Predictions for NAMM 2015: DJ and Production Gear

It’s mid-way through January, meaning that NAMM is right around the corner. NAMM is one of the largest conventions in the musical instrument industry and is packed with gear announcements for DJs and producers. Lots of companies make product announcements and unveil their best working prototypes of things to come – so it’s time to get excited! In this article, we look at some gear that we know will be at NAMM 2015 and also make some predictions on what surprises we might see.


Kontrol F1 MK2? Kontrol Z4? Traktor Pro 3?

A mockup of what Traktor Pro 3 might look like by Joseph Cornelia (click for more images)

Although Native Instruments doesn’t participate in NAMM, they often make their own announcements around the same time period (Kontrol F1 and Traktor Pro 2.5 were announced shortly before NAMM 2012, Traktor DJ for iOS was announced right after NAMM 2013). Here’s a few ideas at what they might be up to (pure speculation!):

  • The Kontrol Z4: 4 channel Traktor/standalone mixer. Ever since the release of the Kontrol Z2, people have been speculating and mocking up their own 4 channel dreams of the Z2. The Kontrol Z2 was just on sale last December which could mean they’re trying to clear inventory for a Kontrol Z2 MK2 or Kontrol Z4 announcement.
  • A Kontrol F1 MK2: Unlike the Kontrol X1, the Kontrol F1 hasn’t had any updates since it’s original release. A Kontrol F1 MK2 would really benefit from some sort of screen on the controller so that DJ’s can see what samples are loaded into the remix cells. The real challenge will be adding a screen without drastically increasing the controller size.
  • Traktor Pro 3: Native Instruments has historically released major software updates every 2-3 years (Traktor Pro 2 was released Feb. 2011), so Traktor Pro 3 would make sense now. Many S8 owners have noted that it seems like the hardware has a lot of room for growth, and might actually be meant to be used with an upcoming software update. Previous major new versions usually consisted of a new/refined GUI and a few major features (sample/remix decks, coloured waveforms, and new FX). A few things DJs have been looking for is video support, easier controller mapping, and Maschine integration – maybe these features will make their way into Traktor Pro 3?

Serato/Ableton Bridge 2.0

The Bridge was a collaboration between Serato and Ableton originally announced way back at NAMM 2010 (Check out DJTT review of the Bridge). The software allowed Serato Scratch Live users to open their Ableton Sessions inside of SL. DJs could launch MIDI/audio clips in time from Ableton alongside track decks and they could control their Ableton FX, all from inside the Serato window.

Another feature, Mixtape, allowed Scratch Live DJs to record a mix and export all the track info, fader, and EQ automation to Ableton. DJs could then open their mix as an Ableton Project File and see their entire mix, including track info and automation, from start to finish. This made it easy for DJs to fix any mistakes with their mix inside Ableton.

Bridge had a lot of potential, but ultimately it never seemed to catch on. It had a tough learning curve and many DJs were disappointed that you couldn’t scratch Ableton clips from within Serato. While the Bridge hasn’t seen any updates since it’s original release, the Serato team recently announced in an interview with DJ City that they have been taking feedback and that an update to the Bridge would be released in 2015. Hopefully we’ll get a first peak at NAMM!

Pioneer DDJ-SR2 + Pioneer DDJ-SP2

Mockup of a DDJ-SP2 by Serato user Mr. Mac on the Serato forums

Last August, Pioneer released the DDJ-SX2, which included features that were previously only available on the flagship DDJ-SZ controller:

  • Multi-color RGB pads
  • DVS support
  • Dedicated Serato Flip controls
  • Improved LED feedback with the jog wheels

The DDJ-SR and SP1 haven’t had any updates since their release. Based on the updates that were made with SX2, it’s a safe bet that the SR2 will include RGB pads, “Flip” controls, and hopefully some LED feedback (non existent on the current model) from the jogwheels.

The DDJ-SP1 (check out DJTT full review) recently saw a price drop, which could be a signal that it will see a refresh as well. Since this controller is basically replica of the pad and FX section of the SX/SR, you can expect RGB pads and Flip controls. Also, Serato recently announced new Expansion bundles, so it’s possible that they could include an expansion with the purchase of a Pioneer DDJ-SP2.

