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a letter to NI and the traktor user community

Discussion in 'TRAKTOR 3' started by jay michael, Jan 29, 2008.

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  1. jay michael

    jay michael Forum Member

    Messages:
    154
    *******
    I know this is a seriously long thread but if you really care about traktor and
    its viable future as a respected platform in the dj'ing industry please take the
    time to read all of it and add your reflections. and if you agree with any of my opinions around areas in traktor that need improvement even if they dont directly effect your use of the program please take a moment to send in an improvement request to Native Instruments. its your voice that can effect change in this program. thanks
    ********

    I was thinking about traktor while I was working today and basically I’ve come up with some sad realization of truths surrounding traktor. I know this is going to sound arrogant as hell so I must first say I in no way consider myself to be a master of dj'ing, but I have been doing it for almost 10 years. I played vinyl for around 5 years, cds for 3 or 4 years
    and now I have been using traktor for the last year and a half. I consider myself a supreme music geek and constantly try to improve my ability to mix music in more and more advanced ways. I only started using traktor when I felt a suitable option became available where I could keep using the skills I had developed from my previous experience and translate them some what seamlessly into the world of laptop dj'ing. I wanted to take advantage of traktors ability to intelligently sort and organize my music, Use the many different looping and beat jumping features, and ultimately take full advantage of accurately changing the key of my tracks as dealing with harmonic mixing on vinyl and cd was a massively time consuming art. The arrival of the vci 100 was what finally sold me to give traktor a try because I would have tactile control over the software features of traktor. I had already decided to use traktor over serato solely for the ability to change the keys of my tracks. Before I had the vci 100 I used 2.5 for about a half year
    using a contour control midi controller, it had a little jog wheel that worked well enough, and lots of buttons where I programmed features like fine, coarse tempo adjustment,
    key change up and down, play pause etc. It worked so unbelievably sweet, my tracks key’s were displayed in the deck headers, I would press a button and the display would show me what key it had been changed into. It was so nice…. simple and beautiful. I spent 3 or 4 months entering my music collection, detailing all my tracks, entering key data etc. Then version 3 came out. After reading all the new cool features I didn’t think twice. I bought version 3 and then proceeded to make the biggest mistake I could ever make. I rolled my music collection into version 3 and somehow managed not to save
    my old 2.5 data…. Essentially there was no turning back. Version 3 very quickly made some really poor impressions on me. The key data system did not work at all, you couldn’t get the key to display in the deck header and there was no longer any display
    that would show you what key you were currently in….. WTF? This was traktors BEST
    feature, the one amazing feature that traktor could do that no other software could do. And now its totally broken. I immediately hit the forums, submitted improvement requests, and reported it as a bug. Don’t worry, it will get fixed in the next update I kept hearing….. how many updates have now gone past? Has it been fixed? Nope.
    Then I noticed the tempo resolution no longer went down to .01 WTF? Are we going backwards I thought to myself. And ever since its been little disappointment after disappointment, my ability to skillfully use traktor to its maximum potential has been
    sadly reduced since version 3 has come out. If I didn’t have to spend 3 months straight
    redoing my music collection back into 2.5 I would be using 2.5 right now as we speak.

    .Now after using traktor 3 for around a year I feel familiar enough with the overall usability of it to come to these conclusions.

    1. traktor was conceived to help people that didn’t know how to dj
    mix their music
    2. because of this traktor has never really taken important features that professionals would be looking for very seriously.
    3. traktor has in some part created a large community of dj's that have
    never properly learned how to dj. And due to this fact, feedback
    that NI gets from the majority of users is such that not enough attention gets put into making the essential basics of the program work flawlessly because the majority
    of traktor users don’t have the foundational experience to know that there are short
    falls to many of the softwares basic features…. Instead demanding crazy new features
    that take massive amounts of programming time and energy…. Leaving basic essential functions working poorly or not even at all.

