After some time lost in the DJ software ether, Native Instruments bounced back into the DJ consciousness with somewhat vague news that there would be a spanking new from the ground up version of Traktor. Confusion reigned for a while around these parts as I had no real idea of what that really meant for the old Traktor. But further clarity has arrived in my inbox today with the news that the iOS Traktor DJ is back, has been updated to Traktor DJ 2, and will be for iOS, Mac and Windows too. Yay?
Once again, NI has put out an all-encompassing lump of PR for all their news. Here it is for completeness, but I’ve highlighted the relevant Traktor bits:
The latest Native Instruments releases deliver affordability, portability, and deep integration for DJs and producers
NI announces new entry-level hardware, a free tier of KOMPLETE, TRAKTOR DJ 2, Sounds.com integration for MASCHINE and KOMPLETE KONTROL, and more
Berlin, January 24, 2019 – Following its biggest ever release in September 2018, Native Instruments today announces four new easy-to-use, affordable, and powerful products. Included are two new KOMPLETE audio interfaces, the most portable KOMPLETE KONTROL keyboard to date, a new free tier of the KOMPLETE production suite, and a new generation of the TRAKTOR DJ app. These new products are accompanied by a refresh of Sounds.com, the expansion of Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) to include loops and samples, and tighter integration of Sounds.com with updated MASCHINE and KOMPLETE KONTROL software – further integrating NI’s connected ecosystem of creative tools into one seamless workflow.
With some of Native Instruments lowest price points and most user-friendly products to date, these releases mark another major milestone in the company’s journey towards making musical creativity more intuitive and accessible to all.
New starting points for producers and DJs
For producers, the release includes new hardware and software in the KOMPLETE range. A new 32-key portable keyboard, KOMPLETE KONTROL M32, is designed to provide the same hands-on workflow and comprehensive Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) integration as the
S-Series and A-Series controllers, but with a smaller footprint and a lower price point. Available in March, the M32 comes with everything a new producer needs to sketch out, tweak, and finalize a track. The package includes MASCHINE Essentials, Ableton Live 10 Lite, NI’s acclaimed MONARK synthesizer, and more.
The M32 is joined by KOMPLETE AUDIO 1 and 2 – the first two offerings in a new range of slick, easy-to-use audio interfaces. Both are available from March 19, and offer pristine sound quality with different in/out connection options. The interfaces include a generous software package, featuring synths, effects, MASCHINE Essentials, and Ableton Live 10 Lite – again providing everything a producer needs to create full tracks from start to finish. KOMPLETE
AUDIO 1 and 2 will also be welcomed by a wide community of singer-songwriters, YouTubers, podcasters, and gamers looking for great sound.
Now everyone can explore the acclaimed sound of NI’s KOMPLETE production suites, with the introduction of KOMPLETE START – an entirely free collection featuring 15 studio-quality instruments, 2 effects, and a best-of selection of nearly 1,500 loops and samples from Expansions sound packs. Included is the floor-shaking low-end of TRK-01 Bass, the vibrant synth sounds of MIKRO PRISM, and expertly-crafted sampled instruments ranging from electric pianos to drum machines. The collection also includes creative sound design tools, essential effects like the SUPERCHARGER tube compressor, and more.
For DJs, NI lifts the lid on TRAKTOR DJ 2: A new version of TRAKTOR designed to work with iPad, PC, and Mac, both standalone and with the recently released TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 controller. Geared towards DJs of all levels – whether at home, on stage, or on the move
– TRAKTOR DJ 2 features smart track recommendations, an easy-to-learn workflow, and integration with a vast online library of tracks via SoundCloud GO+. The app is built on an entirely new code base, and is the first TRAKTOR software designed for both iOS and desktop environments. This not only brings a new look and feel to TRAKTOR’s professional DJ software, but also allows NI’s developers to expand the platform over time. TRAKTOR DJ 2 will be available to purchase in Spring 2019 via the NI Online Shop and the Apple App Store. It will also be included with new purchases of TRAKTOR KONTROL S2, and made available as a free download for current users of the Mk3 S2.
Commenting on the releases, Native Instruments CEO and co-founder, Daniel Haver, said: “Following our vision that anyone can make music, today’s announcements demonstrate our continued removal of barriers to music creation. Our hardware and software releases deliver new entry points for creators of every level, Sounds.com integration puts millions of loops and samples at artist’s fingertips, and we continue to push industry standards with NKS. Lastly, a universal Native ID login creates a seamless experience for our customers, better connecting our services and platforms.”
