This week Traktor Tip’s reader Mark H asks:
“Not sure if you can help with this but i am thinking of getting a couple of F1’s to go with my S2. The problem i am having is finding any information on how to integrate them or use them with my S2. I am told by some; I need to be switching to midi mode or buy an S4 and others saying this is not the case, stick with the S2, so at the moment i am totally confused.
One thing i might want to do for eg. you have a track loaded onto one of the decks and a second track ready on the other, you want to add some loops or samples from the F1 on the next track but you want to check what one of the loops is, how can you do this easily on a S2?”
Traktor Tip’s Answer
Thanks for the question Mark H.
I understand the confusion here, so let me explain how you can use the F1 with your Kontrol S2.
The S2 only has 2 faders, which obviously limits your ability to use all four channels as you could on the S4. There is however a separate volume control knob for the remix decks, so you can use this to bring in the remix deck levels. Having never used this, I am unsure as to it’s exact functionality, yet I assume that setting this level to on will bring in the sound from the remix decks.
You can set up decks C & D to be remix decks and set your F1’s to control each of those decks. As the F1 has four volume faders, one for each remix deck column, you can then independently control the volumes of each remix deck column using those faders. The F1 also allows you to monitor each column in the headphones by using the monitor function built into the F1. You don’t need to turn the monitor on the channel itself, simply on the F1 is fine. (My new F1 course explains this in detail)
So long as you set your display to 4 deck view and set decks C & D to remix decks, you can see what is loaded into the remix deck cells. You can set the F1’s to capture from either deck A or B and simply capture away with no issues.
If you wanted to get technical and control the tempo, looping and even scratch the remix decks, then you would certainly need to find a mapping that allows you to switch the S2 from controlling deck A & B, to control decks C & D instead. But for a straight forward set up, and to use solely the F1’s to control Decks C & D, then you shouldn’t need to worry about this. Alternatively, you could set decks A & B as the remix decks and simply mix between those. This will however limit your options of capturing tracks and so would maybe be more for a performance set up once you have created a bunch of remix sets.
One way you could test this out first is by setting up decks C & D to be remix decks, setting a loop in deck A or B, then drag that loop into one of the remix deck cells. I’d recommend dragging it down into the 2nd or 3rd row, so you can test that the remix deck volume knob doesn’t just apply to the top row of cells. Launch that clip using the mouse and make sure the sound is coming through when you set the remix deck volume knob to the right level. If you get sound, then I would say that everything will work perfectly.
I would recommend buying only one F1 for the time being and test it out. You can always switch the F1 between decks C & D at the touch of a button.
I would spend some time looking for some S2 mappings that allow you to switch kontrol between decks A & B to decks C & D. This mapping from DJ Tech Tools says it is for that purpose, but I have not tested it out, so use at your own risk. Always make sure you’ve saved your current settings so you can return to it should it not work properly.
The remix decks are a lot of fun and I am sure once you have figured out the technical stuff, you will be able to unleash some creativity.
Here’s a video on youtube of a guy using an S2 and two F1’s. Whilst he has decks A & B set to remix decks, it still shows you what is possible when using two F1’s with the S2.