Ableton Live 9.2 + New Push Features

The Ableton team has been pretty quiet since the release of Live 9.1. The team has continued to release incremental software updates to refine Push and Live but there hasn’t been any major features added since 9.1.

What new features could we see in 9.2 or Push? Ableton could perhaps take inspiration from Maschine’s 2.2 update and add one button chords and an arppeggiator to Push. While Ableton does have an arpeggiator and chord MIDI effect, making these features quickly accessible through the Push hardware would be a great workflow enhancement. Ableton could also borrow ideas from their newest competitor, Bitwig. The latest version has some unique features – support for 3 displays, project tabs, and side by side session/arrangement view – that would be welcomed with open arms from any Ableton user.

Wearable DJ Tech

In the last two years, there’s been a massive push in the rest of the consumer electronics space to incorporate new technology into wearable gadgets. We don’t think there’s too many realistic applications for DJs right out of the bat, but NAMM is also where some companies show off prototypes and wild ideas, so you never know.

Arturia Polybrute

Arturia has been putting out great cheap analog synthesizers for the last few years at NAMM, but the one major piece of feedback seems to constantly be users asking for multi-voice syntheziers. Watch the above video to hear what a Polyphonic Microbrute might sound like!

NAMM 2015 Revealed: What We KNOW Is Coming

Korg ARP Odyssey

Classic analog gear continues to be in demand. Recreations such as the Korg MS-20 and Roland Aira series have been well received by musicians who want analog sound without hunting down expensive vintage gear.

Korg has announced plans for another recreation of a legendary analog synth from the 70?s, the ARP Odyssey. Korg made the original announcement in February 2014 and planned to release the new Odyssey in September 2014, but it looks like they experienced some delays. The ARP Odyssey is known for it’s unique sound and innovative performance controls. Korg has brought on Mr. David Friend, the lead designer of the original ARP Odyssey, as a chief advisor to the project. This should ensure that the new Odyssey remains faithful to the original design and sound. 

Akai’s Advance Keyboard Series

Akai has announced a new lineup of keyboards, the Advance Keyboard. The Advance keyboard is available in 25, 49, and 61 key configurations. Each model has 8 MPC pads with RGB backlighting, 8 performance knobs, and a custom Akai Pro keybed.

The main highlight of the keyboard is the high resolution 4.3 full color display, which gives users the ability to browse/load presets from their VST instruments and view/control VST parameters. The keyboard can control all the major DAWS and it includes it’s own standalone host for VST’s.

LoopMasters’ iOS AudioCopy Store

LoopMasters has quietly made a move that we suspect will take the iOS mobile production market by storm in the next few months, launching a new sample pack store in collaboration with Retronyms that allows easy use of the samples in any iOS app that supports AudioCopy – like Launchpad, Garageband, Arturia, and more.

Arturia’s New “Next Generation” Audio Interface

Arturia teased a new generation of high quality audio interface in December, set to be unveiled next week in Anaheim – but right now all we know about it is that it addresses a lot of the main issues with common interfaces like the Apogee Duet. The list of challenges on Arturia’s site indicates that their new soundcard has solutions for:

  • Breakout cables and focus around a single knob interface
  • Connectivity that only works with particular inputs / outputs / softwares
  • Latency (who isn’t trying to solve latency issues?)
  • Signal/Noise ratio and harmonic distortions

Mixed In Key 7

Mixed In Key has just released version 7 of their popular key detection software. The latest release adds a very unique feature, automatic cue points for Traktor/Serato. The software will analyze multiple tracks then set up to 8 cue points inside the track. This is a welcome tool that should speed up the track preparation workflow Traktor and Serato DJ’s. For more details, check out the original announcement.

Casio XW-DJ1 + XW-PD1

We’re not sure if this has anything to do with Star Wars Episode 7, but Casio has released two new products that appear to be inspired by the Millennium Falcon. The XW-DJ1 is a platter style controller designed to be used with Algoriddims djay2 app with dedicated controls for cue points, tempo sync, effects and looping.

