The Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2 builds on the form factor of the original, but with full eight-colour RGB buttons and aluminium jogwheel plates among its physical changes. (Click to enlarge.)
Full Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2 Review: The recent release of Mk2 versions of the Traktor S4 and S2 controllers created anticipation and disappointment in equal measure, but now the dust’s settled and we’ve had the chance to test the new S4 Mk2 and all its new features (including iOS / Traktor DJ integration), we can ask the question: Was the criticism deserved or not?
For those DJs who are not upgrading, but looking at their first serious controller, we can now answer whether the new S4 is a no-brainer recommendation, just as its older brother was. Find out in our full Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2 review today.
Nine lucky readers have won a prize in our 2013 draw. Are you one of them?
A few weeks ago we had our annual reader survey. Nearly 4,000 of you took part, and we’ll be publishing the results of the survey in the coming weeks (there’s some great stuff in there), but today I’d like to announce the winners of the prize draw that was part of the survey.
We’re giving away a load of gear kindly donated by Native Instruments, the first prize being a Traktor Kontrol S4 and Kontrol X1 Mk II, the second prizes being two Kontrol X1 Mk IIs, the third prizes two Kontrol F1s, the fourth two Kontrol Z1s. Finally, fifth prizes are two Audio 2 interfaces. So here are the lucky readers who won…
On the strength of the glossy press shots and press release, I think it’s fair to say the new Traktor Kontrol S4 and S2 got a mixed reception from our readers on their announcement earlier this week.
The main objection was a perceived lack of real improvement in build quality, and only a few extra features. But in this video, where we look in particular at the Kontrol S2 working with Traktor DJ on the iPad, we can present a true initial impression having actually used the new models here at BPM 2013.
The Traktor Kontrol S2: Discounted at a store near you as of today, until stocks last…
In a further sign that the Traktor Kontrol S2/S4 controllers are coming to the end of their lives, Native Instruments today announced a price crash on the Kontrol S2 to follow that previously announced for the the Kontrol S4. You can now buy the Kontrol S2 for $399 / €399 – a 20% reduction on the previous price.
The clue that this is probably a stock clearance to make way for a new model is in the press release: “The offer is valid from today until August 31 2013, or until stocks last…”
This mono splitter cable lets you use headphones and speakers with just a single audio output – perfect for iOS DJs.
Native Instruments has ticked a box in its product range by launching a “DJ cable”, otherwise known as a mono splitter cable. It gives DJs (especially those who’ve downloaded the company’s own Traktor DJ iOS software) an alternative to using a four-out sound card when DJing in situations where it may be undesirable to carry a “full” set-up with them.
An old trick, this cable lets you use headphones for pre-cueing while still having a separate master output, without the need for additional hardware, and can be used with Traktor DJ on an iPhone/iPad, Traktor Pro 2 on a laptop, or indeed any DJ software that offers “mono split” or equivalent in its settings.
The touchstrip and LEDS are the headline additions to the new version of the Traktor Kontrol X1, which also boasts RGB buttons, LED readouts and a Flux mode button for each deck.
Full Traktor Kontrol X1 Mk2 Review: The Traktor Kontrol X1 Mk2 follows in the footsteps of the hugely successful Traktor Kontrol X1, and indeed, so similar is it in intent and look to its earlier incarnation, “Mk2″ is barely even mentioned on the box or in the marketing material.
At first glance, the only real change from the Mk1 is the addition of a touchstrip and two double seven-segment LEDs for numerical feedback, although a quick read of the box shows that more subtle changes (such as RGB backlit buttons) have also been added to the spec. Let’s take a closer look…
A bit of an open secret after leaks on various retail outlets’ pages over the last few weeks, but nonetheless, Native Instruments today officially announced the Traktor Kontrol X1 Mk 2, as the video above shows. The biggest change over the original is the addition of a touchstrip that lets you manipulate your music files without jogs, decks or CDJs (in a similar way to that pioneered by the Novation Twitch).
The next most significant addition is the new Flux mode. This first appeared in Traktorland on the Kontrol Z2 mixer, and is similar to “slip” mode on Pioneer and Denon gear.
Want to get your hands on a Traktor Kontrol S4? With a pretty large price drop, now could be your time. Pic: UniqueSquared
Native Instruments today announced a price drop on the Traktor Kontrol S4, its current flagship Traktor controller, to $599/€599, a drop of up to 33% on the previous prices of $899/€799.
“This new price of … is valid at the NI Online Shop and at participating retailers, and represents a substantial saving on the previous price … offer is valid from today until August 31 2013, or until stock lasts.” says the company about the price drop, which is now in addition to the current drop on the Traktor Kontrol Z2 mixer.
