Sweeping changes are coming to Traktor we can reveal today, with brand new hardware coming – and a completely new Traktor platform also imminent, that will eventually result in the retirement of Traktor Pro entirely.
Traktor Pro to be phased out
New Director of Products (Traktor) at Native Instruments, Pedram Faghfouri, said: “We have engaged in rewriting Traktor from [the] ground-up, even though this takes significant time and resource investment.”
He continued: “We will maintain and improve Traktor Pro for several more years until the new Traktor is mature enough, also for our Pro users.” (Our italics.)
So Traktor Pro’s days appear to be numbered!
However, he also made clear that the switch from the old Traktor Pro DJ platform to the new Traktor DJing software will likely be gradual, indeed adding:
“There are more updates to Traktor Pro planned in the coming months.”
While it is not clear from what we’ve learned today whether the continuation of Traktor Pro (for the time being) will involve the long-anticipated release of a Traktor Pro v3, we would assume that would likely be the case.
It is also not clear whether the completely new Traktor DJing app will be a paid-for switch for Traktor Pro users.
New Traktor hardware coming
So to the hardware. At the moment details are tight on what kind of Traktor DJ hardware can be expected, with the information we have simply confirming that both hardware and software are due in 2018:
“To ensure focus to both development streams, we also doubled the size of our Traktor teams. We will be shedding more light on these exciting new Traktor projects over the next few months.”
It’s worth noting that the Traktor Kontrol D2 and Traktor Kontrol S5 have both been quietly discontinued, something retailers including DJ Tech Tools have revealed.
The wording in full
“In 2018 with over 500,000 users and some of the world’s best DJs behind Traktor, we are in a unique position to integrate feedback from artists and our community.
“The digital DJ market is fast moving and increasingly cluttered with competition. At Native we are passionate about leading genuine change and taking our time to ensure we blend quality, innovation and user functionality.
“In 2018 we will unveil new Traktor hardware and software that we believe achieves this goal, and further empowers our global community of professionals and hobbyists. We have prioritized user feedback and collaboration for product development.
“We have engaged in rewriting Traktor from ground-up, even though this takes significant time and resource investment. We will maintain and improve Traktor Pro for several more years until the new Traktor is mature enough, also for our Pro users. There are more updates to Traktor Pro planned in the coming months.
“To ensure focus to both development streams, we also doubled the size of our Traktor teams. We will be shedding more light on these exciting new Traktor projects over the next few months.
“We continue to work with the world’s best artists to learn from and inspire new ideas in the Traktor ecosystem. More insight on how today’s leading artists are using Traktor can be seen in our new Signatures series campaign.” – Director of Products (Traktor), Pedram Faghfouri
It is an open secret that Traktor Pro has become a bit of an unwieldy beast from a development point of view, because it is based on an awful lot of legacy code that breaks too easily whenever Native Instruments tries to improve the platform – so it’s no surprise that the company has decided to rewrite from the ground up.
When NI released Traktor DJ for iOS several years ago, it was clear what the company was capable of when given a “clean slate”, with that app being widely lauded for its innovation, ease of use and simplicity – three things notably lacking from Traktor Pro nowadays.
So while Traktor’s engineers must be loving the new resources (helped, no doubt, by the recent investment round secured by Native), it is big news that the direction is going to involve developing a completely new Traktor app, and the dropping of Traktor Pro.
It is also notable that Native Instruments appears to be more open to listening to what its community of DJs wants and needs this time around; the statement making clear that “we have prioritised user feedback and collaboration for product development”.
This appears to us to be a tacit admission that there have been feature misses in the recent past; few DJs use Remix Decks, for instance, and even the more user-friendly Stems format has failed to make a real dent in the DJ world, mainly due to a lack of releases that take advantage of it.
Even the decision to remove jogwheels from the last three Traktor controllers (the S5, D2, and S8) hasn’t led to any other manufacturers following suit – so it will be particularly interesting to see if the new hardware reverses that decision.
Pedram Faghfouri, Traktor’s new Direct of Product, has previously worked at BMW and Mini, so his arrival may well bring a more commercial and mainstream edge to the platform.
What do you think? Is this the start of a new dawn for Traktor? If everything’s on the table, and the new version really will incorporate the things the platform’s users want and need the most, what do YOU want to se included? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…