New S4 Controller, Traktor Kontrol T4 – Reality or Just a Concept?

It’s not uncommon news that we are all aware of the recent price drop of the S4 controller from Native Instruments, but what is unknown is details of its successor. Whilst cruising the web, I cam across an image of what appears to be a new Traktor S4 controller. Labelled with the name Traktor Kontrol T4, could this be the new S4 controller or just a concept? Read on to find out more.

new s4 controller - Kontrol T4?

Is this the new S4 Controller?

On initial inspection it looks like an amalgamation of the soon to be ‘extinct’ Traktor S4 controller and the Maschine Mark 1. There is no information to back this controller up, but it sure looks like a cool idea.

It’s most likely that this image was thrown together by someone with some photoshop skills, rather than it being the real mccoy. This is a pretty sweet concept though and may be along the right lines of what we might expect in the upcoming replacement for the very popular S4 controller.

What do you expect in the new S4 controller?

Perhaps, this artists impression of the new S4, isn’t too far from the truth. I can imagine that the jog wheels will be removed and maybe some built in screen displays would be a really helpful for loops, samples or even for the entire wave.
I would also imagine that more colour coded buttons will exist, to keep in line with the leaked X1 Mark 2 images.

Do we even need our computers?

With developments in technology we have seen that CDJ’s can operate entirely internally. They have a built in audio card, built in software, waveform displays and the ability to simply plug in a USB containing your Music. Perhaps the new s4 control will encase all this and will do away with the need to even own a computer? This would make Traktor even more accessible and portable!

What do you think? What you would like to see in a new S4? Let us know in the comments below…..

41 comments

    • Do you really think that the only way to beat match is with jog platters or sync?
      Can’t you map a button with acceleration increase if you hold it down?
      Would work just like a jog wheel…
      For me jogs are too big for it’s functionality

      • Coming from the origins of vinyl DJ’ing – its very hard to re-create the feel of pushing the record, even into a jogwheel, never mind a button.

    • not really, you can use a mouse with or without wheel. just set the adjustment of the pitch on traktor to ‘min’ or ‘fine’ and away you go. i’ve been using this method to beat match without resorting to the sync button for a while now. works a treat too, with ‘min’ you get down the 1000th of a second. personally, i think traktor will go the mixer/controller route. kind of ‘proper’ (read overpriced) 4 channel mixer with controller functionality more specifically tailored for traktor itself, NI know that they have an opening in the hardware field and that hardware cannot be pirated. me personally, i wouldn’t touch anything traktor came up as regards a mixer. i’d prefer to stick with my allen + heath with the x1s.

      • I like your set up Mark – If Native Managed to hit the standards of Allen & Heath, then they’d be onto something for sure! Thanks for posting your tip.😉

      • You’re more than welcome, without these forums and the tips on them, I’d still be struggling with obsessive dark thoughts and feelings of abject failure – these forums have often saved my bacon when I’ve been struggling with a problem in the past! Regarding the Allen and Heath, it really was a one horse race for me with the Xone DB4. Sure, it cost a lot of money, but in the 7 months I’ve had it, I really haven’t looked back or regretted it one iota. It truly is a joy to use and sounds like a dream.

      • Don’t make me jealous and start talking about the DB4 now!!!😉

        I’m glad you have enjoyed the various resources on the internet – I hope I can be a part of that assistance for you at some stage of the game! Thanks for being involved!

  1. just looks like someone’s mock up combining an old Maschine with an S4… The way you know it’s not official is they wouldn’t have the orange pads on there anymore.

  2. I agree that it does not look official. I would hate to think that NI would abandon the jog wheels. There are just too many uses for them, some that buttons can’t do (scratching, etc.). I do like the concept of being more mobile, but a Z1, F1, and X1 combo, would be a relatively inexpensive mobile setup. I do think that a S4 mk2 is probably not to far off though.

    • Yeah, I think something is coming soon, but I feel as you say it will more likely resemble a Z1/F1/X1 (maybe jog wheel, maybe not, type combo!)

    • I don’t see them ditching the jogs, but if they did I’d imagine they would add touch strips, which I don’t see on those mockup.

  3. Attack the question from a logical point of view. Depending on what type of DJ a specific controller is aimed at and lets say for all DJs you need to look at every single action that they do to make their set. From cuing to jogging to scratching to looping to sample triggering to viewing the songs themselves, info and waveforms to selecting them and of course effects and faders.

    Obviously it should be possible to change the physical properties of any control/button as long as it usefully still fulfills its purpose.
    The ideal is getting the most comprehensive controller that its layout is coherent and not confusing/small finicky and has low as possible latency.

    Jogs for example. Take up a huge amount of real estate. Their purpose is often of minimal importance. Physically manipulating the playback. Cueing scratching and manually beat matching by slowing and speeding up a track. It definitely should be changed. There could be a touch sensitive strip that does everything from scratching to nudging and cuing.

