I’m sure you probably thought it was out already, but the new Traktor Kontrol X1 is available in shops now. Well actually, it’s been available for a few days in said shops, but today is the official release day. And to mark it, NI have really pushed out the VIP boat and snared Felix da Housecat to gush effusively about how much he loves the new X1.
I’m sure I’m just repeating myself here, but this is the latest press release from NI:
Native Instruments releases TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 MK2
The redesigned DJ performance controller for TRAKTOR PRO 2 is now available in stores worldwide
Berlin, August 6, 2013 – Native Instruments today released the updated TRAKTOR KONTROL X1, a new version of its compact and highly popular decks and effects controller. With the same size and robust product design as the original controller, TRAKTOR KONTROL X1’s new features include touch-sensitive Browse and Loop encoders, 7-segment displays and LEDs for visual feedback, and an innovative multi-purpose touch strip for added tactile control. When combined with TRAKTOR PRO, the X1 MK2 delivers plug-and- play physical control over 2 track decks and 2 freely assignable TRAKTOR FX units – with or without the use of turntables or CDJs. The TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 MK2 is now available in stores worldwide and at the NI Online Shop.
TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 MK2 allows direct control over playback, browse, cue, sync and loop functionality, and now introduces a button for dedicated Flux mode access. 7-segment displays, LEDs, and quality RGB back-lit buttons that match color with cue point types provide precise visual feedback even in the darkest conditions. The most significant new addition is a multi- purpose touch strip that delivers physical command over track position, pitch bend, and effects. Actions such as nudging, needle dropping, track seeking or setting loop length are now possible through simple finger swiping for customizable tactile control over these parameters in TRAKTOR PRO 2. LED indicators help DJs keep track of the assigned parameter without having to look at the computer screen.
Furthermore, the new TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 MK2 hardware now provides even more dedicated control over TRAKTOR PRO 2. Advanced Browse and Loop encoders respond to touch, providing direct access to different views and functions in TRAKTOR PRO 2.
Pricing and availability
TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 MK2 is now available at retailers worldwide and at the NI Online Shop for $229 / 199 € / 20,800 ¥.
All X1 customers receive a personal $50 / 50 € / ¥ 5000 e-voucher delivered by email upon registration of the X1 hardware.
Further product information and press material
Additional information on TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 is available at:
Sooo… X1s have replaced conventional decks in Felix’s workflow. In today’s loop and sample based DJ world, the need for a jog wheel becomes less with each passing beat quantised year. And thanks to sync and accurate beat grids, pitch faders are becoming a relic of the golden age of DJing. But “this shit is touch sensitive” it seems, and riding the pitch is now replaced with stroking the strip. You can use that if you want.
But Felix comes from those times, and rather than just taking all this new fangled voodoo for granted, he clearly appreciates what he has in front of him. I like the fact he’s brave enough to go with such a minimal set of gear, but in this day and age, you don’t need much more.
A glimpse of the future?
The above shot caught my eye more than anything else in the video, as a potential shape of things to come. I was at first reminded of Allen & Heath’s Xone 4D controller, but with one important omission — the jog wheels. As time evolves, so does technique, and slowly features we’ve become used to are disappearing. Pitch controls, jog wheels, and probably crossfaders are slowly being evolved out of DJ workflows (check Novation’s Twitch for evidence of this), so I wouldn’t be surprised if this new X1 heralded some challenging ways of working in future NI hardware. If a touch strip can be more than one control, then who knows what inventive new ways NI has up its sleeves to multi-purpose existing controls.
Expect our detailed review next week. There’s no rush. Most will have already bought it regardless of reviews anyway.