Review: Xtreme Mapping
advanced mapping capabilities that allow to map you controller just the way you
need it belong to the strongest features of Traktor. Unfortunately, the
controller manager that needs to be used to create and edit the mapping, is not
very user friendly and it makes the whole mapping process very cumbersome.
The window of the controller manager is way to small, it uses magic numbers at
several places where it would be better to use text instead, and the Learn
function is not available when mapping Out commands (commands that control LEDs
or other controls on a controller that can be used to output the current state
of a mapping command).
Xtreme Mapping, a small app available for Mac OS X only, promises to put things
right. This review takes a closer look at Xtreme Mapping.
After launching Xtreme Mapping you will
be happy to see the pleasant large window, which is divided in three large
sections: the button bar, the mappings table and the mappings settings panel.
The button bar in the upper section of the window allows to add single In, Out, or
In/Out commands. You can launch the wizard by clicking the button labeled Wizard
if you want to be guided through the process of mapping the most important
commands belonging to a function group.
Use the Controller button to open a window where you can set the Controller Name
(corresponds to the mapping comment that you can enter in Controller Manager), and
where you can set the Input Port and the Output Port for your mapping.
Unfortunately one important setting is missing in Xtreme Mapping if you create
commands that use the Device Target as Assignment: You cannot
The table at the left side of the window corresponds to the Assignment Table of
Controller Manager. Other than in Controller Manager you can resize the window
of Xtreme Mapping in case that not all mapping options are visible in the table.
Unfortunately Xtreme Mapping does not resize the columns automatically when you
resize the window. You need to click each column separator line separately to
optimum size for that column. Xtreme Mapping would be even more
comfortable if all column widths would adjust automatically or if the would be a
button like Optimum Size in the toolbar, to trigger this manually.
Especially for mapping that contain a large number of commands, the filter
function of Xtreme Mapping is very useful. You can use the first dropdown list
to filter by function groups; with the second filter dropdown use can filter the
list by In commands and Out commands only.
The panel at the right side displays information and options for the command that
is currently selected in the table. Use the Learn button (which works for Out
commands as well), to assign a MIDI message to the selected command.
Alternatively you can select the MIDI message manually.
In Traktor Controller Manager the values of the extended modifier conditions (Is
In Loop, Slot State, etc.) and the allowed values in the list Set to Value are
almost always shown as magic numeric values. The meaning of this number is not
very clear at first sight. Xtreme Mapping shows textual descriptions instead.
This makes using the modifier conditions and selecting the needed value much
more easy. For example, the following figure shows the available options for the
extended modifier condition Slot State.
Using the Wizards
Creating a new mapping is made easy by the wizards, that can be launched by clicking the Wizard button on the button bar.
The wizards guide you through the mapping of the most important commands for one
Traktor functional area (mixer, FX units, sample decks, etc.). All you need to
do is pressing/moving the respective control on your controller and clicking
The wizard shows a short description of the commands. Pressing a button or moving
a fader/knob/encoder assigns the MIDI message to the current command. You can
use the Prev and Next buttons to move between the different commands. If one of
the proposed commands shall not be included, simply do not learn the MIDI
message. To insert all learned assignments into the mapping, finally click on
One disadvantage of the wizard is that it only adds the In commands, and not the
corresponding Out commands. If you want to output the status of a command on an
LED buttons, you need to add the Out commands manually once the wizard is
Adding Single Commands
To add single commands use the buttons Add In, Add Out, or Add In/Out and
then select the command similar as you would in Traktor.
inserts the same command as well as In as as Out command into the table. Even
though both commands are selected, you cannot learn a MIDI message if more than
one command is highlighted. As many controllers use the same MIDI message to
control the input from and the output to LED buttons, it would be cool if Xtreme
Mapping would allow MIDI learn for more than one command. As it is now you need
to select each command separately and MIDI learn the In and the Out command
Furthermore it would be a good feature, if Xtreme Mapping would allow to easily
create an In duplicate for a selected Out command and an Out command for a
selected In command. In the current version you need to use the Add In and Add
In a similar way as in Traktor you can create a duplicate of a selected command.
Go to the XSettings panel, click on the Tools button and then select Duplicate.
Furthermore, you can duplicate one or multiple commands by selecting them, holding
the Alt button on the keyboard and drag&drop the selection. Best of all you can
drop the selection not only inside the current mapping, but on a second Xtreme
Mapping window with another mapping as well.
Unfortunately in Xtreme Mapping 1.0 the assigned MIDI messages get lost after the
drop. The good news: this bug is already fixed in the next version, which is
waiting at Apple for approval and which should be available soon.
Creating new mappings is much easier with Xtreme Mapping than it is in the
current version of Controller Manager. Once the mapping is ready, you would save
the TSI file with File/Save and then use the import function in Controller
Manager to make the mapping available in Traktor.
Editing a mapping that is already inside Traktor requires more effort. In the
current version Xtreme Mapping cannot read the complete Traktor Settings.tsi and
then provide the contained mappings for editing. Instead you need to open a TSI
file that contains a single MIDI mapping, or you can open an exported TSI file
with multiple mappings, as long as all mappings are of type Generic MIDI. If one
of the mappings uses the HID or NHL format, Xtreme Mapping will show an error
message stating that the file cannot be opened.
Loading my standard settings file which contains several MIDI mappings took
about two to three minutes; this is almost the same time I need to open the
Preferences dialog in Traktor. If a TSI file contains multiple mappings, Xtreme
Mapping should display a dialog where one of the mappings can be selected.
During my tests I didn't saw this dialog; instead the first mapping of the file
It seems as if you are on the safe side by exporting a single mapping in Traktor,
then to edit the mapping in Xtreme Mapping, then deleting the exported mapping
in Traktor Controller Manager and finally to import the edited mapping.
Xtreme Mapping is a good solution to create new mappings. It is important to have
a good plan and design for the mapping before you begin. As the workflow needed
to edit existing mappings is a bit time-consuming you should make little changes
still in Controller Manager, and use Xtreme Mapping if the mapping is very
extensive and if the Filter feature can help to get back the lost overview.
More information about Xtreme Mapping can be found here: xtrememapping.com
On this website you will find a link to the Mac App Store, where you can buy Xtreme Mapping
for Euro 4,99/USD 5,99.
WIN ONE OF 20 FREE COPIES OF XTREME MAPPING
The winners are:
Robin from Montreux
Emmanuel from the Philippines
Robin from Berlin
Alexander from Sigmaringen
Mikha from Wiesbaden
Damien from Boston
Daniel from Kärnten
Kamil from Manchester
Rafael from Santo Domingo
Johannes from Marburg
Fabio from Sao Paulo
Kai from Bremen
Rotem from Tel-Aviv
Louie V from Chicago
Lindsay from Sydney
Renato from Uberaba
Ingo from Schwerin
Rhuari from Edinburgh
Kevin from Talheim
The winners will receive a promocode for Xtreme Mapping that can be used in the Mac App Store. Congratulations to all of you.
Author: Rainer G. Haselier
Published: August 9, 2011