Xone:K2 and the Latching Layers System

Latching LayersThe layers system of the Allen&Heath Xone:K2 allows you to easily create mappings with just one layer, or if you wish with different, multiple layers.

 

 

Mappings with several layers do not require Modifiers

For mappings with several layers you do not have to use the Traktor modifiers. The MIDI messages sent by the controls of the K2 are different and unique, and depend on the layer currently active. This means that the layer architecture is controlled by the hardware of the Xone:K2 and that you do not need to implement the layers on the software side by using modifiers. This will allow even Traktor beginners, who are not very familiar with the modifier concept to be able to create multiple layered mappings.

 

The Latching Layers

The latching layers system of the Xone:K2 allows you to define the blocks of the controller that stay the same when you switch layers and that should act differently. The K2 provides different modes and this mode defines the behaviour of the different blocks. The layers mode can be configured on the controller; no software is needed.

 

As far as we know the following modes will be supported:

Mode 1 – No Layers/Virtual Layers

In Mode 1 the latching layers system is disabled, which means that the controller has one layer and that all controls always send the same MIDI message (left image).

However, the Layer button in the lower left of the controller always sends a MIDI message to the application. If none of the other modes suite your needs, you can create "virtual layers" and use the Layer button to set a modifier in Traktor and then create the layer definition exactly as you need it.

The image on the right side for example shows how virtual layers can be defined. In this example the left side of the controller always controls the same functionality of Traktor and the right side of the controller has several layers. As this kind of mapping requires the use of modifiers, it is probably more suited to the advanced "Traktor mapper".

.
Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 1 Xone:K2, virtual latching layers
No Latching LayersVirtual latching layers mapped with Modifiers

 

Mode 2 – Lower Button Block

In Mode 2 only the 16 buttons below the faders change (i.e. send different MIDI messages) when you switch between layers. The messages sent by all other controls stay the same.

Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 2 Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 2 Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 2
Layer 1Layer 2Layer 3

 

Mode 3 – Switches below potis and of push encoders

In Mode 3 the twelve buttons below the knobs/pots and the push action of the four encoders send different MIDI messages when you change the layer. The messages sent by all other controls stay the same.

Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 3 Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 3 Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 3
Layer 1Layer 2Layer 3

 

Mode 4 – All Buttons

Mode 4 is a combination of Mode 2 and Mode 3. In this mode the following controls send different MIDI messages when you switch between layers:

  • the switches (i.e. the "pressing the encoder" action) in the push encoders
    in the upper part of the controller,
  • the twelve buttons below the knobs/potis
  • the sixteen buttons in the lower part of the controller

The messages sent by all other controls stay the same.

Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 4 Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 4 Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 4
Layer 1Layer 2Layer 3

 

Mode 5 – All Controls

In Mode 5 all controls send different MIDI messages on all three mapping layers.

Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 5 Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 5 Xone:K2 Latching Layers, Mode 5
Layer 1Layer 2Layer 3

 

You may also like: A closer look on the Xone:K2

Authors: Karl Yates, Rainer G. Haselier
Published: October 18, 2011

Share

52 Comments

Fred
wrote on October 18, 2011 at 10:54
... wonderful.
 
Bjoern
wrote on October 24, 2011 at 03:03
Hallo Rainer,
kannst du schon genaueres zu dem Ebenen Switch sagen? Meine Frage geht bezüglich, wenn man den Layer Switch farblich ändert, ob der Layer Button auch Midi Note sendet? Geht um die Idee den Deck Flavour / Track Deck oder Sample Deck beim Wechsel mit zu switchen! Das fand ich beim VCI 400 in einer Review Interessant, das man das Automatisiert, wäre ja sinnvoll, wenn das so realsierbar wäre!
 Rainer G. Haselier (admin) says:
Ich hab es so verstanden, dss der Layer-Button immer eine Note sendet, unabhängig davon, welchen Modus man eingestellt hat. Kann es aber nicht garantieren, da ich es noch nicht ausprobieren kann.
 
Matthias
wrote on October 29, 2011 at 13:28
Hallo Rainer,

danke für die schöne und gut illustrierte Beschreibung des Layer-Systems des Xone K2.

