The Best DJ Controller for Traktor Pro [2020 Reviews]
Traktor is a titan in the DJ software industry, and MIDI DJ controllers are also a big deal nowadays. The newest editions in the Traktor Controls range focus on taking DJing to a whole new level. The 4-deck design and remix options offer DJs a lot of possibilities in terms of mixing and performing. These days it is more important than ever before to own the right DJ controller to use with Traktor Pro.
Traktor is now able to provide perfect remixing on the go. Now it is easier than ever to change to whatever deck you want while using the 4-deck mode. You also get to load up to 4 loops with each deck. You even get to benefit from new innovative mixing features like Tap Delay or Bouncer Delay. These remix decks will leave you with the best tracks and mixes whether you’re a beginner or a pro. So, to make the most of your DJing experience, you’ll need to have a suitable DJ controller.
The best part of a Traktor DJ controller is that you are now able to drag and upload your music through iTunes so that you’re ready to mix with your deck, which makes this a revolutionary move with DJ controllers. That being said, DJ controllers for Traktor Pro can be challenging to choose, considering there is such a huge variety of different editions. Beginners can especially have a hard time finding the right controller since they don’t know what to look for.
So, the best way to go about finding the Best DJ Controller for Traktor Pro is through research and guidance. In this article, we’ll provide you with a list of the six best Traktor Kontrolsthat you can choose from. If it’s still hard to decide, we even offer a guide to help you make the right choice. So, let’s get started!
A quick reminder to take a look at the basics on how to become a DJ.
What is the Traktor DJ Controller?
The name makes it pretty obvious. A DJ controller is a DJ device that you can use to mix different tracks on your DJ decks by using various features. If you are an amateur when it comes to DJ controllers, you have to know that these devices are not like simple laptops or other media players/hardware, since they come with many different features in them. They differ in size, design, function, budget, and type of use.
However, they all share one common aspect that defines DJ controllers. They can manage software functions using hardware. While most controllers can work on their own with zero connected software, like the Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000, most others require hands-on management for DJ software.
Traktor Pro has become the software standart for live DJing and mixing. You will find it on the top of our list with the best DJ Software that will never let you down.
What to consider before buying a DJ controller for Traktor Pro? – Buying Guide
As a DJ, you know that our gear makes all the difference for your performance in terms of quality and efficiency. That’s where a DJ controller comes in. It works as a hub for all the activities of your setup, so picking one should not be a haphazard decision. Before buying anything, you need to know about some of these specifications. With that said, here is a detailed list of features you need to keep an eye out for when purchasing a DJ controller for Traktor Pro:
An essential aspect of a DJ controller is its jog wheel. This is a slick, metal disc that usually comes in pairs on bigger models. So, what do they do? Well, basically whatever you want them to do. A typical use of jog wheels is to act like a classic turntable that you can scratch. Scratching is a technique DJs utilize to get a “scratching” sound while mixing. This is done by pushing it back and forth below the needle.
You can even set them digitally to move them around like a record to get the same effect. Some models have jog wheels with fixed functions, while others can be used to control track navigation, volume, matching, and more. When choosing a controller, be aware of what features you’d like in your jog wheels, as well as size, LED coloring add-ons, etc.
DJ controllers usually indicate how many decks they sport. The number of decks signifies the number of tracks that can be played and mixed at the same time. The tracks, in turn, are played using media players in the decks, so you have to make sure the media players provided have supportable formats for your records.
To decide which DJ controller is ideal for you, you will have to consider the price. Are you okay with spending over $1000? Or more? In such cases, your picks become more accessible since you get a lot of options. If you want more affordable controllers, you can still find models to suit your needs. Once you figure out a price range, you can start looking at high-, mid- and low-budget options. You can usually find beginner, semi-pro, and professional models in these ranges. That said, the type of model you want comes down to you and your needs.
