The Traktor Kontrol S4 system from Native Instruments, one of the most anticipated DJ systems in recent memory, is
going to be available this winter now available in the DJTT webstore! It’s a 1-to-1 DJ solution that combines a 4-channel hardware interface with a special version of Traktor Pro called S4, which is equipped with exclusive features like loop decks and a special loop recorder for building on-the-fly performances. Check out more photos and the exclusive DJ TechTools scoop after the break!
After the cryptic Dubfire video that surfaced earlier this month, rumors and theories have been flying around about this new Traktor controller. We are happy to finally put the speculation to bed and share the real details on this exciting new DJ system. In the name of full disclosure, you should know that I had significant involvement in the design and development of this system, which means, as usual, TechTools has all the inside details you want to know!
The S4 software will be a special version of Traktor Pro that will only be available (for now) with the S4 controller as a single DJ system. This is not the next update of Traktor Pro but a unique version paired with hardware. The software will support mapping of other controllers through MIDI but connects directly to the S4 hardware via HID, allowing for higher resolution of the jog wheels, better visual feedback that can’t be supported in MIDI and an overall more-stable system. Besides a simplified master section and color make-over, the software is basically Traktor Pro with a few notable changes:
8 loop decks that replace decks C and D for the simultaneous playback of 8 loops or samples. Each loop deck is equipped with a filter and volume knob, and syncs to the master clock so you don’t have to worry about beat-matching 10 pieces of audio!
A loop recorder that allows you to record up to 32 count loops of each deck or the master output, and then overdub subsequent passes onto that recording. I designed the feature to be used as a convenient third deck or for on-the-fly loop recording of controllerism performances.
The S4 unit is designed to match the Traktor interface as much as possible with 4 full channels in the mixer and 2 decks that are switchable from A/C and B/D. To help those who need to take it on the road, NI will also release a matching flight case for the S4 that will set you back $189.
A few important points:
- The S4 does require a power supply but can run on an emergency USB power mode with reduced LED brightness and lower headphone volume.
- There are phono inputs in the back which support control vinyl – this feature will be supported in a future version of the S4 software.
- The controller may be used with other software through MIDI.
- The pitch faders and jog wheels are hi-resolution.
- The sound card will be the same components as the Audio 4 DJ.
The jog wheels are touch-sensitive and measure about 5 inches across. They use a special magnetic force technology not used before in jog wheels that allowed the engineers to fine-tune break and resistance for a natural feel. You will also find a special “Ean Golden” feature that turns the jog wheels into FX controllers, modeled after our VCI-100SE’s “Fader FX Mode”.
The transport section contains just about everything you need, including access to transport buttons (in the correct order!), cue point triggers and sample triggers (if the lower decks are in sampler mode). The far right encoder controls loops, with the value displayed above it. Turning the encoder changes the value and pushing it sets a quantized loop on-the-fly. The pitch faders are 60 mm long with a nice resistance and adjustable range. They match the VCI-300 in length and feel.
My highest priority for the mixer was its spacing and ergonomics, ensuring that it feels like a professional DJ tool and not a cramped toy. There are large chunky filter knobs right at the bottom of the EQ chain and endless encoders for gain knobs so you can still use auto gain without any annoying jumps in volume. The faders are the same length as the Pioneer DJM series mixers. All of the knobs are the same feel and size as the Kontrol X1, with lots of space for those with bigger fingers!
I am very excited to see this controller finally hit the market after several years of intense development. It provides a lot of powerful features while remaining easy to understand and fun to use. We will have more exclusive info and a full back-story on its development later on this month. If you’re interested in purchasing the controller or getting more info please sign up to the Traktor S4 list below.
COMPANY: Native Instruments
RELEASE DATE: Winter 2010
Price: $999 / 899 EUR
* Depth: 32.2 cm / 12.7”
* Height: 5.2 cm / 2”
* Width: 50 cm / 19.7”
* Weight: 3.4 kg / 7.5 lbs
Because Ean helped to design this new Traktor controller, DJ TechTools will be selling it with some special perks, exclusively for our customers. Check it out in our online store!