    Please take these statements with a grain of salt. I know there
    are many talented dj's on this forum and out in the world that use traktor very skillfully. but the fact is traktor has inexpensively opened up the door to a huge amount of people
    who casually thought dj'ing would be fun and decided to give it a try because they already owned a laptop and a couple hundred bucks would get them started so they could play all their downloaded mp3's. Many of these people probably would not have dropped the 800 bucks a piece for a couple tech 12's and
    500 bucks on a decent mixer. Then spend countless thousands
    on 2 tracks of music on a 20 dollar piece of vinyl…. So now you’ve got this army of "dj's" with their traktor programs. They never learned how to beatmatch properly because they don’t have to. They have things like auto level so they don’t have to manually match the track volumes.... I’m surprised traktor hasn’t yet developed an auto eq’ing feature.... I bet that’s coming in version 4 And on and on….. Now this
    army of mediocre djs starts giving feedback to NI about the features they do or don’t like and because of the huge numbers of them NI naturally thinks
    that this is the "word of the people" and start removing this and changing that, ignore that this is broken but keep adding more and more features eventually creating this bloated cpu hog of a program that does tons of cool things…. but succeeds in not doing many of them very well…. not to the level of what would be expected by professionals.
    Why? Because NI does not take the requests of the professionals seriously because the bulk of traktor users are people who are casual dj’s at best, people who never learned the fundamentals and science of mixing developed using hardware because traktor takes care of most of it (poorly) for you. Leaving a small percentage of the users really trying to get the most out of this software struggling because in so many ways it never lives up to their expectations. This is why the real key features in traktor that the pro's would look for are either broken, been reduced in there usability or have disappeared all together. a working track key display feature.... used to work in 2.5, hasn’t worked yet in all the traktor 3 versions.... trim adjustment to 2 decimal places, traktors tempo accuracy when done manually is barely better than a cdj100 that was designed 8 years ago. do you think someone like digweed would take the time to beatgrid all his tracks.... nope, not when he can already masterfully beatmatch them in a few seconds. But he wouldn’t be able to because traktor no longer has accurate enough tempo control resolution. Multiband kills.... used to have them back in version 2.... now we don’t.... the emulation of the zone’s eq's have been poorly done, and there is no low freq kill…. And on and on.
     
  2. jay michael

    jay michael Forum Member

    Messages:
    154
    part 2....


    Now we have this partially satisfied, or nearly fed up (minority) group of advanced traktor users that have very high expectations of traktor and its abilities but their voices are getting downed out in a sea of mediocre skilled users. These are people that either started directly with traktor, and have taken its use to a science. Or they are dj's that are coming to traktor with skills learned from years of dj’ing vinyl or cd's expecting that they can take their skills and expand upon them opening up their abilities to new levels. But when they get here they find out that traktor poorly executes some of the most basic functions of the ESSENTIAL parts of dj technologies resulting in a product that just doesn’t meet their expectations. Even though traktor allows for new possibilities that were not possible with their old gear, In many ways they often feel it is actually a step backwards in some of the most basic of djing fundamentals. I think this is blatantly obvious in the severe lack of big name dj's supporting traktor. It’s simply because it is not professional enough when it comes to the very basics...... This is why serato is the number 1 software choice for professionals. They execute the emulation of the hardware professionals are used to very accurately. It may not have all the bells and whistles.... but that’s not what the professionals are looking for.... they are looking for a seamless translation of what dj'ing has been for years into the world of digital mixing. Serato does this well, traktor does not. This is why traktor does not get much support from professionals, period.

    If you could somehow take a poll of all serato and traktor users
    you would find that serato would have a much higher ratio of professionals vs casual dj's. where traktor would have a much higher ratio of causual dj's to professionals.

    Its simply because serato does the basics better…. The thing that blows my mind is that
    Traktors older versions did many of these basic things very well but version 3 has seen
    a deterioration of these functions…. Traktor is getting worse is certain ways, not better.

    I have had reps from NI say things like... you have to understand, NI is a small company, we don’t have enough staff to always fix all the little things that are wrong at the moment etc, etc....

    Why doesn’t NI start taking the feedback of the more advanced users of traktor seriously. NI will get more and more professional dj’s on board by making the basics super solid. Stop working on all the bells and whistles and nail down all the basics of traktor so it works flawlessly. Make it attractive to the professionals..... Because
    when the professionals start supporting it more that’s only going to translate into more sales, more money, more technical staff, more programmers..... Then get on with all the bells and whistles.

    NI, if all you want to do is make a program that suits the needs of the casual dj, keep doing what your doing, your doing a great job.
    But if you want to become an industry leader, the real professional choice for everyone, including the professionals.... you got to do a better job at the basics. Good eq's, multiband kills, more accurate tempo controls for people who are going to beatmatch manually.... many of the pros will. Fix the key changing display so it works like it did in 2.5. And you must improve the stability. The word crash is probably the most common word used on this forum.

    NOW, to take things to a whole other level.....
    Implement these fixes skillfully and then design a hardware controller that utilizes ALL of it, tempo sliders with enough resolution to support .01 tempo controls. solid, accurate platters. Controls for 4 decks, 4 band eq’s, with kills on every band, a mouse pad, and lots of extra rotaries and buttons so users can completely personalize their units
    to their every need and desire. The vci 100 was close.... but you only have to look at Ean Golden’s efforts to understand how much they missed the mark by. If NI executes this properly they really would have no competition and would dominate the market place for software/hardware combinations…… But don’t even bother with an entry into the hardware market before fixing traktor first!

