NI’s Traktor Kontrol X1
Dj Gear Reviews
Released February 2010
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 MIDI CONTROLLER
Native Instruments today announced TRAKTOR KONTROL X1, a highly functional performance controller that gives DJs immediate hands-on control over vital aspects of their performance. Designed by the team behind the groundbreaking TRAKTOR DJ platform, the compact KONTROL X1 offers an unprecedented level of integration with the latest TRAKTOR generation for maximum performance and ease-of-use, and can also efficiently control any MIDI-compatible DJ software on the market.
TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 provides DJs of all styles and genres with a highly efficient and intuitive way to control loop, cue, effect, track selection and transport functions of their system. The unit accommodates the two most common digital DJing paradigms – it ideally complements a typical timecode-controlled TRAKTOR SCRATCH setup consisting of a hardware mixer, turntables or CD decks, and also excels as a self-contained controller for DJs who play beat-gridded tracks with the TRAKTOR software and mix externally. Two X1 units can also easily be combined into a four-deck setup that controls all decks and effect units of TRAKTOR PRO or TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO simultaneously.
The functionality and layout of TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 was carefully engineered and fine-tuned based on extensive artist feedback and usability testing in order to combine a versatile feature set with maximum ease of use. The unit is equipped with precise and durable high-quality buttons, knobs and encoders, complemented by dynamic colored backlighting for additional visual feedback. The X1 integrates with the TRAKTOR software through a dedicated high-resolution protocol, resulting in a level of precision and responsiveness beyond what regular MIDI-based controllers can provide, and allowing for true plug-and-play operation with no setup or specific configuration required.
TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 has been specifically designed for heavy-duty usage in performance environments. Its compact casing is both robust and lightweight for high portability, and the special vertical form factor makes the unit fit seamlessly within a typical club setup. The optional high-quality carrying bag for the X1 doubles as a versatile stand that conveniently raises the controller surface to match the height of typical DJ mixers.
Beyond TRAKTOR, the KONTROL X1 can be used to efficiently control any MIDI-compatible DVS, DJ software or music performance application. The optional MIDI mode of the controller can be engaged on the fly via a dedicated button on the unit. The X1 also comes with a carefully designed set of parameter assignments for the Serato Scratch Live™ system, matching the relevant features of the software to the controller in an ideal way without any individual setup effort. A special Serato Scratch Live™ overlay for the X1 is also available.
TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 also ships with TRAKTOR LE, a basic version of the TRAKTOR PRO software that provides two decks with essential looping, effects and mixing features, turning X1 into a complete entry-level solution for digital DJing. Owners of TRAKTOR LE can upgrade to the full-featured TRAKTOR PRO software for a special discounted price at any time.
TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 will be available in February 2010 for a suggested price of $229 / 199 EUR. The carrying bag / stand for TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 will be available for $49 / 39 EUR.
Additional information on TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 including video demos is available at
When it comes to digital DJing, your laptop’s trackpad can only do so much. The Kontrol X1 brings a solid set of controls to complement Native Instrument’s Traktor DJ software.
Native Instruments’ Traktor DJ software is an industry standard for legions of digital DJs with laptop-based rigs. Unfortunately, as the company’s software has grown increasingly sophisticated, the prospect of using your laptop’s trackpad to control it becomes a bit ridiculous.
In an effort to make your laptop’s trackpad obsolete, Native Instruments is launching a dedicated USB DJ controller named Traktor Kontrol X1. Due to hit shelves in February of 2010, the Kontrol X1 includes every knob, button, and slider a DJ could desire.
A stripped-down version of Traktor DJ software (Traktor LE) comes included, and offers an upgrade path to the proper Traktor Duo and Traktor Pro versions. Also realize that there’s no sound card built into the X1, so beginners may need to pick up something like the Audio 2 DJ to flesh out a proper four-channel DJ rig.
Reviewed at DJDeals.com
Traktor Kontrol X1 DJ Controller Part 1/2/3: Overview