Review: Traktor Pro 2
Last week, Native Instruments launched its new Traktor 2 range, which consisted of new versions of all of its Traktor software, plus the Audio 6 and Audio 10 sound interfaces to replace the old Audio 4 and Audio 8 devices.
Of most interest to serious digital DJs, of course, was Traktor Pro 2, the new version of the companys flagship product for controller users. Weve now had a weekend to play with it, and with the help of a lot of insightful feedback from you, our readers, over on our First Thoughts on Traktor Pro 2 post, here we present our review.
Hands down, it looks nicer. Those coloured waveforms make the software look modern and somehow cleaner. (If youre a bit overwhelmed by them, you can change them to other more monochromatic versions, but you lose a bit of the functionality if you do.) There are more subtle tweaks to the overall look including a higher contrast skin, which should make use in dark clubs easier.
However, many of the features in Traktor Pro 2 were already present in the Kontrol S4 version of the software, notably the sample decks. Its telling that this version was offered free to all S4 users. In that respect, some of the great leap forward had already happened, and if youre an S4 user, dont expect anything major when you open it for the first time.
Even if not, immediately its clear this is still Traktor as weve known it with some new bits added on, and so dont expect anything that maybe used to irk you about Traktor 1.x to have necessarily changed just because it carries the moniker..
So, no immediate wow factor for us but beauty isnt always skin deep. While we are aware that we cant give you a proper review after only a weekend, that length of time was definitely long enough to discover that theres plenty going on beneath the surface to get excited about.
Preparing for use
Setting up your hardware
To start with, the program seems to load quicker for us. (Also, incidentally, browsing through the preferences seems to be faster too.)
However, it seems to load the CPU more heavily. This would make sense, but also apparently the CPU meter now shows a blend of latency and CPU load or something like that. We didnt do a proper test because everything worked fine on our MacBook 13 out of the box, but some users have reported glitches with underpowered hardware that worked fine with Traktor Pro
The set-up wizard is now better, and because of course Native Instruments has plenty of hardware of its own, it is optimised for use with their hardware as far as getting going fast out-of-the-box goes.
Fair enough one of the beautiful things about using Serato ITCH with the dedicated hardware available for that platform is the speed and elegance of getting up and running. Traktor is now getting on a par with Serato in that respect, at least with the Native Instruments hardware. (And actually, I am assuming this would be the same with the Pioneer DDJ-T1 too, because that seems to be treated as a separate case by the software.)
A small but welcome improvement is that when you unplug your controller (at least, the S4 not tried it with other hardware), Traktor switches back to internal audio automatically, allowing you to work on your beatgrids, cues and so on seamlessly away from the hardware.
Beatgridding and reanalysing
The first thing youll need to do is reanalyse your library for the new waveforms to accurately represent your collection. This is a time-intensive task for the computer, so as usual, best to leave it running while youre off doing something else.
You should be sure your beatgrids are locked before doing so on your previous collection (do it from within your previous version of Traktor Pro, which this installs side-by-side with). Otherwise, Traktor will guess for you not clever if youve tweaked them all manually. But if you mess up, your old information remains intact in your previous version, so you can try again.
Traktor will ask you if you want to import your settings from the old version on first starting.
On the subject of beatgridding, there are now two sync modes beat sync, which is the old full sync (ie it will pull the BPMs in line then hold the phase using the beatgrids) and another, tempo sync, which will allow things to drift if you dont hold the tempo on manually, like when DJing with analogue gear.
I like the latter as when playing traditionally I like to decide myself where the phase should be depending on the tracks Im mixing, and this is something you can only do by ear, not by previously decided beatgrids. Its something Ive always wanted in Traktor and Im glad its been added.
The different views
There are extended, essential and browser views, using less screen real estate consecutively. The essential is basically the extended without the effects section, and the browser view shows the bare minimum, giving most of the screen real estate over to the library.
However, there could still be more space saved on all views, and I feel it doesnt make the most of the screen real estate, especially on a x laptop. Of course, a laptop with a higher resolution is the answer, and I accept that x isnt that good a resolution nowadays Id certain recommend x for using Traktor.
We tested it with a Kontrol S4, probably the most optimal controller as itll be the one Native Instruments are most keen to get everything exactly right on.
The coloured waveforms (or TruWave) are great. Native Instruments was missing a trick not to represent audio in colour, and the company has finally fixed this. Not only that, but you can now zoom right in (closer than any DJ software, they say) and right out too.
Zooming right in is great for setting clean, precise cues and beat markers, and indeed youll probably find any sloppy beatgridding you did beforehand on older versions of the software (that could only zoom in one step which wasnt actually very much) may look a bit, well, sloppy when you see your handiwork visually here! Time to tweak if youre OCD in any way
Serato users report a real attachment to using coloured waveforms as a memory jog as to the sonic structure of tunes, something thats now available to Traktor users too. The only thing missing is (apologies for going on about it) parallel waveforms.
With Serato, you can look down all four decks playing in parallel and see the sonic characteristics of all the individual elements instantly.
Parallel waveforms are useful. Why not try and come up with a display option that allows them, Native Instruments? Overall though, excellent. Well done for putting this one right.
Loop recorder and sample decks
For S4 (or Virtual DJ) users, nothing new. For the rest of us, if youve ever had tracks you use exclusively for sample drops (and maybe even made them up yourself in Audacity and used them as pseudo sample decks, mapped to cue points), youll like the sample decks here.
You can basically have multiple samples ready for immediate triggering, and adjust the volume and filter on your samples, and whats more, you can sample on the fly from the decks, the microphone/other external sources, or load samples previously recorded.
The software comes with a set of samples and its clear Native Instruments wants you to start building your own rhythms and so on using them as a stepping stone. Its creative DJing for sure, and many DJs will scratch their heads and say so what?, but then again, Traktor is a creative product and Kontrol S4 users in particular are a creative bunch. If you just want to play records, something like a Vestax VCI gives you a much simpler but more limited two-decks-and-a-mixer experience for old skool DJing.
Samples can be up to a minute in length, and you can set them as either one-shot or looping by right clicking them and choosing your option.
Even more than the coloured waveforms (especially when using with the Kontrol S4, which puts the sample controls literally right under your fingertips), I think the sample decks and loop recorder represents the biggest leap for Traktor software in this version.
We were promised better iTunes integration, which had me scratching my head as I can see no differences at all, unless better integration meant fixing obscure bugs. As always, the library and playlists are there, in non-editable form.
What I want to be able to do is use iTunes to sort out my playlists, and Traktor to play the music. I dont want to use Traktor crates, as I like smart playlists and anyway, to me DJ software shouldnt be music library software, it should be for performing.