    You only have to look within the pages of these forums to see that there is truth in what I am saying. You’ve got people like Boysteve, the traktor user with probably the largest listener audience is still using version 2.5. Why? Because 2.5 does the real important simple things better than version 3 does. Its more stable, more usable eq’s, the key changing controls work, the pitch resolution is finer etc, etc. Secondly my close friend Darvin Knorr, dj Nokturnal from Zenon records. He has been a huge mentor of mine and bar none is the most technically advanced music mixing scientist I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. He was the first of many
    of us to move into traktor back at version 2.6. When he told me he was going to start using traktor I just couldnt believe it. At the time we had many traktor users in my scene and literally all of them were terrible hacks. But he saw the potential that I couldn't see because I had stereotyped traktor so blindly because of the poor way I had seen it used before. A few months went by and he starting laying down these
    epic sets, meticulously mixed beautiful journeys of sounds.... everything was harmonically mixed, I could hear melodies of tracks i owed but somehow it was arranged differently, new drums lines added.... I couldn't even figure out how he was pulling it off. I was reluctantly sold on traktor and started the process of integrating myself into the digital world. Now when version 3 came out I jumped in head first but Darvin waited. He was really pleased with 2.6 and wanted to wait it out to make sure it was stable. About 6 months ago he finally caved and moved into version 3. its only took
    him about a month to realize the precision, accuracy, and stabilty of version 3 was no where near the standards of what he enjoyed in 2.6, and with the total mess NI made of the key changing functionality he didn't even hesitate to return to 2.6 and has been
    using 2.6 happily ever since. I've been doing this for 10 years.... by far the most technically advanced mixing dj I have ever personally witnessed passed on version 3 in about a month, returning to a previous 2.6 version. This is what I think is actually happening. There are many pro types out there that give traktor 3 a try and are immediately turned off by it because of all of these "small" short comings are simply
    not acceptable to them, they ditch out and head over to serato before they even
    bother to add their feedback to the forums or to NI.

    I admire that NI takes a fresh look at how dj’ing can be done. In many ways it has and will continue to revolutionize the industry. Traktor is in my opinion is the best software
    option on the market at the moment. But there are some really promising options in the
    works and I know they can smell the stench of the shortcomings of this program. I know that NI reps really don’t think that there is really much wrong with anything I have discussed in this letter. I here it from the moderators on the forum all the time, your an isolated case, not many other users share your opinion, most of our users think otherwise, etc. But seriously, I take my art of dj’ing very seriously, but its really only a hobby… I have the whole 9 to 5 weekly career thing going on and I just hack away at this on the weekends….. but if I can pick apart this program for its many little shortfalls being just a “recreational professional” you can bet your last dollar many people making a living off of this art wouldn’t accept these short coming and stay with cd’s or vinyl or with something like serato. You have to remember the thing about software is that there is a high amount of time investment that goes into entering the software world. There is a large learning curve, transferring music collections and meta data entry takes allot of time. If something comes along and one up’s traktor, many users will bail…. And it will be very very hard to get them back after they invest all that time adjusting into a new platform for their art.
     
  3. signaturex

    signaturex NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    2,116
    @j m ... i moved my post though I don't expect it to recieve any more credability or respect here either(they really need an emoto for sarcasm:p )

    Obviously I am not a long term, member in this forum and of course, I have no credability. For various reasons -- mainly because I don't want any :D . .. too much responsability.

    But here is an obvious solution to the problem.

    MAke available all versions of traktor, that have been released, to the user-ship. This reduces the absolute nature of the situation. NI RECIEVES LESS pressure from legacey users who are comfortable with their current versions.-- The upgrades become optional as users find the best versions for their uses. And thus the best feature sets become a majority. And a system of rebuild and knowledge begins.

    And if you have a version that you like better ! -- as opposed to the upgrades -- then you can use them. Don't buy the progressive crap that NI is peddling now. It is made for the purpose of making money and keeping up with technologey and its competitors which the user ship seems to deem necessary.. but serato cando this but mxvibesbut torque.. blah blah blah..

    ALso mix technologey improvements are for people like me. Believe it or not ... I came up with the idea for a DVS almost 15 years ago. and as far as i am concerned "these guys are working for me". hahahaha. its my phreakin dream come true. i love it. though my idea is still a little more progressive and NI is almost there.

    Everyone who has one ... knows that if you have a dedicated music computer you only need one optimal install of your system software and your music programs. and this is your work model. that is what you rely on. And everything else is a hobby. Or an experiment. Having the MEGA tech gear-is not as important as having something that works well and will get you paid.

    I am pretty much a retired DJ and I don't "give a rats ass..":lol: about getting paid or playing for hundreds of thousands of listners. I play for myself and the listeners who request mix tapes from me personally. Still -- this is what I do with my time. So my occupation with these methods is just as viable as a DJ who might have a million people listening to them each week. And to tell you the truth I can't take people any more ..I live in the middle of no-where because I need to and I interact with who I need to but that doesn't discount my experience one bit. Or my skills and I don't have to prove those to anyone either unless requested to. and if anyone requests to battle with me... ... hahaha. id love to. "warriors ... come out and play.."


    so that said id like to say this.,.

