Review & Video: Numark 4Trak Traktor Controller & Mixer

Review Summary:

This is an almost perfect Traktor controller. I can see it being used by mobile DJs, bar DJs (especially if you're a resident and can keep your gear permanently set up there), and hobby DJs who want a truly nice bit of kit that's more substantial than most DJ controllers (it's the biggest non-motorised platter DJ controller I can think of).

4Trak Traktor Controller & Mixer
The Numark 4Trak is a substantial Traktor controller, that comes with its own custom version of the software and a distinctive FX and filter strip that attaches to the back of the unit.

The Numark 4Trak is a substantial Traktor controller, that comes with its own custom version of the software and a distinctive FX and filter strip that attaches to the back of the unit.

Review: Numark 4Trak Traktor Controller & Mixer

The Numark 4Trak is a big, chunky, semi-portable four-channel Traktor controller and standalone mixer, with a distinctive detachable filter and effects strip along the back edge, that's tilted towards the user. Roughly the Traktor equivalent of Numark's NS6 Serato controller, which is itself roughly the non-motorised platter equivalent of the Numark NS7, the 4Trak is finished to a professional standard, with high quality faders, knobs and jogwheels, and a similarly impressive specification to boot. Let's take a closer look...

First impressions

In the frankly huge box are the unit, the effects strip (it is attached using brackets and screws, and you don't need extra tools to do so), a power adaptor (it needs mains power to operate), a USB cable, some documentation including a quick start guide, ands a couple of CDs (drivers and software). The 4Trak is a nicely designed item, unusual being finished in silver. The finish oddly reminded me of the big coffee machines you get in cafes, which isn't necessarily a bad thing - just different. Once plugged in, the backlit buttons immediately make it feel more reassuringly hi-tech once again... Let's take a quick tour of the controls. On the front is a standard mixer section with four channels, with a nicely loose replaceable crossfader and slightly scratchy line faders, plus rubberised knobs for bass, middle, treble and gain. Each channel has a cue button and a PC/line buttons, which on channels 1 and 4 is actually a PC/line-mic button. Decks and jogwheels Each deck section has big responsive sync/cue/play-pause buttons, a line of five hot cues (small but again nice and responsive with a good "click") , a useful couple of buttons to help with Traktor beatgridding, and a really nice long-throw pitch control with a pleasing resistance and a range button for fine or course adjustments.

Numark 4Trak

The controls are well laid out with plenty of space, making good use of the extra room allowed by moving the FX and filter controls to the top panel, and by the controller just being bigger in general.

There are old school +/- pitch buttons too, a big blue/green backlit "layer" button for switching between the two decks in the software that each physical deck can control, and an unusual but useful "back to start" button, to return you immediately to the beginning of the loaded track. A button for setting the deck as master tempo, and a spare user-assignable button finish off this area. The jogwheels are the same as on the NS6, which is to say they're big, silent and smooth in operation, and overall feel on out-of-the-box touch like they'll be really nice to use. I actually think the jogwheels look nicer than they do on the NS6; on that controller the plastic edges of the jogwheels are painted silver and feel a bit cheap to me; the black colour here looks better. Loops, effects and filters Above each deck is a comprehensive loop section, with a host of autoloop functions: loop shift, beatjump, half/double loop length plus manual in and out; it's the most comprehensive loop section I can recall seeing on a Traktor controller. Also in this section but not connected to these functions are the touchstrips, which allow you to hop through a track, as if dropping a needle through a record. The filter and effects are on the detachable back strip. They're nice and spaced out, with just 12 knobs and 14 buttons spread out along the strip - four filters (one per channel, with on/off buttons), and four knobs and six buttons per effects section.

The central section Above the mixer is a section with a shiny grey plastic backplate, within which a black back-plated area contains a few output controls and the library controls. Here there are a booth volume, master volume, record and autoplay buttons, and a view button for cycling through Traktor's screen views. A stepped push-click infinity knob controls library browsing, with buttons to load to the active deck and to switch between favourites, song list and file tree. The FX assign buttons for all four channels can be found in this section, as can the musical key controls (on/off and key change on a knob), plus two user-assignable short-throw faders and push-click infinity knobs.