I accept that I wont be able to alter smart playlists and so on within Traktor, but I do want to be able to edit metadata inline. I just want to play from iTunes, not Traktor crates, and have the same core functionality adding comments, correcting errors in spellings in file names when I see them, altering group metadata and so on.
I admit by wanting to do this I am not using the software how Native Instruments intends, but I can do it easily in other software. Why not in Traktor? Three-quarters of Digital DJ Tips reader use iTunes as their music management software. How about it, Native Instruments?
Apart from that, its all good. I like the previewing, its as good as its ever been; its good to be able to search within the current playlist or the whole library (both these features are better than Serato. Theyre not, it must be said, new to this version but theyre good nonetheless.) Indeed, everything else is how I recall it from Traktor Pro.
The new effects
There are four new effects. Tape delay is nice (its a warmer delay, with an analogue colour to it), Ive not got to grips with the other effects yet Bouncer seems extreme to me!
But you know, without actually inventing new sounds, its hard to really make great leaps in effects as most of the classics are classics for a reason, and Traktor already had them.
However, adding new effects in DJ software that has the ability to allow you to easily chain effects together to create your own sound (as Traktor does) is always to be applauded, however obscure the effects seem on first play.
I cant wait to hear the results of innovative effects combinations when clever early adopters incorporate these into their DJing. More work is needed to assess, but overall the effects section remains excellent.
Guinea pig syndrome
Native Instruments has had a bit of a reputation in some quarters for getting software out there fast followed by bug fixes pretty soon after, and they didnt disappoint this time the v update was out on the same day!
To be fair this update seems to add features rather than fix bugs. The only bug we found was that the waveforms to the left of the playhead dont render when using hotcues, which was apparently also the case in the S4 incarnation of Traktor. Hopefully theyll fix this soon enough.
We couldnt find anything else but as I say, only a weekend is not really enough time. Reader feedback from gigs indicated that the software is perfectly stable.
So our question was, evolution or revolution? Well, its evolution, but it could be the start of a revolution. Let us explain
This is plainly still Traktor as we know it, refined rather than redesigned, which is absolutely fair enough.
As with any Native Instruments product launch, things werent done quietly. There were the usual celeb-endorsement videos doing the rounds, the teasers for the past couple of months, and then the big fanfared launch on the day. The company definitely built expectations up.
What we got, in the end, was a mix of genuine innovation, some catching up with the competition, and some things missing that we may or may not ever see in Traktor (proper iTunes integration, elastic beatgrids, parallel waveforms).
Expect more Traktor 2-ready hardware
The fact that lots of the innovations in Traktor Pro 2 are from the S4 software contributed a bit to maybe a less than massive wow from users on launch, but I think that this new incarnation of Traktor Pro needs to be seen for what it is formalising the functionality of the S4 in all Traktor software, so other hardware manufacturers can go out and do there thing with it, and adding a handful of other improvements too.
Heres where the revolution may well come in. It doesnt look like well have to wait too long, either, for exciting Traktor 2-ready hardware a slip-up means that if you go to the mappings, youll see the Pioneer DJM-T1 listed there.
Its a product that isnt launched, but looks very much to be a Traktor-specific digital mixer incorporating control over the sample decks. (More this week from Musikmesse, which is where Pioneer are strongly rumoured to be launching this.) Its no doubt the first of many new hardware products and mappings that will make full use of sample decks and the loop recorder.
Where Traktor Pro 2 fits in to the market
Native Instruments is really out on its own in the market with Traktor, as has been for a long time this release further cements that position. the company has the hardware, sound interfaces, software and market dominance with third-party manufacturers, all of which is a combination that nobody else can offer.
Serato ITCH wins on simplicity and out-and-out usability because its a closed system (bit like Apple), but is therefore (deliberately) inflexible in comparison. Virtual DJ Pro 7 is arguably more nimble and easier to use but hasnt gained traction with the pros in the same way; something heavily developed over the years by Native Instruments with its celebrity endorsement videos and so on. Torq is actually a capable and interesting competitor, but unless we get some new hardware it will remain marginal.
Should you buy it?
So should you buy Traktor Pro 2? Obviously if youre an S4 user you got the upgrade for free. But its not a majorly expensive upgrade for current Traktor Pro users either. If youre the overly cautious sort, you may want to hold off until the first free upgrade just in case any small bugs have slipped the net (not that we found any, but its always a risk with all new software), but otherwise wed say you should take the plunge the waters warm enough.
If youre thinking of switching from another platform? Unless you can see something here you want that you cant get on your existing software, theres nothing compelling you to do so. Virtual DJ has sample decks already and has had for years, and has a host on innovations of its own; Serato still has more waveform tools (it has two completely different types of waveform visualisation in addition to the main view) and also has elastic beatgrids; Torq has VST plugins. Every platform has its strengths and weaknesses.
But if youre coming at it as a new user? Here youve got a big decision to make. Going with Traktor means youre using the market-dominating program from the off. The learning curve is steeper, but the flexibility is there for all types of hardware so that you can grow, switching from controller to controller, but using the same software throughout.
For this reason alone, unless theres something in the other systems that you find compelling (and we mean Serato ITCH, Virtual DJ and Torq, although especially in Europe, Deckadance and MixVibes have their followings), Traktor is now a more appealing choice than ever.
What are your impressions of Traktor Pro 2? Is there enough here to convert you from other software? Do you think the missing features are glaring omissions, or not important? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Serato DJ vs Traktor Pro 2 – Which DJ Software is Best?
The battle is on, Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2! In this post we look at the best features of both programs to help you decide which one to buy. We find out the pros and cons of both and we also look at the hardware both manufacturers are offering to use in conjunction with their programs. I chose Serato, but which will you choose?
You’re ready to buy your software but you’re torn between these top 2 choices amongst professional DJ’s around the world.
Maybe you’re just starting out as a DJ and you want a set-up with a difference. A set-up that allows you to incorporate traditional turntables or CD decks into your modern digital set-up.
Or maybe you’ve been in the game for many years. But now you’re ready to make the step over to the digital world whilst keeping it hands on.
Well you’ve boiled it down to the two best choices and they both have a massive amount of features to offer.
We’re about to take a look at the standout features of both programs to make the decision easier for you.
Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2 – Is Serato DJ the best DJ software?
Serato has long been the leader in DVS software and is the main choice for many professional DJs. Some DJs argue that Serato has been knocked off the top spot by Traktor since dropping Serato scratch live. Others see progression in hardware development as the main decider. But both have great choices and many compatible products.
In that case looking at the programs main standout features should help with your decision.
Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2, the interface
When you first open Serato DJ you’re greeted by a very clean uncluttered interface on a dark background.
Half of the screen is dedicated to your music library, the other half is your deck section with your waveform information in the centre.
This layout is very easy on the eye and wouldn’t be at all overwhelming to a beginner DJ. So if you’re just starting out this could be a great program to learn and progress with.
The Serato DJ music library
At the bottom half of the screen you’ll find your music library. The library already takes up a big chunk of the screen. But you can click on library mode to shrink the deck section down to give an even bigger view of your library. You’ll find this handy when you’re scanning for tracks, it just makes it easier and faster to find tracks this way.
Here in the library you’ll be able to fully analyse each track and make changes including ID3 tag editing. You can access your iTunes library and import your iTunes playlists. You’ll also have the ability to browse your tracks and create playlists for DJ sets.
The most handy part of the library is the ability to make crates to organise tracks into genre, BPM (beats per minute), key, etc. I find these great for storing scratch sounds, samples, and acapellas. They make it easy to find tracks quickly whilst concentrating on other things.
Something very cool is the smart crate that allows you to make large music crates instantly. This is done by creating crate rules. Using your rules, for example – you can create a library crate for tracks under BPM. The crate will then automatically find all tracks in your library under BPM and fill the crate.
You’ll also see four library panels which can be opened up to display different folders.
There is your normal file browser, which is the standard view of your library. You also get a second browser that lets you browse by genre, BPM, artist etc. There’s a preparation folder that allows you to drag and drop tracks in preparation for your DJ set. And lastly you have a very handy history folder. Here you can look back at past sets and find tracks that you’ve previously played. These are listed by the date that you played them and even the time.
Once you are ready to select and play a track you can simply drag and drop it from here onto the desired deck above.
Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2: The deck section
The Serato DJ interface can display two decks, or four decks depending on your needs. At the top of each deck section you’ll find lots of track information. You’ll see the song title, artist, key of the track, BPM, track length etc.
The white deck overview shows you more useful info about the current track. This includes BPM, pitch percentage, track time elapsed and remaining etc.
To the side you’ll have your saved cue points. These are certain points of the track that you wish to remember.
You can set loops in 4,8,16, or 32 bars. You can then save them so that the loop is still there the next time you play the track.
There is a sync button to auto sync your tracks so that they play at the same BPM. This is great for new DJ’s or for DJ’s that like to have extra time to create loops or playing with FX etc. And the feature called quantize mode will ensure that every beat stays tightly locked and matched. This is a great feature for dropping cue points and exiting loops perfectly on beat.
There’s a key lock that keeps the same tone whatever the speed of the track. So you can speed it right up and it won’t sound like a chipmunks concert is happening in the club!
Another handy feature is the beatjump control. This allows you to quickly jump through a track in 2,4,8,16, or 32 beat steps. And all of this can be done while staying perfectly in time with the beat. This is great for skipping large amounts of a track to get to the hook or to skip a long instrumental. This also makes it easier to fit more tracks into your shorter sets.
You can also use beatjump with tracks that have a very short intro. If you dont have the time to finish a transition simply click the beatjump control to jump back 32 beats. The mix will stay perfectly in time and you can jump back as many times as you like. This is very similar to looping, but this can be done at the last second with a simple click. Once you finish your mix you won’t have to exit the beatjump as it’s only activated by clicking the control.
Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2: The waveform section
The waveform can be put into several different views. Horizontal, vertical, extended (full screen horizontal), or stack view (great for four decks). All of these are very useful but you’ll have a favourite that you’ll tend to stick to.
For those that don’t use the sync option beatmatching can be done manually. This can easily be achieved by matching the peaks running along the centre of the waveform. Although you can do it well by eye, using your ears is important to get a quicker and easier match. Or it can be done traditionally using the pitch control on your decks or controller.
You can put the software into four modes, these are –
ABS (absolute mode). This is used to replicate the experience of traditional turntables or CD players. But it uses digital files and control vinyl, or control CD. Using this mode the record behaves exactly like a record, and a CD behaves exactly like a CD. Needles and CD’s can even skip just like the old days. It’s named absolute as the software is listening for the absolute position of the control vinyl or CD. The downside is that you can’t take advantage of cue points or loops etc.
REL (relative mode) This brings out all of the features and behaves exactly like a traditional DVS. The software will only be listening to the direction and speed of the control vinyl / CD rather than the absolute position. You’ll be able to set loops, cue points, and use FX etc.
INT (internal mode). This mode doesn’t rely on, or take any notice of control vinyl. All DJing will be done via the interface. This is particularly useful if you have any serious problems with hardware. If you have skipping needles or scratched CD’s you can switch over with a simple click. Switching to INT will still allow you to use all of the available features.
And lastly THR (Through mode). Using this mode will let you play vinyl records or CD’s through your decks rather than control vinyl or CD’s. This mode is great for digital DJ’s that still enjoy dropping a few regular vinyl or CD’s into their sets. And it’s also great for those that like to scratch with traditional vinyl or CD’s.
Special Serato DJ hardware and controllersOur Product Suggestion
Our Favourite Controller The Denon DJ MC
“the Denon MC works perfectly with Serato…has some great functions and you can get really creative using the dedicated loop section”Check Price
Serato has worked alongside a long list of manufacturers to offer a range of hardware including mixers and controllers. Some even come bundled with the full Serato DJ software.
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 is built to work perfectly alongside Serato DJ. It’s very well priced but you will need to buy the software separately. You can read all about the DDJ-SB2 in my beginners top ten guide > HERE.
Or you may want a high end controller that comes bundled with the full Serato DJ software. The Pioneer DDJSR2 controller will be a great choice for those looking for a full package.
See my professional DJ controller guide > HERE to see which ones come bundled with Serato DJ software.
If you’re using turntables or CD decks and just need a mixer try the Pioneer DJ DJM-S9 Battle Mixer. It will come with the full Serato DJ software with no further purchase necessary.
As we just learned Serato DJ is compatible with a bunch of high end mixers and controllers. But what if you want to use Serato DJ as a DVS using the set-up you already have?
If you already have a set-up it’s best to buy a plug and play Denon audio interface.
The Denon interface package comes with the full Serato DJ and DVS software. You also get the two required control vinyl and two control CD’s at a great price. This way you will not require a separate purchase of the Serato DJ or DVS add on.Our Product Suggestion
Our Favourite Controller – Denon DJ MC
Why We Love It
“It comes as a full package including the full Serato DJ Pro software, a sound card, two control vinyl, and two control CD’s”Check Price
Other options are the Serato approved interfaces from Rane. The Rane sl2 or sl3 interface will get you up and running using simple plug and play technology.
