Native Instruments had a difficult time containing the online leaks about a new Traktor “DJ Mothership,” but with the release of the sneak video below, it appears that we’ll be seeing the S8 right in time for the holiday season.
Native certainly crammed as much as possible into the S8, which includes lifting the dual high-resolution color 480×272 pixel displays from Maschine Studio into the unit in order to finally alleviate the need for using a laptop’s screen. While the displays don’t support multitouch for tactile manipulation of the waveforms, which would have made the “HobbificationReference to the brilliant Scott Hobbs who joined NI four years ago...” of Traktor truly complete, there are two touch strips below that should allow for waveform cueing. The biggest thing about the S8 is what it’s missing. Yes, it looks like NI has put the final nail in the coffin of the turntable paradigm, by eliminating the jog wheels found on the S4. Hallelujah!
Live Remixing gets massive support on the S8 with sixteen Maschine pads and full-on implementation of the remix decks, complete with individual mini faders. It looks like you can hot-assign parts to the pads via the Capture and Edit buttons, as well as change modes for hot cues, triggering loops, and implementing other DJ trickery.
There’s certainly a lot of action on the S8, but the big question for us is the Input / Output action on the rear of the unit. There’s looks to be plenty of RCA I/O, since the unit will reportedly support external devices, but it doesn’t appear that balanced XLR outputs made it into the final spec. One can hope for digital I/O…but we’ll have to wait and see.
We’re still waiting for Scott Hobbs’ Sensing Sounds concept to finally make it into a commercial product, but the S8 looks to be an evolutionary step in that direction.
Look for Native Instruments to formally announce the S8 next month for somewhere between $1299—$1499.