It’s the worst-kept secret of the season, but Native Instruments has now officially confirmed the existence of the Traktor Kontrol S8 by releasing a short teaser video ended with the words “coming soon”. Accompanying the usual “this will revolutionise DJing” narrative, there are a number of slow-mo teaser images of the Traktor Kontrol S8 in the video. These clearly show it to have built-in displays – and no apparent jogwheels.
The addition of screens mean – of course – that the Traktor Kontrol S8 is now playing catch-up to the Numark NV, at least with regards to getting that particular feature to market. (It remains to be seen how compelling its other features will be, of course, as Native Instruments is at this point officially saying next to nothing.) Meanwhile, ditching the jogwheels shows Native Instruments to be taking the same gamble that Novation took with its Twitch controller: Namely, that there are enough DJs out there who aren’t using jogwheels to make this a commercial success.
Expect additional controls to take up the spaces vacated by the jogs, of course, and the pads shown in the video would definitely suggest some kind of expanded on-board Remix Decks functionality. Also, it seems clear that the unit will still need a laptop, ie it doesn’t have a computer built-in (one of the DJs in the video talks about “tucking the laptop off to the side”).
As we say it’s been a bit of a badly kept secret but we’re not placed to say any more just yet, other than the fact that the images circulated widely online in recent weeks now appear to be genuine. However, our statement on the launch of the Numark NV that controllers without screens are going to start to look mightily outdated very soon appears to be gathering credence by the week.
Meanwhile, feel free to pull the video apart and add your thought, comments, hopes and ideas about the Traktor Kontrol S8 below…
So what do you think? Is this the future of DJing? Will Remix Decks replace real decks for users of the Traktor Kontrol S8? Or will a product like this only ever remain a niche thing? Please share your thoughts below…