Serato updates and support have always been on point and a quick email will usually solve any problems.
Pros and cons of Serato DJ
- Serato is packed with features that will fulfil all of your digital DJing needs.
- The top choice for many pro DJ’s, tried, tested, and proven DJ software.
- Easy to use software with an easy on the eye interface.
- Great for beginners and experienced DJs.
- Brilliant customer support and updates.
- Top performing digital vinyl system, not laggy perfect for DJ’s and turtablists alike.
- Compatible with tons of hardware, with simple plug and play design.
- Great music library options, smart crates will save you so much time.
- To use the software you must plug in a piece of hardware or else you’ll be limited to one on screen deck.
This single con could be the decider in the battle of Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2. Not everybody wants hardware so this could put some people off.
Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2 – Should I buy Serato DJ?
Maybe you’re a DJ that likes to use controllers? Or maybe you like to use turntables and CD decks and long for the traditional set-up with digital capabilities. Whichever type of DJing you enjoy most Serato DJ could be just what you’re looking for.
We’ve gone over just a small amount of it’s stand out features and you can see that the power of this software is phenomenal. Providing a clean and simple to use interface makes it great for beginners wanting to incorporate a DVS into their set-up. Experienced DJ’s and turtablists will enjoy it’s full digital features, easy music library access, and endless possibilities as a DVS.
Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2 the battle continues….
Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2
Is Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 the best DJ software?
Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 is another program used by many professional DJ’s. Just look at their website and you’ll see some of the testimonials from the likes of Pete Tong, Dusky, and more. Traktor Pro 2 is tried, tested and proven as one of the best performing programs available .
Just like Serato DJ this program can be used as a DVS using encoded vinyl or CD’s to create that traditional DJing experience.
It plays a wide range of file formats including all of the popular ones like MP3, WAV, AIFF, and FLAC files. But as a note for Windows users, it’s unable to play Apple Lossless (ALAC) files on windows 7 or 8. So if you wish to play these files you’ll need to upgrade to Windows That’s not really a deal breaker though as Windows 7 and 8 are pretty much obsolete now anyway.
Again this software could be used perfectly by beginners as they progress. It’s also perfect for experienced DJ’s looking to further enhance their set-up, and digital DJing capabilities.
The first thing worth mentioning is that Traktor Pro 2 can work in conjunction with the original Traktor. If you’ve used the previous version of Traktor, this software can be installed and used alongside it. This means any previously saved cue points, loops etc, will transfer to the new program. A great feature that saves you running back through each track to re-create any saved information.
Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2, the interface. When you open up Traktor Pro 2 you’ll find a nice interface layout on a dark background. This is not dissimilar to Serato DJs interface but you’ll definitely have your favorite.
Initially it may look a little messy and cluttered compared to Serato DJ. But you can clean this up by choosing different layouts to customise it to your liking.
Traktor Pro 2 layouts
When you click the layouts tab you’ll have a choice of 4 layouts. Each layout offers different options and each will have their advantages.
First off you have your Essential layout. This is a simple 2 deck uncluttered layout. This would be the choice for beginners or anyone using the software for the first time.
Next you have the Extended layout which gives you even more features and extra FX options.
You have a handy Browser layout that gives you a full view of your music library. This makes it easier to find and select the track you are looking for. If you’re in a rush to find a track, just hit your space bar to enter full browser layout.
And lastly you have a Mixer layout that gives you an on screen mixer. This is used for internal mixing if you don’t have hands on equipment.
Each layout is customizable in the preferences tab where you can change the decks and mixer layout to your liking. And you’ll also have global settings, browser details, and layout manager tabs for customization. These tabs can be used to adjust your interface and create new layouts. This way you can get the look and specific options/features you want. This is a good way for beginners to make the interface less overwhelming. They can then add certain features and options as they progress.
At the top of the screen on the left and right you’ll find your FX options for each channel. This can be found when using the standard extended layout.
You can change these to a single effect. This lets you select any effect but you can only add one per track at a time. Or you can select a group of up to three. This gives you the ability to use a total of 6 different effects at once.
You will find a long list of effects to play around with including filters, delays, etc. They are all listed in a handy drop down menu so you can easily scan through to find the one you want. You’ll also have an on/off button and three knobs to adjust the parameters of each one.
Sometimes you can customise the hell out of an effect and think, I wish I could use that again for next time. But as soon as you turn your laptop off it’s gone… Well, Native instruments realised this and gave us a really cool option. Once you have a customised effect you like and wish to use again you can hit the snapshot button. This lets you save your settings and easily return to it in the future. How cool is that?
Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2: The Traktor Pro 2 deck section
In the deck section you’ll be able to drag and drop tracks to easily play your selection. In each deck window you’ll find up to nine pieces of information associated with the track information. These include all the usual things like the track name, track length, time elapsed, etc..
You will see a close up view of the waveform and an overview of the whole track. Here you can change the waveform colours to your preference. You can even use colour coded waveforms to show the different frequencies in tracks. An example of this would be all bass sounds in the waveform being red, high hats being blue, and breakdowns being white.
Above the waveform you have a phase meter which can be used for simple beatmatching. You simply watch to see which way the meter moves and adjust it’s pitch until it stays central. This is actually a really good way for beginners to learn beatmatching. You’ll get a good feel for it, and an ear for it, before moving on to using your pitch sliders
For the easy option you’ll also have a sync button option to auto beatmatch. This works exceptionally and can be adjusted to tempo sync or beat sync. Tempo sync just matches the tempo and BPM of the tracks. This gives more of a natural DJing experience as theBPM can vary especially if tracks have been ripped from vinyl. So you will have to use your ears and occasionally nudge the beat.
The other option is beat sync that works in conjunction with the phase meter. This will keep the two tracks locked in beat and any nudging or scratching will jump straight back into alignment.
Here in the deck section you can also add beat grids and edit with the grid edit panel. You can also use beat jumps just like we spoke about in Serato DJ. And you can add cue points to store up to 8 hot cues.
You can also add and save auto loops which you can then adjust in real time from 1/32 to 32 beats. And as you’re creating and adjusting the loop it auto syncs to your selected track to keep everything in time. The sync phase feature will also keep everything in time so that when you exit a loop it auto realigns the tracks.
You can change the view of the deck window by selecting to edit the deck flavour in preferences.
The options include micro, which shrinks the deck to give you more space.
Small, which makes it bigger and adds more options.
Essential, which gives you the biggest waveform available.
Full, which includes all of the previously mentioned deck section options.
And advanced which opens up extra panels.
