Traktor’s new beta cycle has begun: 3.6 to include iZotope products, maybe NKS support?

Last week, Native Instruments touted something that’s a welcome sight for DJs still in love with the powerful Traktor ecosystem: a new beta. The new version, launched in NI’s Traktor Pro Public Beta forum, is Traktor Pro Beta This is a beta that’s building towards an eventual Traktor Pro 3.6 (the current public release version is 3.5.0, released in June of 2021)

One New Feature, Ozone Maximizer

The only new feature in the app is the addition of Ozone Maximizer, an alternative for the current Limiter built into Traktor Pro. Ozone 9 Maximizer is actually a iZotope mastering product designed to stop the master from clipping but also increasing loudness without destroying sonic clarity. For context, iZotope and NI merged back in March 2021.

The Ozone limiter is available in the Preferences > Mixer section of the new beta, allowing you to switch between the default Traktor limiter or the new Ozone one.

Within the Ozone Maximizer panel, there are a few adjustment settings.

The guidelines linked by the NI team explain the settings:

• The threshold level sets the signal level at which the limiter starts limiting the audio signal.
Preset allows you to choose between two different characters of the Maximizer.
Gain reduction shows how many dB of gain are being reduced based on the threshold value. We recommend keeping the gain reduction below 6dB to avoid experiencing any audio distortion.

Worth noting, there are some very valid criticisms of using a software limiter in DJing contexts overall – as one user, filip pietrzykowski, points out in the thread:

A sign of more iZotope features in Traktor Pro

For many DJs, a new limiter is interesting – but probably not a must-have. What’s actually coming from NI in the Traktor world that could be a killer feature? There’s a few hints in the beta announcement, the biggest of which is this sentence:

The new feature is the fruit of Native Instruments’ merger with iZotope, and is the first of a series of integrations of iZotope’s technology into TRAKTOR PRO.

It’s pretty clear that iZotope has a ton of other products that could stand to be integrated directly into a DJing context. On the short list:

  • Equalizers: iZotope has a pretty powerful EQ functionality also in Ozone that could be great for more dynamic EQing in Traktor Pro.
  • Effects: There are so many options for new effects in the iZotope product vault, it is wild to consider the options. If I had my way, Stutter Edit’s capabilities would be at the top of the list for direct integration in Traktor.
  • Stems Improvement: any number of iZotope software products could improve the Stems mixing experience (remember Stems?) like Nectar 3 for vocals, or RX 9 to clean up a messier stem (perhaps one created on-the-fly, keep reading)
  • Real Time Stem Separation: look, Virtual DJ and djay already beat out Traktor on this concept years ago. But that still doesn’t change the fact that the DJs arguably most likely to benefit from and use real time Stems creation from finished tracks would be Traktorists. iZotope for sure could make this happen and it could be a big get for a 3.6 release.

NKS Support in Traktor Pro?

There’s one other theory I have about the eventual 3.6 release: it might add NKS support for plugins into Traktor. Since Ozone is entirely NKS compatible, those software plugins are already inside of Maschine and Komplete. Why not Traktor, too? It seems like probably the easiest way to implement this feature from a development standpoint would be adding NKS support…

That would mean a massive amount of products would potentially be in the running to be added to Traktor – from Eventide’s Blackhole Reverb to Soundyeti’s cinematic Collision FX, there are any number of potential adds here in the effects space – and even more if instruments are also in the running. We’re talking hundreds of NKS devices that are out there.

It’s hard to spec out what this could look like from an outsider point of view. Specifically, quality control and workflow seem like big challenges that would take careful design and consideration to get it right.

More Betas on the way?

The beta is the first of a cycle that’s set to go quickly – as the post announcing the new beta cycle notes:

We’ll reveal the full scope of the release step-by-step as we roll out the new features for testing. This time, we intend to stick to a shorter beta release cycle of about 2-3 weeks, so that we can address the issues unveiled in a timely manner.

That means that Traktor Pro users can probably expect another new beta before mid-June.

Want to download the current Traktor Pro beta? Check it out here.

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