Video Review: Traktor Kontrol X1 MK2

Native Instruments’ new controller appeared in stores at the beginning of last week, and after a few weeks of getting a chance to play with it, we’ve got a complete hands-on review of the unit. Check out Ean’s exclusive video review of the Traktor Kontrol X1 MK2 and a photo gallery inside!

Reviewed: Native Instruments Kontrol X1 MK2
Price: $199 (available here
Available: Now
Ships with: Traktor LE 2, USB 2.0 cable,
Dimensions: 11.5 x 4.7 x 2 inches (29.4 x 12 x 5.2 cm)

**Update: Native Instruments has announced a new modular controller with built in screens for track browsing, fx control, and waveform display. Learn more about the Kontrol D2.


Had a chance to play with the X1 MK2 yourself? Let us know how it was in the comments below. 

ean goldenKontrol X1Reviewtraktor kontrol x1 mk2traktor pro 2video
Comments (59)
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  • killmedj

    Can anybody tell me which USB router Ean is using in this setup?

  • b

    Can anybody tell me, if there is a command to make loops active? By that i mean that if a track playing reaches its loopmarker it goes into the specified auto loop? The old x1 did this..but i cant find the command on this. Thanks.

  • djasic

    Hi ! Great Review ! I Need Help please – How Do i Map the X1 MK2 ?
    i wanna switch btwn the loop size to the beat jump –
    i mean – i wanna do beat jump without pressing the shift button, and i want when i pres shift and move the encoders that then this will decide the length 4-8-16 ….
    anyone understand me ? hahah 🙂
    please help ! – thank u !!!! :))))))

  • Luiz Zen

    I still have the MK1 X1 and haven’t updated to MK2 because of the same downsides Ean described and also others:

    – How precise it is to pitch bend using the touch strips?
    – In MK1 I could use it as a generic MIDI controller with other softwares. How about MIDI functionality in MK2?

    • mqparty

      I (like you own the mk1) and recently bought the mk2. I really do love this thing. Touch strip works great to nudge the track/pitch bend. I can honestly say it was worth the money.

  • Franc

    Hello !
    I have a question (nothing about the X1)
    I saw in various pics usb cables like in this picture. Are they a better quality for djing or electronic device ? I have never found them in stores.
    Sorry for my bad english, and hope someone will answer 🙂


    • samsteeno

      They’re DJTT USB cable brother, check out the online DJTT store! They’re a solid, reliable USB cable — they come free with midi fighters and various other hardware purchased on the DJTT online store.

  • marco

    As I wanted to buy an X1 mk1 and i won´t be in stock never again, I think I will buy this and the video helped me to understand better how it works.

  • ryvm dillaz

    200$ and you good to go with even only one x1mkII.
    the strip is great and so easy to beatmatch with it!
    browsing is enough with only one botton anyway.
    no complaints here.
    (just waiting o see a z4 now)

  • Immon Talebian

    phase shift or track push and pull, I can’t tell the difference and can beatmatch manually on this with no problem.

  • Jay

    Kontrol s4 MK2 WHEN??????????

    • emre

      coming soon.. maybe 2 month..

  • Matthias Gross

    i dont like the update. i use the browse and transport section most and both is not as good as in x1 mk1 i dont use the effect section much. i think the effect thing is overrated. the audience does not care about a new effect every 5 seconds, they care about the right track at the right time. i want my beat jump buttons and my 2 browse buttons. i dont care about all the effects. i dont need to use the shift button for basic things. 4 cue buttons instead of 8 is bad too.

    • Gavin

      I don’t use Traktor’s effects much myself, I prefer Pioneer EFX, but you know there is such a thing as using effects properly without using “a new effect every 5 seconds”, right?

      The browse and transport section is what I use my X1 for mostly too and it is LIGHTYEARS ahead of the old one. They took all the things I did not like about the old X1 and fixed them, then added things I never even knew I wanted or would use on top of that. I love this thing.

  • Stewe

    Suggestion for browser remapping to you guys that are used to old X1’s would be using a load buttons to select deck you wish encoder to be assigned for. From there should be same concept of browsing list and push to load a track in to previously selected deck.

  • DJ_ForcedHand

    I’m just happy to see that Native Instruments is jumping on the touch strip band wagon.