Numark 4Trak front

The Numark 4Trak front: Split cue (allowing you to have different sources playing in either ear) is an unusual and welcome addition to the feature set.

Front and back of the unit Across the front are crossfader assign and curve switches and knobs, switches to turn fader start on and off, headphone cueing volume / mix and split cue controls (good to see split cue on a DJ controller; along with kill switches, split cue seemed to go out of fashion a while back), plus two sizes of headphone sockets. Meanwhile round the back are both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA master outs, unbalanced RCA booth outs, and four analogue inputs, two of which are line/phono and two line/mic, complete with 1/4" TRS microphone sockets. There's a ground pin here too for using to connect turntables that require ground, such as Technics. The back section is actually shielded from view (and from easy access) by the inclined effects panel - good once set up, awkward when actually plugging stuff in.

Setting up and in use

The software Traktor is never the easiest software in the world to get going with third-party controllers, even when you've got a special edition (this comes with a "4Trak edition"). You have to install the drivers, reboot, then install Traktor, then plug in and run the software, at which point you have to tell it you want to enter a serial number, register with the Service Center, finally entering your serial number in order to get past the opening screen of the software. Once you're in, you have to run the set-up wizard, which reports back that its work has been done. You're not, however, set up. Next, you have to go into the rather daunting Traktor preferences panel, and set up the controller and the FX unit separately, in order for the controls on the hardware and the audio to work correctly with the software.

Numark 4Trak Traktor

How Traktor opens with the 4Trak - note the lack of room to view the library on a 1280x800 screen. You'll want to play with the views in order to find what works for you if you're similarly constrained by screen size. ((Click to enlarge.)

It's not entirely intuitive and it's definitely long-winded, but once you're there - and assuming you did everything in exactly the right order and used your intuition a bit (for instance, there's no mention on the quick start sheet about the Service Center / serial bit, and you really would expect a set-up wizard to, you know, set you up, without you them having to do manual stuff too) - you're ready to go. Indeed, f you managed to read that whole last sentence without losing the meaning, you'll probably be OK! But it's not plug & play. The software boots up in four-deck mode, which is not ideal on a 1280 x 800 laptop, as you can't see any of your library, so you'll want to experiment to get a view that suits you out of the available options. Alternatively, you can just hit the "view" button whenever you want to scroll through your tracks (there's a special library view for just this purpose). The version of Traktor in the box is a surprisingly full featured take on the "full" version. The effects are limited both in functions and the number of effects, but what you get is OK. I would like to have got better sounding filters out of the box, though, as the ones you get don't really resonate very well and overall sound a bit dull to me.

DJing with the 4Trak In use, the controller is, with the exception of one issue, a dream. The jogs, particularly, are extremely good. They have a high resolution and the scratch performance in Traktor is excellent - not always the case with Traktor controllers. There's an on/off button for scratch mode (I, for instance, don't tend to scratch, so I would leave this off to save accidentally touching the jog and affecting the music), and combined with the long-throw, hi-re pitch faders, it means the jogs are great for both manual and beatmatched / sync DJing. they are appreciably better than the Traktor Kontrol S4, jogs, for instance. The mixer section feels high quality in use, with one pretty major bugbear for me: No VU for cueing. what I mean is that the only onboard VU metering is for the master outs. There is no way of using the VU meters to monitor an individual channel pre-fader, in order to correctly set the channel gain. On a DJ controller that is sold as a standalone mixer too, that's a major omission, because proper gain staging is essential if you're mixing outside and software sources.

Numark 4Trak back

The Numark 4Trak back: Four full inputs for external sources, including two microphones, although this whole section is hard to get to once the add-on FX/filter strip is attached.