Below the decks you can add a sample deck option which is an awesome new feature for Traktor. Here you can drag and drop samples from your computer which auto sync to the track you are playing. Or you can create loops in real time then drag and drop the loops to the sample deck to add filters and effects. These sample decks can also be controlled by using a midi controller like the Traktor kontrol x1 or s4.
Trakto Pro 2 also comes with a massive bank of FX. In this version of the software there have been some really cool additions. These include bouncer, ramp delay, and tape delay. The effects bank could make for endless FX combinations and really add something different to your mix. Unfortunately VST’s aren’t supported but given the amount of available FX, you should never get bored.
If you like the idea of using special external hardware a new feature to Traktor Pro 2 is the new stem deck. You can pair Traktor Pro 2 with a compatible midi controller. You will then be able to play and adjust a special multi track file known as a stem file. These files display a four section waveform on your external controller and play a music track that has been split into four musical sections.
For example you could have a track split into bassline stem, drum stem, melody stem, and vocal stem. You can then control each stem individually and get very creative with your mixing. You can then mix these stems between decks. So you could take the bassline of one track and mix it with the beat of another.
Stem decks could create a world of new opportunities and allow you to create live mashups, remixes, acapellas, and more.
The Traktor Pro 2 music library
The Traktor Pro 2 music library is very simple but has a lot of useful features. You’ll see your track collection with different column options. Here you can display whatever you like using the drop-down menu.
You can chose from column options like cover art, BPM, genre, artist, comments. Or special features like a rating system, play count, track time, and lots more. If you like the idea of harmonic mixing the track key is something that could come in very handy. This can be displayed in a library column to show you the key your track is recorded in. This is totally ignored by many DJ’s but it will make a massive difference to your mixes. You’ll be surprised how much better a mix will sound when it’s mixed in key!
You’ll also have an auto sort option in the library, this is for arranging tracks by genre, artist, etc. And you get a preparation window to get your tracks ready to play in your set.
Over on the left you can search your library for a specific track. You will also be able to create playlists and organise your music folders here. And just like the rest of the interface you can add or remove options. This lets you keep it as minimal as you like depending on what you want to see.
Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2 – The Traktor Pro 2 DVS
The Traktor Pro 2 DVS works just like Seratos DVS using encoded vinyl or CDs. To use Traktor Pro 2 as a DVS you will need to buy the Traktor scratch add on. You’ll also need a supported sound card.
The Traktor Scratch A6 comes with everything you need. This includes the full package to set up the Traktor Scratch DVS hardware.
You’ll get a sound card, a pair of encoded control CD’s, and a pair of encoded control vinyl (mk2). And you’ll receive a serial number for the hardware and software, a pair of RCA cables, a power cable, and hot key map sheet. So with this option you’ll have all you need to get going with the Traktor DVS.
Special Traktor Pro hardware and controllers
Native instruments offer a range of special controllers, instruments, and effects machines. These offer the possibility to get even more creative, combing the software with a hands on approach.
You might try the Traktor Kontrol S2 MK2 controller. This controller fits any budget and comes with the full Traktor Pro 2 software.
Or maybe the fully loaded Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 DJ Controller. This is the high end controller and will even play the earlier mentioned stem files. This mixer also comes with the full Traktor Pro 2 software.
For those interested in the DVS, Native instruments even do mixer bundles. These bundles come with the mixer and the full Traktor Pro 2 software. You also get control CD’s and vinyl that all work seamlessly together as a DVS.
One of these amazing bundles is the Traktor Kontrol Z2 mixer. And thanks to the simple plug and play USB port it’s easy to connect additional hardware.Our Product Suggestion
Our Favourite Mixer – Allen & Heath Xone 23
Why We Love It
“This is a 2 + 2 channel mixer that means you can actually plug in and control 4 inputs. The Xone 23 features a simple but intuitive design perfect for beginners to intermediate and mobile DJ’s.”Check Price
If you like effects and loops this could be paired with the Traktor Pro 2 Kontrol X1. Or if you like messing with stems this could be paired with the Traktor Kontrol F1.
Pros and Cons or Traktor Pro 2
- Feature packed software that will transform your DJ sets.
- Easy to adjust the interface to suit individual requirements.
- Easy to use, great for beginners or experienced DJs.
- A top choice of many pro DJ’s. Tried, tested, and proven DJ software.
- Great for DJ’s and turntablists, excellent DVS capabilities and not laggy.
- Compatible with lots of hardware.
- Many special controllers and hardware available to help you get really creative.
- Gives you the ability to mix internally without hardware.
- Software may have the odd bug, but updates / bug fixes can be expected.
Should I buy Traktor Pro 2?
If you’re a DJ that enjoys digital DJing with the ability to use special plug and play hardware alongside a DVS, this could be the one.
The difference between this and Serato DJ is really minimal. But with the addition of the vast array of special hardware that is available, this could really open up new possibilities for you.
If you’re a beginner DJ, Traktor Pro 2 will really grow with you. You can add features as you progress. And you can get creative by expanding your set-up as you move forward as a digital DJ.
If you’re an experienced DJ you can add special hardware to expand your set-up and learn new skills.
You can really get creative with things like stems which can transform your mixes. Using Traktor Pro 2’s many excellent features your DJing skills will continue to grow for many years.
Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2 – Decision time!
The battle of Serato DJ VS Traktor Pro 2 continues! But which one is going to win a place alongside your set-up?
We’ve taken a look at the main stand out features. You now have a great comparison between the two programs.
Whichever one you go for will bring you hours of fun and will really expand your options as a DJ. Let me know which one you chose and what specific function did it for you.
Other DJ Software
Still not sure if Serato or Traktor is right for you? Read through our ultimate DJ software review guide to see all of the available options and pick the one that is best for you!
Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 review: 37 facts and highlights
Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2
Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2
Why is Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 better than the average?
Reverb occurs naturally when a sound is created in an enclosed space, and reflects from the walls. This effect can be created digitally, and is most noticeable when a sound cuts out suddenly and then continues to echo, slowly getting quieter.
The delay/echo sound effect will let you hear your sound rebounded back at you. It’s simply the same sound, repeated again and again.
This feature gives you the ability to create the classic DJ effect of scratching a vinyl record while playing.
Flanging is a type of phasing where two signals are introduced milliseconds apart, and then the two signals are mixed together. The delay time is varied, creating a whooshing or jet plane like effect.
You can create a brake effect similar to real vinyl, where the song slows down and sounds distorted.
Also known as pitch bend, pitch shifting allows you to change the pitch of the music.
