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Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 DJ Controller

The Traktor Kontrol S4 is a truly professional 4-deck DJ controller. Just add your laptop and the included Traktor Pro 2.5 DJ software, and the party is on. (53) Read 15 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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Product Description

Native Instruments revolutionized the DJ world nearly a decade ago with the introduction of Traktor, the world's first professional DJ software. Now they're set to do it all again with Traktor Kontrol S4, the only DJ performance system designed from the ground up from the team behind Traktor.

Features:

- Highly integrated 4-deck Traktor controller and flagship software, all built by the same team
- Plug & play - all you need to start mixing is your computer and MP3s
- Hardware: 4-channel mixer with ergonomic layout, 2 high-res touch-sensitive jog wheels
- Built-in high-end 24-bit/96kHz low-latency audio interface with Cirrus Logic(R) AD/DA converters and MIDI I/O
- 2 analog inputs with phono and mic preamps for hooking up turntables, CD players or external audio gear; RCA mic-in, balanced jack master out
- Software: Traktor PRO S4 - pro features, supreme usability; features 4-deck mixing and effects, plus Sample Decks and a powerful Loop Recorder
- Industry-leading Traktor engine ensures perfect sync and tight mixing - timecode control option coming soon!
- 2 customizable FX sections with over 25 performance effects for adding your own trademark sound
- Powerful MP3 management with iTunes(r) integration and iPod(r) compatibility Intuitive design, ready-made sample content and tutorial videos make it easy for beginning users to get started

Forget what you know about DJ controllers and DJ software. Traktor Kontrol S4 was designed from its conception as a fully integrated system where software and hardware are fused in perfect harmony. Once you experience it, you'll immediately feel how simple, yet powerful and fluid a professional DJ system can be. Traktor Kontrol S4 is the culmination of a 10-year vision and experience only Native Instruments can provide. So whether you're a seasoned Traktor user looking for the ultimate controller, or just entering the world of digital DJing, the S4 delivers like no other can.

Custom-tailored for Traktor, the S4 fuses a premium-quality 4 channel DJ mixer, a built-in 24 bit/96 kHz soundcard, an intuitive controller, and the flagship Traktor PRO S4 software into one fully professional solution - the ideal one-stop package for DJs who want pro features, instant usability and go-anywhere portability.

The sleek, stylish controller puts Traktor at your fingertips - fusing hardware and software into one harmonic unit. Innovative Sample Decks, high-quality electromagnetic jog wheels, two effect units and two clearly laid-out deck control sections can be assigned to any of the four software decks and deliver a high level in creative control over your one shots, tracks and loops.

The intuitive and ergonomic controller layout and its robust rotary knobs provide precise visual and tactile status feedback - perfect for any DJ situation. Highly responsive to the touch, Traktor Kontrol S4 is incredibly smooth to use, while its slim and compact profile makes it easy to transport from gig to gig.

Controller

It's super simple to get straight in the mix, thanks to the included Traktor Pro S4 software, adapted from the pioneering Traktor PRO. Developed in perfect synergy with the S4's controller, features have been added to the Traktor PRO S4 software to fully take advantage of this all-in-one solution, while premium ready-made and instantly combinable loops have been provided by the renowned Loopmasters sample house.

Software

Traktor Kontrol S4 boasts a full featured 4-channel mixer section with sturdy faders, cue buttons, illuminated level meters, high-quality 3-band EQs and a filter control knob on each channel. The filter is switchable between Traktor and Xone-style. The ergonomic layout has been created by DJs for DJs, with some of the world's biggest names having direct input in to the design. It's easy to integrate other DJ and performance gear like turntables, CD players or a microphone via the inputs.

The innovative Loop Recorder feature acts like a fifth deck, to add an exciting layer on top of your mix by recording and looping audio on-the-fly. An optional foot controller can be used to engage the Loop Recorder while both hands are busy - for instance while performing an advanced scratch routine!

Mixer

Traktor Kontrol S4 also includes a powerful and versatile audio interface. With the same build quality as all multi-award winning Native Instruments DJ sound cards, this unit lets you easily integrate external turntables and CD players, instruments, MIDI gear, effects and a microphone into your Traktor DJ sets.

Incorporating high-end AD/DA converters, hi-gain output levels and an ultra-wide frequency response, Traktor Kontrol S4's integrated audio interface provides all the power, clarity and dynamic range that modern DJs demand.

Audio Interface

Traktor Kontrol S4 is the ideal solution for mobile DJs as it provides everything you need to rock a party in one highly portable unit. It's a breeze to set up, simply plug and play, and you're done in seconds. And with its slim profile, it's incredibly easy to transport from gig to gig. The optional flight case with high quality industrial design carries your unit with 100% security, while the case also elevates the unit to standard turntable and CD player height and offers a stable stand for your laptop. It's doesn't get more mobile than this. The flexible ins and outs of the included soundcard mean it's easy to hook up other gear - including a microphone.

