For a while now since the inclusion of the sample banks and loop recorder into Traktor Pro 2, I have wondered just exactly how original you can be with your dj set using loops and samples without sounding too mashed up and without emulating others.

I had a discussion with a customer in the Soundware store today about how easy it is to do this but how hard it is to sound fresh and original as it can be all to samey throughout your performance especially if you do the typical stutter effect all throughout.

It’s ok layering loops on top of loops on top of tracks looped but at some point this would again sound boring and you would probably hear people pass judgement by saying things like “is that all he can do?, this is boring.”

I mean lets say you ripped a few 8 beat loops from a current popular track at different times and loaded them up in each sample slot, surely this is just the same as playing cue/loop points in the track.

Pre-made loop popularity

Another way of using different loops is to buy pre-made sample and loop packs like the Loopmasters dj mix series which have many different styles of loops already made to slot into your synchronised set. However this may seem exciting, in the long term you will probably start to sound like someone else as more and more djs use the same provided loops. Just how it used to be in a club when the dj you are watching drops a tune u have and you scream “i have this one!” it will then become “thats that loop from that loopmasters sample pack!”. Again this then brings out the yawns especially if everyone uses the same loops.

So, how do you truly be original using loops and Traktor?

I guess the power of your own material or at least using the loop recorder to create something unique from what is already available would be a start. Record your own routines and remixes live for use next time, or prepare and practice these before performing them regularly in your sets.

Loading multiple samples

Whilst the sample decks in Traktor have certainly opened up avenues to be even more creative when performing, I still feel they are a little limited in ways such as – wouldn’t it be really nice if you could load multiple samples in one go. For example load a group of 4 samples or loops into one deck at a time instead of individual slots one at a time. This would save a lot of time but also help in preparing a planned routine.

Future music maschine

What made me write this article was a comment from a dj and producer called Florian Meindl in the latest Future Music mag which i guess a lot of people may of missed out on. He states he has been working closely with Native Instruments on improving the use of loops and samples in Traktor. He also states he could use Ableton Live for this but he has dropped hints about something new coming soon for Traktor dj’s for this purpose.

Could this be a new dj controller as Florian does own a Kontrol S4? If so surely the software would need updated too?

One other thing Florian shows off is he also uses Maschine, which we know Native Instruments are looking to improve or add better integration of Maschine with Traktor.
My guess is a fresh way of integrating maschine into traktor. just imagine being able to select a deck as a ‘maschine’ deck instead of a sample deck and being able to use maschine and vst plugins all tempo synchronised and mixed in traktor. this is the only way for us traktor users to be truly original with our sets. play our own sounds, perform our own beats and mix our own loops within a standard dj set. you cant get more original than!

These are exciting times for traktor djs. what do you have up your sleeve next NI?