Native Instruments Pushes Digital DJing Into The Future: Traktor Kontrol D2 w/ ENDO

Dubspot Instructor and Native Instruments product specialist ENDO shares his insight into Native Instruments announcement of the Traktor Kontrol D2, NI’s latest DJ deck controller designed for cutting-edge performance with TRAKTOR PRO 2.

Stems_D2_640Traktor Kontrol D2

Native Instruments has recently made a couple of big announcements that are set to change the DJ game as we know it even more, further merging the worlds of DJing, production, and live performance. Following the announcement of their new open audio file format, Stems*, Native Instruments just announced the newest edition to their Traktor family, the Traktor Kontrol D2.

The Traktor Kontrol D2 is the next generation of Pro Deck controllers for Traktor PRO 2. It’s designed to take your DJ sets to the next level by giving creative DJs and live performers a whole new way to remix and play their music live.

The Traktor Kontrol D2 has hands-on controls for literally everything inside of Traktor. Playing with the D2 is like reaching your hand inside the Traktor software. On the controller is a built-in full-color LED screen that will show you everything that’s going on in the Traktor software without having to look at your computer screen. This feature is crucial since you can now focus more on your music and your audience and less having to look into your laptop.

dubfire_D2_640New Traktor Workflow

The Traktor Kontrol D2 introduces a whole new multisensory DJ workflow. The concept of the workflow with the D2 is “touch-and-see”. The knobs and faders on the controller are now touch sensitive, so when you touch them, drop-down screens will appear on the D2 LED display, showing you instantly what function you are controlling in Traktor. For example, if you touch the browser knob, you will instantly see all of your tracks or playlists on the D2 screen. The new display makes for quick loading, or if you touch an effect knob, the effects panel will appear on the screen. If you turn the loop knob, you will see how many beats your loop will be on the screen before you engage it. Performance buttons will allow you to change things like Key, BPM, and Filter right on the controller via pop-up windows. All useful features for speeding up your workflow on stage.

A lot of you may have seen the Traktor Kontrol S8, which is Native Instruments’ all-in-one plug and play DJ system. The Traktor Kontrol D2 is made almost exactly like the Traktor Kontrol S8. It’s basically ½ of the S8 minus the built in mixer and soundcard. You can now have all of the features of the Traktor Kontrol S8 and have the option to use your own external (or internal) DJ Mixer. This compact feature makes travelling with the setup much more portable.

Traktor Kontrol X1 Meets Traktor Kontrol F1

For those of you who are familiar with other controllers like the Traktor Kontrol X1 and Traktor Kontrol F1, you might say the Traktor Kontrol D2 features the best parts of both controllers. It contains a dedicated Remix section for those who use the Remix Decks or Stems. With the Remix section, you get a detailed full-color display over everything happening in the remix decks, and you can see the names of your Remix Deck cells. You can also control things like volume, filter, and effect levels using the touch-sensitive knobs, and the screen will show you whatever parameter you are controlling in real time as you control them.

It also contains dedicated sections for Hotcues, Loops, Beatjumping, Effects, Freeze, and Slice Mode. It also has your basic transport functions like play, cue, sync, flux mode, browsing and looping encoders, beat gridding mode, loop capture mode, and more.

The new LED-guided touch strip technology provides motion-sensitive pitch-bending, track seeking, vinyl scratch emulation and keeps track of a decks phase in dark club situations so you can see how in time your mix is.

Flexible Effects

There is also an FX Select and Deck Select section. This feature will allow you to assign up to four effects panels to any of the decks in Traktor individually. You can also change which deck you’re controlling with the D2 quickly with the Deck Selectors, so you only need one controller technically to control all four decks. There is also a “Deck” button that will let you toggle between the decks displayed on the screen. You can use one D2 to control multiple decks, or you can get a second D2 to control the other decks and daisy chain them.

D2_BackBuilt-In USB Hub

The Traktor Kontrol D2 doesn’t have a built-in sound card, but what it does have is a built-in powered USB Hub in the back. This feature is great if you want to link other USB controllers. For example, you could hook up a second Traktor Kontrol D2, X1, F1, Pioneer CDJs in Advanced HID Mode or any other sort of USB Controller giving you even more modular DJ setup possibilities. It will free up the USB ports on your computer and allow you only to use one USB port for all of your controllers. You can even share the same power supply of both controllers using the included power supply splitting cable, simplifying your setup. If you are using a Traktor certified soundcard, you can even use timecode control to control the decks.

D2_640Stems Support

Another major feature of the Traktor Kontrol D2 is that it is one of the first pieces of hardware to support Stems* – an upcoming, open audio format that allows multi-channel mixing with individual musical parts. Using Stems with the D2 is a blast! When you load a Stem file into a Deck, it automatically becomes a Stem deck that uses the split view button on the D2. You can view a Stem track as four individual colored, streaming waveforms showing you exactly what’s happening with each musical part. For example, Drums, Bass, Melody, Vocals, etc. In addition, your able to interact with element separately. Imagine what you can do with turntables and some Stem decks!

Here is my full article about Native Instruments new Stems format:

Native Instruments Announces Stems: New Multitrack File Format for DJs w/ ENDO

Needless to say, I’m excited for the release of the Traktor Kontrol D2. Not only do I look forward to using this for my live set, but I’m also looking forward to seeing where this technology will go and all the doors it’s going to open for music performers. Producers can now take their acts on the road using the new Stems file format. Turntablists can now take their routines to the next level using Stems and Remix Decks, and DJs can make their sets even more unique and stand out even further using Stems and Remix Decks. The possibilities are endless!

The Traktor Kontrol D2 will be available in stores worldwide May 4th and said to have a starting price of $499.

Cheers to the #futureofdjing!


Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro

The definition of DJing has changed dramatically in the last decade. Laptops, controllers, and software have emerged alongside more traditional turntables and CDJs, smashing the barrier to entry. In today’s digital age, anyone can become a DJ. To reflect this renaissance, Dubspot has created the Digital DJing with Traktor program. In both our physical and online schools, students will learn how to DJ entirely with Traktor’s cutting-edge technology. An emphasis will be placed on the concepts of DJing rather than simply learning how to use the software.

What’s Included

  • Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro 2 Level 1: Introduction to DJing
  • Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro 2 Level 2: Phrase Mixing
  • Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro 2 Level 3: Beyond The Beatmatch

“I love the class, and the content! Shiftee and Endo are very funny, and very clear, so the material is easy and fun to follow! I wish my college teachers  were more like these two!” – Leandro Martinez, Chicago IL

More start dates and information about payment plans can be found here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.