The DJ software lets you repeat certain effects or parts of a song as much as you want. It started with CDJ players, where there was a “loop in” and “loop out” pair of buttons. You had to time precisely when you hit the buttons to get the perfect loop.
A gate is similar to a compressor. However, rather than attenuating signals above a certain value, it attenuates weak signals. This can be used, for instance, to reduce unwanted background noise.
The software features a graph that will illustrate the vibration/wave of the track that is currently playing.
This feature gives you the ability to switch from one song to the next by lowering the volume of one song and increasing volume of the other.
In order to have a smoother transition while mixing, the software can automatically sync the tempo/beat of the two songs.
The software allows you to designate a point in the current song where you want the next song or sound effect to start.
The software can set a number of cue points inside the track automatically.
Time stretching is the process of changing the speed or duration of an audio signal without affecting its pitch.
The DJ software features synchronized samplers with instant record and playback slots. Synchronized samplers let the DJ perform astounding remixes live.
The DJ program can automatically adjust the gain volume of two songs so they can better match so that the sound is more agreeable to the listener.
The total number of DJ decks that can be used in the software (usually the number of decks that a single DJ can control while mixing is 4).
The DJ software gives you the ability to set cue points while the music is playing (on the fly). Usually, multiple hot cue points can be set in an individual track.
The DJ software supports MP3 audio format. MP3 is the most widespread of the lossy formats. (MP3s at kbps are generally accepted as pretty indistinguishable from CD sound quality).
The DJ software supports WAVE (.wav) lossless audio format. These files don’t usually have any room for metadata.
The DJ software supports AAC audio format. It is the native lossy format of Apple’s iTunes, iPod, iPad etc. It usually has the file extension m4a.
The DJ software supports AIFF audio format (lossless format). Be aware that they’re not as universally playable as WAVE files once you get away from Macs.
The DJ software supports FLAC audio format (lossless format). FLAC files are compressed, usually to about half the size of the equivalent WAV.
This feature will find beats in the music so you can assign them to certain sound, effects and songs. Usually a visible grid appears over the track spectrum.
With a mixing history feature, the software automatically saves your audio tracks, enabling you to browse lists of tracks played in past mixing sessions.
The software allows recording mixtapes/sets directly on your HDD in different audio formats.
The software can automatically detect the key the music is in, allowing you to easily mix tracks with similar keys. This feature could help DJs in choose a suitable song to mix next.
The DJ software supports external microphones hardware and often has a special control section for that.
The DJ software lets you create and save playlists with all your favorite tracks. Playlists can be saved, modified and played over and over.
Which are the best DJ software?
Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro 2
Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2
Atomix VirtualDJ Pro Full
TODAY'S BEST DEALS
Traktor's grip on the digital DJ world continues to tighten. For a long time, Serato was the only name on DJs lips when it came to timecode control, but over the past three years, NI have done a fantastic job of selling Traktor not only to House and Techno DJs for its rock-solid simplicity but to the Hip Hop DJs who adopted Serato so extensively.
This was helped in part by their incredibly successful Maschine campaign and just like the MPC advocates have swarmed over its orange pads, Serato has found itself with stiff competition in the form of Traktor Scratch Pro.
Now with the SP-6 sampling functions of Serato implemented in Traktor Pro 2 via the Sample Decks, the battle for the booth continues to heat up.
So what else is new?
Users of the flagship Kontrol S4 controller will already be at home with Traktor Pro 2. After all, the two main additions to Pro 2 have already seen the light of day in the bespoke version Traktor Pro S4 - namely the Sample Deck and Loop Recorder.
Without jaunting over old territory, they are simple but effective performance options based on sampling and retriggering. Sample Deck can load in either dedicated loops or one shots from your track collection or 'sample' from a loop currently activated in the Track Deck into one of its four slots - although it doesn't actually 'record' it in real-time, it's instantly transferred to its new home.
The Sample Deck does need to occupy one of your four decks, but once it's been assigned, it has access to all of the processing any standard track would, such as filter, EQ and effects. However, each sample slot in the Deck also has its own volume and filter control independent of the channel.
If it seems like having to loop before you can transfer a live recording into the deck is a bit of a hindrance, the Loop Recorder is your friend. This nifty addition will let you record on the fly, quantised to a predetermined length, measured in beats from four to
One thing that's kind of missing is an on/off button as cutting it in and out can sound great, but there's always a small fade via the Dry/Wet control. This is the way Traktor lets you sample on the fly without looping, and in fairness it's a pretty tidy solution.
It doesn't end there though as not only can Loop Recorder take its input from the master out, any cued signal or an aux input (and external when using Ext Mixer mode) it can also be overdubbed for loop layering. Considering its power and potential, NI have done a great job of keeping it simple and in combination with the Sample Deck, it will definitely raise one or both eyebrows from the Ableton Live performance crowd.
Apart from the Sample Deck and Loop Recorder, the other obvious addition is that of coloured waveforms. As well as being able to zoom in to almost sample level, you can now also change the colour of the waveforms in both Deck types. The brighter shades represent higher frequencies while the darker ones represent lower ones. While there are three other options beside the default - Infrared, X-Ray and Spectrum - there is no option to turn it off, which is odd.
It's designed for you to mix your tracks visually, identifying the kick and snare, for example, even if the transients are identical. Anyone who's used Serato Scratch Live or Deckadance will recognise this visual treat but it's more for scratch DJs than anyone syncing four-four.
Alongside some new effects in the form of Tape Delay, Ramp Delay, Auto Bouncer and Bouncer, a whole heap of one shot and loop content from Loopmasters' DJ Tech Tools series and twists and tweaks in the preferences, that's about it for Traktor Pro 2.
NI have refined the way sync works in Traktor Pro 2. Now, in preferences you can set which sync type you want to use - either TempoSync or BeatSync.
TempoSync will ignore the phase metre when the sync button is pressed and simply ensure that the tempos of the tracks are matching. Now if you manually nudge a track or scratch, it won't automatically turn off sync or jump back into phase with the Master.
It feels much more natural mixing this way and although you might need some practice to get used to it if you rely heavily on sync, it is a very welcome addition.
BeatSync keeps tempo and phase locked down so any scratching ends with a jump back to phase alignment. Depending on how you want to work, both settings perform well and are noticeably better than previous versions.
Put quite simply, if you're looking to get in to digital DJing either from vinyl, CDJs or from scratch (ahem) Traktor is the first software you should check out. It really is that good.
For current users that's where it gets more difficult. NI admit that not all custom mappings will be seamlessly ported so you may have to test your setup extensively before your first gig with TP2, although we found no issues.
