Controller Clinic #2: Traktor Kontrol S2 vs Denon DJ MC3000

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Last updated 6 August, 2017

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Denon DJ MC3000
The Denon DJ MC3000: How does it compare to the Traktor Kontrol S2?

Reader Nhan Nguyen writes: “I am not too sure which controller to settle on. I’ve considered a few (I wanted the Pioneer ERGO-V but I’ve concluded it’s too much of a toy). So it’s now Traktor Kontrol S2 vs Denon DJ MC3000. I’ve got Traktor Pro 2 so I am only going to use Traktor Pro 2. The Kontrol S2 seems better designed, but the 3000 offers more. Which do you think is better?

Digital DJ Tips says:

They’re both good controllers, and your choice is going to depend upon size, feel and features. The Kontrol S2 is bigger and being mainly plastic in construction, lighter than the Denon. It is designed to use Traktor Pro 2 in a certain way – with two decks plus limited use of the sample decks. There’s absolutely no way to plug any external backup source into it, so should your computer crash, the music will go silent. Its jogs are high quality, but can’t be “spun” (they stop as soon as you take your hand off them).Coming from Native Instruments, it is the best integrated with Traktor Pro 2 out of the two, having its own setup page in TP2’s preferences. Unlike the S4, it has a booth output.

The Denon is the best made of the two, in professional steel with the very best quality controls. It is appreciably heavier, and much smaller. While not as cramped as the DN-MC6000, it is not for clumsy fingers. It can control either four decks OR two decks and the sample decks plus loop recorder of Traktor, so it packs in more functionality that the Kontrol S2, but at the expense of a complex workflow. you can plug two external sources in with rudimentary volume mixing but no EQs. It doesn’t have a separate booth out.

Traktor Kontrol S2
The Traktor Kontrol S2: Has a booth output, but no external inputs for backup sources.

If you already have Traktor Pro 2, the Denon might be a better bet for you as you are paying for the software again when you buy the Kontrol S2. When you’re deciding, weight up where you want to use it, how much space you’ll have to set up, how you want to DJ (how important are sample decks? Will you ever want to use external sources, or four decks?) and of course whether you can stomach paying “again” for Traktor Pro 2.

Can you help Nhan to decide? Please feel free to add your advice for him in the comments below.

• Are you finding it hard to decide between two controllers? Try the Controller Clinic! Tell us what type of DJ you are and what’s influencing your decision. We’ll publish the most interesting questions we receive here. Remember you can also ask in the Digital DJ Gear section of our forum, or on our Facebook Page.