One connected ecosystem, one integrated experience
NI’s loops and samples platform Sounds.com has been growing rapidly since launching in 2018. The service is now available in 21 territories worldwide, and has added over one million loops and one-shots to its library, including exclusive packs from Diplo, Junkie XL, Ski Beatz, Trap Money Benny, and other leading artists. Today, Sounds.com receives further updates with new shareable user Collections, and credits that roll over from month to month. From February, all loops and samples on Sounds.com will be NKS-tagged and easily accessible. Collections will also sync to KOMPLETE KONTROL and MASCHINE with a single click for easy tag-based browsing and a drag-and-drop workflow in any DAW.
Furthermore, all NI users will soon be welcomed to the world of Sounds.com with the introduction of Native ID – a single sign-on mechanism. This will give anyone with a Native Instruments account instant access to the Sounds.com free tier without re-registering, plus an option for trial membership, which provides 75 download credits and full access for two weeks. Sounds.com users will also be welcomed into the Native Instruments ecosystem via their existing login details. In addition, purchasers of new Native Instruments production hardware will be entitled to an extended Sounds.com trial, with two months of the Essential plan to explore the full library.
The latest KOMPLETE KONTROL software update makes the workflow-enhancing tool free for everyone as part of KOMPLETE START. Coming in February, KOMPLETE KONTROL 2.1 introduces Sounds.com integration and a built-in sample player, allowing producers to easily integrate their Collections into any DAW-based workflow. This update further consolidates KOMPLETE KONTROL as a powerful browsing hub, now integrating hardware, software, instruments, effects, loops, and samples. Previously exclusive to owners of KOMPLETE KONTROL hardware, users of any MIDI controller can now get hands on with their instruments, effects, and samples via a simple, one-time macro mapping that brings full control of everything in the NKS universe to any setup.
Following suit is MASCHINE software, with a 2.8 update that brings Sounds.com into the heart of the beat-making experience. Once synced online, samples and loops appear in the MASCHINE browser, tagged and ready-to-use – providing MASCHINE producers with an
ever-expanding library of sounds that caters to all genres of music.
Chief Innovation Officer, Mate Galic said: “We believe that a deeply integrated and intuitive ecosystem of tools, sounds, and services will transform the creation landscape and open up new possibilities for creators worldwide. This can only be achieved through collaboration at an industry level, and with this release, Sounds.com and NKS continue to play a crucial role in threading together not only NI products, but also third-party tools, sounds, and services. With all three core Native Instruments brands now connected to powerful cloud platforms, we’re excited to move closer to this vision.”
More information is available at https://www.native-instruments.com.
Pricing and availability
KOMPLETE KONTROL M32
KOMPLETE KONTROL M32 is a micro-sized keyboard controller that gives you the tools you need to go from first note to finished track, every step of the way.
Available March 6, 2019
129 USD, 119 EUR, 14800 JPY, 99 GBP, 189 AUD, 169 CAD, 899 CYN.
KOMPLETE AUDIO 1 and 2
A pair of simple, two-channel audio interfaces. Along with pristine sound quality, they come with all the software needed to record, polish, and finish ideas.
Available March 19, 2019
KOMPLETE AUDIO 1: 109 USD, 99 EUR, 12,800 JPY, 79 GBP, 139
CAD, 799 CYN, 149 AUD
KOMPLETE AUDIO 2: 139 USD, 129 EUR, 16,800 JPY, 109 GBP,
179 CAD, 999 CYN, 209 AUD
TRAKTOR DJ 2
Serious DJing, made seriously easy. A DJ app that allows everybody to mix anywhere. Includes powerful tools for creative mixing, and a never-ending record collection with SoundCloud Go+ integration.
Available spring 2019
UPDATE: iOS: €9,99/$9.99/£8.99
Mac/Windows: 49 USD, 49 EUR, 6280 JPY, 44 GBP, 79 AUD, 69 CAD, 379 CNY
KOMPLETE START A free production suite of over 2000 studio-quality sounds from the
KOMPLETE universe. KOMPLETE START features 15 instruments, 2 effects, and a greatest-hits collection of loops and samples from some of the most popular Expansions sound packs.
