Syncing in Traktor 2
When tracks have the correct BPM value and if the beatmarker is at the proper position and thus the beatgrid is perfect, those tracks can be synchronised to either the Master Clock or to the deck currently assigned as the sync master. Traktor 2 provides two different synchronisation modes and various clock modes: both settings affect how the synchronisation works.
Select the Synchronisation Mode: TempoSync or BeatSync
New in Traktor 2 are the two different synchronisation modes. You can select the mode on the Preferences/Transport dialog in section Sync Mode.
To understand what these modes do, it helps to take a short look at the two states of a deck that Traktor can synchronise to the corresponding states of a sync master: the tempo and the phase.
- Tempo synchronisation ensures that the tempo of the deck and the tempo of the tempo master are identical.
- Phase synchronisation ensures that the beatgrid of the deck and the beatgrid of the tempo master are aligned.
- If the tempo as well as the phase are synchronised, Traktor calls this “beat synchronisation“, or short BeatSync.
Depending on which sync mode you select, Traktor can either ensure, that only the tempo of a synchronised deck is locked to the sync master (TempoSync mode) or that both phase and tempo are locked to the sync master (BeatSync
How do these modes relate to older synchronisation concepts Traktor offered in Traktor 3, Traktor Pro 1 and Traktor Pro S4?
TempoSync is the mode that was available in Traktor Pro S4 and in Traktor DJ Studio 3 (released in 2005). In this mode “slaved” decks follow the tempo of the master. You can tempo bend/pitch bend on the slaved decks to move their phase. Shifting the phase does not break the synchronisation link of the tempo synchronisation.
A new addition of the TempoSync mode in Traktor 2 is that the synchronisation works now as with timecode. When you use relative timecode tracking mode you can use the Sync button to keep the decks tempo synchronised. When performing fast scratches on the tempo master deck, Traktor Pro assigns the Master clock as master and Traktor Duo switches the master function to the opposite deck. The Sync button can be shown in a dimmed state. This indicates that currently the deck cannot be synchronised, as a user action led to a phase of tempo offset. However, when the next track is loaded into that deck, it will automatically start synchronised again.
BeatSync is the mode that was available in Traktor Pro 1, but with some changes. In this mode the “slaved” decks follow the tempo and the phase of the master. This is done during playback by constantly checking if the tempo, as well as the phase of the slaved decks are still in sync with the master. If they are off sync, Traktor then automatically triggers a re-sync action.
The difference to the sync mode in Traktor Pro 1 is, that once the Sync button on a deck is activated in Traktor 2, you can no longer pitch bend the deck: tempo and phase of the slaved deck are locked.
The Sync Button – Beat Sync, Tempo Sync, Phase Sync
The previous sections introduced the two synchronisation modes.This section takes a closer look at the Sync buttons in the decks and the effect they have.
The Sync button in the decks can have one of the following three states:
The deck does not follow the tempo/phase of the master deck or of the master clock, i.e. Traktor won’t synchronise the deck to the master deck. When you click the Sync button while it is off, Traktor will sync this deck to the sync master.
This synchronises the tempo and the phase. Syncing the phase matches the beatgrid of the deck to the beatgrid of the master tempo; after the synchronisation-process both grids are congruent. Normally the Sync button stays on when it is clicked. If the button does not stay on Traktor cannot permanently sync the deck to the sync master.
While the Sync button is on, it’s deck is locked to the sync master. If you selected BeatSync mode, then tempo and phase of that deck are locked to tempo and phase of the sync master. The tempo fader and the tempo bend buttons on the slaved deck are disabled. The synced deck follows any tempo and phase changes made on the sync master.
If you use the tempo bend buttons to temporarily change the tempo of the master deck, the synced deck will follow, even when the tempo change on the synced deck cannot be seen in the current tempo field of its deck header.
If you selected TempoSync mode, then only the tempo is locked. The synced deck follows any tempo changes done on the sync master. The tempo fader on the deck is disabled, but you can use the tempo bend buttons to shift the phase of the deck. If the phase of the synchronised deck is off by more than 1/128 beat, than the Sync button is switched to the dimmed, waiting state.
- WAITING The third state of the Sync button is officially called “intermediate”, but I prefer to call it “waiting”, because the deck is waiting for a state to be switched back to the On state.
When the state is set to Waiting the deck is currently in a state that prohibits a permanent synchronisation to the sync master. This can be due to several reasons. One example has been mentioned already: the phase offset of the deck is more than 1/128 beat off the phase on the sync master.
Another example is an active loop with a loop length shorter than 1 beat; loops that a shorter than 1 beat can never be played back beat synchronous.
The Sync button is also dimmed if a deck with an activated Sync button is
stopped. As soon as playback of the loaded or a newly loaded track is restarted,
the Sync button switches back to On, as long as no other condition prevents the
permanent synchronisation. If the deck state changes, maybe because another deck
has been selected as sync master, or because the short loop was deactivated, or
because the loop length has been changed to a value greater or equal to 1 beat,
or another track has been loaded, Traktor automatically changes the sync state
back from Waiting to On.
Traktor provides three different mapping commands for deck synchronisation that correspond to the three different sync actions: Beat Sync, Tempo Sync and Phase Sync.
Written by Rainer G. Haselier
Taken from "Traktor 2 Bible"
Last update: April 6, 2011