Traktor Kontrol S4 and Controller Mappings

The main vision and focus during the development of Traktor Pro S4 and the S4 controller was to provide an easy to use package that even a new Traktorian can use without digging deep into mapping questions. The aim of Traktor Pro S4 was to be a plug and play solution and one can say that this goal was achieved.

However, becoming totally plug and play has its price for the more advanced users who have will feel they have less flexibility with which to customise the S4 in the way they want it. This tutorial explains what you can do and what is impossible..

Generally speaking you have four options using the Traktor Pro S4 software with the S4 controller and with additional controllers


Option 1: The Embedded Mapping – S4 Default

Traktor Pro S4 is the first version of Traktor where the mapping for a controller is embedded inside the Traktor code and is not visible to the outside world. When you start Traktor Pro S4 for the first time with the S4 controller connected, Traktor automatically adds a new device named Traktor.Kontrol S4.Default to the devices list in the Controller Manager (which you can open by clicking the Preferences button in the Traktor header and then selecting Controller Manager in the categories list of the dialog box).

Traktor Pro S4, default mapping

As you can see: you see nothing. The default mapping is completely embedded and it cannot be changed.

Let's assume, for example that you use Traktor's AutoGain feature, that sets the Gain knob of the decks to the correct gain value when you load a track. Here the four Gain encoders could easily be remapped to another Traktor feature, for example the Key knob. Unfortunately it is not possible to make such a small change.

I can only speculate why NI decided to embed the mapping for the S4 controller into the code. Having the mapping in the code prevents the user from making changes by accident, which leads to a non-functional mapping and maybe support calls. Another reason could be that NI reached the limits of the mapping possibilities that are currently available in the Controller Manager and that is was much easier to map the S4 controller from inside the code than to change the architecture of the (not really user friendly) Controller Manager.


Option 2: S4 Default and S4 User Mapping - Side by Side

Your second option is to use the default S4 mapping and a user defined mapping for the S4 side by side. The possibilities in this setup are limited. The reasons are:

I created a small example of an S4 user mapping that can be used side-by-side next to the embedded S4 mapping. This mapping uses the tempo faders and the tempo offset buttons to change the key of decks A and B, and to change the tempo of the Master Clock. You can find the mapping on the TraktorFreaks website. Here is the link: Key and Master Clock Tempo with S4


Option 3: S4 User Mapping Only - S4 the way you want it

The third option is to disable the default mapping and to create your own user mapping. This is an option for advanced users only because the mapping can be quite complex. Beware that it won't be possible to duplicate the embedded/default mapping 1 to 1 in an S4 user mapping. If you want to create your own mapping you can use a TSI file that is included in the S4 installer as a start.

Disabling the S4 Default Mapping

Follow these steps to disable the default S4 mapping in the Preferences/Controller Manager dialog:

  1. Open Preferences/Controller Manager.
  2. Open the list Device and select the entry Traktor.Kontrol S4.Default.
  3. Open the list In-Port and select None.
    or
    Click the Edit button and select Delete. The Remove Device dialog is shown. Click Yes.

After step 3 you will see a red warning message in the lower part of the Preferences dialog stating that you need to select an audio device. The problem is that the action done in step 3 makes Traktor think that the S4 controller was removed and so the audio connection becomes disabled as well. To correct this open the Audio Setup pane, select any other audio device and the reselect the Kontrol S4 device. You need to select another audio device first, otherwise you cannot select the Kontrol S4. The good news: you only need to do this once.

Creating an S4 User Mapping

Now the ground is set for creating a customised mapping. Depending on your knowledge about Traktor mappings you can either use the TSI mapping that was installed during the S4 installation as a starting point or you can create the mapping from scratch.

To import the S4 mapping that comes with the installer open the Preferences dialog and select Controller Manager in the categories list. Then click Add/Import. Traktor shows the Open dialog; the folder Settings is preselected. Surf to the sub folder Default Settings/Controller/Native Instruments and select the one and only TSI file in this folder. Click Open.

Traktor adds a new mapping of type Traktor.Kontrol S4.User to the device list.

Traktor Pro S4, Standard User Mapping

The mapping is quite complex and to get a better understanding of what is going on sort the table by column Control, find the Modifier commands and see to which controls on the S4 controller they are mapped to. This makes it easier to see under which conditions which of the other commands are executed.

In general the standard TSI tries to duplicate the embedded mapping. However: there are some differences. Some of the Sample Play buttons for example are mapped to the new command Backward Loop Size + Set that sets a loop backwards from the current playback position.

Copying a sample from a deck to a sample slot is not implemented. You can use the command Sample Deck/Load from Deck if you want to have this feature available. Not all of the new commands behave as one would expect. The new Traktor Bible update for Traktor Pro S4 contains a reference of all new commands and changes. You can download it here: Traktor Bible Update for Traktor Pro S4.


