lot of cool things that can be done with mappings. For more advanced midi mapping tips and tricks check out these great articles:

What Is A Midi Controller?

Midi controllers (such as the Midi Fighter 3D) send a series of control messages or notes, these messages can be used to control software that supports midi such as Traktor, Serato, Ableton and many other DJ software/DAW. Using a program like Midi Pipe you can see the messages that a midi controller sends, each button sends a unique message/value so that it doesn’t conflict with other commands.

Midi Pipe will display midi messages that controllers send..

No Midi Controller? No Problem

If you don’t have a midi controller it’s possible to follow along by creating a new keyboard mapping in Traktor. The keyboard can be used in the same way as a midi controller with Traktor. There are a lot of keys to work with making it a great place to start creating a mapping. When you do pick up a controller the process is very similar to mapping the keyboard so you can quickly get started making a mapping with a controller.

The default Traktor keyboard mapping shows how many commands can be jammed onto a keyboard.

Starting Simple Traktor: Simple Keyboard Mapping

To get started, add a new keyboard mapping to Traktor, through the controller manager. The controller manager is where all mappings are managed and where new commands can be assigned. To start we’re going to create a command that will load and play a song. There are a lot of commands that can be mapped in Traktor but we’ll start simple. After a command has been added to a mapping, click “Learn”, then click any key on the keyboard to assign the command. Once the command is mapped, click “Learn” again the key will trigger “Play”.

Add in —> Deck Common —> Play/Pause

Mapping Details: Interaction Mode + Assignment

There are 2 important functions that will need to be assigned for each command, the Interaction Mode and Assignment. The interaction mode consists of hold, toggle, and direct. Hold will only trigger the command as long as the key is being held (ex. track play will only play as long as key is held down), toggle triggers the command on/off (press key to play, press it again to pause), and direct which assigns the key to a specific state (pressing key can only be assigned to one value ex. play or pause). For buttons toggle is usually the best choice so that buttons or on/off switches in Traktor can be turned on/off with one button/key.

Assignment determines which deck (or FX bank in the case of FX) the command is assigned to. This makes it easy to split the keyboard or controller into groups or sections of Deck A and Deck B commands. So one row of keys could be assigned to Deck A commands and another could be assigned to Deck B commands.


Safety Measures: Creating Shift Commands

One of the dangers of using the computer keyboard for mappings is that it can be easy to accidentally trigger commands when trying to search for a track. To prevent this from happening we can assign mappings to shift command, so the mapping will only be triggered when we have shift held and we press a key.

Advanced Mapping: Multiple Commands, One Button

So far we’ve only assigned one command to one key which is pretty basic. The real power of midi mapping comes from mapping several commands to one key or button, which can help speed up the workflow and reduce the amount of buttons that need to be pressed to achieve a desired result. A great combination of commands to map to a button would be Play (toggle), Sync (direct), Select/Set+Store Hotcue (hot cue 1). Most DJs set the first cue point at the very start of this track. With this combination of commands DJs can throw in a new track, press a button and the track will start playing, in sync, and jump to the beginning of the song.

Assigning multiple commands to single keys can speed up your workflow and unlock new creative possibilities.

Create And Share Your Mapping

One of the greatest parts about being part of the DJ TechTools community is having access to “Maps“. Members of the community can upload/download custom mappings created by other DJs, this is a great way to breath life into an old controller and add some new functionality to it. So start creating your own mapping today and share it with the world.

Looking for your first controller?

Check out midi controllers in the DJTT Store!


basic midi mappingean goldenhow to mapkeyboard mappingmidi mappingmidi mapping tutorialTraktor Tipswhat is midi?
Comments (28)
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  • Ricardo Johnson

    When I’m creating my own MIDI map, sometimes I still get conflicts with the default traktor settings…like I will set my play button but it will trigger something else. Any thoughts or ideas how to resolve this?

