Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8 DJ Controller
If you are already familiar with the previous Traktor Kontrol S4, then you’ll be excited to see what the S8 has to offer. The first thing to notice about the Traktor S8 is that there are no platters. However, don’t let that put you off, it’s jam packed with lots of other features that will have you mixing music just like the pros.
This is a cutting edge DJ controller that gives you control and ability at your fingertips. Although it doesn’t have platters, you can connect two turntables to the S8, giving you unparalleled mixing and music creation. Adding the S8 to your DJ workflow will allow you create professional audio mixes
The technology behind the S8 works with Stem files. These are tracks that have been split into four musical elements, including bass, drums melody, and vocals. This allows for creative multi channel mixing beyond what is typical with a cheaper controller. You can mix the vocals from one deck over to the beat of another.
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The Traktor S8 allows you to get physical with you music. There are touch sensitive knobs, faders, and also LED guided touch strips that allow you to bring the Traktor software to life in the form of the full color displays. You can browse, track the information about your tracks, and filter values that see, all while keeping an eye on the ultra crisp waveform display.
The controller is designed to work hand in hand with Traktor Scratch Pro 2, which is one of the most widely used and respected DJ software packages.
Compared to the original S4, the mixer section is now larger, and comes with inputs for turntables, as well as microphone inputs. There is full cross fader control for all 4 channels too. Something that will surprise most users of the original hardware. You have the basic controls such as the gain, filter and EQ.
If you are still wondering how you will ever get used to no platters, then you’ll love the new touch strip, which allows you to do accurate needle drops, and also bend the pitch of tracks. Another great feature that is new to the Traktor S8 is the ability to freeze, which allows you to have freeze control over loops, and stop and start the loops however you want to.
At the top of each deck is the effects knobs, and they are touch sensitive. They also correspond with the display, so you can instantly see what difference the effect is making to the track. Something not seen before in DJ controllers. To change the effects, all you do is select the FX select button,and you can browse through the many different effects on the controller, including reverb, beatslicer, peak filter, and laser slicer, among many others.
Once you start introducing loops into you mix, you’ll find it does take a little practise to get used to browsing the tracks with the knobs, to find the right position, but thanks to the dual displays, it’s easier than ever, and allows you to keep both your hands and eyes on the controller.
With the touch strip, you’ll find it easy to beat match, thanks to the LED feedback of one beat, and you can see just how many beats you move, as you can adjust either forwards or backwards.
The screens allow you to browse through your play list, and find the best tracks for beat matching, as you can see their key. The track will then load in instantaneously. You will be given the full track overview and position, as well as the zoomed in position, so you can get busy with the effects.
Overall, this is a great controller, that although isn’t cheap, will proove to be a worthwhile investment as it’s built to last years.