Today we’ve got the full details on the Kontrol Z2 mixer teased a few weeks ago by Native Instruments. As many of you know, I’m a big believer in standalone mixers for serious DJing, so it was a pleasant surprise to find out NI was making a dedicated Traktor mixer. In today’s exclusive video, I walk you through the Z2 and show you some of my favorite features of the mixer and of the new Traktor 2.6 that I used in NI’s launch video that was just released.
Manufacturer: Native Instruments
Availability: Preorders now in the DJTT store – Expected ship date Nov. 1
Ships with: Traktor Scratch Pro, Control Vinyl and the mixer.
THE KONTROL Z2’S BASICS
The Traktor Kontrol Z2, Native Instruments first foray into the DJ mixer world, is a digital/analogue hybrid. It’s essentially a control surface and analogue mixer with a sound card all wrapped in one package. Designed to be a true pro-level mixer, the unit is housed by an aircraft-grade aluminum body and sits at standard mixer/turntable height. It’s not the MIDI-only mixer that devoted S4 users have been clamoring for – but instead a club-ready, standalone-mixer mixer that also offers complete control over any connected computer running Traktor.
The mixer is clearly aimed to become the professional club mixer for Traktor users, matching and potentially surpassing the legendary Rane TTM 57/61/62 series of mixers that many Serato DJs know well.
(Editor’s Note: We don’t think small photos quite do this unit justice- so we’ve uploaded a full set from our photo shoot on Facebook.)
A 2X2 MIXER
While the Z2 is on the surface a two channel mixer, it still offers full control over all four decks in Traktor. In practice, it makes the most sense to have decks A and B running full songs, with C and D pumping in loops, samples, and acapellas. Both auxiliary decks have a single knob that is used for volume control. While not a full channel strip, this proves to be sufficient for basic level adjustments.
The mixer has a spacious mixing section, with plenty of room in the layout to allow for broad motions that intense scratching, juggling, and channel gating techniques sometimes require. The unit is Traktor Scratch Pro certified, so timecode signals can be wired straight into the unit for a complete DVS solution. All three faders (channel faders and crossfader) are Innofaders, and on either side of the mixer are four cue point/Remix Deck buttons backlit with multi-color LEDs.
The mixer has some of the best innovations in more recent digital DJ developments as well, offering advanced HID integration with CDJs, a complete browse section that allows for selection and loading of tracks, and simple control of Traktor’s new Macro Effects and Flux mode (see below).
THE NEW TRAKTOR FEATURES
Alongside the launch of the new Z2 mixer is a new version of the Traktor Pro 2 DJ software, Traktor 2.6. The new update includes three new major features that complement the workflow of the Z2 – but that all users of the software can get pretty stoked about:
- Post-Fader Effects the new version of Traktor allows users to choose when effects are applied allowing more creativity post fader.
- Macro Effects operate in a similar way to the Super Knob effects found in most of the DJ TechTools mappings, combining effects motions into a single action – making fills, sweeps, builds and breakdowns more exciting to create with just a single knob.
- Flux Mode is very similar to the Slip Mode that a lot of CDJ units now include – the track keeps playing while you use effects or scratch the track, and then jumps back to where the track would have been.
The Kontrol Z2 also delivers when it comes to having a sensible place in a wide array of setups. The mixer stands at a standard height, matching CDJs and turntables, and packs a 24-bit soundcard with XLR outputs, booth outputs, microphone and photo/line inputs.
One of the really nice things about putting the Z2 in a CDJ setup is that if you’re not ready financially to upgrade to the CDJ-2000 Nexus units, the Z2 allows you to access a similar set of digital features that those offer – like the beatmatching and sync technology.
THE FUN EXTRA FEATURES
- Removable top panels: There’s a good chance there will be future color and style options available to Kontrol Z2 owners.
- Three Innofaders: Smooth as butter, these extremely high-quality faders are designed to have some of the best response and durability.
- Great cue/sample triggering features: The cue points triggers are lined up perfectly next to the turntables for quick access.
