Learn to DJ with Traktor

Author: Mike Henderson   •   Course Code: OMPRD-208

This course is for:

  • Novices who want to learn to DJ
  • Experienced DJs who want to learn Traktor and take their DJing to the next level
  • Producers wanting to expand into the DJ world and take their productions to the stage
  • Performers wanting to add a DJ element to their performance

The definition of DJing has changed drastically in the last decade. Laptops, controllers, and software have emerged alongside traditional turntables and CDJs, smashing the barrier to entry. With today’s technology, it seems like anyone can become a DJ. On the wave of this digital DJ revolution, Berklee Online has created the Learn to DJ with Traktor course. In this course, not only will you learn all of the creative possibilities of Traktor, but you will also learn the concepts and techniques of the modern DJ, using the Traktor Pro 2 software from Native Instruments.

In the early levels we will study Traktor’s intuitive interface and get up and running with playing and mixing songs. We’ll study the history of DJing and Traktor and also learn the fundamentals of DJing, including beatmatching, dropping on the one, and EQing. We’ll also cover Traktor features like Cue Points, Looping, Beatgridding, and the ever so controversial topic of Syncing.

Later in the class we’ll blast off and learn things like four-deck DJing, effects combinations, remix decks, stems, MIDI Mapping, Harmonic Mixing, BeatJumping, and even Ableton Link.

Throughout the course, you will record your work and build your portfolio of original DJ mixes, all while learning the nuts and bolts of Traktor. At the same time, you’ll develop a solid skill set and a unique style. You’ll receive both technical and musical guidance from your instructor and all styles of music are welcome and supported!

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Beatmatch
  • Phrase mix two or more songs
  • Use EQs and filters to blend songs more seamlessly and creatively
  • Perform gain staging
  • Understand the history of DJing
  • Navigate and customize the Traktor software
  • Remix songs live
  • Manage your computer’s CPU usage
  • Make custom MIDI Mappings
  • Set up and troubleshoot your DJ setup and audio configuration
  • Set up inputs and outputs
  • Organize and tag your music collection
  • Record audio
  • Work with Cue Points
  • Make, save, and edit Loops
  • Use BeatJump for advanced phrase mixing
  • Use Flux mode for advanced looping and cue point triggering
  • Use Traktor’s Freeze mode and Slicer
  • Use the Loop Recorder to capture loops and audio live
  • Beatgrid and Sync your songs
  • Create four-deck mixes
  • Mix harmonically using Mixed in Key and Traktor’s Key Detection
  • Perform with and create remix decks
  • Perform with and create Native Instruments Stems
  • Program DJ sets
  • Work a dance floor
  • Make custom effects chains and know Traktor’s effects in depth
  • Use Traktor’s step sequencer to add in your own drum patterns and samples
  • Synchronize Multiple Traktor setups
  • Promote yourself as an artist

Lesson 1: Welcome to the World of Traktor

  • Introduction
  • Traktor Pro 2 Software Installation and Overview
  • Traktor Kontrol S4 Overview
  • Traktor's Browser and Creating Playlists
  • Collection and File Management

Lesson 2: Let There Be Music

  • Hit the Decks
  • Get in the Mix
  • Why is There No Sound?
  • Record Everything
  • Exporting Playlists
  • Adjusting Levels

Lesson 3: The Fundamentals: DJ 101

  • Dropping on the One
  • Keeping the Beat
  • Manual Beatmatching
  • Pushing and Pulling
  • Halfway Method
  • BPM Mixing

Lesson 4: The Fundamentals Part 2: DJ 202

  • Unlock the Magic with Phrase Mixing
  • Cue Points: Your Traktor Roadmap
  • Drop Cuts and Spinbacks

Lesson 5: Cut the Midrange, Drop the Bass

  • EQ - Low/Bassline Swaps
  • EQ - Mids and High’s
  • Filters All Day

Lesson 6: Beatgrids, Syncing, and Looping

  • Beatgrids: the Backbone of Traktor
  • Sync or Swim?
  • BeatJump and Deck Duplicating
  • Let’s Get Loopy!
  • Flux Mode, Baby!

