Traktor Tips’ reader Steve (aka Ribby) asks:
“I am an ageing DJ who used to DJ with turntables. I am getting back into DJ’ing now my kids have grown up and was trying to start by mixing with mp3 files. I bought a Hercules Air deck system, but had trouble with distortion and good sound quality through monitor speakers. I read about not having enough outputs and that a Traktor Audio 2 would give me another 2 and get rid of any problems. Have I done the right thing? I can still use it to run 2 vinyl turntables through and record live mixes on my laptop. Or so I believe? Any help would be appreciated.“
Traktor Tips’ Answer:
Hi Steve, thanks for your question. I am happy to hear that you are getting back into DJ’ing again, it can be quite a complex space to navigate after so many changes.
Unfortunately I do not have access to the devices you mention so I am unable to fully test it out for, but I will do my best to explain here how the audio routing works for Traktor and what it might require for you to get DJ’ing with your turntables again.
Traktor unfortunately can not utilise 2 audio outputs at once, meaning that you can either set Traktor to use the Hercules Audio, or the Audio 2 interface. From what I understand of the hercules, this is only equipped with 2 outputs, one for the main mix and one for your headphones. This is the same for the audio 2, so you are still in the same position you were previously with only the hercules.
There is however something available to mac users called aggregate audio. This is where things get complicated as you need to set up a custom audio set up on your mac to use 2 audio sources. Take a look at the article on Native Instruments to explain how to set up aggregate audio.
Whilst using an aggregate device is a possibility, it will only give you one extra output and input. The input is a 1/4″ jack and I am unsure if it will read audio directly from a turntable as the audio 2 may not have the pre-amp necessary to work with turntables. It could get a little messy.
The best thing I would suggest if you are wanting to continue using your turntables is to get hold of an audio 6, complete with a Traktor Scratch license. Now so long as you still have your old analogue mixer, you can hook it all up to control Traktor using timecode vinyl.
The signal flows from a time-coded vinyl on the turntable to an input on the A6, converted inside of the software controlling the mp3 and sent back out of an output on the A6 to a line-in on your audio mixer.
This uses 2 of the 6 ports on the A6 (they say 6 in and 6 out, but they count left and right as two). You can therefore connect another turntable up. If at any point you want to use a standard vinyl containing audio, you simply switch the deck in traktor to live input and you will hear the vinyl.
DJ Tech tools has an article that show you some audio 6 set up possibilities.
As the Audio 6 has one extra ‘main’ input and output, you can send the output from your audio mixer into the spare input on the A6 for recording to your computer and the main out, back out again to your speakers.
If you simply want to mix your old vinyl into your set, but continue using the hercules; you would still benefit from owning an A6, because you would set the controller to control the software, yet use the A6 as your audio interface.
This allows you to connect your turntables to decks A & B and switch the decks between track deck and live input depending on whether you are playing mp3s from the laptop (track deck) or audio from your vinyl (live input). I feel that for this to work however, you would need to use the headphone jack on the audio 6 to monitor your mix rather than the one on the hercules.
Hopefully this has shed a little light onto the set up and possibilities available to you.
I would maybe suggest you head into your local DJ store to see everything set up as you want it before you buy. I would suggest most stores could give you a demo.
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