Music makers think that if they leak some teaser photos of upcoming devices, we’ll write it up. They’re right.
Native Instruments has released to CDM a small image of what appears to be an upcoming Traktor hardware device, as posted originally to the NI Traktor Forum. (Well, actually, I’m assuming that it’s part of Traktor: months after Native Instruments announces it’s dumping its long-term relationship with Stanton and Final Scratch, it posts what’s obviously part of a computer audio interface to its Traktor forum. You do the math.) Most interesting here is that it’s got 8 audio output channels. And a … hook. I’m too tired to analyze this, but I do hope I get invited to parties with 7.1 surround mixes.
See the post from “native girl” on the NI Forum.
NI isn’t alone. M-Audio is also teasing hardware … also for DJs … though bizarrely on MySpace. (That’s apparently where all the cool kids hang out, except Team CDM, because burns! It burns!)
Tom at Music thing got the jump on the upcoming controller, first decided it was for Ableton Live, then decided M-Audio has divorced Ableton and it’s not for Live.
There’s an easy answer to this question: the upcoming controller will probably be both. M-Audio’s X-Session Pro works just fine with both Torq and (via MIDI) Ableton Live; it even says as much in the docs. M-Audio is still bundling Live Lite with their gear. And the more copies Ableton sells of Live, the more potential customers M-Audio has for Oxygen, Ozone, Trigger Finger, X-Session, and so on. Finally, despite the fact that Live is a great DJ app, the kind of DJs who would primarily use Torq and those who would primarily use Live seem to be a pretty different demographic.
Nor is the hardware much of a mystery in this “teaser”: glowing Jolly Rancher color scheme, crossfader, EQ, effects (or whatever you happen to want to assign), and what appears to be clip triggers. I happen to like using DJ-style control schemes for Ableton Live even in non-DJ music sets, so I’ll be interested to see how this works out. And this fills a hole left by the X-Session Pro, which doesn’t have enough dedicated controls for some users. The only real mystery is what to call it. X-Session Pro Pro? Torqtroller? Or M-Audio could continue their gaseous theme (Ozone, Oxygen) with Carbon Dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life.