Native Instruments has officially announced TRAKTOR KONTROL D2 – the next-generation pro deck controller for TRAKTOR PRO 2 that they believe is the ideal performance deck for the touring DJ. NI says that, designed for creative DJ performance that takes the DJ's focus away from the laptop, TRAKTOR KONTROL D2 offers groundbreaking touch-and-see workflow in a compact format optimized for easy set-up with club equipment. TRAKTOR KONTROL D2 will join TRAKTOR KONTROL S8 as one of the first DJ hardware controllers to support Stems* – an upcoming, open audio format that allows multi-channel mixing with individual musical parts.
Here's more details in Native Instruments' own words...
TRAKTOR KONTROL D2 creates a multisensory DJ experience thanks to its touch-and-see technology. Tracks appear on a full-color display as vector waveforms while several key views and pop-up panels are revealed when a corresponding control is touched. The Browse Knob for example, triggers the Browse View for track selection directly from the controller. Performance Panels appear over track waveforms to view and modify BPM, key, filter, or effect values when activated by touch-sensitve knobs. And an LED-guided touch strip provides motion-sensitive pitch bending, track seeking, vinyl scratch emulation, and keeps track of phase in dark environments.
TRAKTOR KONTROL D2 naturally delivers enhanced TRAKTOR deck functions that empower pro DJs to develop their own trademark sound. Samples and loops are easily accessible for mixing with the four dedicated Deck faders when using a Remix Deck. Eight color-coded pads can trigger sounds, juggle cue points while in Hotcue Mode, or rearrange a playing track on the fly in Freeze Mode. Similar to Remix Deck usage, the D2's touch-sensitive performance knobs and faders will instantly correspond to a loaded Stem file's different 'stem' parts.
Designed to minimize bulk and setup time, TRAKTOR KONTROL D2 is highly transportable for DJs on the go. The lightweight, yet robust build features four foldable rubber-padded feet that extend to raise the unit to industry-standard height, or incline it for contoured comfort. Though one D2 alone can navigate through two TRAKTOR decks, two USB ports found on the rear panel allow a second D2 to be daisy-chained to one computer USB port for a two-unit setup. Connections are further simplified with an included power supply splitter cable that allows two units to be powered using one power supply unit.
Fueling the technology behind TRAKTOR KONTROL D2 is the included TRAKTOR PRO 2 software. An innovation in and of itself, TRAKTOR PRO is the award winning DJ software used by countless professionals. Four software decks, over 30 studio-grade effects, and powerful advanced features for creative looping and cueing have provided DJs all over the world with inspiring and customizable DJ possibilities.
TRAKTOR KONTROL D2 will be fully compatible with Stems on public release of the format in summer 2015.
*Stems – introducing a new, open multi-track audio format
Stems – a new, multi-channel audio format was recently unveiled at WMC (Winter Music Conference) in Miami. A Stem file allows DJs and live performers to interact with different musical elements of a track independently by accessing four different 'stem' parts such as the bass, drums, melody, or vocals. This type of mixing introduces new performance possibilities and enriches the listening experience for music lovers. As a premium file format, Stems can also create new revenue streams for music labels and online retailers to grow their business. Developed by Native Instruments, Stems is an open file format designed to benefit the entire music industry.
Stems was recently introduced at a WMC discussion panel moderated by KCRW Los Angeles Music Director Jason Bentley. Online music retailers Juno and Traxsource joined five-time DMC World Champion DJ Craze and DJproducer virtuoso Luciano in an engaging discussion – sharing their early impressions about the forthcoming technology. The format was highly regarded as inspiring, easy-to-use technology for DJs and live performers to interact differently with a track's musical elements. Stem parts can be modified independently to create spontaneous instrumentals while effects can be applied to specific parts of the track. Transitions between tracks can be mixed part-by-part rather than using global volume and EQ control for the entire track.
Stem files use the mp4 container format to store the four individual stems of a track plus the original master version of the track within a single file. This single file can be managed as easily as an mp3 file, which can even be played as a normal stereo audio track with any mp4-compatible audio player such as iTunes. To play with Stems' individual parts, Stem-supported software and hardware will be required. Native Instruments' TRAKTOR software will be the first to offer Stem support this summer – opening the gates for further integration.
As an open format, anyone will be able to create, perform with, and distribute Stems in any way possible. Producers, DJs, and labels will be able to author their own Stem files using a free standalone application called the Stem Creator Tool. Developers will have full access to format specifications and code examples for them to integrate Stem support into future music performance and production tools.
Pricing and Availability:
TRAKTOR KONTROL D2 will be available for $499 / 499 EUR / £429 / ¥ 57.800 / AU$ 699 at the NI Online Shop and at local retailers on May 4, 2015. Preorder is also available.