A few weeks ago we reported on what could have been leaked photos of a brand new update to the Traktor Kontrol X1 – and finally Native Instruments has announced that the controller is the real deal. Read on for the full announcement, photo gallery, launch video, and our first impressions of the Traktor Kontrol X1 MK2.
Manufacturer: Native Instruments
Price: $229 / 199 € / 20,800 ¥ MSRP
Available: Preorder now in the DJTT Store for $199
Dimensions: Nearly identical to the X1/Z1 – and fits the Kontrol Stand and other accessories.
KONTROL X1 MK2 IN PHOTOS
We’ve got some more updated photos of the unit in action from Native Instruments – click through the gallery below to check them out:
FIRST IMPRESSIONS AND REACTIONS
A few of them are pretty obviously additions, like the loop count display over the (now touch-sensitive) loop encoders (they’re also used to choose what decks you assign the unit to at start up), the multi-color cuepoint buttons, the addition of Flux mode and effects assignment. Even smaller additions like the larger Play/Pause and Cue buttons very much seem to be in line with improving the experience of what DJs most commonly use a controller for.
The touch strips tell a similar tale in their function – their primary functionality aren’t some crazy new form of control, but instead a familiar set of controls that just make more sense in strip form. The strip can be used in split mode between two decks or in a single deck mode. Rather than pushing and pulling the pitch, the control moves the phase of a song – less ideal for traditional DJing but more aligned with how modern DJs learn. This all can likely be changed around with your own remapping of the controller!
Of course, remapping the touch strip to effects will be the most fun – and we wouldn’t be too surprised to see Traktor DJ-like touch features show up in some future mappings. We reached out to Native Instruments to ask them all of the different types of touch controls baked into the unit at launch, and they identified the following:
- By default, the touchstrip is in two deck mode – and because it touchstrip can recoginze 2 fingers at once, you can nudge both Decks simultaneously. As mentioned above, you can “re-size” the touch strip control to be used entirely for one deck.
- The type of action changes based on if a track is playing or not. If one is, the touch strip nudges (complete with a phasemeter above the strip itself). No track is playing, the strip has scratch control, allowing rapid readying of the playhead location (i.e. starting point, HotCue position, etc.) and you’ll see a track progress meter in the LEDs above the touchstrip.
- The strip is also FX assignable – turning on an effect when you touch it and off when released. Two fingers allow you to jump back and forth between two different FX settings. Put your finger in one position, then put a second finger in another position–the FX will jump to the secondary position. When you remove your second finger, the FX jumps back to the position of the first finger.
- Assigning the strip to Auto-Loop control has a similar result: touching the strip drops a loop of a specific size, but turns off when you release – and two fingers allows jumping between loop lengths. The Traktor team was sure to note specifically that: “This is super-awesome with Flux Mode turned on.”
It’s worth pointing out a few of the features that have been dropped from the second generation of the X1. Loop In / Out is long gone (folks who DJ older records will miss those, but few others), as well as the beat jumping, Cue | Rel, and Cue Abs buttons. These all have been removed to make way for the new cuepoint buttons, but it does seem like a number of the shift functions aren’t mentioned on the face of the new unit – prime remapping material!
The astute observer will also notice that there’s no mention of Traktor DJ functionality anywhere – nor is there a “compatible with iPad / iPhone” sticker on the front of the box. It seems like this controller won’t be able to be used with Traktor DJ for iOS, which is a bit out of step of what we expected from NI. Our Kontrol Z1 review really notes how nice it was to use the Z1 next to an X1 – but for now it looks like that won’t be possible for iOS users.
Update: NI’s official comment on Traktor DJ compatibility:
We believe that Traktor DJ as a standalone app offers its own paradigm of transport and effects control. The X1 MK2 is therefore specifically designed to address these features with Traktor Pro
For $229, is the X1 MK2 the next controller for you, or will you stick with what you’ve got? Friendly discussion in the comments, let’s have it!
Selling my Novation Twitch and moving onto the F1 X1 combo. So sick of Itch and its problems with the twitch. Can’t believe they have held Serato DJ back for the twitch for this long. Very Very excited for this
Wish it came with the daisy changing function. It would have been great to run two of these under a single USB. I hate USB hubs !
Wait…how do I get to cue points 5-8??
Oh man, do want.
I was just on the market for a Traktor controller, this couldn’t have come at a better time
“those silky looking pitch faders” are going to the Z2.
Bump me, i replay myself… “those silky looking pitch faders” are NOT going to the Z2, it’s Technics SL 1210 MK 5.
Does anyone know if the $50 evoucher is valid for hardware too?
so you can`t do the normal pitch bending with touch strip ? so when you mix your first track after some guys that played with cdjs or turntables , you`re in trouble ?
Am I the only one that wants to know whats next to the x1 with those silky looking pitch faders
Why not put a sound card in it
X2 has all those main feature of Z2.. $200 vs $799
damn! i just bought z2..
Ill stick with my midi fighter and reloop controller 😀
so it’s confirmed that it will not work with the Traktor DJ app… but what about the power socket in the back ? The MK1 didn’t need one so why does the MK2 have this ?
Does NI have some plans that it will be compatible with the app in the future ?
If not… still going to buy this so I can use the MK1 for deck C/D 🙂
I kind of hate to say it but it looks like NI are trying to pamper Z2 owners.. This addresses all the things I’m missing and supplements them in a way that gives me huge added value.