Selecting tunes, setting effects and loops, setting and deleting cues (you use shift plus the cue button to delete, which is standard) and even adjusting your beatgrids if you use them are all intuitive, and for the effects and filters, the tilted strip feels great. There's something nice about having a big, wide panel of knobs tiled towards you, inviting you to have a tweak, something that I'm sure many DJs will enjoy! The touchstrips are a good addition, which taken with the "return to start" buttons mean that overall, the 4Trak probably has the best transport controls of any DJ controller I've ever used. Sensibly, the touchstrips only work when you've got shift pressed (in case you touch them by mistake), and usefully, they have a strip of LEDs across the top of them to show how far through the tune you see. One feature I particularly liked having right there in front of me was they key-change knob. As well as locking the key, you can also alter it up and down with this knob, so you can fine tune acappellas over backing tracks (for instance) by ear. Obviously the further away from true you go the worse it sounds, but it's still a creative control and typical of the completeness of the 4Trak's implementation of Traktor. If you want to use Traktor's sample decks, you can grab a mapping with alterations to do so from Numark's website - but as with all Traktor controllers, if you want to use the Remix Decks, you need to buy a Kontrol F1 and plug it in in addition to the 4Trak. Finally, I love the sound quality on this - it's sold as 24-bit but as always, I just plugged it in, turned it up and listened - and it sounded sweet.


This is an almost perfect Traktor controller. I can see it being used by mobile DJs, bar DJs (especially if you're a resident and can keep your gear permanently set up there), and hobby DJs who want a truly nice bit of kit that's more substantial than most DJ controllers (it's the biggest non-motorised platter DJ controller I can think of). The design feature of a detachable, tilted effects/filters strip works well, both making the controls easily accessible, and hiding the wiring at the back. Of course it's as much a standalone mixer as a DJ controller, with a generous set of inputs, although at least one XLR microphone input and at least one mic socket on the front would have been preferable to having both hidden around the back. The biggest flaw is the poor VU metering, You can work around it when software mixing, but on a standalone mixer that's a big omission. The competition Its immediate competition are probably the Pioneer DDJ-T1, the Traktor Kontrol S4, and the Vestax VCI-400, although it costs more than all of these. Compared to the Pioneer, the build quality here is streets ahead for really not an awful lot more money, and as this is also a standalone mixer, I'd say there's not much contest unless the Pioneer name means a lot to you. Compared to the VCI-400, you're getting a better standalone mixer (VCI-400's is only two channel) and a booth output which the VCI-400 lacks, but the VCI-400 has more controllerist features (especially reams of performance buttons) and is also more portable.

Vestax VCI-400

The Vestax VCI-400 doesn't have booth or full 4-channel standalone, but does have many more mappable buttons for controllerists.

Compared to the Traktor Kontrol S4, again build quality is better for the extra cost, and the jogs are streets ahead, plus this has a booth output, and four external channels rather than two. However, a big bonus of the S2 is that you can use it with Traktor Scratch as a DVS without needing an extra audio interface; with the 4Trak, you'd still need an Audio 6/10 NI sound card in order to be able to use DVS. Overall, then, if you want DVS and controllerism features, other controllers may be better, plus if you're looking for comprehensive VU metering you'll likely be disappointed. But otherwise if you're in the market for a standalone mixer and a four-track Traktor controller that's well made, substantial in size and lovely to use, add this to your list.

Product Summary

Review Summary:

This is an almost perfect Traktor controller. I can see it being used by mobile DJs, bar DJs (especially if you're a resident and can keep your gear permanently set up there), and hobby DJs who want a truly nice bit of kit that's more substantial than most DJ controllers (it's the biggest non-motorised platter DJ controller I can think of).

4Trak Traktor Controller & Mixer

Video Review

Have you got or been contemplating the 4Trak? Do you think it represents value for what you get, or is it just too much for a controller' How do you think it compares to other similar high-end models? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Shishdisma says:

    I don't think the lack of VU would be too much of a problem, as Traktor doesn't really believe in metering anyway. There should be a firmware limiter of some kind, similar to the way Itch controls it.

    I was surprised you liked the build quality of the unit, is Numark still using plastic stems and those thick buttons from the NDX series?

    • It is beautifully built, no worries on that score. But with regarding to the metering, it's also a capable standalone mixer, and decent PFL monitoring is essential when blending in outside sources, so I stand by the fact it's a notable omission from the spec.

      • Shishdisma says:

        I actually had the opportunity to play with one for a bit yesterday. I have to say, Numark couldn't have missed the ergonomic point any more if they'd tried! While the pots are fairly solid, if still plasitc, the line faders have this awful scratchy feeling like there's a bit of sand in them. And the buttons overall are just bizarrely tough and don't have much feeding back that you've pushed them! Really strange, coming from the smooth faders and soft switches in the NS7, and a definite deal-breaker in the long run.

