Syncing Traktor Kontrol S4 and Maschine
This tutorial explains how to sync Traktor Pro S4 with Maschine using Traktor as tempo master and Maschine as tempo slave.
At the end of this tutorial you find some information about MIDI sync on Windows.
- Both apps will be running on the same Mac.
- The midi clock messages will be transported via the virtual ports that Traktor provides.
- Traktor will use the four audio outputs of the S4 audio device.
- Maschine uses its own audio device (either the external one you normally use for Maschine, or the audio device integrated in the MacBook).
- The Maschine audio is routed as Live Input into Channel C of Traktor. This makes it possible to use EQ, Filter and FX of Traktor on the Maschine audio.
To start the configuration launch both apps.
Preparing Maschine as Tempo Slave
The first section shows how to setup Maschine as tempo slave.
- Open File/Audio and Midi Settings.
- Open the Audio tab.
- Select the audio device you wish to use. For this tutorial I used an Audio 4 DJ.
- Switch to the Routing tab and select the two audio output ports you wish to use.
- Switch to the MIDI tab and open the Inputs section, if necessary.
- Find the entry Traktor Virtual Output, click the Off value and set it to On.
- Close the Audio and MIDI Settings dialog.
- Open File menu and click Sync to External MIDI clock.
Routing Maschine Audio into the S4 Controller and into Traktor
The second section shows how to get the Maschine audio into Traktor.
- Connect the two plugs from the Maschine audio device into the Channel C sockets on the rear of the S4 controller.
- Make sure that the input switch of Channel C on the rear of the S4 set to Line.
- Open the Traktor dialog Preferences/Input Routing.
- Select for Channel C the two inputs from channel C of the S4 controller: Set Left to 1:In Ch C Left and set Right to 2:In Ch C Right.
- Switch to the Preferences/Decks pane.
- Set the Deck Flavor of deck C to Live Input.
Preparing Traktor as Tempo Master
You need to tell Traktor on which port the MIDI clock messages shall be sent and then you can activate the sending of clock messages.
- Open Preferences/Controller Manager.
- Click Add, then Generic MIDI Device. Traktor adds a new MIDI device to the device list.
- Click Edit, then Edit Comment. Enter "MIDI Clock" in the textbox and click OK. The new MIDI device now has a name.
- Make sure that the MIDI Clock device is selected. Open the list In-Port and select the option None.
- Open the list Out-Port and select the option Traktor Virtual Output. The Controller Manager dialog should look like this:
- Open the Preferences/MIDI clock pane.
- Activate the check box Send MIDI Clock.
Leave the Preferences dialog open to adjust the timing of the MIDI clock messages. This is explained in the next section.
Starting the Sync and Fine Tuning of the MIDI Clock Messages
- Open the Master Clock panel in the Global Section of Traktor by clicking the metronome at the very left of the Traktor window (next to FX unit 1).
- If the button Auto is highlighted click the Auto button to disable it.
- Make sure that the button Master in the Master Clock panel is on.
- Press the Master Clock Start button.
Then press the Sync button in the Master Clock panel.
Maschine will now receive MIDI clock messages from Traktor. You should see the BPM display in Maschine adjusting to the current tempo of Traktor's master clock.
- Press the Tick button in Traktor's Master Clock panel. You
will hear the tick in your headphones.
- Activate the Metronome in Maschine and open the channel fader of Deck C so that you can hear the Traktor tick and the Maschine metronome at the same time.
- Switch to the Traktor dialog Preferences/MIDI clock.
- Move the slider Sending Offset, until the Traktor tick and the Maschine metronome are in sync.
Syncing on Windows
Generally speaking you can sync Maschine and Traktor on the same Windows computer as well. Because on Windows Traktor doesn't provide the virtual MIDI ports, you need
- to either use a DIN 5 cable, connect it to the MIDI OUT port on the S4 and the MIDI IN port on the Maschine controller, and then select the appropriate MIDI ports in Traktor and Maschine respectively
- or you use a virtual MIDI driver like LoopBe1, that you can download here (LoopBe 1, Virtual MIDI driver) for free and then select the LoopBe ports in Traktor and Maschine respectively
However, the transport of the MIDI clock messages in OSX works better than in Windows. When comparing the BPM display on Maschine software under both operating systems, one can see that the clock fluctuates much more under Windows than under OSX.
When syncing two apps via MIDI clock it is best practice to use a stable tempo in clock source. The best way to get a stable tempo is to disable the Auto mode, to make the Master Clock as tempo master. In this mode you use the BPM display in the Master clock panel to change the tempo.
If you want to use MIDI clock to sync and if you only have the S4 controller connected, you will always have to create a logical MIDI clock device as explained in section Preparing Maschine as Tempo Master. Depending on whether Traktor acts as tempo slave or tempo master set either the In-Port or the Out-Port of that device to the port you wish to use.
Written by Rainer G. Haselier
Edited by Karl Yates a.k.a. Karlos Santos on the Native Instruments forum
Last update: November 9, 2010