    Your hierarchial assessment of this situation is somewhat moot by my opinion. Deviding professionals and "regular" users has nothing to do with what sort of software should be produced. By your model -- funney enough -- real professionals really shouldn't pay the same price as users for the same software. &FYI--they probably don't

    PRofessionals with special needs and skill sets should be paying ten or twenty times as much to sit down with an NI PROgramming consultant and have a special build of the software drawn up and executed. If NI could offer this type of service they would have every professional disc jockey in the world on their roster at this point. And they probably have those clients as well but they wouldn't let anyone know about it. Because then the clients software would be in demand and thats not what they paid for. ...also NI can't make money on endorsements if nobodey wants a new product.

    Like boysteve using 2.5 he still endorses traktor to his listeners but his listeners can't get 2.5. They can buy T3 and traktor scratch and it is the software they are learning on now and they don't really care about the difference. The current versions are pretty darn good in my opinion and they are implementing further and even more important new functions that will eventually make TRAKTOR the worlds finest dj software. The leading edge of this software really is the BETA and its about two years deep right now. The current sweet spot is in 3.2085 and surprisingly still laying in bed with stanton and the final scratch system! thats my opinion.

    I sell guitars and Other instruments -- do you know how much a professional guitar player will pay for something that does what he or she wants.? 2500-25,000$ OUr associate luthiary builds guitars for _______________, among other groups, he is the best in the business and his customs bring an average of 5000 dollars a piece. And it is worth every penny.

    NI could be doing the same thing.

    -- there is no way that a progressive companey that actually came up with the original model can compete with almost 10 now innovater/competitor mix products. And still satisfy all the users that it has had in its historey .... with ONE product. Its impossible--And something that everyone should accept as the facts of life.

    If you want a great product that is simple and everyone is saying is better than NI then buy serato. And play with the most solid and simple dvs that everyone says is so. :confused:.still I don't think it has the character or special feel that traktor does.;)

    The character and knowledge--I want that to improve. That is the beauty of new technolgey. It creates new boundries and higher states of function.

    I think Traktor scratch should become what you are all talking about. A stable competitor that users can rely on with a number of options for its control and viable alternative to serato. in addition All previous versions of traktor should be available to licensed users to do what ever they want with and run on any one of their computer systems.

    Right now--everything sucks--can you imagine trying to deal with apple computers and microsoft and two completely screwed up new operating systems. Hello.. we are lucky to get any bug fixes at all.
    From what it sounds like traktor and traktor scratch are failing for everyone on Leopard.

    TRAKTOR3 dj studio should become what I want it to. A truley revolutionary djing tool that does what no other software does. I wouldn't be here other wise. And i expect it to happen. cause its my own personal software -- I paid for it. and everyone can say that if they want to.
     
  4. jay michael

    jay michael Forum Member

    Messages:
    154
    signaturex, thanks for your reflections. this situation
    reminds me of something i saw happen in the industry that
    i make my living in. I have been an auto technician for around
    12 years. I make my living working for a bmw dealership repairing a very technically advanced product. around 5 years
    ago our direct competitor, mercedes benz was suffering from
    very poor owner satisfaction, poor reliability ratings and poor
    sales world wide. when they asked their consumers why they
    were unhappy with their products there was a huge amount of concern
    that the cars were way too complicated, they had a massive amount of bells and whistles that frequently had problems and
    required many trips to the dealerships for repairs. at the time
    the marketing strategy was to introduce many interesting and
    cool features that the competition did not have to try and woo new customers to the product. the result was the efforts
    of the designers was spread too thinly over so many new projects that in the end many new features were implemented
    poorly and in the end the overall build quality of the car suffered. third party companies that do the technical reviews
    of cars heard the feedback from the increased amount of complaints from the customers and started writing poor reviews of the cars. sales started to plummet and the company suffered heavily loosing a large part of the market share.

