The small and perfectly formed Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3

It’s not always about drawing new lines in the sand and pushing boundaries. Sometimes you just need to do the important stuff and do it well. And that’s exactly what the new Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3 aims to do. And it’s doing it at a more attractive price point that ever before.

Words follow. So many words today…


TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 condenses the club-standard software and hardware system into an ultra-portable form. The USB-powered system has been equipped with upsized jog wheels that offer more responsive touch-sensitivity and give DJs pinpoint control when scratching and nudging.

Both the TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 and TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 have undergone a complete redesign, with a visual language and build approach that aligns closely with TRAKTOR’s club-standard heritage. The two systems also feature 16 RGB-backlit pads for triggering samples and loops, as well as for setting and triggering cue points. Both systems also provide full integration with Mixer FX in TRAKTOR PRO 3, with a dedicated control section on each channel.

Available fall 2018.

299 USD, 299 EUR, 37800 JPY, 239 GBP, 439 AUD, 399 CAD, 2299 CNY

And from the specification sheet, because it’s easier to read:


  • New large (14cm/5.5smooth precision jog wheels with two modes:
  1. Jog mode:Classic spin-to-nudge function, as well as scratch capability
  2. Beat grid adjust mode: Use the jog wheel to manually adjust beatgrid in TRAKTOR
  • Club-standard layout with identical deck design, 2-channel mixer, and fast control of key TRAKTOR features
  • 16 RGB pads for triggering Hotcues, loops, or samples
  • 3-band EQs with modeling of industry standard mixer EQs
  • New Mixer FX for instant one-knob FX and filter control on each channel. Choose from eight FX and three filter types to assign to four hardware FX slots
  • Pro Mixer Layout with redesigned monitoring section and four dedicated slots for Mixer FX plus filters
  • Full version of TRAKTOR PRO 3 included
  • Connectivity: 44.1/48 kHz / 24-bit audio interface, mic input (1/4″ / 6.3 mm TRS), headphone out (1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS), 2x stereo main out (line and 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS), USB port, iOS port, 12V DC
  • Powered via USB 2.0 or with optional power supply unit.

INCLUDED SOFTWARE (provided as download upon hardware registration)

Includes the full version of TRAKTOR PRO 3 – the most stable and best-sounding version ever:

  • Mix across four decks with the industry’s tightest and most reliable looping and beatjump functions
  • Scratch, sample, and re-edit tracks with Stems, Remix decks and over 40 deck effects
  • New user interface with club-situation simplified layout
  • Enhanced audio quality with mixer bypass mode and Elastique 3 time-stretching
  • New dedicated Mixer FX
  • Improved browser section


  • Windows 10 (latest update, 64-bit)
  • Mac OS X 10.12 or 10.13 (latest update)
  • Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU
  • 4 GB RAM
  • USB 2.0 or higher (cable included)
  • Graphics card which supports OpenGL 3.3 or higher


…and it was good. Please bear in mind that in the space of maybe 90 minutes, we were shown keyboards, a new Maschine, Traktor Pro 3, and the S2 and S4 controllers. We haven’t got deep and dirty with them just yet. So these are first impressions.

Visually, it’s cleaner than before. The use of shiny piano gloss is gone, and larger jogs dominate (the new S4 has haptic feedback wheels — these are not). And it’s asymmetrical — it was the first thing I saw. I guess I’m just going to have to learn to get on with pitch controls in my crossfader firing line.

One feature not mentioned in the PR (and eagle-eyed readers may have spotted already) is an iOS port. The Kontrol S2 MK3 is very mobile-centric — smaller, lighter, and with the ability to… well whatever iOS compatibility means at this point. If NI hasn’t talked about it, then neither will we. Interestingly however, this port is labelled as HUB on the new S4.

It’s definitely not a boundary pushing box of tricks. Instead, it fits ever so nicely into the entry-level market, and offers serious competition to the existing players. The big wheels are very nice indeed, and the effects implementation is simple but well done. The potential users don’t need much, but what they get in the Kontrol S2 MK3 is a very focussed and cost-effective controller.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3 controller traktor pro 3 (17)

If I could sum up my feeling, it would be that it feels right. It doesn’t attempt to redefine the needs of a new DJ, but services them properly. NI’s stuff has always been a bit left field, but there’s a time and place for that, and it’s not on an entry-level controller. Good work NI.

And it’s £239, and that includes the full fat version of Traktor Pro 3, and everything that has to offer. That’s breaking new ground for NI, and will hopefully endear themselves to a wider and more hungry audience.