Traktor DJ 2 + other Native Instruments Updates (#NAMM2019)

Traktor DJ 2 is a new app which takes the original Traktor DJ, rebuilds it from a new codebase, carries over some of the functionality, and then makes it cross-platform so that it can be used on PC/Mac as well as iOS. No word yet on an Android release.

To be clear, Traktor DJ 2 is the successor of the Traktor DJ app, from iOS. This is a separate program from Traktor Pro 3, Native Instruments flagship DJing software.

According to NI, this new app “let's everybody mix anywhere”. They seem to be wanting it to be somewhat accessible for non-DJs, claiming that it's “designed for you to get spinning straight away – whether you've been DJing for decades, or somebody's just passed you the AUX cable for your first mix.

Jumping on the trend for streaming support, Traktor DJ 2 supports integration with SoundCloud Go+… giving you immediate access to over 150 million tracks.

While the app seems designed to be easily used on a tablet touch-screen, the app will support the Traktor Kontrol S2 mk3 at launch, and in fact, the app will be included with the S2 going forward.

As for other controllers, NI has left this somewhat vague. On the website, under “Will TRAKTOR DJ 2 work with my controller?” the answer is, “At launch, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 MK3, TRAKTOR KONTROL Z1, TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 MK2, and any other audio interface will be supported.”

Okay, so the app will support any audio interface, but doesn't fully answer the question about controllers. Will it support, for example, the Kontrol S4… even with only a two-deck mode?

The iOS version of the app costs $8.99, while the desktop version is $49 (unless you are an S2 owner, in which case you get it for free).

While the Traktor DJ and Traktor Pro codebases will continue to be developed in tandem for a long time, the website mentions a desire to eventually move over to the new codebase for their overall product line, as it matures.

TRAKTOR DJ 2 is based on an entirely new codebase that will set TRAKTOR up for the future. TRAKTOR PRO 3 remains the most advanced incarnation of TRAKTOR. It’s used by professionals worldwide on a daily basis and will continue to be our flagship DJ software for years to come.

TRAKTOR DJ 2 and TRAKTOR PRO 3 will therefore be developed and updated in tandem in the coming years, until we and our professional users consider the new platform to be mature enough to make the switch.”

Anyway, an example with Traktor is the integration of streaming services. NI has explicitly stated that Traktor Pro 3's codebase makes it much harder to integrate third-party services, and SoundCloud integration with that program is not currently possible.

If you're a Traktor Pro user, you might think of Traktor DJ 2 as a place to see where Native Instruments' head is at with new and upcoming features… rather than a necessary move you need to make any time soon.

Another thing that was announced while I was at NAMM had to do with Traktor Pro 3, and that is the fact that in an upcoming update this month, a highly-requested feature is coming: parallel waveforms.

Also, the Kontrol S4 mk3 is finally getting its promised standalone mixer mode… meaning that it can operate as a mixer without an attached computer (for example, with turntables connected…), not that it can play directly from USB.