Episode 155: Wherefore Art Thou Traktor?

Native Instruments has finally made some recent announcements in regards to new hardware and software coming down the pike this year. Namely, new revisions of the Kontrol S2 and Kontrol S4 are on they way, along with Traktor Pro 3 which is said to be written “from the ground up”.

Traktor fans are excited to see signs of life, but there has been a larger conversation taking place for many months now. Has NI abandoned Traktor? Has it fallen off their priority list? Did they stop listening to their fans? David and Mo give their thoughts on the new announcements, and the overall problematic few years that Traktor has had.

We also talk about other recent news in the DJ space, such as the announcement of the Pioneer XDJ-RR, the “not quite a recall” of the Pioneer DDJ-SX3, and the newly motorized Denon SC3000M player.

This episode was a livestream experiment, and the first live show we’ve done since Episode 100! Follow us on YouTube for the video version, coming later this week.

Wrap-Up Speech (transcript):

As a long-time Traktor user, I’m excited to finally see some signs of life in the Traktor ecosystem. In fact, I had planned on creating this episode long before this past week’s announcements from Native Instruments. But the question remains: will it be enough for Traktor to reclaim its spot as one of the biggest players in the DJ game?

This episode is titled Wherefore Art Thou Traktor?, and I feel obligated to comment on the grammar. The word “wherefore” is not short for “where”, even though it’s often misused in this way. It’s actually short for, “for what reason”.

In the iconic scene of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, their feuding families kept them apart. She isn’t asking “Where are you, Romeo”… she’s asking “Why are you Romeo? Why, oh why, did I have to fall in love with Romeo?”

Indeed I’ve had similar feelings about Traktor, lately. I don’t mean to be overdramatic, but as a longtime user… I find myself asking “Why did I have to fall in love with Traktor?” Because for a while, it looked like Native Instruments was going to leave me standing with a knife in my hand. How long would they back-burner it? Is Traktor going by the wayside? The other big software packages were adding feature after feature, while Traktor itself stood still.

Many users have already jumped ship, in favor of Serato or Rekordbox or some other platform… and don’t get me wrong, they are all great! But Traktor was always… um, a “pioneer” in the DJ space. NI was always at the bleeding edge! It’s what the nerds used! It’s what you customized! It’s what you got down and dirty with! But lately, it’s felt a lot more like an abandoned property.

We may be hearing more in the coming weeks, but for now, we still haven’t heard anything about streaming integration, or standalone hardware, or other features which might be imposed by a changing industry & technological landscape. Whether Traktor will embrace these necessities is yet to be seen.

I certainly hope that Native Instruments isn’t paying lip service, and that they truly want to put Traktor back on their priority list. This new hardware and software is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, Native Instruments makes me start to feel loved again.

We’ll keep tracking the progress on this as it develops, but for now… this has been The Passionate DJ Podcast.