    this is how they fixed it. mercedes benz made a public announcement to the media and the industry that they had made a mistake by implimenting way too many new features and gizmos to the cars and that in the end caused the overall quality of the cars to go down. they announced their intention to remove many of these unstable features, simplify
    things and get the essentials of the automobiles back up to the high standards customers were expecting out of a mercedes benz. it took a few years but the quality reports improved, public awareness of the overall quality of the product improved, they started selling way more cars again now to the point the company is enjoying some of the best
    sales they have experienced in the last quarter century. and now that the company is stable again they are again putting
    their resources back into r&d and coming out with some of the most groundbreaking new technologies on the market. they only could do this because they went back to the roots and made the basic essentials of the product work flawlessly with good reliability. this is what sold the product, not the endless amount of features that other products didnt have. now i understand that the "professional" is a very small
    market share of the people actually using a product like traktor but the simple fact is if traktor did the basics really well, more pro's would consider jumping on board. with more pro's on board the product would sell better and that would lead to more resourses for r&d and on and on. just because
    a product is professional grade doesnt mean regular users wont use it. people buy what their mentors use, its simply
    the truth. personally i play a pretty obscure style of music so my mentors most people wouldnt have even heard of but to use an example that many people have heard of, say sasha
    or tiesto gave traktor a try and was really impressed with how it worked and decided to use it and perhaps sign on as
    a rep for the product. sales would go through the roof. it would benefit everybody, the novice user, the advanced users
    and the professionals...... plus it would pad the wallets of NI so they can keep developing new and exciting products because they will have better resouces to do so. but as it
    sits right now..... the simple aspects and features of traktor
    as just not quite good enough for those professionals. some
    of these features have been down graded in quality and usability in version 3 compared to how they worked in version 2.5. this is just not good enough for a self advertised "professional" dj product.
    take offense to some of my assements if you wish but my points are very valid and i know that if NI takes them seriously it will lead to the developement of more supported
    and usuable products that in the end will benefit all of us.
    i am making this effort only because i see the potential for this product to become something REALLY special.
     
  5. ProDJC

    ProDJC Forum Member

    Messages:
    97
    I didnt read your post word for word but glanced through it enough to get the just of it. I have had Traktor less than a year and consider myself a expeirenced club DJ - with a proven track record. I mix all styles and genres. I have used T3.3.1 in the club along with Audio8DJ however I just recently retired Traktor because I cannot get the same energy and flow I get when Djing with CDJ's and/or Turntables. Traktor just stopped recogizing my MIDI controller and tried all I could to get it working however no luck - and still no reply to my post (no big deal). I can contact support - but really have no desire to. So now I say farewell to Traktor and laptop DJing, unless its a mobile gig - in which I use Megaseg w/ my Audio8. My CDJs have never let me down and I love to beatmatch. I went to a club last weekend and saw an experienced DJ using a laptop to DJ (don't know what program) and for whatever reason the music sounded stale and lacked any energy. He was sitting on a stool starring at his laptop. This just didn't look or feel exciting. Not many people where dancing in the room that he was playing in. I gave Traktor a good honest try but have chosen to shelf it. :cool:
     
  6. signaturex

    signaturex NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    2,116
    @j m no offense at all .. i rarely get offended if someone has a different opinion than me and Im especially happy when someone who's differing opinion doesn't cause them to take cheap shot at my intelligence. and personal experience. Cause intelligence is a realtive endeavor for certain and we are dealing with so many variables in this forum -- making a judgement about intelligence is kind of like.. trying to pull the strawberries out of the picture of the bowl of cheerios on the cheerios box. It really has nothing to do with content. the content here is on the page. And my participation is ongoing as well as my developments in my own work and in ideas for the platform.

    I think we are actually closer to the same page than we might believe as we exchange posts . We are definately in the same thread here. I totally believe that traktor should be simplified. But to just stop traktors development and focus on things that got figured out four years ago would be rediculous.

    I haven't bought a new car. And i don't plan on it until the industry comes up with ground breaking solutions that solve some of the worlds very important problems. But, i am not going to stop driving. I drive a very conservative 89 honda accord lxi coup. It was cheap, and those cars that were actually imported from japan during the late eighties are amazing. it even gets up like sports car. These early hondas are Durable, efficient, and flawless in their construction sort of like really big motorcycles. My car gets 39 mpg and i can actually haul an entire live band pa and recording rig in it and still have room for my girlfriend. I don't expect that thing to break down. Ever. And if it does I can actually work on it myself. For this reason I also own several chevy pickups. Old classic 1/2 3/4 and 1 ton versions. These are amazing utilitarian vehicles and there are a dozen of them sitting in my junkyard...REady to be canabalized for parts. We approach everything like this around here because of necessity. But really when I want to think about driving. I want to go to lamborghine dealership and talk to a representative about what I really want. And test drive a concept car. Those are my dreams concerning cars. I don't like driving as much as I like snowboarding, and spend all my downtime mixing music.

    For the purposes of the Live DJ Traktor scratch needs to be Realized and help cement the relationship with people like PRODJC. Who know what real vinyl feels like. For progressive mixologists and people who play obscure there needs to be a new program that takes advantage of the existing language and makes it the pinacle of the trend and causes everyone to rethink their gas guzzlers. Having seen the trends of DVS evolve and having my own Idea of DVS from beginning I am hopeful that the New traktor system will consist of two programs. One that is scratch for live performance and one that is an amazing tool for implementing all things traktor and all things NI AND all things mix. A true efficient sports car that inspires people to have fun driving conservatively, and even get under the hood, And when souped up actually wins races on the pro circuit as well.
     