  • Lauro Martins

    What he didn’t mention in this review that I really liked was the way you change the tempo by holding down sync and moving the loop dial. It also gives you a visual number of what tempo your at, on the loop section. Great review tho!

  • thejone

    I think the link to buy this is out of whack.

  • Ezmyrelda

    How accurate/buttery is it for track prep? Right now I am having a tough time mapping a griffin powermate to move the track at high zooms. I know if I could figure it out it would be really nice to be able to turn a knob and get sample precise movement but something isn’t clicking.. If I could get sample at a time movement out of the MK2 that would be even more incentive to go in for it.

    Also, Ean I was wondering why you had a preference for the particular mixer in this vid. Is that your gigging mixer?

    Another question I had (needy bitch aren’t I) do you have any thoughts on keeping your headphones on all the time during gigs.. I think there might be an article on this but I can’t find it.. my monitors are crap right now and I seem to have more fun and get better results if I keep my cue/mix knob on mix while I’m practicing.

  • proben

    My only question before giving NI even more of my goddam money — will this work alongside the regular old X1? I don’t want to give up the features that the mk2 is missing (especially the browsing), but I’d want them both running in native mode when hooked up without a glitch. Is this a pipe dream?

    • mqparty

      I own both, yes you can use both mk1 and mk2 at the same time. Honestly browsing is not that bad when you get used to it

  • Ari

    Question for the group about remapping: Is there a midi version of the out-of-the-box functionality, or is there a way to modify native mapping? My reason for asking is that I want to change a few items. If possible I would like to do this without having to recreate functionality that already exists. Thanks in advance.

    • Stewe

      Override function should allow for editing native mappings. If you have any specific questions give it a shot in forums.

  • tony corless

    The touch strips would be great if they could serve a dual purpose of showing the track artist title etc,when you are browsing thus reducing the need to look at the computer!

    • Ezmyrelda

      Currently technologically feasible? Sure.. But it would probably bump up the price by at least another $150.. Good thought though.

  • leavesremix

    I think with a Z1 and my midifighter I’d be all set. Companies like the modular because people want every piece or multiples of them, and then your setup ends up more unwieldly than an all-in-one unit would have been in the first place. Keep it minimal.

  • DJ Rob Ticho,Club mU

    Another solid controller. I think I’d like to try it out but overall I think I will probably prefer the set up of my current x1. Yay for options though.

  • Mike

    Damn it, I regret that I bought the mk2. I was so used to mk1 and now all my basic functions are missing. I really miss and I need all the 8 hotcues. I do tone play and I need to press more then 4 hot cues that I have available. I cannot do tone play with pressing an other button to make the rest of the 4 cues available. I need to access them straight away. My question is, is it possible to have all the function that are under the touchstrip as they was in the mk1

    • Rayalon

      You can definitely re-map the unit as you desire 🙂

      • Jekeel

        But is it possible to re-map the touch strip ? It doesn’t appear in the button list…

        • Rayalon

          You can. It’s a bit trickier than mapping a regular button, but still possible.

          • Jekeel

            I created a user mapping and i found 2 new “buttons” : “touchstrip position” and “touchstrip touch”. But it is not easy to re-map !

            I would like that the touch strip plays as “jog turn” (or nudge function), not only on decks A & B like in the default mapping, but on 4 decks (using 4 buttons as “deck focus selector”).

            If you have an idea, i’d love it !
            Thanks Rayalon 🙂

          • Rayalon

            You can add modifiers for different decks.
            For example, when M1=1 the strip focuses on deck A, when M2=1 the strip focuses on deck B ect.
            Also add when M2=1 then M1=0 so the focus get’s removed.

          • Jekeel

            In fact the most difficult is to map properly the function “Jog Turn” on Touch Strip to nudge the track selected.
            This function, “Jog Turn” with Touch Strip, is not fluid in my mapping (when it is perfect in default mapping).
            I tried all (direct/relative, bend sensibility…) but it still doesn’t work.
            I continue to work and i’ll let you know.
            Anyway i thank you a lot for your interest and your time.

    • am3nd

      Yeah I’d be interested in seeing a remapping so that all 1-8 hot cues can be made available at the one time, rather than having 1-4 and then hitting another button to access 5-8. Doesn’t make cue juggling easy at all.

  • Tom

    Ian how did you connect 2 X1’s? I can’t seem to figure out how you can do that without the Controller Editor. Can you please help me with this?