Available February Free
MASCHINE 2.8 Free update to MASCHINE introduces one-click syncing with
Sounds.com content. Once synced, samples and loops automatically appear in the MASCHINE library – tagged, and ready to be thrown straight into the beat.
Released February 2019 as a free update via Native Access.
KOMPLETE KONTROL 2.1 An intuitive tool that organizes NKS instruments, effects, presets,
controller mappings, and now loops and samples. With the latest update, KOMPLETE KONTROL software becomes free for everyone with KOMPLETE START. Also included is a new built-in sampler, support for any MIDI-capable controller, and one-click sync for Sounds.com Collections.
Released February 2019 as part of KOMPLETE START or as a free update via Native Access.
Sounds.com Now home to over one million loops and samples, Sounds.com begins
2019 by giving users access to their Collections directly inside their DAW projects – thanks to powerful new integration with KOMPLETE KONTROL and MASCHINE software coming in February.
This announcement is an interesting twist on what we knew. The plan always was to continue Traktor Pro 2 and add some new features here and there, but at the same time be concurrently developing the next and as yet unnamed version of Traktor.
When the Kontrol S2 MK3 arrived complete with iOS port, people were asking what that was for considering that Traktor DJ was all but dead in the eyes of users, and seemingly forgotten by NI. Well now we know — it seems that the new Traktor DJ 2 is that new version of Traktor, but is being developed in parallel on all platforms.
Looking at these first screens, it’s clear that it’s very barebones, but still has everything needed for mixing two tracks in the most simple of ways. I would assume that the scrum board will be seeing rapid movement of post it notes from column to column as the features get added one by one.
But it looks like they’re aiming for a common experience across devices. There’s a little more on the desktop screens of course, because it’s easier to select a small control with a mouse pointer than it is with a sausage like finger.
There’s also a look of the new controller ID about Traktor DJ 2. One thing puzzles me — if the controllers are asymmetrical, why isn’t the software? It doesn’t make sense to be looking at the S2, and then glance up to see something else starting back at you. I hope that the ground up rebuild makes it easy to add optional interface layouts too.
And what about Traktor Pro?
It’s established that Traktor DJ 2 will be developed alongside the existing Traktor Pro 3. It’s fair to say that they are entirely different beasts though, and power users will be horrified at the thought of having to jump to something that doesn’t even have effects yet. Fear not, for NI has offered a little more clarity on this:
“TRAKTOR DJ 2 is based on an entirely new codebase that will set TRAKTOR up for the future. TRAKTOR PRO 3 remains the most advanced incarnation of TRAKTOR. It’s used by professionals worldwide on a daily basis and will continue to be our flagship DJ software for years to come.
TRAKTOR DJ 2 and TRAKTOR PRO 3 will therefore be developed and updated in tandem in the coming years, until we and our professional users consider the new platform to be mature enough to make the switch.”
Did you read that? Years to come. Calm down. There will be a natural migration though — not everyone needs access to the innermost workings of the controller manager. Some people just want to play one track to the next, and for those people Traktor DJ 2 is ready at launch. Then with each extra feature that’s added, a few more people will jump ship. And bit by bit. most people will have made the leap, except for the die-hard Traktor Pro users who much like Scratch Live users will hang on out of sheer bloody mindedness.
On an additional hardware note, the NI site states that the Kontrol Z1 and Audio 2MK2 will work with Traktor DJ 2. I’ve also noticed by its absence that the iPhone doesn’t get a mention. It’s not through lack of power, but more about the number of people who will DJ with an iPhone is probably tiny, and the priority will be iPads.
No Android support? Well of course not, because it’s established that Android is truly terrible for audio applications. Rather than the biased opinion of an Apple user, there’s graphs and stuff to prove it. And the rather clever Gábor who makes the iOS only DJ Player Pro is also quite the guru when it comes to Android audio. And if he says it sucks, then who are we to argue. So please don’t blame NI for a lack of Android version. Given the lack of pro audio Android apps compared to iOS, haven’t you got the message yet?
I get the need to rebuild. But the pricing structure is not exactly going to have people flocking to try out the comparatively underpowered Traktor DJ 2 on any platform. The $49/€49/£44 price tag is a bit steep to pay at the start for something that does a fraction of what competitive products do. How about some transitionary pricing? It’s better to get some revenue in than none at all right?
We’ll just have to wait until Spring to see what the full package is like.