This week, Native Instruments’ Traktor Pro 3.6 has finally hit Native Access. The major release brings two new subscriber-locked features, Pattern Player and Ozone Maximizer, as well as a number of other smaller fixes. Importantly, NI has also released a clear roadmap for features that they hope to work on in the near future, bringing some of the most clarity to the product’s future that we’ve seen in a long time.
Traktor 3.6 has added subscription features
The PLUS subscriptions to Traktor have officially launched with this release. They’re available in monthly ($4.99) and yearly ($49.99, but $24.50 if you sign up before Sept 1st) flavors. Details for the PLUS plans can be found here on NI’s site.
With the subscriptions come a new set of exclusive features only available to PLUS subscribers. In a bit of a blast from the past, ENDO is in the main new product release video, showing off the new feature set:
The major features in this release are:
As new type of FX unit, Pattern Player is a way to trigger samples in time with the playing decks. It’s similar to what you might have done with Remix Decks, Ableton Live, or an externally sync’d drum machine. The Pattern Player is assigned to a deck, as it’s technically an FX unit, and then you can manipulate it with that deck’s EQ/Filter/Mixer FX. The player can play back a single sound on a grid that’s synced to tempo, and has controls for volume, pitch, and decay. Importantly, there’s also a set of Patterns pre-programmed into the player that get denser as you increase the value – again, this is pretty much exactly what we made for the Midi Fighter Twister with it’s own built-in patterns/sequencer back in 2014. The big limit here is that there are no user-customizable patterns allowed, although that is on the roadmap (see later in this article).
There’s also a built-in sidechain into the pattern player – allowing you to push the sample above the deck it’s assigned to.
As ENDO points out, right now only an 808 Kit is available to choose samples from – meaning DJs will have to wait for any additional sounds.
We’ve talked about this new maximizer a bit in previous write ups, but essentially this is a new type of master limiter. This new limiter allows “more transparent limiting with less pumping at higher volumes. [It’s] an intelligent limiter that adjusts the release time to the input signal, with the goal of preserving transients while at the same time minimizing distortion.”
It’s a way to decrease clipping and increase loudness. It has a few basic controls – threshold, Fast/Smooth presets, and gain reduction – in the Traktor settings, and it will probably be welcome for certain particular mixing situations. Unfortuantely, NI does a pretty mediocre job of explaining who and why would use this – or perhaps more importantly, who wouldn’t. Is this just a better limiter that probably should be the default setting for all users but is being subscription-locked? That’s kind of what it feels like.
Trakor Pro Feature Roadmap
Importantly, concurrent with the release of Traktor Pro 3.6, there’s also a new feature roadmap – something that Friedemann at NI mentions in the NI forums will be a quarterly update shared with all users. New FX and Stem Deck separation are on here, as well as Flexible Beatgrids – something the community has been requesting for over a decade.