Mit meinem NI Kontrol X1 verwende ich sogar sechs unterschiedliche Layer:

* NHL / Shift + NHL
* Hotcue / Shift + Hotcue
* MIDI / Shift + MIDI

Der Hotcue-Layer ist im Prinzip ebenfalls ein Latching-Layer, da nur die Funktionen der Buttons in der unteren Hälfte des X1 umgeschaltet werden.

Wie beim K2 werden durch die hardwaremäßige Umschaltung wertvolle Traktor-Modifier eingespart. Doch man bezahlt einen hohen Preis dafür: das 'Soft-Takeover' funktioniert dann nämlich nicht mehr, was das Konzept zumindest für die Knobs in Frage stellt (für die Encoder ist das kein Problem). Zum Beispiel springen in meinen Mappings die Werte beim Umschalten der Knobs für die zugewiesenen Xone-EQs im MIDI-Modus auf die FX-Parameter im NHL-Modus trotz aktiviertem Soft-Takeover. Damit ist das Ganze in der Praxis unbrauchbar. Bei meinem EKS Outs hat das Umschalten der Layer inkl. Soft-Takeover problemlos funktioniert, da dort die Umschaltung softwareseitig implementiert ist. Das gleiche Problem dürfte beim K2 ebenfalls auftreten, vor allem im Modus 5. Die anderen Modi verzichten ja auf eine Umschaltung der Knobs - offensichtlich aus genau diesen Gründen. Aber ohne Umschaltung der Knobs (sondern nur der zugehörigen Buttons) ist die Funktionalität stark eingeschränkt.
 
Forrest Gump
wrote on December 5, 2011 at 13:13
I really wish German people will comment in English.. This is a great site which can be even greater when English is spoken
 Rainer G. Haselier (admin) says:
Yes and no. Remember that Traktor Bible currently is the only Traktor related website offering its content in German and English
 
CryderSteez
wrote on December 30, 2011 at 07:26
Translated:

Hello Rainer,

thank you for the beautiful and well-illustrated description of the layer system, the Xone K2.

With my NI Kontrol X1 I use as many as six different layers:

* NHL / NHL Shift +
* Hotcue / Shift + hotcue
* MIDI / Shift + MIDI

The hotcue layer is in principle also a latching layer, since only the functions of the buttons in the bottom half of the X1 will be switched.

As with the K2 can be saved by the hardware-based switching valuable tractor modifier.
 
Lukas
wrote on April 24, 2012 at 08:34
Hi Rainer,

just bought the K2, which works fine with Traktor. the only major problem that I have relates to the backlit of the switch, I have chosen a layer but the backlit does not work when I push the different button, any idea how to solve the problem? Thank u, Lukas
 
iota
wrote on July 4, 2012 at 20:57
hey rainer,

wie sieht das mit der belegung der unteren beiden endless-knobs aus? wenn ich die anleitung richtig verstehe senden die ebenfalls unterschiedliche signale auf den entsprechenden layern. das gleiche gilt für den shift-button daneben.

weißt du ob bei dem layersystem eine änderung geplant ist? irgendwie finde ich die blöcke nicht sinnvoll geteilt... hätte mir gewünscht, dass die obere encoder reihe getrennt von den potis ist - gibt ja leute die nicht auf den abholmodus stehen und auch keine lust haben die potis alle dreimal gleich zu belegen. (gleiches gilt auch für die buttons unter den potis).

hast du was gehört, ob es demnächst möglich sein wird die rmx-decks komplett zu mappen?

vierte und letzte frage eher allgemein: kennst du einen tsi mapping editor für windows? der gedanke den controller für alle drei szenarios mit der craptastischen traktor oberfläche zu mappen (4-deck interner mixer / 2-deck externer 2-kanal mixer / 4-deck mit zwei k2 und externem 4-kanalmixer) macht mir etwas angst...


danke und grüße,
iota
 
iota
wrote on July 5, 2012 at 19:35
... und wer lesen (oder Bilder betrachten) kann ist klar im Vorteil. Wäre rotzdem gut wenn man die Buttons getrennt von den Encodern schalten könnte. ;)
 
MS512
wrote on November 3, 2013 at 17:35
Guys,

I am a bit lost when it comes to mapping latching layers for the Xone K2...

I've set my midi channel to 15, I chose latching layer Mode 3 (top of the mixer).

I've mapped the red latching layer, but when I turn to amber, I don't know how to map it...

help ! thanks alot!!

 
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