  • LoopCat

    Anyone else being directed to the mobile version of the website when going through to this page?

    • LoopCat

      Looks like its fixed

    • mehhh....

      this happens sometimes… when the mobile version loads there should be a toggle switch for full version at the very bottom of the page

  • Brent Silby Maestro B

    Very good review. Thanks for this.

  • Andreas Skoglösa

    Had the X1 MK2 for a week now and, in my opinion, it’s a great update from the X1 MK1. The overall feel and look of the controller is very much improved. It’s more straight forward and doesn’t clutter up your brain so much with a million labels here and there. I agree with Mr. Golden 😛 on the browser section, it was very quick to browse and load with the old X1 and the buttons worked well for bending. However, instead being able to see the loop size, the added feature of the touch strip and having your HOT CUES in multiple colours is for me a no brainer. Also, holding down the SYNC button let’s you use the loop encoders for BPM adjustment.

    What might seem like small and unimportant features to many, was for me the things that made me sell my S4 and wait for the release of the new X1. At home I was used to press and hold a HOT CUE on the S4 to start a track and then press PLAY to keep playback going. This was impossible on the old X1, I used out in the clubs, because the HOT CUES and PLAY button lived on different layers of the same buttons. Also the old X1 only let you scroll through your tracks in increments of 8 bars. Since a lot of melodies and vocals are looped over 16 bars or even longer, this often led to a chopped up feeling and, if you needed a few bars longer in a mix, would definitely cause confusion on the dance floor. The new X1 uses the same system as the S4; scrolling is dependant on the size of the loop size. This means you can jump 32, 16, 8, 4, 2 and 1 beat and even smaller increments as well. Also great when you realise that one of your tracks is 1 or 2 beats off in phase.

    Since I sold my S4 and now only have my X1 MK2, I no longer have a dedicated mixer to record my mixtapes on. In light of this, I created a mapping for the X1 MK2 that gives you control over the internal mixer in TRAKTOR, so now together with my AUDIO 2 soundcard, I can do everything I used to do on my S4 but I’m more portable than I’ve ever been before!

    For my mapping, check the link below and I would ask Ean, or whomever handles this, to add the new X1 MK2 to the list of controllers in the mapping section so we can explore some more intuitive mappings for the new X1.

    • Ezmyrelda

      Interesting insights.. I share a similar issue with my Z2 once I hit a cue point I have to hit shift and then a tiny non rubberized button for play.. Fucked up a bunch of mixes from that *facepalm* In addition to an X1 MK2 section in the mapping site I would welcome a Z2 area as well.

    • timcarton

      if you press beat jump on the x1 you can skip 1,2,4,8,16,32 beats. there’s no need to use the knob for that. am i right?

  • pxlbrk

    Great review…

    Although is noticed something interesting in this review too…chroma caps in a DJM-900! I thought they did not fit as indicated in the compatibility list on the site.

    • DougEB

      That was the first thing I noticed too.. Share please Ean!!

      • Flashflooder

        We recently made some Chroma Caps Super Knobs that have their line pointer rotated 90º (from the normal ones) and these are now available in the new Chroma Caps page that is being A/B tested with the old one (where they are not available as there is no good way to distinguish them). These knobs that fit the Pioneer mixers are called “90º Super Knob”. If they are popular we will add more color options in the future.

  • Ewan Collins

    Looks great, but I think DJTT should do a video about using modular controllers like the x1, f1 and midi fighter with all-in-one controllers like the s2,s4 and VCI controllers.

    • Oliver Force

      Yeah! That would be a great video! 😉

    • Nukemi

      Totally agree, i would love to see this! Thinking about buying X1mk2, got s2 and F1 now.

      • Brock

        why do you need so many controllers? Get used to using one, make it work for you! Combining S2 and F1 will give you a lot of creative outflow.

    • Joey

      I second that! or introduce an underground controller that i cant find that does run well with the s2 (or others like it) that have knobs and buttons to map.

      • Ewan Collins

        I might make my own video for that as I am making a set up that has two S2’s an f1 a midi fighter spectra and a maschine.

        • Rudiger

          good luck finding a club dj booth that will fit even half that stuff haha

    • Eltuti Paulino

      AGREE 10000000000000%

  • typeomega

    lol @ the midi fighter UNO on the shelf

  • Robert Wulfman

    Awesome review. It’s great to see a reviewer looking beyond the default mapping