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 biggest difference from what we were expecting is that the units are appreciably better built than their predecessors, with a lot more metal, and better quality components in many areas, including the crossfader which feels looser than on the original S4 and S2 – certainly less “scratchy”. And as I said in the announcement post, personally I feel having a controller that works well with Traktor DJ iOS software is actually a big deal for Native Instruments. (Although both the S4 and the S2 do, the S2 is the most natural choice – size, number of channels – which is why this is the unit we’ve mainly focused on here.)
Why? Because as we’ve been saying for three years now, iPads and DJing are natural partners. And wandering around the show, it’s obvious that iOS DJing is at that cusp right now, with a wealth of new products and ideas that have the iPad right at the heart of them. Digital DJ Tips has seen a 400% increase in readers using iOS devices to access the site, for 5% to 20% of our total traffic: I’m betting an awful lot of those have a DJ program on the same device, and for many that program will be Traktor DJ. Native Instruments may just find it shifts an awful lot of Traktor S2s among the reportedly five million people who’ve downloaded this software.
Having seen our video, do you now have a different opinion on the new Kontrol S4 and S2 to your initial one? And what do you think about the rise of iOS DJing? Please share your thoughts in the comments.