Traktor Kontrol S4 Dj Controller Review
You can take your DJ mixing to the next level with the help of the Traktor Kontrol S4. Its an all in one 4 channel DJ controller system that allows you to use the Traktor software at your fingertips. It has a built in soundcard that runs at 24bit/96khz. There is an easy to use and intuitive interface, and it works natively with Traktor Pro 2 Dj software.You can connect any piece of musical equipment such as CD decks, turntables, instruments, and any type of other MIDI gear.
Each of the 4 full featured channels are ergonomic, and fitted with 3 band EQ’s. There are also filter knobs, and 2 FX sends. The EQ’s and filters can switch between not only Traktor, but also Xone, and other industry standard styles. Traktor Pro 2 is one of the most highly acclaimed DJ software packages, and is used by many DJ’s and music professionals worldwide. Once you connect your Traktor Kontrol S4 to Traktor Pro 2 you will be able to connect your CD decks and turntables and use Traktor Scratch, as well as the Timecode kit add on for the classic control you need over your digital music library.
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One of the best and up to date features of the Traktor Kontrol S4 is that it is IOS ready. You can create your own mixes with the help of your iphone or ipad. Just touch the screen and you can deliver high quality DJ sets with a swipe of your finger. You will require a larger than a laptop bag if you want to carry your Traktor Kontrol to a gig, as its a larger than traditional controller size, and a lot more sturdy. The middle mixer section is much larger too, giving you the ability for full loop recorder control. Compare this with the single knob and 2 buttons on the previous S2 and you’ll see why the S4 is the premium DJ solution.
Each of the channels has a nice & chunky filter knob to use. There is also an endless single function push encoder to enable the gain located at the top. The panel at the center has a snap and quant button located right under the browse knob. There is also a master clock button for swapping the auto and master settings around. There is a reset button, and also a flux button both located near the pitch fader, and above each of the jog wheels there is a load button. This is helpful instead of having to use the cue buttons when you are in browse mode.
In the effects section you have a mode switch, along with a master and large on air display. There are also LED readouts for when you perform loop and move your lengths. There is the deck swap button for each of the channels that allow you to swap the decks A & C with B & D. The A & B is on the inside channels and the C & D are on the outside channels. There is 1/4″ main output and also RCA booth output. You also have 2 phono/line inputs that enable you to hook up your CD decks or turntables. MIDI in and out are also available if you want to sync with any external equipment or another laptop.
Another big change from the original S2 is the position of the mic gain. The microphone slot is plugged into the rear of the unit, but the mic gain is on the front alongside the activate button. Both were on the rear of the S2. The front face has the headphones input slot, alongside the cue mix and volume knobs. Both of these knobs can be pressed into the unit to allow for safety from breaking when you’re travelling or storing the S4 in a bag.
On the Traktor Kontrol S4 the jog wheels are tight, and the amount of control you have with them is unrivaled. You can scratch with them easily, and also control an effects bank or even the filter where you can use the load button as a shift too. This goes to show how flexible the S4 is. There are 2 modes on the remix slot buttons, they are remix and legacy. With the legacy feature you can easily play one remix cell, just like the sample decks of previous years. You can hold the shift to then control the volume, and filter the selected cell by using the loop size and move knobs.
Overall this is a high end controller that is packed with features and features a great integration with Traktor Pro 2 software that allows you to take your beat matching and mixing to a whole new level of professionalism.