In the near future, S4 users will have the option to connect their preferred analog turntables or CDJs to control pitch, scratching, and transport functions for the S4 software. External timecode control via Traktor Scratch will open up even more opportunities for creative mixing, fusing the already advanced features of the S4 with the full expressiveness of the traditional turntable / CDJ approach.



zZounds is an authorized dealer of Native Instruments products.

System Requirements

Windows(r) XP (latest Service Pack, 32 Bit), Vista(R)/Windows 7(r) (latest Service Pack, 32/64 Bit), Pentium(r)/Athlon(r) XP @ 1.8 GHz OR Core(tm)2/AMD Athlon(tm) X2, 2 GB RAM

Mac OS X(R) 10.5 or higher, Intel(r) Core Duo 1.66 GHz, 2 GB RAM

USB 2.0 port, DVD drive, 6 GB free disk space for complete installation

Dimensions/Weights

- Depth: 32.2cm / 12.7"
- Height: 5.2cm / 2"
- Width: 50cm / 19.7"
- Weight: 3.4kg / 7.5 lbs
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 866-556-6487
zZounds Expert Review
When I first pulled the Traktor Kontrol S4 out of the box, I was a bit surprised at its size. It's larger than most of the other hardware control surfaces I've used; almost 20 inches wide and over a foot deep. I wouldn't say it's overly bulky, though, and I actually like the extra elbow room. But it's probably not going to fit into the average laptop bag. I highly recommend the optional flight case/performance stand to help protect it during transport and when in use.

The Kontrol S4's construction is similar to other Native Instruments hardware, with a plastic chassis and aluminum top plates for each of the decks. The mixer section in the center has an acrylic faceplate. The rubber feet on the bottom of the unit did a good job of keeping the control surface in place when I set it up in a DJ booth.

Jog Wheels and Faders and Knobs (Oh My)
The controls themselves feel very professional. All of the knobs on the top plate are rubberized for a sure grip, and their smooth rotary action is reassuring. Some of the knobs sit up fairly tall, which is great for getting a good hold on them but at the same time seem to be begging to get knocked off when traveling from gig to gig. Yet another good reason to get that flight case, in my opinion. I did like the fact that the front panel knobs for Cue Mix, Cue Volume, and Mic Volume all can be pressed in to lie flush after you've dialed in the levels.

All of the 60mm faders were very smooth, with just enough resistance to make tweaks without worrying about overdoing it. The crossfader had the same feel, which is good because it isn't set up to be removed like on some other professional DJ mixers.

For me, the jog wheels on these kinds of DJ controllers often set the tone for the whole experience, and the wheels on the S4 did not disappoint. The tops of the wheels are touch sensitive, accurately simulating the experience of grabbing and releasing vinyl. Within one trip around the circle, you've got 1000 steps, offering enough resolution to feel like the real deal. The outer edges of the jog wheels are rubberized for no-slip contact, and I was able to use them to quickly and easily match tempos.

One Stop Shop
As you would expect with a tightly integrated hardware/software solution, the Traktor Kontrol S4's hardware component includes a 2x2 audio interface onboard. What I wasn't expecting was the stellar sound quality. The USB 2.0 connection supports a 24-bit/96 kHz audio stream, and all the loops in my library sounded fantastic through the S4. I've demoed other DJ control systems in my home studio, but haven't always trusted the sound quality to extend my review to a live performance setting. I had no qualms about using the Kontrol S4 out at a club, though. One note about the USB connection; the Kontrol S4 can be bus-powered, but I wouldn't recommend it. I gave it a shot to keep the rig as streamlined as possible, but soon went back to the included power adapter. The LEDs don't glow nearly as brightly with bus power, and at first I thought maybe the controller was failing. Also, the headphone volume was reduced a bit, though not enough to have a major impact. Everything worked fine using wall power.

You get two pairs of stereo output options, including balanced 1/4-inch and unbalanced RCA. While you can simultaneously route these to separate monitor setups, I was disappointed to see you don't get separate control over their individual levels. It's not a huge deal, but I would have preferred to keep as much control as possible on the S4 itself instead of having to tweak levels at other points in the signal chain.

4 Track Attack
The Traktor Kontrol S4 lets you mix four virtual decks from your hard drive, or you can connect analog gear to the controller and assign your turntables, DJ CD players, or MP3 players to one or two of the tracks. To keep things simple, I mainly mixed straight from my laptop without any additional hardware. I did use the 1/4-inch microphone input with dedicated gain control, though. It's routed to Track C. As you may have guessed by the 1/4-inch connection, it's primarily set up for dynamic mics; no onboard phantom power. Track C can also be routed directly to the main outs with the Thru switch. This is a nice failsafe option if your laptop happens to crash. Just plug an iPod into the track and fire up your playlist while the laptop reboots.

