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Many digital DJs and live electronic musicians today feel about as comfortable operating a turntable-style jog wheel as we would performing open-heart surgery. For us, Native Instruments came up with the Traktor Kontrol S8, a tactile control surface built around the parts of a traditional DJ controller we actually use. In place of the large aluminum platter that typically takes up about 40% of each deck section, the S8 offers you a pair of large color displays with dedicated controls that mirror Traktor's Remix Deck layout, but they're also perfect for regular track playback as well. Beyond that, the Traktor Kontrol S8 gives you full 4-deck control, killer performance pads, and a whole lot more.
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Mixing with Stems
Native Instruments Traktor S8 DJ Controller at a Glance:
Touch-sensitive controls let you command all aspects of Traktor Pro
Don't let the slightly unconventional look of the Traktor Kontrol S8 throw you - this bad boy is mission control HQ as far as Traktor Pro 2 is concerned. Whether it's digging through your virtual crates, piling on the effects to create a killer buildup, or leapfrogging through cue points to lay down a funky new groove, there's not a thing in this beast can't handle. There's even a pair of touch strips onboard to give you fast and accurate track position scrubbing, pitch bend control, and more. You've never experienced a controller that keeps you in the zone quite like a Traktor Kontrol S8. And if you're totally new to Traktor Pro 2 (which comes included), you couldn't ask for a better way to dive in.
Full-color displays provide amazing Remix Deck control and much more
When Native Instruments unveiled their Traktor Kontrol S8 to us, many of the electronic musicians here at Sweetwater gave a collective whoop of joy and started clearing space on their desks. Many of us had been hoping for a controller build around Remix Decks since they were first introduced in the 2012 release of Traktor Pro 2, and these full-color displays totally blew us away. Not only do you get a full display that mirrors Traktor's Remix Deck window, you also get a full set of controls that let you tweak playback options, adjust levels, set loops, and more. These displays also make working with regular track playback a blast, giving you an added degree of hands-on control over track parameters.
Complete 4-deck mixer section includes a stunning USB audio interface
One of the things that's easy to overlook on the Traktor Kontrol S8 is the 4-deck mixer section. By now, we've all come to expect four decks worth of mixing on any major DJ controller, and even the grippy knobs, smooth filter controls, and playable faders on the S8 seem par for the course. But what you might not expect is the excellent mixer/audio interface that's onboard, which offers four sets of stereo inputs (line or phono), a pair of microphone inputs, and a variety of outputs to fit into any sound system. And when it comes to sound quality, you really can't knock the 24-bit/48kHz resolution, which will give most dedicated recording interfaces a run for their money.
Stems format support provides a new way to DJ
Stems is a cool multitrack digital audio file format that's perfect for performing DJs. Unlike conventional WAV, AIF, or MP3 files, Stem files utilize the power of the MP4 format and AAC encoding to provide you with four sets of stereo audio you can mix, mute, and process independently. With software and DJ systems that support Stem files, such as Traktor Kontrol S8, you can grab the drums from one Stem, snag the bass line from another and put them together seamlessly in real time. Just like -infinity EQs, 4-deck setups, and Remix Decks revolutionized DJing, the Stem audio file format is bound to change the way you perform.
Ableton Link integration for reliable synchronization
As of Traktor 2.11, you can experience the collaborative freedom of Ableton Link. Lock multiple systems to a common timeline. Change tempo globally across systems. Enjoy spontaneous jamming, collaborative creation, and synchronized performances. This is a free update for Traktor 2.x owners.
Native Instruments Traktor S8 DJ Controller Features:
Experience Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 in a whole new way with the Traktor Kontrol S8!