Hacking A CDJ-1000MK1 To Work As A MIDI Controller in Traktor Scratch

We’ve been talking again with Lee Smith, a DJ gear technician who was featured last year on DJTT when he converted CDJ-800s to work with Traktor. He’s back with a new project, this time using the Pioneer CDJ-1000 (released in 2001) as a MIDI controller. Get a first look at the project in today’s article.

CDJ-1000 To Traktor MIDI

In the above video, Lee walks through the basic first iteration of his Pioneer DJ CDJ-1000MK1 MIDI conversion – and demonstrates it working inside of Traktor. He writes:

I finished making the dev board and programmed the Teensy 3.6 with my midi software. it’s all working in traktor and is super easy to setup by pressing a button and using the learn function in traktor.

Right now in the current iteration of the mod, Lee has the following controls mapped:

  • Track Search buttons = previous + next tracks in Traktor playlist
  • Jog Mode button = load track
  • Cue / Play = their normal functions in Traktor
  • Hot Cues = programmed by CDJ (or via other connected midi device – and it passes out to the CDJ, and vice versa)
  • Loop In / Loop Out = works normally as expected
  • Reloop/Exit = loop on/loop off
  • Wave Search/Zoom = loop move
  • Call buttons = change size of loop
  • Jog wheel = pitch bend or scratch mode (depending on if pressure is applied
  • Pitch Fader = sending 14-bit MIDI to get full, smooth pitch range

The board used is a Teensy 3.6 – which has many more inputs and outputs to directly attach more buttons directly to the board. This is an advancement over the CDJ-800 mod, which took a lot more indirect work.

When asked on Reddit about how much time and money the project cost, he shared:

As this was a development process I used a lot more parts that if I was to make another. The most expensive part is the teensy 3.6. I paid £30 in the uk. then some vero board, a load of coloured wire and some molex connectors so about £15 on top of that. The hardest part on this was some of the leds used 12v and I had to use mosfets to control the 12v on the cue and play leds, but these are only £2 each. I think I spent 2-3 hours a day over a week to get it to this point, but the cue and play leds was a lot of that time.

On To The Next Old CDJ

At the end of his video description, Lee mentions that this video is just one more in a series – the next one will be converting the CDJ-1000MK3. Stay tuned for more updates, and be sure to give Lee a shout in the comments if you have feedback or project ideas.