- Built-in powered USB hub: With two ports, this means plugging in Midi Fighters, F1s, etc is a snap, and doesn’t take up a precious USB port on your computer.
THE VALUE: IS IT WORTH IT?
The mixer is priced at $899, which includes a high quality full sized mixer, a full version of Traktor Pro 2, scratch vinyl and a bevy of controls – the Z2 is a great value for those that want to move to a professional, full-sized DJ mixing interface. At this price, the Z2 is an ideal and affordable option to have at the center of your home setup or club install, allowing for modular expansion in the future.
It’s no secret that the Kontrol s4, while being widely popular, is less popular in actual clubs and onstage. In those domains, modular controllers and mixers reign supreme. The introduction of the Z2 could be the beginning of NI’s foray into the world of professional, modular DJ equipment – and I could not be more happy. It’s a setup that is more flexible, powerful, and translates the best to realistic setups for live venues. Now with the z2 at the center, it’s easy to see many other things starting to fill the newly created space around it.
With all-in-one controllers still selling in massive numbers, making a 2-channel mixer might be perceived as risky – but personally I could not be more pleased with the results and plan to use this as the center of my new CNTRL tour setup. We think the mixer is a good value, we’ve decided to carry it in the DJ TechTools web store and we’re throwing in a free set of Chroma Caps for anyone that makes a preorder!
- Watch Ean’s Kontrol Z2 Routine | DJTT
- High resolution photo gallery | DJTT Facebook
- Purchase a Z2 | DJTT Webstore
Ean Golden is the founder of Dj TechTools and a worldwide Dj specializing in controllers and new performance technology.
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ho about vinil ? I want buy complect
Hey i have a question aubour this mixer:can ik connect my DDJ-WEGO To the mixer with the USB port on the mixer?
I don’t see this in the comments or write up…Do the filters work on the standalone mixer? or is this a Traktor only function?
Yes, see below.
what’s better in your opinion: a traktor kontrol z2 or a Allen & Heath xone 42? i’m using also an f1 and a maschine and was pretty fascinated about the built in control for the remix decks, but i’m not sure if its the same quality of sound and mixing with the z2 compared with a xone 42…
Hello Ean, Will customers have the option of purchase the Chroma Caps alone? Like incase we already have the Z2 mixer know what I mean? Thanks, your videos rock!!!
I have a kontrol f1 and a kontrol x1. If I get this mixer does it then make one or both of these obsolete or can i use all 3 without redundancy?
Win a Traktor Kontrol Z2 here http://www.musicmatter.co.uk/blog/competition-win-native-instruments-traktor-kontrol-z2/
This is the best blog for Djs!
Thanks so much to dj tech tools for the TOOLS!
I´ve made a review for the traktor kontrol s4 flight case http://traktors4case.blogspot.com
Why is there no effects loop? That makes me sad.
While I’m not a Dj, its good to see studio mixing techniques implemented in live record “mixing” nice
How can use the post fader setting on the djm T1? Can I do that currently or do I have to wait for 2.6? Does the Z2’s crossfader run in internal mode also?
Nice idea, although it’s weird that it doesn’t have four faders. You wouldn’t think it’d be that hard to fit an extra two faders on, especially for the price.
Also, does 2.6 finally let people MIDI map the remix decks or are they still playing the Serato game?
Not much of a poster, but I felt the need to put in my thoughts. I’ve personally been waiting on a mixer like this since ’05 from Native Instruments. To now have a flagship mixer made by NI with premium guts, I was sold at the teaser. Understand that Rane & Serato are two different companies that have join to make a standard mixer with a starting street price over $1,200 since their release of Rane TTM 57sl. NI has counter this by having theirs at $800-900. Hopefully the price will attract clubs, venues, and DJs to take in what TSP users have known for years. A great DVS.
Craze using the Z2
Wow No Mention of the Pioneer DJM T1
Actually, in the video it says there is RECORD out, but its not a record out its an unbalanced master out… quite a difference.
hows the USB connector on the device itself?