  7. boysteve

    boysteve NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    2,335
    Bad craftsmen blame their tools. It isn't the software's fault if some guy doesn't work the crowd or make eye contact while mixing. I've seen plenty of vinyl DJs do this, too, and no one blames the turntable. It's the DJ who sucks, okay? But the easiest way out is to blame the DJ's most distinctive feature: he's using a laptop. I've had comments from other DJs telling me how great it was that I'll talk to the crowd while I'm mixing (one of my fave tricks is to hand over the headphones so someone can hear the looped track that's gonna come in. The expression on their face is usually pretty cool). I've made an effort to know my keyboard and controller so well I don't have to stare at the screen any more than I have to, and I've done it deliberately becuase I've seen that DJ you're describing all over the place, and he's peeing in our pool, and I feel obligated to show it doesn't have to be that way.
     
  8. boysteve

    boysteve NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    2,335
    Jay michael--

    I think your post is terrific, but I am going to play devil's advocate to explain why I think NI may have taken the tack they have.

    You're one of the first on the block with a club-level software for DJing. You have to market it and get a return on your R & D expenses. You can concentrate on club DJs, or you can target bedroom DJs, who surely outnumber them by 1,000 to one. You want the cred of the club DJs using your product, but you need the revenue from the bedroom DJs. So you spin your ads (ha ha, li'l joke there) to the bedroom guys, adding spiffy functionality to separate yourself from the "mobile DJ" apps out there in order to retain market share, but doing it before your core functionality is really stable.

    I believe the effort to layer on functionality has driven NI to keep its customer base, but I believe that same effort is proving harmful in the longer term because those pretty penthouse suites are sitting atop a wobbly foundation. It's time to address the fundamentals: you need to be able to play tracks without having some kind of PC on steroids. You need to know it won't crash, stutter, or get dropouts. You need fx you can operate with pure spontaneity. You need to be able to key match at any BPM. You need fine levels of control for hardware controllers, and you need to be able to assign MIDI as easily as you can in Live or Reason so that hardware controllers are not instantly devalued whenever the GUI is changed. You need to NEVER DEGRADE CURRENT FUNCTIONALITY FOR ANY UPGRADE. New features should be built on top of stability, not instead of it.

    Over and over again on this forum I bring up Propellerhead Softwear as a best-practices example. They are responsive to their audience. They take their time. They aren't afraid to admit core issues and address them. They don't release a buggy version and then slap on patch after patch. They reality-test until they feel it's safe to release, because your reputation is only as solid as your product.

    The other way to go is Ableton's process: huge transparency and customer interaction resulting in rapid fix response.

    NI doesn't adhere to either of these models that I can tell.

    It is enormously frustrating to see what Traktor could be compared to what it is. Everything it needs to own this market is right there! I suspect the reason for this is that NI does not have the resources to devote to what is essentially a rebuild. Those resources would be an investment in a market, though, as I find myself living in a world where I am becoming a quaint anachronism with my laptop, T2.5.3, and Faderfox controller as CDJ users acquire functionality that leaves me in the dust, with setup convenience I can't touch. That's weird as hell to confront.

    I don't want to give up Traktor. Neither do I want to show up at a gig one day and have the DJ before me watch me set up and say, Wow, you're still using that?

    Serato, Torq, or an augmented CDJ (just think what happens when they add a screen and sophisticated browser, as seems inevitable) are going to take this market if NI doesn't keep up.

    No amount of coding chops can replace vision.
     
  9. signaturex

    signaturex NI Product Owner

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    2,116
    I think you are both making a very valid observation here. And in the case of PRODJC he has seen someone who is pre-occupied with his tool and can't play attention for the floor. A great reason for pre-show mix arrangements and content. -- Probably cause he doesn't know how to use his tool. --- Im sure that if non-initiated computer dj got on some turntables the floor would suffer even worse. In fact it would be horrible. "wheres the browser.?":eek: -Records falling on the floor- computer dj is shuffling through record sleeves and stepping on vinyl:confused: And then the two sororiety girls walk up and start peering over the mixer and asking if they can "touch it". "whats wrong with the music":eek: "we want to hear RIDE" One spills her pint .........:angry:
    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    :p
     
  10. jay michael

    jay michael Forum Member

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    154
    signaturex, again thanks your thoughts... i didnt think you
    were taking offense to my statements specifically more that
    at some point im sure people will take offense to some things i have said. your point are well thought out and i respect everything you said. one thing you did say was " But to just stop traktors development and focus on things that got figured out four years ago would be rediculous" i am in no
    way saying to go back and re-invent the wheel, the sad truth is that traktor had many of these issues im bringing up totally nailed in previous versions but have managed to degrade, screw up or remove them all together in the current version.
    instead of going backwards, keep what works, fine tune them if you must but please do not go backwards.
     
