How to use Traktor Audio 6 with Ableton

I don’t know why I have never encountered this problem before but recently I tried to use my Traktor Audio 6 together with Ableton and had a fair share of problems. Basically I couldn’t route Ableton’s output to anything different then ‘Output 1&2’ which is the main output at the Audio 6’s front side.  Everything else could be selected but just didn’t take effect (Ableton wasn’t even showing any kind of levels).

Same problem on the inputs: I have two turntables attached to the Audio 6 and wanted to use their inputs within a vst-plugin (MsPinky, as you may have guessed) but I just wasn’t able to get any signals coming into Ableton.

Of course the settings in Ableton all were correct. The screenshot only shows the output config but the input settings were accordingly.

 

I had a simple clip running on a track and changed the Master Out settings a few times. Whatever I tried it only sent out real music (into my mixing desk) when I selected channel ‘1/2’ for Master out. 3/4 and 5/6 just kept being numb.

 

The problem behind all this is that the Audio device’s input settings for both channels 3/4 and 5/6 was set to ‘direct thru’. Meaning: Everything that is connected to the inputs is directly routed to the outputs. The device itself is not able to send audio data to these outputs in this case. Looking at it from a little distance it’s something I could have known before because every time I had Traktor Scratch running and attached the Audio 6 to my computer I was presented with a ‘direct thru’-configuration for both decks. I had to deactivate this every time I used it.

 

The solution is simple: Just open up the Audio 6 Control Panel and deactivate the checkbox for ‘direct thru’-mode. It’s probably a good idea to do this in the ‘startup’ tab since this changes the device’s configuration to behave like this automatically every time you connect it to your computer.

 

I don’t know if it’s necessary to do a reboot afterwards. While trying to find this solution I made so many of them I don’t know for sure.

Anyways: After making these steps I was able to select every possible input and output combination for my Audio 6 in Ableton – and all of them worked like a charm.

DJ’ing without external Soundcard

 

Every now and then i use M-Audio’s Torq DVS to make music. I have been dj’ing in a bar for a few years and most times I was annoyed by the necessity for an external soundcard.

i really like mixing with an external Mixer so controlling my dvs via Midi and using the internal mixing engine is not an option. I just like having physical access to the channel faders, the crossfader and the equalizers.

Using a Macbook and a selfbuilt cable I found a way to use a dvs with an external mixer but without the need for an external soundcard.

Starting with the cable. I cut a cinch-cable i had lying around. For every half the wires for left and right channel are soldered together to form a ‘cinch-bundle’.

 

Things are then soldered to a stereo headphone jack which fits into the Macbook. Ground to ground, of course.  One ‘cinch-bundle’ is soldered to the left , one is soldered to the right pad of the headphone jack.

 

The whole construction is then drunk with hot glue to make it insensitive to mechanic stress.

This way you have 2 pairs of cinch-cables coming out of your Macbook’s headphone jack (both mono, of course) which can be connected to a mixer.

 

In order to devide the Macbook’s audio output into two independent interfaces I use soundflower the following way: The 16ch-interface is connected to the built-in output of the Macbook. Channel 1 and 2 are routed to built-in output #1 (I guess it’s the left channel).

 

 

Channel 3 and 4 are routed to built-in output #2 (if #1 is the left side then maybe this is the right audio channel..).

 

 

All other channels’ outputs are set to ‘none’.

 

When I want to use a dvs with this solution I start soundflower and configure my dvs’s outputs as shown (channel 2 and 3 are my left and right deck’s output since I’m using Torq in 2-deck mode):

 

As mentioned earlier, you only have 2 mono outputs with this solution. This is not a solution for playing a big gig or club or any place where sound quality is a criterium at all. This is just a quick-and-dirty hack for playing in those places where sound quality just doesn’t matter that much (most of the bars I came across…). anyways…it works.