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TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 REVIEW - Native Instruments

Almost a decade ago Native Instruments introduced its first TRAKTOR pioneering in the world of professional DJ software. That was a real revolution at that time. 10 years later the Native Instruments is going to revolutionize the DJ world for the second time with its amazing TRAKTOR KONTROL S4. This is the first fully integrated DJ performance system created by the same team that created the first TRAKTOR 10 years ago.

Well, you may think that I exaggerated a bit in the preceeding paragraph, however the rest of my review article of KONTROL S4 will ensure you that this DJ performance system is really revolutionary that has right to say: Hey, forget all you knew about DJ software and controllers, I am the one that has fused soft and hard in itself and reached perfect harmony ! … And that will be completely right. Even on my first touch with TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 I discovered that even those things that seemed a bit complicated for me could be done easily using this DJ performance system. Revolutionary convenient TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 revealed yet untouched fields of possibilities for me. I guessed how easily could I have learnt all these DJ-ing things if I had had possibility to use TRAKTOR KONTROL S4. Seems like guys at Native Instruments have put all their 10 year experience in TRAKTOR KONTROL S4, which can be used by beginners as well as by professionals.

TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 is composed of 4 channel DJ mixer, the quality of which really surprised me, although I really did not expect any 4 channel mixers to surprise me anymore (at least by quality), an intuitive controller, a soundcard which is built-in (24bit/96khz) and of course the crown of the package is TRAKTOR PRO S4 – TRAKTOR SOFT at its summit. I have been using TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 for about 2-3 weeks now and the supreme advantages I noticed are easy and instant usability, excellent pro features and yet unprecendented portability.

Well, what about the controller. Since controller is probably the most important part of the package, as it connects and harmonizes hardware and software into an integrated whole, I think its comprehensive review is essential. TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 controller has really hard task to perform. It had to guarantee the high convenience in order to provide easy usability of this integrated system of hard and soft. I think it does its job perfectly. The design of sample decks is really innovative. Most of the control over software is provided by two clearly laid-out deck control sections and two effect units which can be assigned to any of four software decks. I can not do without mentioning electomagnetic jog wheels the quality of responsivity of which is really surprising. The controller layout with its rotary knobs create all the comfort and a bit more a DJ may need. 

Well, what about 4 channel mixer. At the first look it really seems not to be different from normal 4 channel mixers with their normal features, of course if we do not take in consideration that it is part of unique DJ performance system. However what makes this 4 channel mixer surprising is its wonderful design which has been elaborated by famous DJs. This 4 channel mixer makes it easy to connect other DJ performance gear like CDJ players, turntables, microphone etc. In the 4 channel mixer you can also find inovative loop recorder. This feature works like a fifth deck, which adds an extra layer to your mix by recording and looping audio while mixing. Convenience is provided by the optional foot controller which can start loop recorder, if you are doing some advanced scratching and both your hands are busy. 

The audio interface is another wonderful feature of TRAKTOR KONTROL S4. I needed this audio card to be itegrated in the system so much for all those times when I had been using external sound cards. This audio interface has the right to be named as the successor of Native Instruments high quality audio cards. It provides all the clarity, power and dynamic range a modern DJ may need for creating wonderful mixes using external CDJ players and turntables, effects, microphones and various MIDI gear. 

TRAKTOR PRO S4 could well be the theme of another, separate article. This software is based on TRAKTOR PRO. It was developed to be fully compatible, to create synergy with TRAKTOR KONTROL S4. All the new features that are introduced by TRAKTOR PRO S4 are designed to help its user to take the full advantage of TRAKTOR KONTROL S4. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention premum ready-made loops that can be combined instantly into the mix. 

I bough TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 with its case that provides special “shelf” to place my laptop. I think that will be very useful on gigs. Its so strange and amazingly convenient - going to mix on a gig and taking just laptop and one average size flight case, where all the rest hardware is placed. 



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