They could’ve doubled the encoder knob to keep the beatjump feature, that is still a bomb tool to have in controllers. Any idea if we could map it in by using shift?
You can map anything with a shift function or any of the 8 modifiers internal (unless they added more since I last checked).
shift in combination with the Loop Length encoder does this
finally a reason to get 1 😀
So are you guys going to be blowing out the X1 MK1s? I would love a sweet deal on one of those!
anyone want to buy first gen x1? 🙂 hit me up!
Was going to buy this if it had iOS capability, if the effects knobs were turned into low mid high and filter with full kill you wouldn’t need any volume faders for mobile gigs
Uhh, what rock are you living under? if you want a mixer check out the Z1
I really like the updates on this X1, some nice functionality added. I will be sticking with my original x1 for now though. (It’s a finance thing)
Meh. As someone that mixes back and forth between digital and vinyl, having a nice big touch-strip but no pitch adjust or traditional nudge is disappointing.
You can assign the pitch to a shift function if you want.
Pitch adjust on a touch strip can’t be completely linear unless you have a really long strip. I use SCS.3Ds now, and they have a two stage approach where the pitch adjust increments change based on how fast you move your fingers. You really need that at a minimum to use it effectively.
Welcome to the touchstrip pool NI, the water’s fine.
no cue no beat jump? No business with me! Sorry ni.
it does have cue
It has 4 cue points. I’m having a hard time seeing this as anything but trying to force me to use remix decks. I like having 8 cue points (16 would be better!) exactly because I don’t want to have to cut up sample files and transcode for every song.
There’s beat jump doubling as the loop knobs. There’s cue as well.
wow, NI just kicking out the controllers. I would consider purchasing.
Two questions: 1) Are displays MIDI? 2) Did pots went from plastic?
The Traktor F1 display is midi mappable so I’d put money on this one being mappable as well.
Still doesn’t come close to replacing my K2. Only thing that’s really appealing for me here is the touch strip…wish I could separate it from the rest of the controller and use just that 🙂
It’s having me seriously consider making a small TouchOSC template for my iPhone to emulate just the touch strip on that thing 🙂
If you just wanted a touch strip then this might be of use…
You can buy stand-alone touch strips. http://www.controllerism.com/v-for-versitile-vmeter-touchstrip-controller
If they drop the price to $100 of the current model I will buy that, I dont need the extra features.
Who’s selling a current x1 cheap?
i’ve got two old x1 i’d be willing to sell, contact me if you’re interested.
David any price?
$150 for ea USD + shipping (i’m in USA) no box (unless i can find it) barely been used, placed into case(not included) month after i got it. (also have a vci-100 and an mk1 machine to get rid of 😀 )
Product page stating that it does in fact work with Traktor DJ App. 🙂
Looks like that has now been adjusted to read otherwise…
Product Page stating that it does in fact work with Traktor DJ App.
Although after reading all hardware details, and setup examples there is no mention of Traktor DJ app? The only mention of Traktor DJ is the “Works With” badge on the default product image…It does have an additional power supply though so I’m assuming it will work with the app.
I can’t find the mention of that in the pages.
Interesting – the comment I just got from NI seems to indicate that it’s not compatible (see update in the article above)
They just changed the “Works with” badge on the product image. It now only mentions Traktor Pro.
I think it might be that they aren’t allowed to say its “compatible” because you need an adapter and apple only lets a small group of companies ship product with the proper cable? Not sure though…
That sounds plausible.
Nice update to the series, but I think most existing Kontrol X1 owners will have a hard time justifying the upgrade. Now we just have to wait and see what NI has up their sleeve for the S4 update. 🙂
Looks like a solid controller but I’m one of those that can’t justify the upgrade from my current x1.
I already have!
I use the X1 every time I play now but so much of it is wasted on me (mainly the buttons they removed on this one). With this I would use pretty much everything except cue and play, as I use DVS, and might even do some X1 only gigs if the touchstrip can adequately replace my decks.
You’ll be surprised how natural it feels.
I can’t wait to find out.
I will stick with my Xone:k2! Perfect controller 🙂
Can’ t agree more!! Those NI blind followers get on my nerves when NI release someting “new”. K2 has way more buttons, knobs, faders and BUILD-IN SOUNDCARD!
I don’t need a soundcard (have a Xone:DB2 and 2 turntables with DVS) and the K2 is more expensive. Why am I “blind” for finding the new X1 useful? It’s exactly what I need.
The K2 comes with a bag. If you have a DB2 just like me, you can use the ethernet connection.
YA! Just what I need. A bunch more buttons.
The K2 serves zero purpose for people like me. You know, DEEJAYS. The X1 serves a ton of purpose though.
It would be nice if NI would make an X1 with a soundcard built into it though. Say for $100 more. Let people choose. But with the K2 you’re paying for the extra soundcard whether you want one or not.
I think N.I. has determined that anything that doesn’t directly have a volume control doesn’t get a sound card… this makes a certain amount of sense.
Except their actual standalone DJ soundcards haha
same as me mate 😉
Love the look & the new features, so I would love to update just for the fun of it and to satisfy my gear-lust. But being broke and guessing that it wouldn’t drastically change my workflow I think I’ll pass for now.