  11. boysteve

    boysteve NI Product Owner

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    2,335
    But when the wheel won't turn in your new model, it's time to address that instead of singing the praises of your deep luster shiny candy-apple-red paint job. I don't care what-all it does if the thing don't roll. :)
     
  12. signaturex

    signaturex NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    2,116
    spot on JM ... thats why Im talking about two platforms. NI can save everything good about traktor and and still be on the initiative with development. I've been very posative that the two programs would be completely interrelated.


    sortometaphorical
    Ive thought alot about jam sessions where Ive had dozens of electronic instruments on stage the core of beat and the consistancey is the DJ. HE/she is surrounded by a number of talented and totally variable sources that rely on him/her to keep the beat .. just like a drummer. Scratch has to be that. And capable of that. but then theres me in the background Im a mixologist-a sound person and producer and also ive got no front. No face for dealing with shi-t fock ofiicianodes and ugly people and promoters --so Im crawlin around on the floor and keeping the cables hooked up and the mess behind the amp rack together and keeping everyone medicated too! Everyone knows Im the doctor. And i can turn this jam session into a whole album. this is the phuture of the progressive traktor platform.

    NI doesn't have this and djs like me need this. Ive played alot of records and ive done alot of shows. I set up everyones software and Ive always taken a back seat to the front guy because the face with the hard grin is what all the chicks want to stare at and that steady grin keeps the biters off the platform. ... And away from me too. Thank god.

    Scratch is that face and studio is the infastructure. Its gonna hurt but i think traktor studio is gonna change alot and scratch is gonna be the stable and able app. Studio has to evolve into what alot of us have been wanting and NI is totally capable of producing. Right now its a completely schizophrenic application that is just like its new alter/ego scratch. In order for studio to be anything it needs to change into scratches infastructure and behind the scenes programmer. Studio needs to become sort of like ableton but without the sequnceing core. The transport of traktor is gold -- it could be used to work with so many different kinds of information it is staggering. But not as a stiff upper lip type club dj application. that is scratch. and i think these two need to form their own personalities.
     
  13. jay michael

    jay michael Forum Member

    Messages:
    154
    boysteve, i think your assement of this situation is bang on and well said. what you said here.....
    "It is enormously frustrating to see what Traktor could be compared to what it is. Everything it needs to own this market is right there!" sums up what im trying to get at here.
    its all here, or it has been in previous versions. there just needs to be some fine tuning made to some of the basics to take this platform to another level..... the level that is required to please not only the bedroom and casual dj's, but the professionals. i do also agree the move into traktor scratch was a required move but i think the cost of allowing some of the bread and butter features to deteriorate has been significant and will prove to be very costly in the long run for traktors overall respect in the big picture of the professional dj'ing industry
     
  14. signaturex

    signaturex NI Product Owner

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    2,116
    Yup/...thats what im talking about this is where things split up. scratch fixes eveything that went haywire in the rebound relationship after the divorce. And then we have a totally improved software module that is back as a classic face NI re-releases the original with no bad apples attached and everyone buys. there's no legal or financial attachment for stanton to extract from NI and NI's got developers and customers lining up to put their re-invented carts on the moving wheels of steel once again.

    And then Ni releases Traktor studio channels the perfect companion that ties traktor and all of Ni's other projects together for the perfect elctronic music production package. Scratch even has one special function that no -dvs has that makes it the ulitmate controller for all things elctronic. and it sure doesn't suck.
     
  15. jay michael

    jay michael Forum Member

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    154
    i agree, from an industry stand point a good move from NI.
    i still maintain my point that the overall functionability of
    traktor in general needs some polishing to become a REAL
    professional grade platform.
     
  16. jay michael

    jay michael Forum Member

    Messages:
    154
    even though i am not a scratch dj myself, i can see one major downfall to traktor scratch's implementation. not having side by side wave displays will not command the attention
    of the real scratch wizards. the phase meters will simply
    not be enough to sell the current layout to people. watching
    a good friend of mine who is a very talented scatch dj and turntablist work with serato i know without any hesitation that he would never even think to consider using traktor scratch because it would remove the amazing ability to visually see how the beat structures line up side by side.
    traktor scratch amazing? in some ways... but good enough
    to win the real wizards over serato? i dont think so.
     
  17. signaturex

    signaturex NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    2,116
    thats as easy as a customizable gui. Ive been doing dreamy little gui drawings for the last couple of months.

    the look of the modules is only dictated by the creativity of NIs development. Traktor could be a totally customizable interface. Every readout, meter, wave display, button, slider, and knob is just a representation of the values and triggers that lead to the backside of the program. I see traktor's interface being adaptable so that it reflects any controllers layout. It can look like ableton or serato. It could look like a piano or a mackie d.4. or a 303. The only thing that keeps it the way it is, is potential customers recognition and need of the colors and controls. It could be adapted for the visually impaired. Its just a bunch of little animations that in one face or another is more usable or less for some people. If it were much simpler and grey and white with a slower refresh rate, maybe no wave animation, it wouldn't tear up the video resources of your laptop. Also any of the readout values could drive any sort of output device, the level meter values could be driving 12 foot tall led modules on the dj's stage. This stuff is all customizable. The core of this interface is its transport control and the audio bus and connectivity to output devices and controllers. Everything can be built easilly around those functions and relationships. This isn't rocket science. And I'm really amuzed at NI's statements that "this take times" software design is slow going and they are understaffed.