      • DJ_Unthinkable says:

        Dear Phil,
        This is in fact the cheapest of all the controllers you listed. It is 700$ this weekend with a 100$ rebate, Brand New! It's usually priced at 778$ at ProAudioStar. Anyways I'm getting this because its the most affordable and seems more professional(and the platter are f#cking awesome!). But I still agree it sucks that it doesn't come with Traktor Pro 2 and they should have given it 8 cue points instead of only 5.

  2. Jam-Master Jake says:

    If the 4Trak is anything like the NS6, it's built to take a beating. I had an NS6 for a while, and it was outstanding in build-quality.

    What troubles me most of all about the 4Trak is that it requires a "special version of Traktor" to run. Will it run with the standard version of Traktor Pro 2.5 like I have installed on my computer right now? Or must I download/wait for the "special 4Trak-version" of 2.5 to be released? And any guesses as to how well it will work in conjunction with an F1 controller?

    I'm still torn over whether I should stick with Itch and get a VCI-380 or an upcoming controller next year (maybe the Numark MPC-DJ?), or if I should jump over to Traktor and get either the 4Trak or the S4. This gives me some more stuff to ponder.

    Bang-up review, Phil. Thanks!

    • It doesn't require a special version of Traktor to run, though it comes with one. It will work out of the box with any Traktor version above 2.1.1, and with previous versions with the mapping file from Numark - although native jog wheel support is only found in 2.1.1 and up.

      What Phil didn't mention is that unlike the S4, you can remap the 4Trak in Traktor Pro without losing high-res jogs.

  3. thisisian says:

    I believe they issued a firmware update for the NS6 that enabled channel metering when you press & hold the cue button. Obviously the NS6 is an itch controller, but as this is basically the same hardware, it might be worth checking if this does the same.

  4. Peter Munch created some mappings for the 4Trak that enabled to use the LEDs of the stripsearch as channel level meters instead.

    See his description here:

    (This is in no way meant as advertising or such, it's just I'm looking into the 4Trak myself and stumbled upon his mapping which ao. addresses the channel metering issue.)

  5. Jamie ONeill says:

    Hi Phil

    Great review as normal!

    I've noticed you marked the 4TRAK 4 stars but marked the NS6 5 stars in your 2012 Controller guide.

    What is about the 4trak you believe makes it a slightly inferior proposition to the NS6? Or is that you expectations of a controller are now a little more demanding?!

    Also, do you find the crossfader curve on the 4TRAK strongly favours scratch DJs? Even when adjusting the curve fully towards blending I found the sound still cuts in very quickly on a steep curve and so I have to use channel faders instead to achieve the kind of blend I like.

    • I am the first to admit my starring system is subjective at the time of the review and only gets audited annually when the new controller guide is compiled. 4 or 5 stats indicates an excellent controller - the review text is the best place to fill yourself in on the details further than that.

    • That's up to Traktor, not the 4Trak. The curve adjustment knob controls the corresponding pref in the software. It is just a touch steep, but more of a getting used to the feel thing than a problem, at least for me.

  6. Obsidinaice says:

    Pretty good review, how would you stack it up against the MC6000 though?

  7. Phil, with regards to the jog response.....
    Would you go as far as to say the response is on par with an NS6 & Itch?
    I currently own a NS6 & absolutely love the accuracy & response with Itch. However I can't stand the whole locked down approach of itch. Especially with no options for hiding 2 of the 4 decks if not being used (and no mapping!!). I've actually mapped out the NS6 to Traktor perfectly, except the jog response is horrid. So I've been considering selling the NS6 to get the 4-Trak. But only if the jog response is just as tight. I can't find ANY video's showing off scratching on this unit with Traktor, so......your honest input on this will be much appreciated.

  8. Okay Phil then are you saying that I should just keep using my ns7 and not be too worried about not having the latest greatest ? My concern with the NS7 is the rotating platters.Eventually they will need service.I am playing sometimes 6 to 8 times a month.I have a S4 also as backup but as of yet have not figured out the latency issues and it hasn't even been out of my music room yet.I have had the friggen thing 3 months!!

