Native Instruments has just shown a glimpse of its upcoming Traktor Kontrol D2 controller over at the Winter Music Conference in Miami. The Traktor Kontrol D2 looks like one side of the flagship Traktor Kontrol S8 without a mixer, and looks to appeal to folks who want the Remix Decks plus built-in screen plus touchstrip feature set without having to lug around a big controller. Native Instruments hasn’t set a release date and price at the time of this writing.
Based on the photo posted by Uner on his Facebook page, his set-up consisted of two Traktor Kontrol D2s, an Allen & Heath Xone:92 mixer, and a Native Instruments external sound card for four-deck audio. It has four foldable rubber feet underneath the unit so you can elevate it to standard DJ hardware height. You can see it angled in the photo above and in the Uner video because only two feet have been propped. It’s also much larger than a Traktor Kontrol X1, judging by how it looks beside the Xone:92 mixer in the photo.
The Traktor Kontrol D2 will allow you to chain another unit to it so you don’t need an extra USB port on your laptop. You’ll need to connect the Traktor Kontrol D2 to a mains outlet (presumably because of the power draw of its onboard screen), and you can chain that too using the included power supply splitter cable.
The Traktor Kontrol D2 does not have a sound card onboard. From the photos sent to us by NI, the only connections in the back are a power supply jack, a USB socket, and what looks like a two-port USB hub for chaining other controllers.
The Traktor Kontrol D2 looks very similar to what the right deck of the Traktor Kontrol S8 looks like, save for a few added buttons on the upper right of the Kontrol D2. It seems like you’ll be able to control more than one deck using it, although it’s unclear whether you can control all four decks in Traktor with just one Kontrol D2.
The modular nature of the Traktor Kontrol D2 means you can theoretically have Traktor Kontrol S8 deck functionalities with any hardware mixer of your choice, or as a complement to your existing Traktor set-up, whether it’s a DVS or a controller.
Native Instruments leaves jogwheels further behind
By releasing the Traktor Kontrol D2, which we’re assuming will cost a lot less than the Kontrol S8 (though probably more than a Kontrol X1), Native is bringing the “#FutureOfDJing” downstream. Where the Kontrol S8 may seem out of reach for a lot of digital jocks, especially for cash-strapped beginners, the Traktor Kontrol D2 is another weapon in the armoury of widespread adoption of its jogwheel-less vision.
Removing jogs was a bold move by Native, but we wondered if the company might release a modular jogwheel controller soon after to appease “traditional” digital DJs. We had a dream set-up in mind that consisted of the forward-thinking innovations provided by the Traktor Kontrol S8 paired with the familiarity of some NI-branded jogs, with digital DJs living happily ever after in a hybrid kingdom of the “futuristic traditional”.
However, changing people’s minds about DJing is something that Traktor has been an advocate of since its early days (eg sync, Remix Decks), so the company is true to form here on that, but also another point to make is that a small unit like this is a much better bet for squashing into a crowded DJ booth than, say, an S8.
Check out the Traktor Kontrol D2 in action in the photo gallery below.
Are you interested in a controller like this for your DJ set-up? How will this affect Traktor in the years to come? Share with us your thoughts on NI’s new controller in our comments section below.