Creating a Beat Grid

topic posted Mon, June 27, 2005 - 10:25 AM by  bifurcation
While i'm at it....

The main thing i need help with is setting up a beat grid. I've imported/analyzed my tracks, and set the BPM for each track in it's File Tag.

I see the section where beat grids are set up, but i'm lost as how to set the beat marker (or loop points or any of that stuff)


posted by:
  • Re: Creating a Beat Grid

    Sat, December 3, 2005 - 6:11 PM
    check this

    In the beginning it can be a bit tricky to place a correct beatgrid but with the help of some small tips and with practice and experience it takes less than a minute.
    To place the beatgrid I place a cue point on the first clear beat AFTER the first beat. In most cases this means the second beat but sometimes due to other sounds in the track (bassline, lead melody, atmospheric sounds etc.) the second beat can't be seen or detected easily and then I place the cue point on the next clear beat.
    After the cue point has been placed I bring up the edit cue point window and convert the cue point into a Beat Marker. Now a visible white grid. appear throughout the entire track.
    (Note that I have "Highlight Beat Markers" unchecked in the Apperance tab in the Setup window since it makes it easier to see how the grid aligns with the actual beats.)
    Now I bring up the Edit BPM window. During the analyse of the track Traktor has detected a BPM value for the track. However this is usually not correct but most of the time it is close to the actual tempo so I click the Round button and then the Lock button before I close the Edit BPM window.
    Now I go back in the track and place a cue point on the first beat since most of the times this is where I want to start the track when I mix. By placing a cue point on the first beat I make sure that the track is already cued up whenever I want to use it.
    In some extreme cases it's impossible to see a clear beat after the first beat. What I do then is to place the Beat Marker on the first beat, then put a new Beat Marker on the second beat and finally remove the first Beat Marker.
    The reason why I don't want the beat marker on the first beat is because I might want to use the first cue point as a Deck Load or Fade In marker. Please note though that while in theory a Deck Load marker should tell Traktor to cue up to that marker when you load the track but in reality Traktor quite often doesn't.
    Now it is time to check how the beatgrid aligns with the actual beats. The fastest and easiest way to do so I have found is to simply click on the stripe below the wave form of the track to the end of the breaks in the track. There it is very simple to see if the grid is correct since the first beat after a break usually can be seen very easily.
    Another option is to jump forward through the track by using the move button set to 16 beats. This method is good to use if there is a drift in the grid since it makes it easy to see the shift when it starts. I usually do this after I have tried the first method and have found a drift or if there are no clear breaks in the track.
    Yet another way to check the grid is to simply play the track and see how the grid aligns to the beat that you hear. I don't use this option very often since it takes a long time to listen though the entire track but is is useful in the cases where you have a track with a very "busy" wave form where it is impossible to see the beats. It can be a bit difficult though to see the grid properly as the wave form scrolls by. There is a small tip though to solve this problem. Simply decrease the tempo of the track down to a slower speed with the tempo slider. This does not effect the ACTUAL tempo of the track, just the play back tempo. At this slower speed it's usually easy to see the beatgrid while I hear the beats.
    If I detect that the beatgrid drifts away from the actual beat by using any of the methods above I simply correct it in the Edit BPM window. A very easy rule of thumb is that if the grid drifts to the left then I click on the right button (-) to bring it back to the right and of course on the left button (+) if the grids drift to the right.
    It is important to check the entire track to the end since any drift will be more severe the further into the track you get.
    Finally I place another cue point on the last beat of the track. That way I have a visual indication as to where the end of the beat in the track is. The stripe isn't a reliable way to tell the end of the track since sometimes there are many other sounds effecting the wave form.

    Puh! That was a long explanation as to how to use beatgrids and even though it may sound like a lot of work it's not and it goes really quickly after some practice. I usually place a beatgrid and the other cue points in a track in 30 seconds. Time well spend considering that now Traktor knows the exact tempo of the track and it has the necessary cue points.
    • Re: Creating a Beat Grid

      Sun, September 14, 2008 - 10:04 PM
      re: "in theory a Deck Load marker should tell Traktor to cue up to that marker when you load the track but in reality Traktor quite often doesn't. "
      I learned that to truly make the "load cue point" feature work, so that you can immediatly skip to your chosen cue point upon loading a track, one has to go into preferences>loading>advanced and make sure that "cue to marker when loading track" is selected.

      I still don't get beat grids though. :(

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