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Review: Traktor Kontrol S2 – The Best Portable DJ Controller for Mac?

Review: Traktor Kontrol S2 – The Best Portable DJ Controller for Mac?

The Mac has always been the computer of choice for digital DJ’s. It’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. Over the last few years, the music world has seen a huge increase in digital DJing, including some great apps from the Mac App Store which include Mixx, Virtual DJ home and DJay. The Mac has created the opportunity for anybody to become a DJ from the comfort of their own bedroom.

Native Instruments, the masterminds behind the popular Traktor software, has recently released the Kontrol S2, little brother to the industry leading controller – The Kontrol S4. Bridging the gap between consumer and professional, the S2 looks like the best budget DJ controller on the market.

The S2 is the S4's little brother.

 

Design:

Design wise, the S2 is very similar – almost identical – to the S4. It has a sleek black body with gorgeous, rubber padded backlit buttons. The jog-wheels are also well constructed along with faders and knobs that are easy to use and very responsive.  The controller also has four rubberised feet which will stop the S2 sliding around no matter how much button bashing you’re doing with it.

On the S2 you have two effect sections with the option to have them control a single effect or a group of them. These are located towards the top of the device with enough space between the knobs and the jog wheels so you don’t accidently knock then half way through your set. In the middle of the two decks you have a mixer section which contains a volume dial for your sample decks, an EQ section which controls your Low, Mid and High frequency. You have a dial for browsing through your music library and finally two volume faders and a cross fader.

On each ‘deck’ you will find normal transport controls with 4 cue point buttons, this can also be changed to control samples if you wish, also there is a loop function and a tempo slider.

Overall, Native Instruments has done a fantastic job with the design of this particular controller. It’s build quality is incredible and feels great whenever you use it.

Functionality:

The functionality of the S2 is absolutely incredible. As soon as you begin using it you’ll instantly know how to use it, no matter how much experience you have with DJ controllers, something technical specifications just won’t explain.

Combined with the incredible Traktor software the S2 really comes into it’s own. Every control is automatically mapped onto the screen and it’s easy to just start mixing straight away. Traktor will also integrate with your iTunes library, so all of your music can be mixed, effected and mashed up. Traktor is incredibly flexible and won’t limit your creativity in any way. It’s easily, from a personal perspective, the best DJing platform I’ve used. Simple, easy to use and incredibly flexible.

You can see how easy it is to create fantastic mixes with Traktor and the S2 in the video below.

Conclusion:

Overall, the Kontrol S2 is my favourite DJ controller, whether I’m performing my music or DJing a wedding or party. It’s affordability, durability and functionality all group together to create a near perfect controller which is useful for a variety of applications.

I’m going to give Native Instrument’s Kontrol S2 a full 5 stars.

You can buy the S2 from Native Instrument’s website for $559. The S2 is also available on Amazon for $499 with free shipping,

Pros:

  • Tight integration of hardware and software.
  • Incredible build quality.
  • Durable body.
  • Responsive controls.
  • Looks great!
  • Easy to use.

Cons:

  • Price is still a little bit steep for some consumers or people just beginning to DJ.

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