Option 4: Using other Controllers next to the S4

Because the embedded mapping cannot be customised and because it is not easy to re-map the S4 controller and it is only possible to make small changes, one good choice might be to add another controller to the S4 package. This could be Native Instruments Kontrol X1 for example (the only controller for which HID support is enabled in the Traktor Pro S4 software). All other controllers however can be mapped in MIDI mode.

On the TraktorFreaks website you find (at least) two mappings I specially made for the Traktor Pro S4 software:

  1. Kontrol X1: Sample Slots and Hotcues
  2. Lemur: Sample Slots Control

Conclusion

  1. Great hardware/software combination if the default mapping is exactly how you need it
  2. S4 controller not easily remappable
  3. Easiest way to make features available, that are not mapped on the S4 controller is by using a second controller

Written by: Rainer G. Haselier, edited by Karl Yates
Last update: November 1, 2010

33 Comments

Sameoldsong
wrote on October 31, 2010 at 12:50 PM
Apart from the fact that you seem to live in the future ("Last update: November 1, 2010"), this is insightful--thanks!
 Rainer G. Haselier (admin) says:
Yes, I sometimes do live in the future. ;)
 
michael
wrote on November 9, 2010 at 10:00 PM
I must admit, I think that the s4 is crippled when it comes to mapping. Theres so many other possibilities if the mapping wasn't so ingrained in this HID thingy. At be able to disable some of the presets.

I think i'll leave my s4 mapping alone... (for the time being)

i've also got 2 x1's.... if i wanted to run the x1's in midi only mode (custom mapping).... do i have to always have edit controller open and running? because it seems like i do.

or is there a way of getting "direct" mode
 
Rainer G. Haselier
wrote on November 11, 2010 at 8:38 AM
I found a way to disable the Gain encoders. You can download the mapping from the Mappings section of this site.

Rainer
 
Rexxyboy
wrote on December 12, 2010 at 1:50 AM
Great info Rainer! To change the "key" for each deck on separate knobs a third party controller is the way to go? What about S4 in Midi mode (shift-browse)? I have seen gain encoders post, got it to work but i use the gains and simultaneously didn't manage to get it changing pitch the way i wanted. Ive spent soo much time trying to get this to work, i can use the mouse for pitch but even then its 0.99 or 1.08 .. the little '+' in the software changes in +2 increments instead of 1's!

 
maic
wrote on January 12, 2011 at 11:43 PM
I need two microfons for my gigs. So the only way to realize this is to use S4 in external mode with my DJM-800 in combination with the audio 8. Right? I would like to map the chanelfaders, crossfader and eq's to the DJM-800. Browsing, effects, cue, loops should be done by the S4. But can i map the pre-listening (preview-player) function to the DJM? Thx
 
Nino Live
wrote on January 16, 2011 at 6:46 PM
Been trying to use the crossfader as follows:
Xfader to the left = Deck A's bass is in the middle, Deck B's bass is cut all the way
Xfader to the right = Deck B's bass is in the middle, Deck A's bass is cut all the way

So far I've been able to get:
Xfader to the left = Deck A's bass is boosted all the way, Deck B's bass is cut all the way
Xfader to the right = Deck B's bass is boosted all the way, Deck A's bass is cut all the way

Can I prevent boosting the bass of either sides with a m
 
DJ Exabyte
wrote on January 18, 2011 at 4:47 AM
Does anyone know where i can find a .tsi for Traktor Scratch Pro for my Kontrol S4?

Thanks,
DJ Exabyte
 
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Im looking for a . Numark Mixtrack Layout for Traktor 2 PLEASE.
 
anti-bro
wrote on July 20, 2011 at 5:31 PM
Anyone with a tsi of default settings for MIDI mode?
 
Christian
wrote on October 8, 2011 at 10:55 AM
why my samples buttons , cue buttons , load buttons starting flashing when i press browse button, also my traktor kontrol s4 freezing and i can do play button in anywhere.
 
technicaltitch
wrote on November 6, 2011 at 7:57 PM
Christian - look up 'browse mode' in the manual - this is by design to help you choose music.

That said, I'd like the cue etc buttons to remain functional in browse mode.
 
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Lalo
wrote on November 14, 2014 at 2:24 PM
That means you have multiple inesnacts of the S4 mapping loaded. Go to preferences controller manager and click the Device dropdown menu. My guess is you'll see multiple S4 mappings in there. Click on the duplicate mappings, then underneat the? device dropdown menu click Edit Delete. Don't be afraid of deleting the wrong one. Even if you delete them all, when you unplug and plug the S4 back in it will automatically reload the S4 mapping.
 
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