The second product form Casio, the XW-PD1 is a standalone alone production box. The X1-PD1 uses the same sound engine as Casio’s widely-popular XW series of synthesizers and is controlled by 16 velocity-sensitive pads and 4 knobs for fast music production. For more details, check out the full announcement.

DJTT Community Predictions

Kontrol S4 screen mockup from DJTT forums – look familiar?

The DJTT community has the unique ability to sometimes predict gear before it’s even been announced. Members of the community are very crafty with Photoshop and can create things that end up closely resembling a final product, such as the Kontrol S8. So we want to hear or see 2 things from you:

  1. Realistic predictions for NAMM 2015 (ex. new Serato FX expansion)
  2. Out of this world predictions (ex. Virtual Seraktor Pro – bonus points for a mockup)

Let us know your predictions in the comments!

Abletonableton bridge 2.0Ableton Live 9.2akai advance keyboardarturiaaudio copyBridgecasio XW-DJ1casio XW-PD1conventionddj-sp2ddj-sr2dj gearkontrol f1 mk2kontrol z4korg arp odysseyloopmastersMixed in Key 7.0namm 2015Native Instrumentsnew dj productsnew gearProductionseratotraktor pro 3
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    how about ns7 3 with traktor

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  • gustave guest

    u r part of the fucking hypemachine

  • Sup Man

    It would be cool if traktor will expand their Remix Decks. What about a F1 Mk2 with a size of a Launchpad? The Remix Deck should be used like the Session view from Ableton so u got the classic DJ Software on Deck A & B with an expanded Remix Deck-Plug-In on Deck C and D. That would be dope!

  • Craig Carl Howlett

    What about Numark NS7-3 with standalone AND Serato mode AND spinning platters to drop a bomb on the Pioneer XDJ-RX!

  • Papperchasse Blaxx

    Maybe Numark will bring out NS7ii Advanced with Iluminated platers,Sample control panel with volume level, USB Flash drive port and reduced metal on weight

  • Complete93

    How about a new MPD offering from AKAI. Possibly with software offerings that might give Maschine some competition?

  • R. Franklin

    DB & K series get some love from Serato.

  • brentgreeff

    I would like to see a dedicated controller for traktor FX.

  • Blotto

    I’d like to see a Kontrol X2 for iOS, although I’m pretty sure NI said they were not playing on this.

    Unrealistic? Traktor standalone CDJ with a built in Traktor interface and Maschine pads

  • Duarte Dutra

    Really love to see a Kontrol Z1 + X1 mkII in just one, something like a Z1 (same size and same specs) but with the touchstripe that comes in the x1 mkii. I would buy that for shure 🙂

  • DJ Gerard

    I would like to see Traktor Pro 3 but unlikely since 2.7.2 is still in Beta and not released yet. How about Traktor DJ being able to control Traktor Pro 2 decks via WiFi?

  • jprime

    I sincerely hope a new 4 channel Twitch/S8 like controller emerges for serato completre with DVS support. Would buy in a heartbeat.

  • djsicknarf

    the casio controller looks like a millennium falcon. if it is true, i will be very excited for the bridge between serato and ableton

  • bkbikenerd

    It’s doubtful that Traktor 3 would come out in January. There is currently a public beta test of Traktor 2.7.2. It would seem a lot of resources are still being invested in clearing up residual issues with the 2.7/2.7.1 release.

    • maaraneasi

      One more reason to ditch aging v2 and move to v3 which will be more relevant to today needs and hardware….

  • Jane

    I noticed the (wonderful) XDJ-Aero is heavily discounted at the mo – just wondering if they’re a MK2 in the works. Have to say mine’s been brilliant – incredibly versatile, compact and great sound and fun to play on, but if they come back with waveforms in screens and hotcues in an MK2 it would be a massive leap forwards

    Also and XDJ-2000 with hotcues and touch screen would be incredible. Hoping very much for that (and if you’re reading this Pioneer – please keep on releasing White versions to fit in with my setup of white RMX-1000/DJM850 and white XDJ-Aero!)

    Here’s hoping

  • Per Jakobsen

    Traktor 3 with independant library management interface and smart playlist creation.