Native Instruments today announced the Traktor Kontrol Z1, “the world’s smallest professional mixer and audio interface”, which works with Traktor 2 on PCs and Macs, as well as being the first Midi controller for the company’s Traktor DJ app for iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone, and iPod touch.
Apple-approved (only a matter of time before we see a white special edition in Apple stores?), the two-channel mixer has the same form factor as the Kontrol X1 and Kontrol F1, and runs off external power, meaning it will charge your iDevice when plugged into it. At the same time it offers true stereo club-level dual outputs for full headphones cueing from Traktor DJ.
Learn to use the FX, filters, loops, library and more on Traktor DJ by following this series of free training videos from Native Instruments.
Native Instruments has uploaded a whole playlist of Traktor DJ training videos to its YouTube channel, to help new users of the iPad DJ app get to grips with their software.
The videos start at the very basics and work through all the main features, from loops and FX to library and the slicer-like “Freeze” mode. They’re clearly presented, talking slowly through each feature and showing you a demo of each function as well.
In this quirky product video, watch DJ Shiftee as he flies in to Berlin with Traktor DJ on the iPad and a boombox on wheels, and performs a mashup, before moving in to the club… and ending up busking!
The method behind the madness is to show multi-touch FX, freeze mode, a live mashup, using the software almost as a Maschine-style touchscreen pad controller, and potentially the most interesting use case: As a third deck for Traktor in a club.
The Numark M101USB is a traditional two-channel mixer, but the USB means you can also run two digital sources through it.
Digital DJ Tips reader Brad writes: “I’ve been in the market for a new set up to replace my current budget kit (Mixtrack). I stumbled upon this Numark M101USB two-channel mixer for cheap!
Can I use this mixer in combination with the Traktor Kontrol X1 (as I have no use for jogs) for a better yet cheaper alternative to my Mixtrack? Does USB mean that it can map to Traktor? And will I need a sound card?”
The Traktor Kontrol stand is designed to raise your X1 or F1 to the height of a standard DJ mixer, to make it fit perfectly next to the Traktor Kontrol Z2 mixer, and also to act as a hard protective case.
With the announcement yesterday by Native Instruments of the Traktor Kontrol Stand – a rather nifty, but not exactly cheap, die-cast aluminium raiser to lift the Traktor Kontrol X1 and Traktor Kontrol F1 controllers up to standard mixer height – we thought we’d scout around and see what else you can buy for US$60 (the Traktor Kontrol Stand will retail at US$59 from March 2013).
Because while the Traktor Kontrol Stand will no doubt be the answer to some DJs’ prayer (especially as it “converts” into a hard case for the X1/F1 when not in use), it turns out that from speakers to DJ controllers, headphones to gig bags, US$60 can go a long way in these frugal times…
With Traktor DJ, Native Instruments has finally brought to market its vision of how DJing should be done on tablets.
Traktor has long been a firm favourite with digital DJs, including with about three-quarters of Digital DJ Tips readers. The desktop software offers a wealth of functionality and pushes the boundaries with things like its extensive effects and Remix Decks. Now, Traktor DJ has joined its bigger brother, bringing the world of Traktor to the iPad.
So what does the newest DJ app for the iPad (iPad 2 and upwards with iOS6, to be precise) look like, and what does it do differently from other iPad DJ apps in order to stand out from the crowd? Let’s find out in our full Traktor DJ For iPad review and video talkthrough…
There are no details at all about the app yet, save for a picture of Richie Hawtin using an Pad on a yacht or something, posted on the Traktor Facebook Page alongside the words “Richie Hawtin (official page) gets first touch on the upcoming Native Instruments iPad app.”
The Traktor Kontrol F1 is a cool way of incorporating samples into your DJ set, but it goes deeper than that – and if you’re not quite ready for its “Remix Decks” workflow, there are cheaper ways to get going.
Digital DJ Tips reader Dave writes: “I’ve recently been looking at controllers like the Traktor Kontrol F1 and other similar controllers hoping to understand how they all work. The reason being is that I want to start using drum samples etc in my mixing to make it sound a bit more personalised, but as I’m sure you know they’re not cheap!
“I was wondering if you knew of any alternatives to the F1 or even if I can use my current set up (Mixtrack Pro) just to get a feel of how to incorporate sample an loops into my mixing.”
Heading straight into Pioneer and Allen & Heath territory, the Kontrol Z2 is designed for the DJ booth, with a high-quality sound card, Innofaders, aluminium construction and standard profile sizing to fit flush with other pro gear..