traktor-remix-deck-step-seq

DISCLOSURE: I’ve been doing some bits of freelance work with Native Instruments, on the Traktor side of things. Also, I’ve been a big Traktor fan for a long time.

Yes! Yes. We’re still waiting on Traktor Pro 3. Who knows when that’ll be out? But in the meantime, Native Instruments have steadily been bringing out new features and ironing out problems people have uncovered. In recent months, NI have tried to work more closely with users to test new software, as shown with their Expert Testers scheme and the betas for Traktor and Native Access.

Now, Native Instruments yesterday announced on Facebook that there’s an open beta for the new version of Traktor Pro 2, which will bring us right up to version 2.11. And there’s a good amount of stuff thrown in: step sequencers for the Remix Decks, Ableton Link integration, and some new club mixers gained Scratch certification. Here’s the Facebook video and text for the lazy:

TRAKTOR Step Sequencer (Preview)

Calling experienced users to join our Public Beta test for the upcoming TRAKTOR version 2.11.0 – this is a huge update with new features: Ableton Link, which allows you to easily sync your setup with your friend’s laptop running TRAKTOR or other Ableton Link enabled software. And the Step Sequencer, ready to go on S8, D2 and F1 controllers (MIDI-mappable on other controllers) – create beat patterns live. Try it first and help shape the future of TRAKTOR! Sign up here: https://goo.gl/n9R5y1

Posted by TRAKTOR on Thursday, 29 September 2016

Calling experienced users to join our Public Beta test for the upcoming TRAKTOR version 2.11.0 – this is a huge update with new features: Ableton Link, which allows you to easily sync your setup with your friend’s laptop running TRAKTOR or other Ableton Link enabled software. And the Step Sequencer, ready to go on S8, D2 and F1 controllers (MIDI-mappable on other controllers) – create beat patterns live. Try it first and help shape the future of TRAKTOR! Sign up here: https://goo.gl/n9R5y1

There’s also a thread on NI’s Traktor forums that goes into a little more detail, and shows that certification for key Pioneer DJ gear and the new Allen & Heath Xone:PX5 mixer are coming too:

The update will include the following improvements:

If you are interested in participating in the beta test, please click here.

Ableton Link Integration
TRAKTOR now can be synced via Ableton Link to other desktop and iOS applications supporting this protocol. The synchronization works for applications running on the same computer or for applications on computers running in the same local network – connected via cable or wirelessly.

Step Sequencer for Remix Decks
Remix Deck based Step Sequencer for one-shots. Native control supported for S8 and D2 as well as via prepared user mode mappings for F1. All essential controls also MIDI mappable.

Pioneer CDJ-2000 NXS2 HID Integration
TRAKTOR now fully supports up to four Pioneer CDJ-2000 Nexus 2 Players automatically mapped to the main deck controls via HID.

Pioneer DJM-900 NXS2 Scratch Certification
The Pioneer DJM-900 Nexus 2 is now Scratch Certified and will automatically configure its audio channels when connected.

Allen & Heath PX5 Certification
The Allen & Heath PX5 is now Scratch Certified and will automatically configure its audio channels when connected.

Numerous bug fixes

My thoughts

It’s funny. The concept of Ableton Link integration has definitely been a grower for me. Now, having tried it out, I can absolutely see how important it is to music software. It just makes a hugely important aspect of music production so ridiculously easy that it almost becomes a non-issue. No more messing with MIDI settings, or latency compensation… or cables, even!

When I first heard about this update, my first thought was “Finally! Step sequencer on F1!” It just made sense. The controller is basically just a smaller Maschine anyway… After a bit of a play, some reading of instructions and a download of the extra Remix Deck content they’ve thrown in for beta testers, I got everything up and running on the S8 I have lying around.

The step sequencer does what it promises. Implementation feels OK on the S8 with the screens, though there are some things I’d probably do a bit differently, like have your sample cell selection work as remix decks do, but switch to a sequencer layer for each cell. This is how Ableton’s Push step sequencer works, and very well, I might add. As it stands, you’re limited to having a maximum of four samples, each with a single pattern. There also doesn’t seem to be any way (that I’ve found) of saving a drum sequence to a new cell, which would be a killer feature that would free up the deck for even more complex drum patterns.

Native Instruments has also added CD-2000NXS2 HID support, along with Scratch certification for the DJM-900NXS2 and Allen & Heath’s brand new Xone:PX5 mixer, which were a welcome surprise. I’m especially intrigued by the PX5, especially after my review of the Xone:43C. Who’d have thought a couple of years ago, that NI would be first in to get a third-party mixer Traktor Scratch ready?

Your thoughts

Are these the features you’re looking for? Will you be expanding your setup thanks to Ableton Link?

If you’re an existing TRAKTOR owner, you can sign up for the TRAKTOR PRO 2.11 beta on their Centercode portal.


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