You will also need to re-analyse your collection thanks to the new strip view and sync functionality. This could take anything from a few hours to a few days depending on the size of your library. It's not really about the price as much as it is about the turnover time. However, TP2 does not install over your current TP.
Right on Trak
If we were to find fault with TP2, we would say that it's becoming a tad bloated. Laptop screen sizes aren't getting any bigger and NI are trying to pack even more into the interface. There is a danger of it becoming crowded and the coloured waveforms only add to the amount of information you're taking in.
Although you can hide everything you don't need, you're not making the most of what you've paid for. While it's a bit of a stretch to call this a 'flaw', we're hoping NI put the brakes on in terms of bolting on to the interface for the foreseeable future, or release an iOS and Android browser app to search and load from your device, so your mixer, decks and effects can rule the screen - just a thought.
Also, there was a considerable difference in the CPU usage of Traktor Pro and TP2 - something to keep in mind if you were already stretching the limit of your laptop. Traktor Pro 2 might not be a huge update in terms of features, but it tweaks and refines an already streamlined DJ tool.
We can imagine some DJs never even looking at the Sample Deck or Loop Recorder and still loving TP2 for its sync overhaul while we can imagine others completely changing their performance approach to cater for its power. Whichever one you are, there's enough here to keep Traktor powering ahead of the pack, yet again.
2 review pro traktor
Review: Native Instruments Traktor Pro
For years, Traktor Pro was the go-to DJ software of choice for many, myself included – it was reliable, rock-solid and enormous fun to use. But when I began playing live more frequently, having to take my laptop, a controller and a whole heap of aux cables quickly became a pain.
For a while, I’d been a user of rekordbox instead of Traktor. But when I was asked to review Native’s latest update, I jumped at the chance, and was keen to see what developments had taken place. Would I be surprised? Reading forums and message boards signalled a generally mixed response to Traktor Pro 3. Does it warrant being a whole new version, or is it really Traktor + in disguise?
Open up Traktor Pro for the first time and you’ll find that it is – in essence – the same Traktor we know and love: browser at the bottom, decks left and right, mixer in the middle and effects at the top. However, some small yet not insignificant improvements have been made.
The UI feels immediately fresher and more in line with Native’s other products such as Maschine. It’s darker, flatter and sharper in general. It’s not retina-ready, however, meaning that it wont take full advantage of high-definition screens. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s worth noting.
I’m very impressed with the Signposts: these are little indicators that provide the key bits of information you need when you’re deep in the mix. Take the Mixer FX, for example (more on these to come). When you change from Filter to, say, Noise, the colour of the knob changes too, and it’s a different colour for each effect. This should help you to quickly spot which effect youre using and change as appropriate. It’s simple but effective.
As well as this, the layout feels far less cluttered and easier on the eye. The Cue, Cup, Flex and Rev buttons look bigger and easier to activate. The Hot Cues are also far more visually appealing, appearing as nice big blocks of colour which are each easy to recognise in terms of their purpose (Grid, Loop, Cue etc). And speaking of colour, the colours used in the track waveforms look more beautiful than ever.
Using Julian Jeweils Mars as an example here, there’s a real sense of where the energy lies and – as the track builds to its drop – you’re shown subtle yet informative colour changes. It’s a visual feast. Plus, users can now – at last – change the view of the waveform layout to full Parallel view. This basically takes the existing waveform layout and places two larger versions at the top of the screen.
You can zoom out to quite a distance so you get to see most of the track as it progresses, or you can zoom right in until you get a blur of waveforms. It’s a welcome addition that brings it in line with both rekordbox and Serato, although you could argue this should have been introduced some time ago. These parallel waveforms becomes more effective when you work with four decks, stems or remix decks. It’s a lot of information to take onboard, but give it a bit of time and mixing with these larger waveforms will become second nature.
The final observations on the user interface are the improvements to both the CPU load and output levels. These are much cleaner and easier on the eye, as are the individual deck levels. The centre display panel that shows Snap, Quantize, Link and the Master/Audio tempo have more prominence, and rightly so; they’re key components.
Time to stretch
Audio quality is of course a key feature of any DJ software. And the first notable upgrade is that Native Instruments has licensed the latest version of zplane’s Elastique Pro V3 time-stretching and pitch-shifting engine. While this might not be as ‘creatively’ exciting as some of the other developments here, it’s a big deal in terms of audio quality, especially if you’ve got Key Lock engaged. And it really is noticeable: comparing Traktor 2 and 3 with a track pitched down to 30 per cent and beyond, the difference is quite stark: the sound is far less gritty and grainy and much more pleasant on the ears.
Up to now, if you wanted to apply effects to your mix you had to use Send 1, Send 2 or both. This worked fine, but could be a bit fiddly if you just wanted to quickly apply some delay or crushing. I cant tell you the number of times I’ve inadvertently left S1 assigned on Deck 2 and wondered why it sounded like it was in a cave.
NI has now introduced a useful feature where you can change the Filter knob in the mixer panel to four alternative effects. These are: Reverb, Dual Delay, Noise, Gater, Flanger, Barber Pole, Dotted Delay, Crush, and of course, Filter. They’re a hugely welcome addition and not dissimilar to Pioneer’s Sound Color FX. However – in practice – they sound more usable. Ever tried to add noise on a Pioneer mixer? It’s like putting the club in a wind tunnel. These effects feel far more subtle, yet still pack a punch – the Dotted Delay is particularly sexy.
Whether you’re a professional or bedroom DJ, you’re likely to have a DJ controller of some sort. Native Instruments has improved the functionality of its S2 and S4 MK3 models by adding the ability to map specific controls to perform alternative functions. So if you don’t ever use that Quantize button and instead want to map it to record your mix, you now can. Simply go to the Preferences, access the Controller Manager, hit Learn, press your button and then assign the new control.
This opens up a whole world of possibilities for Traktor-related hardware owners who can now configure their equipment to their needs. This could be done with a generic MIDI controller, but of course, you invariably didn’t have the integrated audio card.
There’s also a new setting that disables scratching on the jog wheels of the MK3 units. This is a great feature if youre someone who may only scratch once every 10 years, But by disabling this feature, you remove the risk of accidentally scratching when all you want to do is bend that pitch. Cracking.
And so we come to the one main negative in the Traktor Pro update: the Browser, the hub of any DJ software. In an age where other DJ products, such as djay Pro 2, can import and manage Spotify playlists, how does Traktor stack up with song and playlist management?
Sadly, little has changed since Traktor 2 and perhaps really since the first incarnation. It’s pretty surprising that there is absolutely no option to create Smart Playlists, a feature that has been part of rekordbox for at least three years. I cant deny that I miss this feature. It’s just so handy to be able to say, for example: “Make a playlist that contains tracks made in , are between bpm and have the genre ‘House’ attached to them.” Click save, and boom – there they are.