I own an Audio 2 DJ and use it 3-4x every weekend to spin… BUT I have to wrap the wire around it because the plug slips easy. (the audio 2 usb port is easily prone to slipping out)
I also own a Audio 6 DJ. And before a big gig… the usb connector was so snug that, when I pulled the USB cable out, it pulled the plastic piece holding the connectors in the usb input of the soundcard OUT! I have not used that soundcard since.
Thats why I’m hesitant on NI hardware. The software is great… but… um… everyone uses pioneer/rane for a reason, theyre reliable and sound good. NI, please make sure you pay attention to detail because Im not the only guy this has happened to amongst my friends (other professional DJ’s in the tri-state NYC area). That said, I love the idea of MIDI controls on my mixer.
I really have never experienced this with any manufacturer. You sure you’re pulling the USB out by gripping the hard thicker tip and not just somewhere along the wire?
useful video and article, thanks
No offense but of course Ean is going to say this product is good, its made by NI who deeply have there hands in DJTT but anyway. Save up a couple bucks more for the xone, this is more of update news then for NI to make some moe money…..
Wanna resell my DJM800. But waiting for the Z4 ! :p
why would you sell your djm 800 that mixer is pure gold
TRACK ID: Could someone help me out with the track ID at around 2:55 when then Traktor 2.6 Effects section starts please.
Can I use this mixer as a standalone controller or am i better of buying the S4/S2? I don’t have the money to buy either CDj’s or Turntables?
In your situation I would probably just buy an all-in-one.
worst video job seen a long time…
How good is the soundcard?
with this USB hub does it mean that 2 DJ can finally plug their MacBook in the same time with Traktor running to change from one to another (as the Rane SL4 for example)????
No. It does not mean that. It means you don’t have to worry about running out of USB ports on your computer.
Then that new mixer is not worth its price and useless to me… does Rane has a patent on this feature or what? because even if all new Pioneer mixers are Traktor certified, that’s still a big mess and lot of stress to change from one DJ to another, and you always need to have a usb key, mp3, cd or even real vinyl with you…
You can simply use the Aux port on the Z2 to play something in between, or even use the post fader effect echo in between transitions.
They talked about sound quality in another article, but here they threw that out the window and the sound was really patchy. other than that it was a great video, interesting product.
This thing looks cool and at that price point could be the thing that tempts me to move away from SSL.
Could someone help me out with the track ID at around 2:55 when then Traktor 2.6 Effects section starts please.
Pretty disappointed by this to be honest. I totally get what NI are trying to do with this mixer to break this device into the pro scene in clubs; but I’m pretty sure they’ve got a huge user base of amateur/bedroom DJs such as myself. I was really hoping for a really portable X1-like digital mixer or even a slighty-less-portable 4 channel digital mixer.
I own an S4, and whilst it’s almost great, I don’t like having to toggle between decks A/C B/D and I don’t really use the jogwheels at all. I also own an X1 and on the few occasions that I do play in a club or a party, I’ll use that and plug it into whatever mixer is put in front of me.
So what I would prefer is an inexpensive digital mixer with master+booth out. If there was a 4-channel version of this then I could have two X1’s and an “M4” (I’ll just call it that) as my home setup and then if I do play elsewhere just take my X1’s along.
I would also really like an “F2” that could can basically run two remix decks – only really need half the buttons. THEN, I could have 1 X1 for controlling my tracks, 1 “F2” for samples and one-shots, and 1 “M4” as my perfect modular and highly portable setup.
But key for me is making it all the same height as the X1, makes it so much more portable to take along to friends’ parties/on holiday/whatever.
Anyhoo, one can only dream.
really big question regarding the headphone cueing: Does it support split cue?? Rane 62’s now have split cue.. Most (not all) pioneer mixers have split cue. This is a biiiig selling point as I don’t carry around a monitor and I NEED to cue from my headphones. … i’m caught up between the djm t1, rane 62, and the z2.. and it’s all based on the hardware, analog feature sets, including the cueing features.
No, it doesn’t have L/R split cue. Although the people that matters to are in the minority. It is a biiig selling point but only to a small percentage of the market.