The Best DJ Controller for Traktor Pro in 2020 – Reviews
1. Traktor Kontrol X1 – Native Instruments – MkII DJ Controller
If you combined an X1 Mk2 with the S4, you would be in complete control of each Traktorfunction for all four decks simultaneously in your DJ setup. This is a huge deal for most pro DJs. That is why this compact model of DJ equipment has improved the fluidity of DJ setups across the globe. The looping functions in the Kontrol X1 MK2 are very similar to the S4. That makes for an easy transition if you think about switching. The Kontrol X1 also offers an FX controller, which is great for DJs who’d like some versatility in their mixing effects if this is the sole controller they’re using.
Like other MIDI controllers, the X1 MK2 also offers full mapping onto other software and tracks. Event eh hardware is efficient, with a detailed but straightforward overlay and design of buttons and knows across the board. The whole design a really logical and well-executed for a DJ setup, making it ideal for most artists. Custom mapping is definitely a plus point for most DJs, so TheX1’s design makes it an attractive model to have. Not only does it have the perfect layout perfect for DJs, but its versatility allows it to become a mixer if need be. So, for a DJ looking for more customizing in their controller, this is the unit for you.
Traktor Kontrol X1 is one of the most popular tools used by professional DJs around the world. Check out the best DJ setup for beginners to perform like professionals.
2. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol F1 DJ Controller
The first thing you’ll notice with this model is that the Kontrol F1 can handle one Remix Deck. This means you need to focus on the Traktor setup: you’ll most likely be working with dual “Track Decks” and dual “Remix Decks”. One Remix Deck comes with four slots similar to older decks, all aligning with the four short faders and filters present on the F1. The pads will simultaneously handle the 16 separate samples in every slot.
Although it is simple enough to change your F1 for the two, or even four, remix decks, you should know that it is impossible to manage the Remix Decks at the same time with just one controller. It’s the same as controlling two decks with a single pair of transport controls. You’ll need to switch layers to get something even close to that quickly.
Even so, the Traktor Kontrol F1 still manages to offer something relatively new to the Traktorworld of DJs, also if it doesn’t manage to satisfy everyone. The F1 is useable as the sole controller for not just your Track Decks, but the Remix Decks as well, with a handy overlay feature for the previous workflow. You even get to use the Midi mode to map onto other software if you’d like.
You get a whole new style of DJing, with the option to manage lots of samples as a single track through crossfading, tempo management, scratching, and more. The design is well executed. It comes with a lenient learning curve and is a great choice for a serious hobbyist.
3. Traktor Kontrol Z1 – Native Instruments – DJ Mixing Interface
One of the benefits of the Kontrol Z1 is that it makes performing with Traktor software a fun activity in real life. The controller can pair up great with the Traktor Kontrol X1 as well as the F1 models to provide DJs with a more lightweight, singular setup. The controller can also supply power to Apple devices through an AC adapter, making it iOS compatible as well. It manages to provide you with the same premium-quality quality that you always expect from Native Instruments. The controller is also compatible with other computer software, but not with Apple apps.
There are a few issues that come with the model, though. You don’t get the choice of 4-deck control. And unlike other Traktor Kontrol devices, it comes without a complete Traktor Pro license. While the machine is iOS software friendly, the same can’t be said for hardware. It doesn’t come with a Lightning-compatible cable. The model comes without any track browsing or load functions.
Even with these pitfalls, Native Instruments’ design with this Traktor DJ controller makes the app a viable prospect for good performances. Moreover, it functions perfectly with the TraktorPro. While not an innovative design, the Kontrol Z1 manages to stand its ground as a decent DJ controller.
4. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol D2 DJ Controller
If you’re looking to gain complete control of features Remix Decks or Stems, then look no further than the Traktor Kontrol D2. This is a great choice for DJs who enjoy the design of the deck part of the Kontrol S8. However, they would rather not have the all-in-one function. Usually, such DJs already have their own mixers and just want to add the Remix and Stem Decks to their setup. Or, if your setup has to be done in a small space, then having a more compact version like the Kontrol D2 makes more sense. That being said, it is quite costly though, even with zero audio interfaces, which means it’s mostly targeted towards “pros”.
