Traktor Kontrol Z2 Mixer Demo With Ean Golden

With the launch of the Kontrol Z2 this morning, Native Instruments released a video with DJTT’s founder Ean Golden performing an original song with vocals from Maceo Plex on two F1s and a Z2. Check out the video plus an interview with Ean about the release after the break.

I asked Ean to give our readers an even deeper look into his demo video:

Q: What’s the idea behind this style of laid-back, chilled-out performance? 

“In the early years of my work the focus was on “What’s the craziest thing i can do?!?!” Lately I have been asking myself, what needs to be done and playing a lot less. Miles Davis said: “It’s not about the notes but the space between the notes”, so I guess you could say I am exploring that zone. 

The focus on this routine was making the music sounding amazing and designing live parts that really make sense in the composition. It was actually a lot harder than I imagined to come up with interesting things that fit the track. Chopping up tracks with effects and cue points is pretty straightforward, but making it sound like they really belong is the magic part.”

Q: What does it take (technically and logistically) to shoot a video like this? 

 “Native Instruments has really raised the bar on these videos, working with world class video teams and shooting a full-on music video. I am very impressed with the results they are getting – the footage is amazing. Actually getting that quality is a lot of work though, I had to shoot everything in London and it took a full day to get all these shots. My only regret is not having enough time to develop the routine. I only had two weeks with the mixer and the music, which was not enough time to fully develop my original vision for this performance.”

Q: Why did you pick this music? 

“Right now I am very inspired by the new deep house sound and playing a lot of it, so I wanted to do something in that vein. Instead of mashing up various songs, I wanted to explore writing an original track and building synth parts designed to be played in Traktor so I could be really musical with the performance. Finally, Maceo Plex’s “Stay High For Me” is a personal favorite, and I wanted the challenge of building something around that central vocal hook, while reframing the meaning.”

Q: What are you doing with the F1? 

“I worked with James Terris, who is an amazing keyboard player and sound designer behind PowerTools to build a Remix Deck pack that would be very musical and jam-friendly. The result was an amazing set of notes that we sampled directly from his MelloTron.  This pack is going to be available with all the parts from my original song within a month for people to create their own interpretations directly in Traktor.” 

Q: What is your favorite part of the mixer? 

“I really like the USB hub, controller, mixer combo. It’s the perfect central DJ hub for my style of DJing and I plan to test/use it extensively on the road next month during the CNTRL tour.”

 This article was written by Ean Golden, who is an active DJ and producer and Dj TechTools founder. Support his work on Facebook, SoundCloud, or Instagram

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Comments (42)
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  • Martin Wilson

    Whatever… haters gonna hate. I, for one, am all the way on board with the neo Sprockets look:

  • dumb question

    how are you running 2 F1’s and an X1 on a 2 channel mixer?

  • Dillinger23

    Stu… Stu… Stu….Studio line from L’Oréal! I have been using this site from the beginning, had all the VCI-100 SE overlays and firmware updates, love it dearly, and have always thought big props to Ean for all his work, and while I have mourned some of the lost innocence as DJTT has become a more commercial venture, who the hell am I to say to someone not to build a life for themselves and capitalise on their success.

    But…… that IS NOT a mixer ‘demo’, that is an NI advert shot like a bloody hair gel ad, and Ean WTF with the moussed bouffant hair dude…..???? PS. That is neither ‘deep house’ or ‘new’.
    Disillusion is now complete. 🙁

  • Shuriken Tenshii

    All i want to know…..what program was used to edit the video? lol

  • calkutta

    actually,its one of my favorite ean golden routines.its an actual ‘feeling’ like a noir-trip type offense to the other work,but this is more ‘beautiful’ than ‘how many effects can we get in one routine’…imo,its harder to do less with these new tools,too many options lead to people pressing every button.less is want complex,cue juggle mozart.props ean,great track.

  • Phillip King

    Ean, I respect the fact that you acknowledge Craze would
    have been a better choice to introduce the mixer. With so many different
    types of dj’s and equipment to use now, I don’t think you were a bad choice.
    You have always amazed me with your knowledge of different types of music and
    willingness to adapt to them. The video and tack was amazing and I think you
    should be proud!

  • Guest


  • Anonymous

    Watching this (and previous videoes) proves to me that Ean Golden is turning more and more into an music artist and less DJ. It’s amazing and inspiring to see how he uses the DJ-gear more to play and perform than just play records. Keep it up.

    On the other hand i wish it would demonstrate more in detail how the different NI-instruments interact with Serato, that could be inspiring to se and learn, and I think it could sell more units for NI as well. The video is as stated, more of a MTV music video than a real demo of the new product.