You can still mix in your headphones with the cue/master dial. It might not be as comfortable for you as an L/R split cue but it can be done (I personally cannot use L/R split cue at all).
Have you looked at the M70 ?
My only actual complaint is no eq kill buttons. But then again I love kills so that’s a complaint of mine on just about everything.
Push button kills are actually pretty cool.
I suppose. Don’t they give a little click/pop when you push them? I have only used them on cheap mixers and that might be why that happened when I have tried them, but then again I can only remember seeing them on cheap mixers to begin with…
my voxoa C60 has them.. no clicks or pops in analogue mixer mode. its fkn’ cool.
Does it also have effects as a stand alone mixer?
i think the filter works in analogue mode.
dose that mean we get midi for the remix decks in this update????
are the new features in 2.6 midi Mappable or is it the damn HID protocol because there maybe a breakaway From the DIY mob from traktor if this lockdown i’m already venturing to ableton because of locked features in traktor and the smartmix setup is.not the most stable platform…
i’ll wait for the Z4 lol…;P
Can somebody tell me does 2.6 includes more modifiers? thanks
slip mode finally!!!
is it usb 3.0 capatible
Doubt it. It’ll be aimed at the X1 & F1 so most likely it’ll be USB 2.0
No headphone cue/master switch?
i have the same question….
What are post fader effects and what do they mean?
post means after so if you have a delay effect going and you lower the fader all the way down you won’t hear the track playing, but you will still hear the delay effect.
A lot of DJs use effects like this for transitioning.
Can’t you do this in traktor with the freeze function on the delay effect, using the wet/dry knob to fade out the track? I’ve been using that for transitions, and am curious if that’s the sound you’re talking about.
POST FADER EFFECTS!!! (Sorry for the capslock, but I’ve been punching myself in the face over this lack-of-a-feature ever since Traktor was -released-) Seriously… It’s about TIME.
sorry my ignorance, but how exactly does post fader effects work? the article does explain a lot.
it means you can apply the effect after the channel fader… so when you pull the fader down the effect can still keep running.. handy for sustains and echos etc. COOL!
post fader effects via f1 volume works, i know it’s not crossfader but it’s close
How does post fader effects work with the f1? Do you mean only with effects on remix decks?
Are cue points 5-8 accessible from the mixer?
Post fader effects finally!!!
I’m new to the Digital side of Deejaying I’ve always used straight Vinyl and I am finally upgrading to a DVS system what exactly does Post Fader Effects mean?
Does anyone know if the effects work in stand alone mixing mode or does traktor have to be running?
NI has answered! Now all they need is to get sales rep to sell this into every joint that’s happening- trade in the DJM’s and even get some change back (used the change to get more lights and shit.:) – And if NI’s looking for part-time sales rep to sell the Z2 to club managers- I put my hand up.
.. yes.. when they do a 4 channel club mixer… which this isnt.
Ean: Would it be possible to run two Traktor Kontrol S4’s into the standalone mixer, and still being able to use all the functions on both s4’s and the standalone as far as traktor is concerned? I know we would need at least two computers but i didn’t know if it would be possible. If so i would love the tips on how to do it, thanks!
I’m not certain this would be the most effective way of doing what you’re looking for. If you want an “ALL NI solution” that would work and certainly you would be able to use post-post effects if you went that route, but there are a lot of good dedicated mixers available at a lower cost.
hell maybe three computers, but why?
Might as well spend an extra 50 dollars or so and purchase the DN-X1600; has practically the same features with even more versatility and quality. Scratched certified, 32-bit 96000Hz on-board audio interface, 4 channels, great on-board effects, plethora of I/O, plethora of MIDI mappable buttons and a dedicated MIDI section. I can’t see how the Z2 could compete with that, in my opinion.
Street price will be lower than the $899 NI price, so I’m guess you’ll have to spend at least $150 more for the DNX-1600. Plus the 1600 doesn’t have dedicated filter per channel which is a pain, especially with only one FX bank. I know this because I had a 1600. Don’t get me wrong, the 1600 is a damn fine mixer.
