Native Instruments have revealed – in part – what appears to be a new Traktor Scratch certified DJ mixer and MIDI controller.
Native Instruments recently unveiled a teaser video for the product, which you can watch above. Dubbed the world’s first 2+2 channel mixer, NI claim it will enable DJs to mix tracks, blend beats, and work effects in a new way. The product suggests a new direction for Native Instruments, who have traditionally focused on small modular controllers or fully featured digital DJ systems that link perfectly with their Traktor software.
The addition of a built-in USB hub will be a fundamental design aspect enabling the connection of additional controllers, similar to Allen & Heath’s X-Link protocol. While the full feature set hasn’t been announced, some careful analysis of the teaser video on our behalf shows the following:
– 2 channel DJ mixer with a shift layer to access decks C + D (2+2 channels). It’s unclear whether this will work on a soft-takeover mode or using dedicated knobs. Another work flow solution would be adding modular controllers such as the X1 or F1 to control additional channel levels and EQ
– Input select switches (which confirms this is a mixer rather than just a MIDI controller)
– The CDJ + Technics 1210 featured in the video strongly suggest that this will have a built-in audio interface with Traktor Scratch Certification bringing it inline with the Serato/Rane equivalent mixers (TTM56SL/SixtyOne/SixtyTwo) or the Pioneer DJM-T1
– A built-in USB hub – essential for adding in other modular controllers such as the X1, F1 and Maschine. Most laptops only have 2 USB ports and this feature has been much requested for a long time and will eliminate the need for an external USB hub, which will provide a more efficient and streamlined workflow solution
– Kontrol S4 style mixing controls with 5 knobs above each level fader; gain, 3 band EQ and an oversized filter knob. It’s not clear whether this is a hardware or software based filter
– Complete looping control with S4 style LED feedback screens showing the size of the loop selected
– RGB Hotcue and/or sample triggering pads on each channel which are likely to be multi-functional, with different colours indicating the different modes
– Complete FX control – though it’s not clear whether these are hardware based FX (similar to Pioneer) or software based – maybe even a combination of the two. The FX layout is slightly different to the X1/S4/S2 in that there seems to be only 1 FX button as opposed to 4 which suggest either a re-design or implementation of FX built-in to the mixer itself
– New version of Traktor Pro (version 3 perhaps?) with new FX (Laser-Slice + Bass-o-matic) and a new “Flux Mode” which may be similar to Pioneer’s Slip mode?
– MIDI shift function to allow custom mapping
The price is yet be announced but it will need to be competitive against the equivalent Allen & Heath, Pioneer and Rane offerings. Keep an eye on Juno Plus for more details as they emerge.