Native Instruments Set To Release Traktor Kontrol F1 & Traktor Pro 2.5 On April 1st
[UPDATE: This story has been superseded by: Native Instruments Kontrol F1 Controller Delayed — The Traktor Kontrol F1 has been delayed until early Summer 2012]
Native Instruments has revealed that they will be releasing the 2.5 update to Traktor Pro and the new Traktor Kontrol F1 Remix Deck controller on April 1, 2012.
Native created a great sneak video of the new Traktor F1 controller that whetted the appetite of NI fanboys everywhere, but the latest information emerging is even more exciting. The update and Kontrol F1 target users of Ableton and Serato’s The Bridge middleware by inserting Ableton-like functionality directly into Traktor via their new Remix Deck. Daniel Haver, CEO of Native Instruments, described this functionality as “Ableton in DJ ware” and it looks to include some of the live remixing functionality that a segment of power users have been clamoring for.
While certain prominent DJs — remember Sasha’s The Maven? — have tried to utilize Ableton strictly for DJing (prior to the advent of specialized controllers and, of course, the controllerism movement), many abandoned the effort when they realized – it just wasn’t that much fun for strict mixing duties. Later, Ableton teamed with Serato to add some of Live’s fine features into Serato, but it just wasn’t what many DJs were looking for in a hybrid product. (Ableton has announced that The Bridge will be available for Serato’s Itch software. —Ed.)
With The Bridge not meeting expectations, the emergence of controllerism in the mainstream, and DJs looking to create more visceral performances, Native saw a window of opportunity. It appears that version 2.5 will feature the Remix Deck that will join the Live, Sample and Track decks in the interface. The Remix Deck will be directly manipulated by the F1 which will compliment the S4 and S2 controllers. This is a lower cost upgrade path for current Native hardware users, as well as DJs who utilize other DJ MIDI interfaces, and a savvy move by the German company.
The Future: In some ways, we were hoping that NI would incorporate their Maschine product more closely into Traktor. to give the mixing software more Ableton-like features and create a comprehensive DJ/Production ecosystem, but this is a solid approach. We still believe that there’s a lot to gain for Native to turn Maschine into the hub of the Native Instruments product wheel, which will allow a user to incorporate all of NI’s products into a DJ/Production powerhouse, but we’ll just have to wait until the fall when the company usually unveils a compelling answer to the Christmas DJ gift dilemma.