    Do we need laptops?
    Today with memory cards so tiny there’s no need for the songs to be anywhere but on the controller. Companies like Native and Pioneer can make their own CPUs to drive the software. And there’s no reason a screen cant be fitted somewhere or even a slot to plug in a tablet.

    • @shimihotz:disqus Thanks for your comment. Some great points! I also feel that some of your points here may come to fruition in future products. I am still a firm believer that we will soon see the disappearance of Computers in DJ sets again. Something that I will welcome with open arms…..

    • I agree with the way you are trying to think about things logically, but I think you are mistaken on you take about jog wheels. While to many people that use sync, the jog wheels may not be that important, but for many others, they are an essential control surface to have. I can’t see trying to design a mass appeal controller and not including jog wheels. Touch strips can’t do everything a jog wheel can period.

      As far as getting the computer out of the booth, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. You have to remember that Native Instruments is a software company first and a hardware manufacturer second. Also, to make a controller that has a screen big enough to carry all the information in Traktor and still have full featured controls would be huge…Probably would start off at the size of a DDJ-SX and grow from there. Also having a tablet dock is impractical because a. there are so many tablets out there b. even if you just went with apple, they just changed their connector.

      I think what you will see in the new controller are the remix decks integrated into it and possibly a real mixer section. I don’ see them putting a screen on it..thats not their style. If they were going to add screens, they would have introduced it on the X1 or the Z2.

      • You’re right about Apple and their constant changing of ports…. that would be very annoying!

      • Just pointing out that I made no conclusions or assumption about the functions and the importance of any of the controls.

        “I wrote that it should be possible to change the physical properties…”

        Looking at the jog wheels, which essentially manipulate playback in real time, I stated a fact- that they take up a lot of real estate. I realize that focusing on their size has the connotations that I think they are unnecessarily big, and redundant. I don’t. I wrote that they are often (not always) of minimal importance. For certain DJ’s.

        However, even DJ’s who make prolific use of jogs, for instance Qbert, or a DJ who prefers to manually beat match, theoretically can use something smaller if it efficiently fulfills their EVERY need. Depending on its shape it may even open up more creative possibilities for them.

        When analyzing a tools physical properties and proportions, its a mistake to base it on previous or similar tools since they were made or just came into being with different technology.

        We automatically think in round shapes, vinyl and cd regarding playback manipulation and this confines our thinking and our options.

        The root function of the jog wheel is slowing and speeding up the track. It does nothing else. Even finding a cue point still essentially speeds the track up or down. Same deal with scratching, but in a much more creative manner. These functions however can be achieved to any degree of efficiency and ease in an infinite number of ways and configurations.

        Have you ever considered a jog wheel in the shape of a knob that twists like a filter? Or maybe a like a spring loaded toggle switch. It could look a like computer joystick and be standing up. All these controls could work in tandem with other controls and be fitted to be touch and velocity sensitive. And it could, heaven forbid, be like a touchscreen interface.

        Why did I say that its time to change the jogs? Over the years everything has changed but the jogs essential character have remained the same with little thought given to their bottom line functions. Just a lot of to do about digital vs vinyl and emulation of physical with digital.

        Did you know that its possible to scratch with a cassette tape? Its shape is just a thin ribbon.

        Btw just like their are tons of LCDs out there and they all plug into your computer via USB, so too can a tablet into a controller.

  4. Much as I would love something like a DDJ-SX or an updated S4, I do agree that I think laptops soon (hopefully) will be removed. I am pretty surprised that Pioneer hasn’t rid it’s CDJ’s of the CD transport. CD’s are old hat, and for me there’s no nostalgic love for them, as there is for vinyl. But what would you call a CDJ with no CD drive? USBJ???

  5. From a scratch/live remixer perspective, the Traktor S4 update should offer an option in the Effect menu that offers ease when using 4 FX mode. There should be magnetic faders everywhere and a tension adjust on the crossfader for “slow fade” types. It should come with a grounded power adaptor. I’ve had dirty power issues and it completely rendered the crossfader useless even though I was using a brand new replaced model with an innofader properly installed. Power conditioner cured that for the future. For branding feel, the sample buttons should look like F1/Machine buttons and should be the same size. Stereo XLR outs, booth out & control & USB3.

  6. There are certain retailers dropping BIG hints that something new is going to be showcased pretty soon (possibly BPM)

  7. anyone any idea on release date?? i really need S4 for work. i was
    using one belong to m8 of mine but he has gone elsewhere. i did find a
    few S4’s left but i’m just hanging here….. if i buy today and it’s
    released tomorrow i will puke for months. i know it’s sometime in
    september but when.. ffs!!😉

    • If you need an s4, pick up a used one. You’ll likely be able to sell it on after the new one is released! If and whenever that maybe!

  8. The cost would go way up; though its possible to design an all in one unit. But that would be years away. NI could tweek an OS just for traktor, thus removing compatibility issues.

  9. I think the new s4 defiantly needs balanced XLR inputs, velocity sensitive RGB LED touch pads and screens for decks A,B,C,D, and maybe an extra midi out or two wouldn’t go astray.

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