Just looked on Amazon and some other sites and quotes are about $980 new. Ah that is true about the filters; and its sometimes a pain, considering the filter is attached to your FX unit so you can accidentally overlay and effect when filtering.
Sorry misread your comment. Yeah I forgot the price is usually 150 dollars lower from the manufacturer price so I guess it does have some what of a niche.
The street price will probably be much lower noting the new Pioneer controller DDJ-SX is coming out around the same time and has more functionality.
Different Horse’s for different course’s man, I’d never go near the 1600, not because it’s bad but because it’s the pola opposite for my needs. There completely different beasts for different Styles of dj’s.
Only $900 I’m down… already pre-ordered… Can’t be the price. I almost bought a $1400 DJM-850, thanks good I didn’t… maybe pioneer will restructure their prices…
Was that a legit shop? If so please point me in the direction of the $1,400 DJM850 immediately! I will buy one today!
Yea it was for $1,430.00 (I rounded down) at a local guitar center in Chicago, I have a connection (prolly cuz of all the business I give them lol), but that is not including sales tax (which adds about another $150 to the end price)
“$899, which includes a high quality full sized mixer, a full version of Traktor Pro 2, scratch vinyl and a bevy of controls” – Dont you need traktor scratch pro for vinyl/cd functionality?
Yes, that is what it means. If you go to the link to preorder it says it is TSP (wouldn’t it have to be for that to make any sense anyways?).
Wanted to make sure, didn’t look through the preorder page yet.
How is this any different than the Pioneer djm t1. Aside from the Flux button what is the difference? I doubt NI will release a Z4 because that would kill the S4.
A Z4 would not be a competitor of the S4.
Yep, the S4 is a controller. The Z4 is a mixer, completely different items.
Um.. News flash, this z2 and potentially z4 aren’t just Mixers, they are controllers too. Hybrids. S4 is a controller with integrated mixer and a z4 would be a mixer with integrated controller. They end up doing the same thing. The only difference is that the z2 and z4 can be stand alone.
So …. when do I get my freaking Traktor 2.6 Update? … that’s all I care 🙂
thanks for the long awaited info, I always enjoy your site. But I would like to politely point out that if you shoot a video with this much audio and focus fxxkups, you might want to consider doing a second take. I don´t expect fancy big production stuff, just some minimal technical standart.
Flux mode, YESSSSSSS!!!! I’ve been waiting forever for this
So to be clear; can you use this as a strictly hardware mixer, without a laptop running Traktor? Like, play a set on vinyl or on CDs with no DJ software?
Yes you can, he stated that in the video.
I thought so, I just couldn’t quite tell. So what do you have control of then? EQ, volume, x-fade? Do the filters work without Traktor?
they should >
Hardware filters, innovative software effects. While the two channel filters are hardware (ie they’ll work even with analogue inputs), the effects are software – you need Traktor running to use them. NI has created “workflow-based” effect groupings, or “Macro FX”, designed to give you what are effectively “effects presets” for various DJing situations (breakdowns, buildups etc). This is certainly Pioneer-esque
now do I get this or the VCI-400 SE?
If this would have been available when I started DJing 8 years ago, I’d probably still be DJing today. Nice work NI!
are these new features( macro fx, flux mode) also available on the kontrol s4?
Yup, its the software update that has those new features.
in my opinion is overpriced! djm t1 is much better! 5-600 was a fair price!
I’m a big Pioneer guy but how is the DJM T1 better? Also, the T1 costs more than this even after the huge price reduction. So that must be REALLY overpriced (it is).
I have a DJM-T1 I dont think its better but i do think they are very similar. I am sure i can map my T1 to act the same as the Z2. The DJM T1 is only $100 more then this one.
I own a DJM-T1 too, the quality might be better than the Z2 but it lacks 2 fucking filter knobs!!! I don’t know what was wrong in Pioneer designers’ mind when they created it, even the DJM-250 has those 2 knobs… but the flux button and the USB hub are now 2 good features missing as well.
Can someone confirm that this mixer uses the analog eq’s with timecode rather then Traktor’s internal EQ’s
No it doesn’t. But the EQs are digital anyways and using the same algorithm which has been refined for this release.