  • s3ltzer

    Traktor seriously needs an update. Whenever I switch from Serato DJ to Traktor Pro, TP feels outdated.

    • bkbikenerd

      The Library management and very rigid beat grid in Traktor definitely feel outdated but, I still prefer Traktor.

      It’s hard to justify using Traktor to people on Serato DJ since most of Serato users don’t care much for advanced midi mapping of effects, software controls, and such.

  • CUSP

    I’d expect to see Native Instruments announce a video DJ (or at least an FX) option which could be as simple as announcing they bought a company like MixEmergency, and future Remix Kits might include video elements (both linked and unlinked to audio). I’d do this if I were them.

  • Boris

    Pioneer RMX-2000 nexus, a recordbox synchronized sample ‘sequencer’ / looper.

    Think remix deck of Traktor in hardware edition, combined with the beat slicer features of the DJM-2000 and sync features of the nexus series.

    Prepare sample sets in Recordbox and push them on a USB stick and share via LAN connectivity with other Nexus hardware.

    I need that 🙂

  • Garrett Cox

    F1 MK2 – if they took out the faders and used knobs, they would have a bit more room, then it would be just having layers of screen menus for the other center buttons. I do like the faders though on the mk1.

  • Joseph Harper

    Just a A&H Xone:K2 MIDI editor…

    • Rohan

      Do you mean for traktor?

  • Scribbl3

    Looking forward to the Native Instruments updates. What would be nice to see is USB linking between the F1, X1, and Z1. That would make the modular setup able to be used with Traktor DJ. Also a Z4.

  • EmotionalRollercoasterOperator

    Winning prediciton: A bunch of iOS devices / updates / interfaces / controllers

    Prediction I don’t want to be true but probably will come true: Paris Hilton Branded DJ Crap

  • Aleeway

    Numark or Akai with an auxiliary controller for SDJ with a single screen display, similar to one half of the NV, a la Pioneer XDJ-1000. Unrealistic, but I would freak at the sight of it. Can we please get a 4 screen controller setup at some point without expensive CDJ’s 🙁

    Realistic prediction : Beatport demo’ing their new streaming service

  • Mark Goertzen

    I know it’s a longshot, but I would love to see a proper controller for Serato Video.

    • kebzer

      It’s so unbelievable the fact that nobody has ever bothered to release a dedicated controller for Serato Video, that I ain’t even mad. That’s actually an amazing feat, if you consider the shitload of crap controllers available for practically everything else.

    • DJ Erik Thoresen

      Don’t understand why they didn’t add even basic video features the iOS app.

  • JS

    NI Looking sounding Like Apple with the gear. lol!!

  • Notanon

    Traktor Kontrol X2, please.

    • Dan White

      Interesting. What features would it have?

      • Onno Kaell

        A “fullsize” jogwheel instead of the touch strip – think Numark V7! 😉

        • Jacob Stadtfeld

          Seriously. I would absolutely love the option to assemble a 4 platter modular jogwheel setup. Its the only thing missing from NI’s line.

      • Notanon

        For a start, an option to toggle between different decks on the one controller during a performance, as I find being locked in to using the two decks I initially choose on connecting the controller a bit frustrating. A few other things like dedicated hot cues 5-8 buttons that were dropped from the X1 Mk2 and a proper pitch fader for finer controls than the Sync + Encoder method of the Mk2 wouldn’t go astray either. Could even allow for a toggle to switch between the FX banks and mixer controls for the chosen decks for those of us who don’t need a Z1, such as people with Audio 2 DJs through to Scratch Audio 10s. Finally, a screen in the middle of the controller for browsing and displaying deck data, similar to the S8 screens.

        Main thing is that there is only so much room that the X1/F1/Z1-sized controllers can accommodate without overly busy remapping, so the above would be a good excuse for a new series of wider modular controllers. I might have a playaround in GIMP and see if I can produce a mockup of the above as well if time permits.

  • BoomDraw

    I can’t wait for Serato Bridge 2.0. I would also like to see a reboot to the Akai MPD series, they’re due for an update

  • Linz

    If the pioneer sp2 has the ability to midi map,at least, some buttons I’m down. Otherwise the Dicers are still win in my set up.