Even so, Native Instruments manages to impress users with the Kontrol D2 by utilizing both hardware and software to push the innovative boundaries. As a compact controller, the D2 definitely seems the most obvious choice over the S8 during club performances as space is a huge consideration in this scenario. You manage to get the cutting-edge features of other Native Instruments models. While simultaneously getting the right size for bedroom/studio/club DJing.
That said, the S8 still becomes a more professional choice for the more serious DJs out there. But as a compact and practical controller, the Kontrol D2 is a top contender for a solid DJ booth.
*Note: To use the above you also need: Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 USB Audio Interface
All the above Traktor DJ controllers can help you perform an absolutely great set. For more, check How to become a professional DJ and master your skills.
All-in-one DJ controllers for Traktor Pro
1. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 DJ Controller
The Kontrol S4 Mk3 comes in a simple black box with plain labels. It also has a black polystyrene interior, which offers DJs a classy vibe as well as a sense of quality from the get-go. The black USB, as well as its transformer leads, are also included in the main box in a separate box. The model has an additional polythene bag provided. You get an envelope with a serial number for Traktor Pro 3 so that you can download the software from the official Native Instruments website. This makes everything easy and user-friendly during setup.
Speaking of setup, assembly is managed merely enough through the software since it recognizes the controller when it is plugged in. So, when you’ve got it powered on, have your amp and speakers plugged into one of the outputs. Plugin your headphones on the 1/8-inch or ¼-inch sockets, and you’re good to go. The Kontrol S4 MK3 is a four-channel model for the Traktor Pro 3.
Since the influx of new controllers, people suddenly forgot how highly functional and effective the Kontrol S4 mk1 and mk2 models were for DJs. With this new design, the s4 Mk3 makes sure nobody forgets that anymore. In a lot of ways, this is the ideal serious beginner or professional controller. A DJing solution that doesn’t shy from innovation and stays an excellent way for DJs to have fun doing what they do.
2. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8 DJ Controller
Native Instruments produced the Maschine Studio with big colored screens. Afterward, DJs have since been looking forward to a Traktor controller with complete resolution screens too. With this controller, DJs get their wish. Native Instruments offers its first Traktor Kontrol S8 with screens having full integration.
At first glance, it’s easy to spot the influence of other Traktor Kontrol in the S8. The displays are almost the same as those you see in the Maschine Studio. The touch strip is similar to the Kontrol X1 MK2. While the pads, faders, and knobs pay homage to the F1. With these features, the Kontrol S8 holds its place as the only DJ controller anyone could ever need.
To get a premium Traktor controller that offers control of each Traktor function, this model is for you. DJs who want to stop relying on their laptops and prefer focusing on their setup will love the displays on the S8. They offer great control at all times. That said, not everyone may like this controller. A lot of DJs will be put off by the cost, weight, and focused intention.
Although the Kontrol S8 is costly, you would otherwise have to rely on an S4 and 2 F1s to even come close to the same efficiency. At essentially the same price, you manage to get high build quality, inbuilt displays, and even a Traktor Scratch Pro 2 license, all in one controller. This is what makes the Kontrol S8 a good purchase if you want to go head-in-the Traktor industry.
Both the above DJ controllers you will also find in our list with the best DJ controllers for professionals.
The were our top picks for the best Traktor DJ controller in the market!
From this article, we can all tell that Native Instruments offers a great job giving plenty of options for everyone. From the efficient design of the S8 to the ideal portable style of the Z1, Traktor provides you with the best setup options. DJ software is up to everyone’s preferences, and there are definitely a lot more options out there. But, if you pick Traktor, you’ll be getting top-tier software that any DJ can appreciate.
Now, you can have the best DJ controller for Traktor Pro without breaking your bank. You can find affordable DJ controls so long as you go about the entire thing the smart way. I am doing that, so you can end up with the ideal product that suits your requirements.
With this guide, you can make use of this list of the six best DJ controllers for anyone who wants a good setup. That way, you’ll know that all of the controllers offer you much more than just basic options and features. If you’re going to consider buying any of the 6 DJ controllers on our list, you will be satisfied.
Along with your new Traktor Pro DJ controller you will also need a powerful laptop. Check out the best Windows and MAC laptops for DJing and worry no more for your live performance.
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