by Sara Simms

The art of DJing on the go

Learn how to create your own portable DJ setup

TRAKTOR DJ 2 is the latest free-to-download app that allows you to DJ on your iPad or Desktop. This innovative technology allows DJs to play on the go without carrying heavy equipment. What makes TRAKTOR DJ 2 revolutionary is the fact it can sync with SoundCloud Go+, which gives DJs instant access to millions of tracks from new artists.


TRAKTOR DJ 2 overview

TRAKTOR DJ 2 looks and performs similarly to TRAKTOR PRO 3. On the Desktop version, there are three different layouts; Classic, Jogwheel and Waveform. Classic mode displays the two decks, Jogwheel mode has two platters and Waveform mode displays two large waveforms for a larger overview. The iPad app features Jogwheel and Waveform layouts.

In Classic and Jogwheel mode, you can see your collection and playlists along the left-hand side. On the Desktop version, new playlists can be added by pressing the + ‘New Playlist’ button. Tracks can be added to these playlists by dragging them from your music collection to the app or by importing from your TRAKTOR PRO 3 collection. Soundcloud Go+ accounts can be added in either version and your account can be directly accessed. Load tracks onto a deck by dragging and dropping them from your collection, iTunes playlists or Soundcloud Go+ library.

In the middle of the software is the mixing interface; the Desktop version features a three-band EQ, gain knob and filter/FX knob. The FX knob allows you to choose from Filter, Reverb, Delay or Gater. The iPad app has a three-band EQ and a slider that allows you to adjust the Dry/Wet control of the effects. The four effects can be used creatively to enhance a mix and sound every bit as good as TRAKTOR PRO’s 3’s effects.

There’s a Cue button that allows you to Cue your tracks and Play button to start the tracks. Loops can be set on tracks by pressing the numbered Loop button, or you can tap directly into the waveform to create a loop.


Each track in TRAKTOR DJ 2 has beat-grids that are automatically created; these allow you to perfectly sync your tracks together using Sync mode. Occasionally a beat-grid will have to be adjusted and this can be done by clicking the tempo button and finding the downbeat position in the track. The downbeat means beat one of a bar, usually located on the first kick drum in a track. Once you’ve found the downbeat, move the track so the playhead marker is positioned over this section of the waveform. Click the ‘Set Downbeat’ button to set the new downbeat and change the position of the beat grid. Whether you’re mixing at top venues or house parties, it’s a good idea to prep your sets in advance to ensure the beat grids are set correctly.

Setup ideas

There are a variety of ways that you can choose to play with TRAKTOR DJ 2. All of the setup options are portable and allow for quick and easy setup at events gigs. TRAKTOR DJ 2 is a great choice for events where space is limited; these setup options can fit  on a small table or in booths where space is tight.

IPad and speaker

The first setup idea is very simple; it only requires an iPad with TRAKTOR DJ 2. Simply connect the iPad via Bluetooth to a wireless speaker.


TRAKTOR DJ 2 is compatible with the TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 as well as the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3. These are great options for mobile gigs that allow you to play using the controller. These are good choices for those who would like to try playing with TRAKTOR DJ 2, but still want to be able to mix using hardware. To use this setup, connect the iPad to the S2 or S3, connect monitors to the S2 using RCA cables and power the setup via USB or the NI power supply for the S2 or S3. Connect headphones to the S2 or S3 and you’re all set.


Another way to use TRAKTOR DJ 2 is on a laptop with monitors connected to the laptop. This is a good option for those who are comfortable DJing on a computer and would be an easy way to start mixing if you don’t own an iPad or hardware. I would personally recommend this setup for practice and home use, and perhaps use an iPad, iPad/controller combo or the desktop version with a controller at a gig. Generally, an audience would like to see you DJing using a medium other than a laptop, although it’s always the performance and music that matters the most. In a pinch this setup will allow DJs to mix tracks in a professional manner, and could be used in a live setting.


Soundcloud Go+

TRAKTOR DJ 2 is fully compatible with Soundcloud Go+. This means DJs can instantly play edits and bootlegs via this streaming service. SoundCloud Go+ removes ads, and allowing you to choose the tracks you like and play them anytime, as many times as you’d like. All of your ‘Likes’ and Playlists on Soundcloud are available from within Traktor DJ 2 and can be dragged and dropped into a deck and instantaneously played.

TRAKTOR DJ 2’s flexible layouts, ease of use and straight-forward interface gives DJs the tools they need to mix creatively. It provides futuristic features, Soundcloud integration and a handful of TRAKTOR’s legendary effects. TRAKTOR DJ 2 is software that’s designed to you to get you spinning straight away, whether you’ve been DJing for decades, or have just been approached to play your first gig.

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