  • Dj deedogg

    How to make flow 8 deck work with traktor S4

  • DJM 900 Mixer and Traktor

    […] Now that you know how to map the Pioneer DJM-900 Nexus with Traktor, learn more about basic midi mapping in general in this article.  […]

  • Swifty

    Is there a possibility to aggregate multiple Midi devices as the computer see just one device??
    (example: a MFTwister + Launchpad = MFTL… name the device as you want)

  • MIDI-Mapping Basics mit Traktor

    […] nicht sehr einladend und schreckt viele Neulinge ab. Als Einstieg in das Thema möchte ich heute Ean Goldens Tutorial-Video nutzen. Es zeigt die Basics, erklärt, was MIDI-Mapping überhaupt ist und ist -wie alle […]

  • Robotic Monkey

    2 bad the midi editor in Traktor is backwards 😀

  • justinbasile

    Right now i’m really wanting a complete bunch of videos like this one, showing ways to midi map, with a growing difficulty. Then I would add these Tuts to the existing in a dedicated tutorial section.

    Some topics idea :
    – Midi-out mapping
    – Modifiers wizardry (I know their is already an article on that on djtt)
    – Multiple parts/tsi midi mapping
    – Basic Dj controller mapping (mixer+jogs+play/cue sections)
    – Other software Mapping (Ableton & Serato even if i’m not using them ^^)

    Thanks for your great work !


    Lol I really love this tut but i feel like there should be more about how to make your own controller. I know it has nothing to do with like midi mapping but it would be cool. I self taught midi mapping on a homemade controller XD so i would like to see how homemade controllers could evolve since mine is old

  • Ben Adler

    THANX Ean & DJTT, thats the tutorial i was looking for to get the first steps into digital mixing with controllers… Ben 😉

  • mic A$H

    awesome! thanks Ean & DJTT crew. time for some studying (^_^)

  • CUSP

    As stated previously, you really should save your existing mapping because edits are destructive, meaning that there is no undo option… you can remap something to it’s prior function and delete your new command, but not undo yet.

    Also, it’s wise to set a revision of your edits in the name because you might want to revert to a previous save and naming conventions help with that i.e. “Cusp EQ kills” was the name of my Traktor mapping for setting unused buttons (in my Effects bank) to trigger EQ kills assigned on my Novation Twitch. I’ve added other specific commands since then, but I can call up that .nml file whenever I want should I somehow destroy the mapping I currently use.

    • Ben Adler

      Hi, do you use the TWITCH withe the Traktor 2.7.3? with Mapping do u use?

      • CUSP

        Yes, I do. I use my own scripts. I’ve customized my scripts to do what I want Traktor to do, completely removing some of the factory settings, and replacing them with my own.

    • Stewe

      In my opinion, not having the undo button can really help to make someone better at mapping. When you know that there is no backing up once you had deleted something, you would naturally pay more attention and keep up with all the processes while building mappings.

      • CUSP

        All that is true, but “Undo” has been a standard for scripting and programming for many, many years. It’s not asking too much to give someone scripting the option to undo an accidental action.

      • Robotic Monkey

        ha that is just stupid….. true you learn faster when somebody points a gun to your head but that is not an excuses to skip a feature that is around for 40 years in any software out there

        • Stewe

          You’re missing the point dude. It’s silly to think that I’m making any excuses here.

          • MY S3L3CTOR

            @juicyjane:disqus is an idiot. That was a terrible analogy. @disqus_uKiWkXYr5S:disqus is a midi mapping genius . You might want to try and learn something from the man instead of name calling like a child. An opinion is just that an opinion. No such thing as right or wrong, smart or stupid.

  • Swig Swag McCoolBag

    Video is private?

  • chris

    last time, i think it was at this time that we created the trees, and we had missed some grass

  • disco duck

    Did theyremove “jumpto active hotcue”?

    • CUSP

      Remember that there are Legacy commands as well.

  • A-Dag-Io

    Ean – c’mon, you gotta release this Video, we cannot watch it as long as it is PRIVATE!!

  • Fons

    Video is private , can’t watch it????