Native Instruments has announced the release of its new integrated DJ system, Traktor Kontrol S4.
Traktor Kontrol S4 gives DJs tactile control of Native Instruments’ Traktor software, via a dedicated controller that communicates with the software using a specially designed protocol known as NHL. This allows 30 times more data to be processed than regular MIDI and means that the controls on the S4 unit can detect movements as small as one quarter of the width of a human hair.
The S4 controller was designed from the ground up to operate the functions of Traktor and, as such, each of its controls are dedicated, labelled as they would be on an analog mixer or other piece of hardware and do not need to be mapped, as in the case of a regular MIDI controller.
S4 effectively provides simultaneous control over Traktor’s four virtual decks and, as well as a four-channel mixer, the control surface provides two touch-sensitive jog wheels that can each be switched instantly between the decks. With 1,000 counts per revolution, the jog wheels will respond very much like vinyl. Native Instruments assures that they are finely calibrated and will never wear out.
The system comes complete with a custom version of the Traktor Pro software. New additions include sample decks for triggering and manipulating shorter sound files, and a loop recorder. Similar to having a fifth deck, users can immediately layer and overdub loops on top of one another, triggering the recording and overdubbing from the loop recorder unit via the record button, or by using an optional footswitch. Loops can instantly be transferred onto a sample deck slot, freeing up the loop recorder for further use and allowing DJs to perform live edits of tracks. In addition, two effects sections provide over 25 performance effects.
The S4 includes a built-in 24-bit/96kHz low-latency audio interface with Cirrus Logic AD/DA converters so that users need only add a laptop computer loaded with music and the Traktor software for a complete system. The unit also features analog inputs for the optional connection of turntables.
The introduction of Traktor Kontrol S4 is accompanied by two performance videos with advanced DJ routines from controllerism pioneer Ean Golden, complemented with an explanatory tutorial, which can be seen below.