  9. Margaret says:

    I'm totally new to DJing and bought the Numark 4TRAK controller&mixer, could set up almost everything, to the point Phil mentions: " Next, you have to go into the rather daunting Traktor preferences panel, and set up the controller and the FX unit separately, in order for the controls on the hardware and the audio to work correctly with the software."
    Since I am a bloody beginner and overextended with the preferences panel...
    So actually I can DJ if I use my laptop and the controller shows reactions... but it should work the other way...
    Please give me ideas, what I might have done wrong in the preferences. Thank you for suggestions!!!

  10. Hi Phil,
    Can I use the Kontrol F1 with 4trak, I mean r they compatIble with each other. Should I get the F1 to use it with my 4trak?

    • Yes that will work fine.

      • i have a 4trak and just got my kontrol f1 in the mail yesterday. i have no idea how to connect both of them to work together. i am pretty much a beginner and i set up traktor pro that came with the f1 but now my 4trak wont work. i cant control anything with the 4trak it only allows me to play music out of the speakers wich are attached to the 4trak and i can only control things with the f1. i heard people talk about how they use them together but i guess i just did something wrong in the setup and i am stuck in this situation and cant use either of them until someone gets back to me.

      • Jean-Pierre says:

        Hello. I have the same problem as Tyler. TAKTOR pro 261 works well with NUMARK 4 TRAK (without remix deck) but I do not know how to add KONTROL F1 in préfèrences.(to have remix deck)
        Today , I asked for the solution in NI.
        Other solution : ROLAND SP 404 SX

  11. How come you didnt put the MC6000 in the competition? Me and my friend were really only interested in this, MC6000 and the vci400. And we both when the MC6000 route. I know its older but its cheaper and built just as well, just smaller, which can be good or bad.

  12. Hi Phil,

    quick question - can you select the onboard soundcard with applications such as ableton? (so I can ditch my existing soundcard - space is at a premium)

  13. Gill Bates says:

    In my home country you have to work a whole year to save $800 to buy this monster and now the only thing that stops me is the 20% customs tax. Hate these bastards. Its just not fair.

  14. Hopefully, the price tag is much lower now and this awesome controller is more reachable by us (amateur djs). I will buy this next month if I could find a few more $100s :)

  15. I'm actualy using a Behringer BCD3000 with a Traktor 3 LE version included. I like this combo for now, but i want to go a bit farther in DJing. I'm really not sure what to choose between NS6, 4Trak, or the new Pioneer DDJ-SX coming soon (because of the pads). Any advice before spending a good amount of money in one of those controllers? I mainly mix House, Tech/Trance music so i wont go hard on the jogs and cues but i want something acurate and able to be creative.

  16. Hello,
    I wanna buy a Traktor DJ Controller for Professional use in clubs. I am between Pioneer DDJ-T1 and Numark 4trak. Which one has better sound quality and can keep up to the big clubs' expectations??
    Thank you.

  17. Alberto Leal says:

    Hey Phil,

    I'm totally new to Djing and don't really know which Dj controller is best for me to start up with. I'm actually seeking to play at my local city parties and small club bars. Would you recommend the 4 track and traktor? I'm looking for the best quality at this price range, nice design and comfortable size.

  18. David Cogan says:

    This seems fairly comprehensive and very well tuned to Traktor. It seems to be between this and the MC6000, which I havent researched yet. All other Traktor controllers do not compare to this imo, as it is the newest and best controller to control Traktor with it seems. Am I wrong?

    • NI's own Traktor Kontrol S4 is the other comparison you should make.

      • David Cogan says:

        Yes its seems so. I was told that Denon can be faulty, plus I'm not falling in love with the MC6000 for some reason. The Vestax VCI-400 seems great but I don't like the idea of too much mapping, but this shouldn't be a problem with mappings available. Plus it has extra pads. It also seems from reading comparisons to have a better build quality than the NI S4. So perhaps its between the 4Trak and the VCI-400 now.