  • Ean Golden

    I think it’s fair to say that it might have been a better move to have craze do the first video on this mixer since he would use it in the most natural way – with turntables. I was asked to demo it with only controllers and did just that, but in hindsight, it probably makes more sense to show it with turntables first and then the controller context 2nd.

    While some may look at this as a scratch mixer only, don’t miss the opportunity for a great controller hub (which it’s amazing at)

    • Stewe

      I thought Shiftie should spin it first but as you said they wanted controllerism and they did get it.

    • Chris Jennings

      I don’t even have a turntable connected to mine at the moment. In fact I might not have bought one so soon had Craze done the first video.

  • Mihaly

    Come on now give Ean a fucking break here, yea alright the vid wasent all flashy and there werent 2O tracks played at one time with 2O effects and all the other stuff the mixer can do but whatever. If you want to know what the mixer can do go read the damn specs, or watch the vid Ean did on EXPLAINING THE MIXER. This live remixing stuff really is difficult and nice work on that, congrats on the vid and thanks for all these years of djtt.

  • Robert Weinhold

    I think Ean did an incredible job here!!! I love it … it is not always about how crazy you get but about how it works in the classical sense look at Eric Clapton playing only the necessary… Ean… hat off this was amazing Thank You!

  • DJ New Deep House

    Don’t you think it’s funny how Ean has been “inspired by the new deep house sound” ? New? Really?
    There is a backlash against the EDM culture in The USA and all of a sudden Ean is a serious house head, when it was he who was partly responsible for the EDM explosion..

    • GRM

      While forming your refined conspirative theory, did you consider the possibility that Ean just actually got inspired and plays what he likes?

  • ScratchDJ

    What the hell was NI thinking not having Craze do the promo vid for this mixer??? That was such a lame, disappointing video..

  • ScratchDJ

    What the hell was NI thinking not having Craze do the promo vid for this mixer??? That was such a lame disappointing video..

  • Warren Potter Allen IV

    would i trade for my s4? yeah i think i would. they made it thick like rane, yay!

  • GRM

    I love this. I tend to trust demos less if I see cool technique, but shitty music. With all my love for DJTT, I must admit that this had been the case for with most of their videos so far for me. But now it looks some actual music is happening in those clips from time to time. Big plus for me.

  • tr4gik

    da fack happened to you hair Ean?

  • Ryan Glassman

    Sort of hypocritical to be praising NI’s videos when just a few weeks ago this site was talking about how to make a good DJ routine video and using NI’s F1 video as an example of what not to do.

    • GRM

      You missed the point, friend. They demonstrated shittines of video with NIs shitty video. Nothing about NI in general. Now NI made a good video (with fuckin Ean in it, god damit) and they pasted it. No hipocrisy from my POW.

  • Craig Reeves

    What did I just watch? Did Ean just reduce the functionality of one of the more important NI products to be released to an EQ machine? If I didn’t know what this video was about, I would swear it’s an F1 video and NOT a Z2 video. I learned absolutely nothing about the Z2, and this video came off as a pointless Ean performance.

    Was the performance kind of cool? Sure. But what did it have to do with the Z2? Isn’t there someone like Davey Dave who could have done a better demo while still keeping with NI’s image?

    • cp43

      Not sure what you watched, he did some cue point juggling, and used effects x1 style. Great job in my opinion. Don’t forget the f1 is a new controller as well, 2 birds one cup;)

      • Craig Reeves

        But this video doesn’t say “Traktor Kontrol F1” in the heading. It’s meant to show off the capabilities of the Z2 mixer. And I’m not sure how effective a mixer demonstration can be when the user never touches any of it’s faders.

        You’re right – this would make a great F1 video. But the F1 wasn’t NI’s big announcement today, and this video (while pretty) totally failed to show me anything about the Z2.

        • LocoHood

          You are exaggerating, plus he is constantly combining the use of fx, possibly macros on the Z2 with the sounds triggered from the F1, it clearly shows how NI gear can be used in conjunction and I like that. To show how he only uses Z2 or making it the only focus would be unrealistic IMO. It’s a hub, a mixer, and thats what I saw in the video, obviously in a more “artsy” style intended for promotion and not tutorial.

  • dj primitiv

    congrats awesome video

  • Guest

    I think it’s fair to say that the event here is Ean Golden, not the gear. Using effects without straining after effect. Impressive!

  • Dave Brown

    That’s a pretty amazing video Ean and the track is awesome.

  • Anonymous

    Way to go Ean! Definitely you’re the best person NI has in their group of DJs for “demoing” their kit. Like the hair cut too!;)


  • RockingClub

    Ean Golden videos are simply the most amazing ones!