As they did with their previous Kontrol X1, Native Instruments is using a live appearance to tease new hardware before they make details public. (And believe me, I asked for more detail – this is all we’ve got.) In contrast to the diminutive Kontrol X1, though, this is a fully-integrated controller capable of providing tangible access to everything in Traktor. As is clearly visible in the video, that includes not only mixing and effects (and presumably looping and browsing) controls, but also two impressive-looking virtual turntable platters (jog wheels) – something that could perhaps finally threaten devices like the Pioneer CDJ.
This time, it’s Dubfire at Ibiza’s Space Lounge. (That’s right; you don’t have to be in Germany to see NI hardware early after all.)
Clarification – quadruple your enjoyment: There are two jog wheels, so two “decks” in the sense of platters you can control physically at once. There indeed appear to be mix controls for up to four decks, which makes perfect sense for Traktor’s up-to-four-deck controls. We’ll get official details from NI once they start talking. Thanks to readers for the feedback (and I can see that four decks matters to someone, at least here among CDM readers).
DJs have some choices when it comes to controller hardware for Traktor; NI themselves have pushed compatibility with a variety of hardware, and we’ve recently covered boutique options from Faderfox and Livid, to name just a couple of examples. But if NI has nailed the jog wheel component, this could be interesting. I’m hopeful, too, that like controllers like the integrated device for Maschine, NI will support MIDI, as that could open up fun applications well beyond just Traktor.
Stay tuned, and if you have questions, let us know now and I hope NI will answer them when they launch. NI promises more news next month. (NI PR in a note to me wondered if CDM covers DJ tech; I say it’s fair game and we’ve broken an occasional storiy over the years, largely thanks to tips from you readers. So bring on the tough questions.)