DJing with Step Sequenced Traktor: Remix Decks Meet New Hardware

Light-up colored grids are hardly news in the controller scene. But what makes original, boutique hardware worthy of the name “Digital Warrior” is the unique take it brings to DJing and live remix – pushing the envelope with Native Instruments’ Traktor (all the while perhaps making even Ableton Live a little bit jealous). The new hardware takes Traktor’s Remix Decks and transforms them with built-in step sequencing, in a kind of mash-up of a lot of different techniques. You have to see the results in action to really appreciate how nice that can be. CDM reader and electronic music inventor …


Laptop or iPad DJ? What If It Didn’t Matter? New NI Hardware, Mad Zach Demo

That’s one small step for DJ hardware, one giant leap into the post-PC era. Native Instruments today has updated their integrated hardware for Traktor DJs, the 4-channel Traktor Kontrol S4 and 2-channel Traktor Kontrol S2. But while the updates are nice, the biggest transformation is that you can watch a DJ working with these controllers alongside either an iPad or a Mac/PC laptop – and it really doesn’t matter which they’re using. Oh, sure, the laptop is more flexible when it comes to storage, and NI’s iOS software still lags on some of the nice features of the desktop version, …


The Touch-Strip Deck: Revised NI Traktor Kontrol X1, with Felix da Housecat Tour [Video, Pics]

The days in which digital DJing meant simulating vinyl seem to be steadily coming to a close, replaced with new notions of the digital deck. That’s not to say digital vinyl control is going away – it’s just fading in popularity, replaced by systems that are more reliable, more flexible, and frankly, more organically related to what a digital deck actually does. It’s becoming such a ubiquitous idea that the use of the word “controllerism” maybe fade into the background, too. (Apart from one very nice Web resource, that is!) But what will that deck look like when you take …


DJ, to Go: A Compact Controller-Interface for Traktor on iOS or Desktop

Native Instruments – among other developers – has now given you a DJ app you can load onto an iPhone or iPad. But that mobility is only useful in a club situation if you can cue tracks through headphones and comfortably control your mix. Lug along a lot of hardware, and you might as well go back to your PC. (And, please, no one say the word “dock.”) The Traktor Kontrol Z1, announced today, is NI’s answer to the problem. For controlling your mix, it gives you a conventional 2-channel set of faders and knobs, for hands-on access to fades, …

It's not a monster combining everything in a giant, coffin-sized case. Instead, the Z2 focuses in on 2-channel mixing and controls, and integrates with Traktor.

A Mixer, A Soundcard, a Controller: NI Traktor Kontrol Z2, Examined [Gallery, Details]

Native Instruments is continuing their hardware attack with a new device that combines three tools: controller, mixer, audio interface. Those knobs and faders control software, as an integrated controller for Traktor, but internally, the Kontrol Z2 is also a mixer and computer soundcard. It’s geared primarily for Traktor users, of course, but with pricing under a grand and support for MIDI and audio with any software, it’ll be interesting to see if this sort of all-in-one design appeals to users of other DJ and performance tools. The Z2 is unique in that it’s a 2+2 mixer. It’s not the first …


Remixing Via Colored Pads: NI Reveals New Kontrol F1 DJ Hardware and Remix Decks

Adding pads to a digital DJ setup: here, the new Kontrol F1 hardware, with its colored matrix of pads, nestles in between more conventional mixers and decks. Image courtesy Native Instruments. Native Instruments had already revealed that it would add new hands-on remixing capabilities to its flagship DJ hardware and software line. But today, we get to see precisely what form that will take, with a grid of light-up, colored pads that seek to make DJing with Traktor as much about remixing tracks as playing them. Plenty of DJs and electronic musicians have been doing just that via a variety …


Controller Hardware: A New Faderfox for Traktor Pro 2

German boutique controller maker Faderfox was one of the first to build custom controllers for Ableton Live and Traktor. But amidst bigger-name offerings, the Faderfox devices still hold up. While other, more sprawling controllers struggle to squeeze into a booth, the Faderfox devices are ultra-compact, though still with enough room for your fingers. They also offer uniquely high-end controls and case, and sophisticated control options. The latest, designed for Traktor – though it could easily be adapted to other DJ and VJ tools – is the DJ-friendly DS3. It really assumes a digital DJing workflow, focusing on triggering samples, loops, …


Faderfox 4midiloop: True, Four-deck, Four-effect Traktor Control

Let’s face it: a lot of people ignore the four-deck features of Traktor. But for those who exploit that power, and who are willing to invest in a high-end, boutique design, here’s the controller for you. Faderfox has long been respected for making boutique-quality MIDI controllers for DJing and Ableton Live performance. The previous Faderfox line, though, was restricted to compact devices focused on one task. Now, enter a small-batch controller for simultaneous four-deck DJ control, specifically in Native Instruments’ Traktor Pro. While NI’s own Traktor Kontrol S4 has a “4” in it, it doesn’t actually allow the simultaneous use …


NI Traktor Kontrol S4, Integrated DJ Hardware

As expected, Native Instruments has announced Traktor Kontrol S4, an all-in-one integrated hardware controller and software system for digital DJing. The hardware does look extensive. Highlights: Integrated audio interface Four-channel mixer section Full support for looping, effects control, browsing for tracks in the library Sample Decks, controlled from the hardware, allow beat-synced sample manipulation, with a live Loop Recorder for sampling an external audio input or resampling a mix from the DJ app Multicolor backlighting and LED The Kontrol S4 also promises better jog wheel support, using NI’s own electromagnetic technology to generate high-resolution touch information. (Unfortunately, NI uses their …


NI Teases New DJ Controller in Richie Hawtin Maschine + Traktor Video; Twitter App

It’s Richie Hawtin Watch time! The latest: NI teases an upcoming DJ controller by sharing video of Richie playing it in a club. The surprise: it’s actually what he’s doing with Maschine that seems most interesting to me. And if you recall the Twitter DJ app that he promised in the spring, it’s here, ready to use so long as you have Traktor and a Mac. (If you’re reading, Richie, do let me know if I’ve gotten my facts straight…)