I have my entire song collection organised in to a myriad of different playlists, playlists that meet my every need. And I’m eternally grateful for them. And yet I find that I can’t do this in Traktor Pro While I’ve waxed lyrical about all of the above, very appealing, features, this is the one area that I think seriously needs some love and attention, and could be a deal breaker for those DJs working with vast libraries of music. Yes, there is a workaround (it involves highlighting tracks, right-clicking and manually entering the info), but really, you would think that a DJ package where you can time-stretch music to an incredible level of detail could update the organisation of the music.
You could argue, too, that this could be simply done using iTunes, but I don’t want to use iTunes; I want to use Traktor. This gripe aside, Traktor Pro is a substantial and slick update that will undoubtedly satisfy its large user base.
Do I really need this?
If you’re an existing Traktor user, you might be feeling a little cheated. “Why isn’t this free?” I hear you cry. But consider the amount of free upgrades you’ve received over the years and it’s no surprise that NI has now added a pricetag. If you already own Traktor Pro, Duo or Scratch 1/2, it’s £44 to upgrade. That’s a small price to pay for an upgrade that gives you all the things mentioned above, plus DVS control. I think that’s pretty good.
Whether you really need it may depend on how much you use it. Bedroom DJs should see the benefits, especially with the single FX that have been introduced. And if you regularly play in a bar or club, it’s absolutely worth the expenditure to upgrade. I know I’ll be getting the laptop out again and making myself a nuisance once more.
- £44 to upgrade from existing Traktor Scratch, Pro and Duo licence
- £89 for new licence
- Improved audio engine
- Parallel waveforms
- DVS support included
- Integrated Mixer FX
- Improved user interface
- Ableton Link
- Simplified MIDI configuration
dJay Pro 2 £48 Mac/£44 Windows
With access to the entire Spotify library (you must be a paid member and connected to the internet), Song Match mode, Automix and built-in visuals, dJay Pro 2 is a substantial hub to work from, particularly for house parties and bar sets.
rekordbox dj From £free – $
Compatible with numerous controllers and CDJs, Pioneer’s rekordbox has two versions (kind of), with one free version aimed at USB-export preparation for DJs using Pioneer’s Media Players and CDJs and one with performance functionality. Use it to manage your cues, loops, song library and playlists in Export mode or mix direct with Performance mode.
Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 DJ Software Review
We've recently had the opportunity to review the entire Traktor Scratch Pro 2 setup including the software and the hardware interface. We've decided to also bring you separate hardware and software written reviews to hold you down until the Full Video review is released on Monday morning. This is the Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 DJ Software short written review. Check it out inside.
Buy the Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 DJ Software at the lowest price on Reverb.com
Traktor Scratch Pro Software (New Features):
With Traktor Scratch 2, Native Instruments made some significant changes to the
Traktor Scrach 1
software, including various tweaks to the interface and some useful new effects and features. In order to help you determine if the new features are worthy of an upgrade, we have broken down each major change in detail below.
User Interface & Truwave
The new version of Traktor has a much more modern and organized look. Whereas the buttons on the old interface sometimes blended in with eachother, the new interface lays out all buttons and triggers in a way that not only looks more modern, but also makes it easier to spot the feature you are looking for. In summary, it looks less busy, and more organized.
The most immediately noticeable change made to the Traktor Interface is the addition of colored waveforms or TruWave as Traktor calls it. The color coding allows you to quickly identify the snares and high-hats in the beat. This makes mixing easier and also gives DJs a visible cue to what the wavs represent. Serato has had this functionality for a while now, and we are glad to see that Traktor caught up. Furthermore, Traktor 2 allows you to zoom in on the waveform, which means that you can more precisely set your cue points.
Fans of Traktor will know that it offers a lot of options, not all of which are relevant all of the time. Because of this I was glad to see that Traktor Pro 2 comes with 3 different layout options - each one catered to a different type of DJ. The most basic layout strips the interface down to the bare essentials and in some ways emulates the simplified look of Serato. It eliminates the FX, mixer, sample deck, and some of the advanced buttons in favor of increasing the size of the waveform and browsing windows. This is ideal for the hip hop DJ looking to just mix records. On the other hand you can choose the more advanced layout which includes everything, as well as an option in between.
The one negative here is that Traktor 2 neglected to add a layout that places the waveforms of the 2 decks side-by-side (aka parallel waveforms). Serato fans love this feature since you can easily see if one of the decks is phased ahead of the other. Unfortunately at this time there is no option to do this, so it remains a Serato exclusive for now.
The most exciting new feature in Traktor 2 is its ability to load sounds and loops into 4 sample banks per sample deck. These sample decks can then be controlled via mouse/keyboard or even a Midi controller such as the
or even a all-in-one unit like the
. The sample decks are pretty easy to use but allow skilled DJs to construct some incredible live remixes on the fly. You can either load up audio samples (Traktor 2 comes with a few to get you started) or you can create your own using loops within tracks that you set. The sample decks are by far the most exciting and revolutionary advancement included in Traktor Scratch 2 because it allows DJs to move beyond mixing and cutting into live remixing.
This feature is closely related to the sample Decks, as it allows you to take a loop, apply effects and save it as its own sound file snippet. You can then take this file and load it up in one of the sample decks. Overall, we found this process pretty simple and intuitive.
Traktor Scratch Pro already came with a number of effects and Traktor Pro 2 ads four more to the DJ's arsenal. These include Tape Delay, Ramp Delay, Bouncer, and auto Bouncer. Bouncer is my favorite new addition simply for the fact that its so extreme. I dont see me dropping it in a set as a hip hop DJ, but a Dub-Step DJ could probably find some interesting uses for it especially when chained together when other effects.
With the Traktor Scratch Pro 2 software, Native Instruments has incorporated features that fans have been asking for as well as brand new capabilities that will help take DJing to the next level. Whereas the Colored waveforms brings the software up to par with the standard set by Serato, the Sample Decks and loop recorder are game-changers that open up a new world of possibilities for skilled and creative DJs.
While the DJ Booth staff was really hoping that it would include parallel waveforms, the Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro 2 system is one of the BEST (if not the best) Digital DJ Solutions out on the market today and the hands down choice for DJs interested in going beyond simple mixing and cutting.
-(4) Decks of Control
-Lots of Effects
-New Live Loop Recorder & Sample Decks within Software allows for live remixing
-Full Color Track Waveform
-Good Price when compared to competitive products
-Unable to display waveforms side-by-side
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