  • Maddox

    Unrealistic prediction: A&H/Pioneer Xone 92000 Nexus

  • Thierry Henri Côté

    Native Instruments don’t do NAMM shows, they do their own product announcements, usually later on.

    • Dan White

      Actually, it’s usually right around the same time. And they are at the show, they just don’t do a public launch – one year we got into a Native Instruments rented Escalade and they drove us around and showed us a prerelease version of Traktor DJ for iPad.

  • RogueDJ

    Considering that NI usually has crazy teasers for their new gear, I have a feeling that there will be nothing new from them yet.

  • Darrin

    I’d love to see a controller that brings maschine and traktor together – a controller that allows a person to build loops of thier own in traktor like a midi fighter twister but with a much bigger sample bank. now entering dream world; this controller can work stand alone so I can make beats/loops while I’m not at my computer. my mock-up is in the comments of the dj worx article that summed up thier thoughts on 2014.

    • Mutis Mayfield

      ipad+traxus interactive lemur template… hardware!

  • Onno Kaell

    Please N.I. give us a Z2 mk2 as well as a Z1mk2!

    • Dan White

      What would you want to see on each of those in terms of features?

      • Mutis Mayfield

        z1mk2 = amx + hub + ipad charging of course.

      • Onno Kaell

        Hi Dan

        For me personally the Z1mk2 should have :
        – the “bare essential” transport controls
        -“DVS” inputs (line/phono)
        – & an Mini Innofader => So basically like the Akai AMX but for Traktor!

        & the Z2mk2 should have (in no special order):
        – curve-controls for all faders (preferably they should all be FULL innofaders)
        – controls for 3 FX Units per Deck (like the Pioneer DJM T1)
        – more metal and less plastic (f.ex. all stems)
        – some controls (perhaps via shift+flux) to control the newly added Freeze mode
        – AND MOST OF ALL: Two USB-Ports for easier switch-overs between 2 Traktor DJs => so just like all current rane mixers!

        If they did update the Zs and were to add all those features
        I’d buy both of them in a heartbeat, even for a higher price:
        (Z1mk2 => 249 – 279 €) & Z2mk2 (999 – 1299 €)

        • bkbikenerd

          I have 2 Z2s. The Z2 really could use 2 USB ports but, I doubt if the NI was going to start implementing dual USB ports in January. Dual USB ports should have started with their flagship controller the Kontrol S8. When I saw the S8 had only 1 usb port I figured it might be pipe dream for now. Also, dual USB ports require some heavy coding in Traktor 2x. If NI is to implement Dual USB ports it will do so in Traktor 3.

  • Illest


    • Mutis Mayfield

      When they released the Bridge the code name was: Ableton Scratch Live (fail edition).
      Hope this time Serato brings something a bit useful and less complex…

  • max dugen

    More of a wish 2 see software combining cue point meta data as 1 language. So when i do my cue points and beat grids in Traktor all i have to do is open that same audio file in serato and my cues and grids are there 2!

    • Dan White

      That’s what the new version of Rekordbuddy will supposedly do 🙂

  • tilldrop

    You forgot to mention the Behringer X-Touch finally arriving. Well that’s at least what they promised…

    • Jas

      i wish to see A&H new dj contoller

  • Dave

    New Xone series mixers please.

    • Scott Frost

      God no. Let them get the current ones during. It’s been a year and a half and they can’t get it working eith OS X 10.9 and up.

  • Ries

    More a wish than a prediction, Novation Twitch mkII with dvs support. A nice standalone controller/mixer to bring to the club. If you want more control, hook up a pair of turntables.

    • Mutis Mayfield

      Or even with revamped (or new) launchpad ipad app to use in junction with it…

    • Ray Shepherd

      +10000 to this wish! I wonder why Novation are sleeping on the Twitch 2 project.

  • kebzer

    Unrealistic prediction: In light of the Akai AMX and Pioneer’s claws getting closer to SDJ, Rane announces price cuts to Sixty-range mixers and we can all finally afford a 62.

