Native Instruments Traktor 2 First Look & Buying Guide
The release of Native Instruments' next gen Traktor 2 software and hardware solutions is a landmark in the 2011 DJ calendar, but with so many new products, updates and upgrades available, it's enough to leave your head in a spin. However, fear not for help is on hand, Dolphin Music's easy to understand buyers guide will hopefully clear up any confusion, so whether you're new to DJing, thinking of making the switch from a more traditional set-up or even a long time digital aficionado we'll do the hard work so you can concentrate on the music.
TRAKTOR 2 is the latest incarnation of the world-renowned Digital DJ solution, and offers rock solid stability across 2 or 4 virtual decks plus a whole host of cutting-edge new features; from amazing high-res aesthetics that allow the DJ to visually dissect the waveform of the music to the innovative onboard sample decks it's no surprise that Traktor is the software of choice for many of today's most exciting superstar DJs including Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, Rusko Chris Liebling, Umek and tons more. With Traktor 2, you'll get a DJ product guaranteed to be intuitive, creative and addictive!
What do you need to get started?
First off the bat you'll need a laptop or desktop computer and if you intend to 'play out' or add controllers or interfaces to your set up then USB or Firewire ports are a must. Also, it's advisable that you always check system requirements when buying new software to ensure compatibility. You can usually find this information on the Dolphin Music website near the bottom of a product's description.
This is the hub, the centre of operations if you like and offers a visual representation of the music you're playing. At it's very simplest, this and a computer is all you need to get started, but at this level, hands on control is limited to the mouse/keyboard and in most circumstances your outputs would be limited to master out or monitor/headphones. This is fine for getting used to the basics but ultimately can be quite limiting. Traktor 2 offers 'Duo' and 'Pro' versions that cater for 2 or 4 virtual decks respectively as well as a range of update/ upgrade options for owners of previous incarnations.
The Audio Interface (sometimes referred to as a DJ sound card) routes the signals from your virtual decks out into separate channels and usually allows for a separate headphone mix. This is particularly important when plugging into a DJ mixer. The interface is also necessary for those who wish to control their software decks with the aid of 'scratch' vinyl or CD emulation using standard DJ turntables or CD units. These interfaces can come as standalone units or sometimes as part of a DJ controller unit such as Native instruments' S4 or Numark's Mixtrack Pro.
If you're looking to really take command of your music software you might want to invest in a controller. These units may feature one, or a combination of knobs, sliders/faders, switches, buttons or pads. Theses days many controllers will come pre-mapped for the major digital DJ systems but can also be customized allowing you to choose which functions you have control over. This offers tactile manipulation of tracks volume, play/stop, search function, tempo effects and more and as well as offering a new dimension to your performance they can also be a lot of fun!
What's right for me?
If you're new to this it can be a bit on the overwhelming side. Check out the charts below to find out what features are available and which set-up is right for you?
|Feature description||TRAKTOR Duo 2||TRAKTOR Pro 2||TRAKTOR Scratch Duo 2||TRAKTOR Scratch Pro 2||TRAKTOR Kontrol S4 **||Traktor Kontrol x1|
|Why is it for me?||Straight-forward and powerful with all essential features||Takes your DJ setup and your creative arsenal to the next level||Straight-forward and powerful DVs with all essential features||Extended feature set DVs, ideal for club instalation. Enough creative arsenal and connectivity for a whole DJ crew||Fully integrated DJ system for ultimate creative control. Works out of the box, even without any other DJ gear.||Official controller designed specifically with Traktor in mind.|
|Timecode control (vinyl and/or CDs)||
available via upgrade*
can be used alongside DVs
|Traktor 2 Technology inside|
|TruWave Waveforms and track overview|
|Traktor DJ Software||Ships with Traktor LE|
|Pro DJ audio interface|
* S4 users can buy the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 SCRATCH UPGRADE to add time code control.
** TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 currently ships with the special TRAKTOR PRO S4 software. All S4 users will receive their free upgrade to TRAKTOR PRO 2 automatically at release.
Choose your perfect DJ Setup
For more in depth detail, take a look at the individual products and special bundle deals below.