Native Instruments DJ product line 2012 – They want your Feedback

As the year draws to a close, Native Instruments is asking for feedback from it’s customers.  I think it’s been a pretty successful year for them in regards to product launches.  Native Instruments DJ product line has certainly made an impression this year and I can only imagine what innovations may come in 2013.  They have certainly set the bar high and I hope they have it in them to continue bringing amazing products to the table. Native Instruments seems to me to be taking a leaf out of Apple’s books in regards to their product integrations and eco-system. You are able to own almost every product line without too much overlap.  Getting this right is very tricky, but it seems as if NI have nailed it with their product lines released in 2012.

First the Kontrol F1

traktor Kontrol F1In March 2012, Native Instruments released the Kontrol F1 in conjunction with Traktor Pro 2.5 software which saw the emergence of the Remix Decks.  It has been a game changer in regards to DJ styles and has moved traktor more towards being a package that bridges the gap between traditional DJ’ing, music production and live performance. It is however more advanced and a little more involved than just mixing some records together and for this reason I think it will take some time before the Remix Decks properly take off and gain in popularity.  Despite this though, beginners to the Traktor Pro software can still use it in it’s simplest forms and create excellent DJ mixes.

Then came Maschine Mk 2

NI_Maschine_FamilyOctober saw the release of another version of the Groove production hardware and software combo: Maschine. Maschine gained some colourful buttons in the Mk 2 version, something that seems to integrate perfectly with the Kontrol F1 design. When using the two platforms together it creates a perfect marriage of music production and DJ’ing. Using Maschine for your productions enables the user to then seamlessly move those productions into Traktor for live performances.

The Hatrick is Complete with the Kontrol Z2 Mixer

traktor kontrol Z2The next anticipated device was the Kontrol Z2 – this is a DJ mixer that houses an audio interface and integrates with the Remix Deck. It seems to be the choice of Scratch DJ’s wanting to integrate loops and clips into their DJ sets.  This mixer has been made popular by DJ Shiftee who can be seen rocking out in the video clip below.  The Z2 has some very similar competition from Pioneer with the DJM-T1, which seems to have a design layout that could be mistaken for the Z2. As it is so early with these launches it is hard to see how well received these mixers are going to be.

Catering to Beginners

It isn’t hard to fall in love with these Traktor products, especially when seeing people like Shiftee here getting all technical with the gear.  I can’t help but feel though, that Native Instruments gear has now become quite involved and a little tricky to get things set up. On first impressions I think the humble beginner may get somewhat overwhelmed with all the options and become confused with where to start?

My advice to the DJ wishing to get involved with Traktor, whether you’re transferring from the traditional DJ setup, or as a first time DJ with no experience; would be to download a demo of the program, have a play with it and see what it does before buying a bunch of hardware. I have a lot of useful tutorials online to help you along your way.

Now it’s your turn….

What products did you like most like this year and if any which ones did you buy? How are you getting along with these products and what has been the biggest issue for you?

If you also want to give feedback to NI – you can do so here (its a very quick questionnaire)

6 comments

  1. In my opinion NI must to improve the pre-listen in external mode with remix decks. Nowadays it isn’t possible pre-listen one slot (the fourth) in external mode if you have 2 or 3 slots playing. The pre-listen in this way is bad, very bad.
    A video with the example:

  2. My wish is that they release a live performance system. Kind of what Ableton Live could have become but they forgot the title ‘live’ in their platform when they moved the product to become a mediocre DAW.

  3. NI is doing good, setting new standards and pushing the game forwards beyond any vinyltards imagination. The remix decks were most definitively yhe biggest game changer, but the biggest issue for me was the fact that they were not midi mapable.

  4. Fully converted to Traktor from Serato, after seeing and believing the major differences in Vinyl control latency and overall bang for your buck… I was first transferred over from MPC1000 to Maschine a couple of years back and used it to its potential all the way up to the 1.7/1.8 bug Maschine template for Ableton Live and Serato via the Bridge. Great concept, poor execution. Had to upgrade to the MK2 then of course, NI fixed the Midi freezing bug by releasing the 1.5.2 Controller Editor w/ 1.8 Maschine upgrade to make the MK1 bug free… Then I copped the Z2 for the pure reason of what it can do w/ all of the capabilities Ableton Live can do as a Live performance for my setup – (2 Turntables, Remix decks for one shots & Loops, FX, and the almighty built in Loop Recorder function.) Sadly found out that I couldn’t use my Mk2 and had to buy another NI controller – F1 for propriety reasons… and the lack of MIDI support on it’s old age out since the F1 incorporates HID…

    Before coughing up some more dough and making more room on my table for another controller… Good thing I found the Maschine R who basically does the undoable and maps the Remix Decks for the Maschine MK2…

    Overall, this is my final setup – cause lately it feels like I been practicing on my shopping skills for new gear instead of using my current brand new gear… Good thing too, cause I was seriously considering buying the new Ableton Push+9 Live for $900…

    Bottomline, NI has came alongway and not knowingly I stick with what works and it turns out most of my gear/software is from Native Instruments! This all just reminds me when Traktor was Final Scratch and I promised myself that I would never go back to that software after failing w/ FS v.1.0… But as time as showed, Without failure, there is no growth – and I’m definitely glad that NI’s revolution has truly bypassed not only the DVS industry, but the beatmachine industry as well…

    Native Insturments Congrats! Keep the party going, and hopefully you won’t be deterred by any kind of political and/or corporate nonsense…

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