    (I could only wish…)

    • Dan White

      Or what about if Rane were to make a AMX/Z1 killer?

      • Mutis Mayfield

        It will make sense but has Rane any midi controller? Not mixer with midi control… a midi controller with soundcard. More or less Z1 and AMX are that.

      • kebzer

        That would practically equal Rane entering the controller market. Well, that’s even more unlikely than a price cut, lol!

      • bkbikenerd

        I highly doubt Rane will try to make hardware to compete with the AMX/Z1. It’s a price point they have never been at and couldn’t match with Rane quality and USA made products.

        Price cuts on the 61 seem more possible then the 62 because after all the complaints about the price of the 62 people still run out and buy them. The 61 seems out of place it was priced too close to the 57SL but, is not as good as the 57SL. We might see Rane add cue points to the 61 at the same price or even a 2nd USB port but, not both. If they add and 2nd USB port Rane would bump the price up to 1500/1600USD to try to not canabalize the 62 sales.

        These are just my opinions.

      • Duarte Dutra

        it will kill our budget too xD

  • sylvie

    S8: i wish so much a loop recorder as in the S4!!!!! pleaseplease!!!!!!

  • Mert

    Traktor – Maschine integration is coming!

    • Dan White

      It’s be “coming soon” since the Remix Decks came out in 2012, though.

      • CUSP

        I’m confused, what does “It’s be coming soon” mean? I share the sentiment, but not the certainty. I would really like to see Maschine integrated with Traktor, not just barely communicating with it. I guess we’ll have to wait and see… and use Ableton as the “helper software.”

        • Mutis Mayfield

          I’m not sure about these integration… I expect more a F1mk2 with internal sequencer like digitalwarrior/MF twister and some kind of file import from/to maschine/remix deck.
          Other possibility is some kind of performance recording (like old NML or whatever was the name) in background which you could open later in Maschine and edit (including scratch notation but not the first focus for sure)
          This will keep every thing in his realm and all the money in the pocket of NI xD

          • CUSP

            According to what I’ve been able to find out, the Remix Decks do not have sample edit control (which means ycould grab a loop which won’t play back in sync), nor a means to ad-lib with arpeggiation. The Remix Decks are a crude sample playback (in app) program that really are overshadowed by what you can do with Maschine. The Remix Kits you can buy are pre-mastered to play back correctly, unlike what you’d grab from the in-app sampler. Tight integration with Maschine would mean that you could use all the effects of Maschine along with all of the other advanced Maschine features.

            I’m not saying that the Remix Decks are bad (or in some way broken), they’re just not as good (or as robust) as what Maschine can do and it’s why I refer to them as “Maschine Junior.” That being said, there are people who would still use them well, so a Maschine Deck would be welcome *In Addition to* a Maschine Deck.

          • Mutis Mayfield

            For sure! I was trying to say “I don’t expect so smart move from NI”.
            IMHO it seems they are going more in the sync path so I expect whatever they implement (if they do it) will be sync based and less flexible than maschine itself.
            As a wish I will love to see a true Maschine Deck with full features but being realistic (due their latest moves) I will keep my set with trigger finger pro + traxus + popcorn 😉

          • Dubby Labby

            Two years later NI has released S8/D2 but still not clue on Maschine integration or updated Traktor… 🙁

          • CUSP

            Yeah, it’d be nice if NI would work on this, seeing as Maschine is supposed to help make Traktor “#thefutureofdjing.” I get that they’re working on Stems and NKS and all that, but this seems pretty important too. We’re not asking for much either, just a little two-way communication, possible mapping of buttons and colors, and button-push send loop to remix deck, and maybe some audio routing, (for vocals and stuff) but most importantly, we want Maschine and Traktor to simply and solidly work together. It’s a bit rough using MIDI sync.

          • Dubby Labby

            I saw some movement in Maschine forum with official info towards “clip/song” management and also in the last tru-torials series at yt channel but all in the side of Maschine. Traktor team seams a shadow… It couls be possible feel them rear you getting ready to surprise us but then… Nothing. :V

    • Roy Bear

      Yeah, that would be great. but lets have a close look at Traktor Pro 3.