Wowwwww….. veryy impressed aigain NI!
“Pretty cheap” at $900?! Seems like a pretty expensive mixer to me!
Compared to what?
I WISH MY RENT WAS ONLY $900!!!
lmao… now that was fun-e…
¿?????q ?u? punos ??x?? ??? ???? sd?? ??o?? ????? ??? op
72.5 % better!!!
why do YouTube embeds in these things make my browser eat such shit? I don’t have this problem on other websites.
Come on, guy.. For a world exclusive video you could’ve used a SteadiCam and a well mixed audio track. That audio fudge-up @ 6:43 just screams amateurism.
Nice content, shitty video..
It’s nice to see some realism once and awhile. Video wasn’t that shitty, certainly didnt scream.
They got a world exclusive and they treat it like a rushjob.. It’s like they didn’t watch their final clip ONCE and just uploaded it. That is amateurism.
nobody is forcing you to watch it ;D
No, but that doesn’t excuse professionalism… If you get an exclusive, you should bring your “A game” otherwise, they might not give you another exclusive.
hey all the big hollywood movies are adopting the same camera style as these guys – lay off! lol
Steady cams don’t come cheap mate.
My main gripe with the video was the audio, was it captured top mic? Need some lapel mics next time (also better mics, noisy as hell)
I thought it was a great video btw
is the new 2.6 available for download for those who have the previous versions?
the cameraman is gonna give me a frikkin headache…
that was really a waste.
i think he was so excited to be filming this dj porno that he only had one hand free! lol
Great content, but an unusually rough edit… Love the mixer, though I’m going to wait till I get my hands on one to demo. Curious about the feel and the fader response. Grabbing a 3D sometime soon though.
Is 2.6 a free update for traktor so that I can map those flux options to other controllers? Say yes….
I’m getting a headache from the constant zooming in and out and the camera guy shaking the hell out of the camera loll. Loving the mixer though
What about time code? An audio6 or something is not included right? No Digital inputs, soundcard is like an audio2?
It has the equivalent to an Audio 6 built in.
you won’t need any other soundcard than what is inside the mixer for all of that.
thanks! nice. wasn’t sure, but u actually dont see any additional interfaces in any video. then the price actually is pretty fair i guess.
The price is more than fair when you consider people are paying $2,000 for a Rane Sixty-Two.
You could buy this, an Audio 6 (for playing out where there will be no TS Certified mixer), an X1, an F1, a laptop bag, headphones, and still have cash left over compared to the Rane/Serato competitor to this mixer.
Lookin’ frwrd to the new Traktor features . . . havin’ a hard time keepin’ up w/ the hardware, though 😉
Hehe, flux mode was one of mine mapping tricks 😉 Good job NI!
Do you still need a separate soundcard when using maschine as live input? Or is it possible to just plugin over usb? This integration would be one of the greatest things native has ever done… looking forward to Z4 😉
well, it definitely has some smart stuff, like the usb hub (brilliant), the magnetic face lids, the midi buttons on the sides of the mixer. Did I hear innofaders? that’s cool. Now, for that kind of money, I’d prefer a rane mixer, honestly.
a club mixer that seconds as a traktor controller built by native instruments…the day has finally come. I’m glad I waited
Ean: when using the Z2 as a standalone mixer is it capable of full eq kills? This is the one thing that I wish I could change about Traktor…
it is 😉
traktor can full eq kill if you map the kill high/kill mid/kill low setting to a controller, but it is a bit odd that the eq doesnt default kill when the knobs are all the way down.
So i have to buy another mixer because traktor decided to finally include full eq kills in a mixer?
Def looking forward to the Flux mode.. and Macro effects!
i want this!
Still no full midi mapping possibilities for remix decks? Idiots!
it has built in USB hub so you can hook one up.. but i see what your are sayin…
no I mean in the new traktor version. You still have to buy the F1 to get full use of the remix decks, because of some marketing reason.
how do you know its not there (midi suppport for remix decks)?