  19. enrique uribe says:

    I just purchased the vci-400 and find it rather frustrating that they only guarantee quality through itch and serato dj. Switching it to be traktor oriented takes more mapping and firmware updates. Assuming you know how to map, it still requires more editing with every software update since its still a third-party controller to any software out there. lookin at the 4trak for the next best flexible standalone to add a midifighter spectra and control the software effects. Also, can the sx act as a standalone and can the 4traks soundcard compete against pioneers sound?

    • Loads of questions! The VCI-400 and the 4-trak have the same performance with Traktor. VCI-400 doesn't work with ITCH at all, but using it with Traktor is no different to using any 3rd-party controller with Traktor. YEs, the DDJ-SX can act as a standalone mixer but again is intended for Serato DJ, not Traktor. Sound quality between the 4Trak and the DDJ-SX is comparable.

  20. Hi Phil
    I have been using a Numark stealth control with Traktor Pro for the last 1.5 year, sometimes with Virtual Dj, now I want to move up to a controller with more options, I have €600 max to spend and am thinking along the lines of a 4 Trak, DN-MC6000 or maybe a Vestax 400.
    I have no experiance with Serato Dj, so don't know about that side except the only controller in my price would be a Terminal mix 4
    I don't want a plastic box! so no Traktor S4!
    I use a Windows 7 Dell XPS laptop and do mobile gigs, I have a large van, so moving large controllers is no problem.
    Maybe I have overlooked another good option for my money? but! it's 600 max and no saving up for a Pioneer DDJ-Sx.
    So Phil Give it to me please ????????

    • TM4 is great, factor in paying for the Serato DJ upgrade.

      • I bought the 4Trak ! very happy ! Yes it's big and heavy, but then it's not all cramped.
        The only issues I have had is that the platters are very sensitive to static elec from your hands, they can stop the music if you don't discharge you body first,the FX bar lights where a pig to get to work, a known issue!
        I use Traktor Pro 2.6 with the latest update map from Numark, but the FX lights was still a problem! finally got a FX bar map file from "DJ TechTools" which fixed the problem.
        The power supply/adapter is a joke! Chinese rubbish! Got a new one from flee bay for 12 quid which is way better.
        The ammount of connections possabilities on the back is amazing! Don't think any other controller can match it.
        So far found the internal sound card fantastic, when monitering I can't turn the sound up to max as it will blow your ears off!
        When on 4 deck mode in Traktor you can't have the full 4 decks on your laptop as the screen is too small ( 2full and 2 small decks)
        I was very close to buying the VCi-400, but thought it was all to cramped in, I do think most pro's have more respect for Vestax, but Numark have upped their game a lot in recent times.
        Cheers Mike

  21. hi, I was wondering if the numark 4trak would be good for beginners.I use traktor on the computer

  22. Hi, really like the look of this. Can you record your mixes using the 4trak version on traktor supplied? My current controller has the LE version which you can't record with.

  23. Hey Phil, I'm a beginning Dj and have been djing on my laptop with VDJ for a while now. I've been looking into Dj controllers and thought I was decided on the mixtrack pro 2. Then as I became more familiar with djing etc I started using 4 decks on my laptop and now can't be without! With only 2 decks I feel limited and smothered as far as my creativity goes. So I looked into the Mixtrack Quad. But then I'm also torn between that and the 4trak. I'm limited when it comes to money as I'm young and don't even have a job, but I'd be willing to wait for a more expensive controller if it meant that i would be happier in the long run. The big thing about the 4trak amongst others is the stand alone mixer. Does the fx bar work even when used as a stand alone mixer. This is a big deal for me because in the future I will want to expand into CDJ's and don't want to have to spend a few more thousand dollars on a mixer just to learn on the CDJ's. Sorry it's gotten a bit long, but my questions are:
    1. Which is better value for money, Mixtrack Quad or 4trak?
    2. Does the FX bar work while being used as a stand alone mixer?
    3. Finally with all things considered, what would you do if you were in my position?
    Cheers, all the way from Australia!

  24. Hi, can this be used with djay or any other iPad app for that matter alone? thanks

  25. Does the traktor software included work with windows vista/Xp, this is because i tried to download traktor pro 2 online but it said that the minum you need is windows 7, does any plugins, software come included to help me cover that issue? This is a major worry for me if i am going to buy a Numark 4Trak.

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