WHAT NEXT?: What do you want from Traktor Pro?

We’re going to start a series of blog posts encouraging discussion around specific topics in the DJ technology world, called “WHAT NEXT?”. Whether talking about specific DJ software, a common paradigm, a manufacturer, or hardware, we want to see your ideas. This partly sprung from the realisation that the industry has had a notable (and understandable) slowdown recently. While the articles have no affiliation with the company in question, they will be aware, and hopefully listen.

First up under the spotlight is Native Instruments’ Traktor Pro 2, which may not have changed much on the surface over the last few years, but has had a steady stream of features added up until late last year, including Stems, Remix Decks, Ableton Link, the D2, S5, and S8.

I see this endless debate about DJ software: “X hasn’t had any new features since Y”, “A is crap, it’s a buggy and unreliable, I had to move to B”. My first thought during these discussions is always: “What the hell are you doing with the software?!” My second thought is usually: “what else do we really need beyond what we already have?”

So here’s the question:

What do you want to see added to Traktor and the Kontrol hardware lineup?

The future of Traktor Pro

Here’s my suggestions:

  • A user interface that actually doesn’t look like a blurry JPEG on retina screens.
  • A search function for the preferences pane. Thanks to DJTT user tranceaddict for coming up with that one!
  • When you click the little X to clear a search string in the browser, the cursor should jump into the search box ready to type. This would be a really small think that could save some valuable time.
  • I think it’s legally required that I complain about the browser in general.
  • Some better integration with Maschine. Being able to run the two together and just clicking a button to bring up Maschine in a deck, Ableton Link style would be very nice (and would probably get me to switch to using the Maschine Jam instead of Ableton Push).
  • Improving the step sequencer workflow to something more akin to how Push does drum racks: scroll through your pages, then hold down a select key and tap the desired sample to use. Even limiting to a sample per deck channel, this would make navigating much easier.
  • Ability to write a step sequencer loop to another remix deck into a sample slot.
  • The option to switch to Xone:92-style 4-band EQ on the S2, S4, S5, S8, Z1, and Z2. Sacrifice the channel filter for the low EQ.
  • Built in store for buying Stems, remix packs and other bolt-ons.

There’s a lot of talk about stuff like parallel waveforms, or other Serato-like features that I personally feel would make the software into something that isn’t Traktor anymore. Adding them as options would work, but the most critical thing, to me, would be that new additions continue to allow Traktor to be a tinkerer’s dream.

The future of KONTROL hardware

While there seems to be a lot of negative sentiment about recent Traktor hardware, I personally love all three. Sure, they aren’t perfect, but they’re great bits of kit, and fun as hell to play on. And Native Instruments industrial design is almost always top notch. But what about the future?

  • A F1 mk2, with the same footprint as the D2, to turbo-charge the step sequencer.
  • I think we need a six channel audio interface, especially now the Audio 10 has been discontinued. You know it makes sense now that we have the MODEL 1 (OK, maybe this one is a dream).
  • USB hubs should be standard on every DJ controller… ever.
  • To combat people moaning about the direction of the hardware, pull the elements apart and sell them as modular:
    • S8 mixer section, as a four channel variant, with the DVS and a five channel audio interface.
    • S5-equivalent mixer, but two channel.
    • Follow up D2/F1 with 4×4 pads
    • Jogwheel deck controller with CDJ-size jogs
    • A system for daisy chaining the hardware so as to avoid USB-cable-nightmare.
    • Everything needs those little feet that the D2 has to bring it up to standard height.
    • Sell hardware bundled at prices competitive with all-in-one controllers. Even at a loss (like the games console model), you could make up money with the built in store.

What about you?

What do you think Traktor needs to add or change? Do you think that we still need more stuff?

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