In the ever-changing world of electronic music, DJ controllers have become essential tools for both aspiring and seasoned DJs. The Traktor X1 MK3 DJ controller stands out as a versatile and powerful instrument, seamlessly integrating with Traktor Pro software to elevate your DJing game.
Whether you’re a new to DJing or a seasoned pro looking to explore the full potential of this controller, this tutorial is here to guide you through how to get started using the Traktor X1 MK3. From unboxing to mixing and using hot cues, we’ll share how to make the most of this portable and customizable DJ controller and show how it can amplify your musical performances.
Our guide for getting started in our full video below is product specialist Matt Lara, and he’ll be sharing how to harness the power of the Traktor X1.
From effortless effects control to playback manipulation, seamless looping, precise mixer mapping, and beyond, the X1 MK3 is your gateway to staying in the DJ flow.
The X1 takes customization and accessibility to a whole new level, allowing you to make the X1 truly your own.
Unboxing the Traktor X1 MK3
Let’s start with the unboxing experience. Inside the box, you’ll find a high-quality cloth to safeguard your equipment.
The box also includes the serial number, crucial for registering Traktor Pro 3 within Native Access. Additionally, you’ll discover the power supply. While the X1 MK3 can draw power from your computer via USB, if you plan to utilize the USB hub, you’ll need the power supply. Not only does it ensure sufficient power for all connected devices, but it also enhances the brightness of the LEDs.
The package also includes a range of power supply connectors tailored for various countries, ensuring that you’re always ready for action. The package also includes the essential USB cable, and as you’ll soon see, it’s integral to connecting your controller.
The Traktor X1 MK3 has a three-port USB hub in case you plan to connect additional USB devices to the hub. Simply connect the included power adapter to ensure proper power distribution. Once your X1 is plugged into your computer and ready for action, you’ll encounter the deck setup option, allowing you to select your decks effortlessly.
Traktor X1 design and features
The Traktor X1 MK3 has a sleek black exterior and a slightly larger build compared to its predecessor. The bottom of the controller features a transparent shell with functional backlighting, offering visual cues during your performance. These LEDs are not only customizable in color but also perfect for setting the mood with ambient lighting.
The controller features five OLED displays, providing essential track information at a glance. These displays seamlessly integrate with the controller’s functions, offering visual feedback when tweaking effects, changing parameters, or browsing through your tracks. In addition, two more displays show critical track information, including elapsed time, loop size, beat jump amount, track tempo, and more.
Buttons, knobs, and functions
The buttons on the X1 MK3 are larger than those on previous models and offer satisfying tactile feedback. They also include tactile dots for accessibility, allowing you to navigate the controller without taking your eyes off your performance. Best of all, you can customize the colors of these buttons to your liking via the Traktor settings page.
The X1 MK3 features eight knobs with locked center points, ensuring precision when making adjustments. Four encoders, reminiscent of the original X1, offer smooth and satisfying operation. The controller also boasts 20 transport controls, eliminating the need to constantly toggle shift functions. These controls provide quick access to various deck functions, including hot cues, sync, nudging, beat jumping, and more.
Additionally, the X1 comes pre-mapped for Traktor Pro 3 software, offering a seamless out-of-the-box experience. For those who want deeper customization, the X1 can be switched to MIDI mode, allowing you to program your desired functions.
Browsing tracks and deck transport controls
Let’s delve into using the X1 MK3 for browsing tracks and controlling deck transport. With intuitive top encoders, you can effortlessly browse through your music collection on both sides. Holding the shift button and turning the encoder lets you navigate through your favorites, streamlining your track selection process. To load a track into a deck, simply find your desired track, press the encoder, and it’s ready to play. The screen displays the track’s name and end time, making it easy to keep track of your selections. Loading tracks is a breeze, and soon you’ll have your music collection at your fingertips.
When it comes to deck transport controls, the X1 MK3 simplifies the process. Play and sync buttons allow you to start and synchronize tracks seamlessly. Holding the sync button even displays the BPM of the selected deck. For more precise tempo adjustments, the X1 lets you fine-tune your BPM with a simple twist. If needed, you can make additional adjustments by pushing and turning the encoder.
Hot cues, looping, and beat jumping
Hot cues are essential tools for DJs, and the X1 MK3 makes using them a breeze. You have four hot cues on each deck, and setting them is as easy as clicking the desired cue button. To delete a hot cue, hold the shift button and click the button again. You can redefine hot cues on the fly, allowing for flexible and dynamic performances.
Looping is another critical aspect of DJing, and the X1 MK3 takes it to the next level. Activating a loop is straightforward—simply press the loop encoder. The screen displays the loop length, and turning the encoder adjusts the size. Hold the shift button while turning the encoder to perform beat jumps, providing greater control during your mix. An innovative feature is the ability to trigger looped hot cues, allowing you to jump between different loops seamlessly. This feature adds a new layer of creativity to your DJ sets.
Using DJ effects
The X1 MK3 excels in effects control. Four effect slots with 12 effects in total await your creative touch. Activating effects is as simple as pressing the dedicated buttons, and the intuitive interface allows for precise control. The top knob regulates the dry/wet effect, and the knobs below are dedicated to each effect. The screen provides visual cues to help you stay on top of your adjustments.
For advanced users, the shift functions come into play. Holding shift enables you to toggle additional effects slots on and off, providing even more creative options. You can also change effects seamlessly using the designated buttons, allowing for real-time exploration and experimentation.
Exploring the Pattern Player
The X1 MK3 introduces an exciting feature for Traktor Pro Plus subscribers—the Pattern Player. This feature allows you to create custom drum patterns within an effect slot, adding a layer of percussion to your mix. Each pattern player button corresponds to different drum kits, and the knobs control volume and pitch. What’s more, you can add effects to these drum patterns, giving you the ability to shape unique beats during your performance.
DJ mixer controls
The X1 MK3 simplifies mixer controls with a new Mixer Mode, offering a user-friendly interface. The volume controls are intuitive, and the top knobs govern EQ settings, including high, mid, and low frequencies. Additionally, you can control monitor headphone queuing with ease, ensuring seamless transitions between tracks.
Traktor X1 customization options
The X1 MK3 doesn’t just offer performance features; it also allows for extensive customization. In the X1 MK3 Main settings, you can tailor various functions to your preferences. From browsing through your favorites and adjusting the key by semitone to customizing hot cue numbers and creating custom color schemes, the X1 MK3 offers endless possibilities for personalization.
Elevate your DJ performances with the Traktor X1 MK3
The Traktor X1 MK3 DJ controller is a game-changer for both seasoned DJs and newcomers to the scene. Its sleek design, intuitive controls, extensive customization options, and powerful features make it an essential tool for any DJ’s arsenal.
Whether you’re a professional DJ looking to elevate your performances or a beginner eager to dive into the world of DJing, the Traktor X1 promises to unlock new levels of creativity and control. So, gear up and get ready to take your music to new heights with the Traktor X1 MK3!