Native Instruments released a teaser video for the upcoming Traktor Kontrol S8, which foregoes any attempts at appearing to be like traditional DJing.
Argue all you want about the verity of digital DJing, the truth is that it’s here to stay. Countless world-class artists like Porter Robinson & Zedd have completely eschewed “traditional” mixing for the ease and speed of platforms like Traktor & Serato. Perhaps the question isn’t “Are digital DJ surfaces lame?” but instead “How do we make digital DJing an artform in its own right?”
It would appear Native Instruments is trying to start answering that question by combining the best features of current platforms into one controller. The Teaser video for the Traktor Kontrol S8 released today, and any DJ should recognize the motivations almost immediately. The CD-J style jog wheels from the Kontrol S2 and S4 have been removed and replaced with Novation Twitch-like jog strips. Given how we chop and beat sync digital audio, many at DMNW have always thought these made more sense. The controller also now sports two digital displays directly on the control surface, which with any luck will make Serato Gaze largely a thing of the past.
Without many more details, all we can say is that the Kontrol S8 appears to give much greater focus to Traktor’s Remix Decks, as well as removing lots of unnecessary knobs and buttons. By combining their product offerings and lifting the best ideas of their competitors, Native Instruments might just be at the bleeding edge of a new era of digital DJing. One that doesn’t care to even try being like mixing on “decks.” It’s a brave new world out there, and we’re just as ready for the internet flame threads as we are for the music itself.