Next up in our Future DJ Gear series is a Traktor a Kontrol S6 controller.
The Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 is a fantastic controller that provided serious competition with other, similar-sized controllers such as Pioneer DJ’s DDJ-SX3 and Denon DJ’s MC7000. Its haptic feedback, magnetically-tensioned, motorized jog wheels were a fantastic new feature that provide good scratch control even in such a small form factor.
The Traktor lineup, however, lacks a heavyweight controller to compete with the DDJ-1000, NS7-III, and similar full-sized devices. This is a major turn-off for many DJs (such as myself), who prefer the full size of a large controller.
What we’d want in a Kontrol S6
This concept, the Traktor Kontrol S6, aims to portray what a full-sized Traktor jog wheel controller would look like. The hypothetical Kontrol S6 would be similar in price and size to controllers such as the DDJ-1000, bringing haptic drive jog wheels, Traktor’s fantastic FX, and live-looping Remix Deck control into this range of the market.
Lets dive into some of the highlighted features we’d hope to see in an S6 that would bring it on par with high-end controllers.
This is the most obvious part of the S6 concept. The S6 is a full-sized controller and is thus much larger than the S4, with larger pads, jog wheels, screens, and mixer.
Full-Sized, Haptic Jog Wheels
Traktor’s fantastic haptic jog wheel design provides magnetic tension adjust, haptic feedback when scratching cue points, and motorization. However, the only instance of this technology is in the small, 5-inch jog wheels of the S4 Mk3. If this tech was released in a full-sized model, many scratch DJs would choose it over the DDJ-1000.
Improved Screens + Touch Capacitive Knobs
The watch dial-sized screens of the S4 are a solid feature, but quite limited in their size. They don’t even compare to the dynamic display system of the S5 and S8 controllers.
The hypothetical Kontrol S6 would boast larger screens more akin to those on the “jogless” line of NI controllers in addition to touch-capacitive knobs. The addition of capacitive knobs would allow the displays to automatically show whatever parameter for remix, FX, or track control is currently being manipulated, like on the Kontrol S8.
Dedicated Aux + Mic Inputs
One of the biggest turnoffs for many mobile DJs about the S4 was its lack of a dedicated mic input. This has become a standard on high-end controllers in 2020. The S6 would obviously have to have a standard dual-mic aux input system to compete with the DDJ-1000.
Remix + Stem Encoders
Traktor’s Remix and Stem technologies are unique selling points for its software. However, they are quite difficult to use without dedicated controls, which are not present on most NI controllers. A bank of multifunction encoders for controlling volume, filter, and pitch for Stem and Remix tracks would be a fantastic addition.
Innofader Mini Fader
The stock crossfader on the S4 is somewhat disappointing. It is a standard carbon fader that felt just okay. So in this concept, let’s upgrade it and make it appeal to scratch DJs out of the box! How about a high-quality Innofader in the hypothetical Kontrol S6? You could even make it replaceable for extra points.
What about the price?
As spec’d out in this article, the Kontrol S6 would be a fantastic alternative to the insanely popular DDJ-1000, adding Traktor’s unique features and haptic drive technology to the high-end market. One of the most common questions about the DDJ-1000 on forms around the web seems to be “How do I get it to work with Traktor?”
As such, the device would likely cost around $1200-1300 USD, putting it on par price-wise with the 1000. Its features would be ideal for everyone from turntablists to live performers, combining what could be the best jog wheels in the industry with advanced Remix deck control, providing a great middle ground for everyone. The addition of a controller like this would hopefully restore more users to Traktor and help secure the software’s future.
What else would you want to see in a new DJ controller from Traktor like the S6? Tell us in the comments below.