Traktor Kontrol S3: The Middle Child For The MK3 Traktor Generation

As we reported on last week, the Traktor Kontrol S3 is here. Today we can confirm the official announcement of the DJ controller. Native Instruments has sent over their confirmation and initial specs and photos, which seems to place the controller comfortably between the Kontrol S2 MK3 and Kontrol S4 MK3.

Ean’s First Thoughts

Want to know what our founder Ean Golden thinks of the Kontrol S3 announcement? Here’s his first thoughts:

Kontrol S3: Far More Than An S2, Not Quite An S4

The new lineup of the Kontrol family

The Kontrol S3 is a pretty easy concept to explain – it’s a four-channel Traktor controller without the extra features that you’d get on Native Instruments’ high end controller. It’s $649, making it $350 cheaper than the Kontrol S4 MK3 and $310 more expensive than the S2 MK3.

Here’s the basic features you can expect from the Kontrol S3:

  • Four channel mixing section and dual-layer deck controls
  • Full performance pads and loop encoder section
  • Large jogwheels (5.5″ / 14cm) with ring illumination
  • Mixer FX knobs (as adopted on the other MK3 Kontrol units)
  • iOS compatibility (based on a port on the back labeled “iOS”, but we lack specifics so far – particularly on if there’s a four-deck update coming) with the free Traktor DJ 2 app
  • XLR and RCA master outs, 1/4″ booth outs, combo mic input, RCA aux input
  • Includes a copy of Trakor Pro 3

Here’s what it doesn’t have (versus the S4 MK3):

  • motorized, haptic-feedback jogwheels
  • FX control sections at the top of each deck
  • Display screens to show waveforms, loops, time remaining, browsing, etc
  • ultra-long throw pitch faders
  • advanced I/O section (including DVS support)

But Why An S3 Now?

While it’s clear that the S4 MK3 might have added a number of pro-level features that not every Traktor user might want and there’s a gap in terms of pricing, the Kontrol S3 still has a bit of strange difference from it’s fellow all-in-ones: it’s a first generation unit. Why has Native Instruments decided that now, after three generations, there’s a market in the middle of the two Kontrol all-in-one mainstays?

We expect the still-to-be-announced iOS / Traktor DJ 2 functionality might play a factor, and that Native Instruments is really looking to compete with other similar offerings at that level – but real DJs will have to be convinced.

Want your own Kontrol S3? We have preorders on the DJTT store here.

Keep an eye out for our review of the S3 MK3 coming soon…..

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