Kontrol F1 4 Deck Mapping Review

If you thought the Kontrol F1 was a waste of time or just wasn’t the controller for you, DJ Endo’s new mapping might change your perception of this awesome controller? In this article I take a look at DJ Endo’s new Kontrol F1 4 deck mapping and demonstrate how you might use this mapping to best suit your needs.

DJ Endo’s F1 Mapping

screen-shot-2013-10-28-at-13-31-46Endo’s mapping has turned the F1 into a different controller. Using his mapping is like buying a completely new device. After following the very clear instructions in his video (see below) you will be up and running with the new mapping in minutes.
My initial session was a lot of fun and getting used to the controls was pretty easy and intuitive. Endo covers all controls in his video too.
Whilst this new mapping works very well in a full set up,  I personally found this mapping worked best for me in the smallest of set ups. For instance, when you want to simply sit on the couch and have a ‘headphone mix’.

What do I mean by headphone mix?

Maybe you live with other people, or it’s late at night and you are not able to connect up your speakers. Perhaps you’re feeling lazy and you want to just hang on the couch, but you want to have a mix. Maybe you’re travelling on the train and want to record a set to kill time. This is where Endo’s mapping really shines.
By setting up the audio routing correctly you can simply connect your headphones and the F1 to the laptop and play a full set, even record it. By watching my video below along with reading the rest of the article, you will learn how to set it up for this style of mix.

Here is my 40 minute mix recorded using just my laptop, headphones and the F1, nothing else at all!

Using the F1 Mapping

img_3377The Mapping doesnt have any Bass, Mid, or Treble controls, but this doesn’t matter too much. Each deck has it’s own filter control which can be used very similarly to the EQ’s. Using the filters will allow you to manipulate the Bass and Treble on each channel, leading to a smoother mix. You just need to make sure the channel filter is set to on (see Endo’s video for full instructions).

This mapping is a lot of fun and is now a very ‘playable’ controller. I love the way the looping controls and cue points are set up. Despite only having the ability to use 4 cue points, it really didn’t cause an issue with the way I use Traktor.

Endo has thought of everything here, even skipping through a track whilst you are cueing it up is super easy. You can manually change the speed of a track by nudging it, you can manipulate the key of a track too, which makes for really trippy effects. The fact that you can easily jump into Flux Mode looping is also such a clever idea.
I can really see people wanting to buy the F1 simply to use it for this mapping.
Owning a kontrol F1 is now like owning 2 controllers in 1.

Once you set everything up as Endo describes in the video above, you are able to set up the routing so that you can use the F1 in a headphone only type mix. For more info read the instructions below.

Setting up the Output Routing

For a headphone only mix, you first need to make sure that the output routing is set up as follows:

  • Go to Preferences.
  • Head to Output routing.
  • Set mixing mode to internal.
  • Set Monitor Output to Left channel only and check the ‘mono’ box.
  • Set Master out to Right channel only and check the ‘mono’ box.

screen-shot-2013-10-28-at-11-52-12

This means you’ll now hear the master output in the right headphone and the cued track in the left headphone. You can use the ‘Monitor Mix Adjust‘ and ‘headphone volume‘ controls, situated in the crossfader control section to adjust how much of each deck you are hearing.
screen-shot-2013-10-28-at-11-55-55This changes depending on which track you have selected. When you turn the Mix Adjust fully to the right, you will only hear the the audio that is going through the master output, and therefore hear what you are recording.

If the Mix Adjust is fully to the left, you will hear the master out in the right headphone and whatever is cued up in the left headphone. If you want to bring more of the master out into the left headphone to hear how it will sound in the mix, you can simply turn the Mix adjust slightly to the right, finding the right balance that works for you.

Recording the Mix

If you want to record your mix you will need to set the ‘Mix Recorder‘ to internal and make sure that the File Split size is going to be big enough to record the whole of your mix. 650MB should be enough for anything under an hour.
screen-shot-2013-10-28-at-11-53-19

Additional Changes

Some of you out there may not not use all of Traktors four decks, and this is fine. When you’re just starting out, four decks is a lot to think about. If this is the case and you want to use the controller in the way I describe above, you can re-map the filter controls for decks C and D to control the Mix Adjust and Headphone volume control.
It’s super easy, all you need to do is:

  • screen-shot-2013-10-28-at-12-45-01Head to Controller manager.
  • Select the Endo Mapping.
  • Hit ‘Add in..’ under the assignment table.
  • Then in the drop down select Mixer > Monitor volume Adjust
  • Hit ‘Learn’
  • Move the encoder you want to set for that control. I used the encoder on the far right (deck D filter)
  • Turn off the ‘Learn’ button
  • With that new control still highlighted in the Assignment table, scroll up in the assignment table to find the original control that was set (it will be highlighted in a slightly darker yellow). Then delete that assignment.

You can then repeat that process for the Monitor Mix Adjust. Simply use the third encoder along (the one Endo has set for the Deck C filter). Again don’t forget to delete the Deck C filter assignment.

Using this set up you have an amazingly portable DJ Set up that you can play anywhere without disturbing anyone. It’s ideal for practicing your sets and to get to grips with this new DJ Endo F1 mapping.

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15 comments

  1. Agreed, Endo’s F1 mapping is great. I used it alongside a Z1 for my Burning Man rig, made a few modifications so the knobs and faders controlled effects (since the Z1 does volume and filter), and I was good to go with a super portable system.

  2. Wow, this is an awesome idea. I bought the F1 with the S4 because I got a discount, not really knowing what it could do (I still haven’t figured out the remix decks — takes too much time to organize loops and samples and I’m hoping Traktor will make this easier in newer versions). Honestly, when I bought it, I was hoping to do things just like this — and also use it for enhanced control of effects as NI hasn’t released a dedicated effects controller (getting up and running with the F1 effects build-up video that was posted on here a few days ago is next my to-do list!) The MIDI mapping capabilities make this a very flexible and useful device if you can get a good deal on it; I’m thrilled to see I wasn’t the only one who thought this should be more than a remix deck controller.

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