    NO most of the work for them is thinking about how they have to approach customers. Meeting with the people that are gonna make customers want the gear. Hashing out contracts with touchey development staff geniuses and trying to keep everything together whenever steve jobs decides he wants his entire corporation to change processing platforms based on some other evil corporations move here or there. Also -- Retesting against constantly changing operating systems that are geared at out-dating all the software and hardware based on them.

    The programming of traktor is probably pretty easy. MAking the decisions and investments that have to mesh with the need of traktor's sales to still be putting bread on the table of NIs staff and families. Now that is difficult. I wish more consumers understood this and were more open and posative about the software and the idea behind it. As it is ... not a move can be made by NI without having to think ten steps ahead about what its going to do to some writer in magazine's opinion about traktor's comparison to serato.

    As the innovators of DVS and generally innovators in general these guys have my support and confidence that they are gonna come up with the best thing for what I need. Its frustrating-- the wait -- For what I want but ive been waiting since the mid ninties for software like this .. they are very close to perfection now and there just few little things left to make it perfect. In the meantime Im just mixing records and learning my other systems. And trying to put my own ideas for the software into coherant text so NI gets the vibe on some Level. .. and If I don't get what I want..and . the whole company crashes....whatever. I use serato... its just another five hundred dollar drop in the bucket. BUt I like traktor -- traktor is a progressive idea. Im hoping it stays that way. And im sticking with it.
     
  18. Ritchie_Jay

    Ritchie_Jay NI Product Owner

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    219
    I used vinyl for years and cds when I couldnt get the music I wanted on vinyl. I've always been into making techno and electronica on Computer and live like 909's and other loopable gear and Traktor is an absolute god send. It now marries the DJing and live electronica together. I'll say it again. It's a god send.

    Thankyou Shiva, Buddha, Jesus (and all the others) and thankyou NI!
     
  19. jonniesparko

    jonniesparko Forum Member

    Messages:
    326
    I once wrote on a another post that I would take Traktor anywhere with me that would have me, with a big smile on my face. I probably still would, but reading this did open my eyes some to how much better of a product I could have.

    +1 on needing to have finer tuning on tempo controls. I'm one of the beatsync kids who've never owned a traditional DJ setup, but do understand the need for fine tuning. As I've gotten more in depth with the program, I find I am needing this finer tuning which isn't available.

    +1 for fixing the EQ's. I have noticed a bit of bleed when one of my knobs is all the way down. That is really uncalled for, really not professional at all. When I mix, I want what I'm going to throw next only audible when I want it heard.

    +1 for fixing the the MIDI mapping. There are other companies that do this way better. Like Steve mentioned, Ableton is one.

    I first started playing music using a hacked version of Virtual DJ, but I liked it so much, I bought the thing with a Hercules MKII mixer. A couple of years with VDJ and a friend had me download a demo of Traktor. I saw four decks, a four channel EQ, and awesome looping effects. Same friend showed me a video of the VCI-100, and I was sold. Musician's Friend got the call, a few days later I had Traktor 3 and a Vestax.
    I've been checking out Ableton for some time now, and if I get this unexpected Govt. Tax rebate check in June, that's where I'm spending my money. My plans with Ableton are to help me produce my own tunes, and along the way, I hope to learn how to use it so I can play tunes like a DJ would. I had the chance to go the Ableton route before I got Traktor, but for DJ'n, I chose Traktor 'cause it seems to be more traditional.
    I don't know though, Ableton is also the choice of artists such as Sasha, Richie Hawtin, Paul Van Dyke, Pete Tong... Those guys are top notch, they've been around for a while. They're from the traditional DJ background, but are now breaking tradition.
    I really dig Traktor, but it can be better. To hear that there were great features before now, that are now gone, like kill switches on all the EQ channels, it's pretty wild... That's just doesn't make sense. I've never asked for the feature in a feature request before, but I've never thought about it 'till now.
    There are some pretty strong arguments made in this thread, mainly from Jay M, but also BoySteve. I wonder how NI will respond to this.

    Will a mod make a reply?
    Will there be a promise of a better system?
    Traktor 3.3.2 is on the horizon, and I'm now going to have better iTunes capability. What about the EQ & tempo control issues?
    Those are fixes that should be made right away.
     
  20. jay michael

    jay michael Forum Member

    Messages:
    154
    richie jay, i appreciate your comment and im glad that traktor meets your expectations but this is a thread where people are talking specifically about detailed descriptions of elements of
    traktor could be improved. if you want to add something constructive please do but we are not looking for random cheers or greers about this product.
     
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