I mainly used Track A and Track B as a standard two-deck setup, and would load some one-shots or other random loops into Tracks C and D for added flavor (more on this in a bit). This arrangement worked really well for me, and was a great way to simulate my standard workflow. I felt really comfortable mixing right out of the box while learning some of the more advanced features on the fly without getting overwhelmed.

Traktor Pro - S4 Edition
Those of you familiar with Traktor Pro software should have no problem getting around. The software bundled in this package is virtually the same, though the interface's color scheme is slightly different and it has some additional functionality to take advantage of all the S4 controller has to offer.

The four-deck design is the same as before, but decks C and D default to hold samples and loops. You can change them to behave like standard decks, but as I said earlier the 'two-decks-plus' setup is a great way to learn this system with a familiar starting point. When used as sample decks, C and D can each hold up to four one-shots or loops of up to 32 beats in length. This content can be loaded from your hard drive as you would with decks A and B, or you can use the S4's onboard loop recorder to capture the playback of other decks or the main output and load that into the sample deck's slots. Any looped samples loaded into the sample decks are automatically beat-synced to the master tempo, which saved me a bunch of time.

Both of the decks on the hardware controller have dedicated buttons to trigger and stop the loops and one-shots in the sample decks, providing fast access to those sounds when you're controlling decks A and B. If the hardware decks are set to control C and D, the buttons act as retriggers and the sounds can be scratched or tempo-bent with the jog wheels. More dedicated controls are available for adjusting the sample volume or applying filters and effects.

As with other Native Instruments software, the browsing features are here in full force. The hardware controller has a Browse button so you can access all of the sounds on your hard drive without reaching for a keyboard or a mouse. The process was pretty intuitive, though I would have liked to see some sort of fast-scroll feature because I have a ton of sounds to scrub through. You can auto-preview sounds to the headphone out, which is a great way to hear how a particular loop sits in with the current mix before actually loading it up.

All of the effects sound great, and there are plenty of options for customization. You can route the two multi-effects processors to any of your decks, effectively giving you up to six effects on a single source. If you can't come up with something original, you're just not trying.

Overall, I was really impressed by the Traktor Kontrol S4 system. The learning curve for beginners looks to be a bit steep, but I think it's well worth the effort. I haven't seen many computer-based DJ systems with hardware this tightly integrated, and the all-in-one design is super streamlined and powerful. The audio quality of the interface is fantastic, and the controls feel very nice. Live performance, on-the-fly-remixing, and home studio recording are all well within reach.
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Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (53 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "S4 is perfect!"
Sound: The S4 has a great soundcard and provides great sound. Hooked it up at the club last night and it performed wonderfully. Feature: Need a bag but have a found a few online. It's very light and portable. Ease of Use: I have used Traktor for awhile so it was very easy to learn. For those coming from serato there will be a little bit of a learning curve. Especially when it comes to importing music and such. But it's worth it. Quality: While it's very light it also feels very well made. Definitely doesn't feel like a toy or anything Value: Value is great. Sold my turntables after obtaining this because they are so limited in comparison to what u can do with the S4 Manufacturer Support: NI is not known for their support. Luckily there is a large user base that can help with general questions. The Wow Factor: It's pretty enough for hardware. The lights look nice in the dark club setting and make it appear even more expensive. It's great for performance purposes Overall: This will get used for years most likely.
Style of Music: Hiphop and house
31 of 32 people (96.88%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "Traktor S4"
Overall: It is a great product for DJs who don't want to use cdjs or turntables. I use turntables in conjunction with the S4. It's a well built product buttons & knobs but the faders need to be better. Don't get me wrong they are great for mixing use but because I do a lot of heavy scratching I really don't know how long the cross fader will last me. I am going to purchase an innobender fader I just wish zZounds.com had audio innovate products available for purchase. Don't sleep on this midi controller because if you plan on using external equipment i.e. CDjs, Turntables and use Traktor Skratch Pro you eliminate more cost. If you are using another Midi controller with traktor and want to use CDjs or turntables you have to get the dvs system with the audio 10 or audio 6 so you end up shelling out more cash than you need especially on a tight budget. It's also great for live remixing or making your own tunes with the new traktor 2.5 update. Killer dope it's ten times better than serato but it won't surprise that serato will imitate what traktor has.
Style of Music: Hip-hop house raggaeton top 401940's, 50's, 60's, 70's rock Motown r&b breaks
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Return Exception This item cannot be returned once the manufacturer's seal has been broken. Any defective merchandise must be dealt with directly through Native Instruments. If a product is found to be defective, you must contact Native Instruments' customer support at 866-556-6487 for service. details
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