Lesson 7: Organize Your Music Life

  • Opener, Groover, Banger
  • Smart Playlists in iTunes
  • Making Custom Layouts
  • Organizing Your Music

Lesson 8: Special FX

  • Introduction to Effects
  • Effects: Group FX
  • Effects: Single FX
  • Effects: Chained FX

Lesson 9: Harmonic Mixing, Four-Deck DJing, and Remix Decks

  • Harmonic Mixing is Key
  • Decks or Go Home
  • Playing with the Remix Decks
  • Creating Remix Sets

Lesson 10: Stems and Remix Decks

  • Playing with Stems
  • Loop Recorder
  • Slice it and Freeze it
  • Get Stepping with the Step Sequencer

Lesson 11: MIDI Monsters

  • Let’s Get Mapping
  • Macros for Breakfast
  • Let There Be Lights!
  • Syncing to Another Traktor Computer with LINK (touching on Ableton)

Lesson 12: Let’s Go PRO!

  • The Dance Floor and Set Building 
  • Making a Demo and Self Promotion

Mike Henderson

Author & Instructor

Mike Henderson is known to many as ENDO, a DJ who has no problem holding down a 12-hour set. But he’s also the guy who created the most widely-used Maschine mapping for Traktor Pro. Currently the tour manager for Dubfire, he’s also acted as tour manager for Pete Tong, Deep Dish, Sasha, Felix Da Housecat, and many other top DJs. He's a certified Native Specialist for Native Instruments, the founder of the DJ booking app AGNT, and MIDI Monsters, where he sells his custom Traktor mappings.

ENDO has unleashed his patented brand of harmonic mixing at events across the globe: Pacha, Marquee, and Cielo in New York, Sound in Los Angeles, Guvernment and Coda in Toronto, Stereo in Montreal, Spybar in Chicago, Heart in Miami, Sands in Ibiza, Club Vertigo in Costa Rica, as well as BPM Festival in Mexico and Electric Festival in Aruba. He has played alongside John Digweed, DJ Craze, Roc Raida, Victor Calderone, Danny Tenaglia, Carl Cox, Chus & Ceballos, Eric Prydz, to name just a few.

He studied at Berklee College of Music as an Electronic Music Production and Music Synthesis major with drum set as his principal instrument. After this, ENDO created and hosted a radio show at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s college station, 88.1 WMBR FM called “Algorhythms.” Here, he broke new ground both musically and technologically with the latest DJ gear. For his final project at Berklee, ENDO put together an exhaustive DVD tutorial for Native Instruments’ Traktor and in the process, created a new harmonic mixing system for DJs working with vinyl. From here ENDO went on to work with Native Instruments as a DJ product specialist and artist trainer. He is also one of the few people who can say they taught Grandmaster Flash how to use Traktor.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course. Some courses that would complement this course include: 


Recommended Textbook


Software Requirements 

*Please note that the Traktor Pro 2 software is sometimes included in bundles with certain Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol systems, such as the Traktor Kontrol S4, which is recommended for this course.  

Mac Users

Windows Users


Hardware Requirements 

  • Please note that a DJ controller that integrates with Traktor Pro 2 is required for this course. The Traktor Kontrol S4 is strongly recommended to fulfill this requirement, as it is used throughout the entire course for demonstrations and has a comprehensive set of features, including jogwheels. 
  • In addition to the Kontrol S4, we also recommend purchasing the Traktor Kontrol F1, as it is also used extensively in later lessons. 
  • Associated cables if using a Traktor Kontrol
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 1 GB free hard drive space
  • Speakers or headphones
  • Webcam
  • Internet connection with at least 4 Mbps download speed ( http://www.speedtest.net to verify or download the Speedtest by Ookla app from your mobile app store)

Comments

Got a question? Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at advisors@online.berklee.edu. We can also answer basic questions in the comments below. Please note that all comments are public.




  • Level
    Level 1
  • Duration
    12 weeks
  • 3-Credit Tuition
    $1,479
  • or
  • Non-Credit Tuition
    $1,229

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