Native Instruments Traktor S4 MK3

86

4-Channel DJ Controller and Audio Interface

  • HAPTIC DRIVE: Motorised jog wheels with haptic feedback for a new style of performance
  • RGB LED ring around each jogwheel for visual feedback
  • High-resolution colour displays
  • Deck FX and Mixer FX
  • Pro mixer layout
  • Pro-grade high-end 24-bit / 96kHz audio interface
  • Carbon Protected Faders for a longer life
  • Main output (RCA and XLR)
  • Booth output (6.3 mm)
  • 4x Stereo line inputs (RCA)
  • 2x Microphone inputs (XLR combo jack and 6.3 mm)
  • 2x Headphone outputs (3.5 mm and 6.3 mm)
  • USB port
  • USB host connector
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 542 x 339 x 60.5 mm
  • Weight: 4.3 kg
  • Includes TRAKTOR PRO 3 Software and power supply unit
  • Suitable optional cases: Art.454112, Art.454113 (both not included)
available since October 2018
Item number 447986
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Controller type All in one
incl. software Traktor
Micro In 2
Master Out XLR
Stand Alone Mixer Function Yes
Mobile Support No
USB Player No
Stereo Line-In 4
19 No
Rec Out No
Weight 4,3 kg
Phono Input 2
Audio Interface Input 4
Audio Interface Output 4
Booth Out 6,3 mm bal.
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$745
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GH
Incredible piece of kit
Gary H 16.03.2022
I was stuck between the Numark NVII and this. If you've used CDJs or other standalone decks and gotten comfortable with them, only then will you understand the feeling of limitations in controllers. The Numark NVII does a good job of trying to be CDJs, the built in screens are just amazing and mean you can keep laser focused on mixing instead of taking your head up to look at a screen. However, Serato seem to be the EA of DJing software - "we have the features you want, but it will cost you extra on top of the original purchase!" You have to pay extra for DVS, FX & filter models in a lot of cases so do your research!

Contrast this to Native Instruments and Traktor. They give you everything, for one initial price. DVS, a massive selection of FX - assignable to 3 tracks for each deck and also a mixer FX section where you have 4 FX switches plus an additional filter switch! There are a nice few filter models which can be changed in Traktor, which I recommend. On first launch, the "EQ Selection" will be set to "Classic". Click the settings cog, go to the "Mixer" tab and experiment. I recommend the "P600" and the Filter Type "Ladder" for that natural resonance sweep without distortion.
The Haptic feedback technology is really, really interesting. The torque is just like a turntable, no joke, it is. However, I haven't gotten used to it enough to be able to truly judge it.

Finally - the unit is really well built, it just has a premium feel. The lighting is well balanced and the controls and commands are more intuitive as you continue to use it.
The only issue I have had so far is sometimes the mini-screen for the waveform and track information just stays saying Traktor until I turn the unit off and back on (while Traktor is running). Reproducible bug and I'm sure it will be solved in time.
It's an extremely honourable offering. I'm just bummed I didn't grab it for €759 before it rose in price to €899!

EDIT (1/10/22): The screen bug doesn't appear to have happened for a while. I have the option to send statistics and reports ON and I recommend you do too, otherwise it's slower for these problems to get fixed!
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D
Good, but not perfect...
DJoan'Z 01.10.2019
I confess I ordered this controller because of the motorized jog wheels feature. The first unit I got, clearly had a left jog wheel issue that caused the music on Deck A (and C) to drag and skip on its own. Got a second unit from Thomann and this unit is now working fine (thank you, Thomann). The motorized jog wheels in TT mode are a lot of fun to DJ with, no doubt. I'm a bit old school and I love vinyl. The S4 MK3 allows me to have all the fun of vinyl without the hassle of having to carry heavy records in a trolley. However, the operation is not as smooth as you would expect from such an expensive controller. Playing using either TT or Jog mode, there are still few "bugs" that cause the software to sometimes not interpret the MIDI signal correctly and the Tempo glitches a bit making beatmatching not so accurate... A slight nudge of the jog wheel and the problem solves itself.
I think it might be a TSI problem... Maybe even a firmware problem. Not sure. I'll keep experimenting with TSI's and wait for another update.
One huge overlook from NI, in my opinion, is the lack of dust sleeves inside the faders. This made me anxious, so I improvised some external ones made of felt and mask tape. Although the faders are inverted and carbon protect, that doesn't mean that dust sleeves are obsolete... In fact, if there were dust sleeves, the faders would probably last even longer. Alas...
That said, the sound is amazing and very clear, the unit feels solid, although it's plastic, and, so far, I love playing with it.
Note: Mac Mojave users have to create a new account/user with admin permissions and download the S4 MK3 Firmware Update from the NI website using Safari to be able to update the controller firmware. Otherwise, it just won't work...
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p
quality fun
pantov 01.09.2022
i had a s2 mk2 before, but this is on a whole other level. i dont use the tactile stuff. but the layout, build quality make me happy. sound is good.
only thing is that the software isnt that stable..
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Bv
Decent quality, don't need the jog wheels.
Bob van Hoove 14.09.2022
Pros
- Proper layout, all important functions are directly available
- Decent sound card
- Faders, FX and Eq buttons have a decent feel, just enough resistance.
- Easily assignable filter FX
- Filter FX are easier to use / more accessible than channel FX
- Combination of filter FX and channel FX allows for interesting ways to manipulate the sound.
- It's reasonably lightweight, convenient if you want to bring your controller to a gig.

Cons
- Filter knobs have little resistance and feel 'cheap' at first impression. Not what you expect from a device in that price range. But to be fair when mixing it doesn't bother me.
- Personal preference: I don't need jog wheels, I'm fine with nudge buttons. Would have rather had separate controls for every deck.
- Deck switching is prone to confusion, eg. hitting a cue button assuming you're controlling deck C while it's actually A. Practice helps, but mistakes still happen.
- The screens could've been a bit larger and show more info. I got Joe Easton's mod which is a nice improvement, but if Joe can do it, why didn't NI make it such in the first place?

Overall I'm happy with the controller. I can carry it to gigs and it all works like a charm. I might switch if a new version becomes available that replaces the jog wheels with deck controls.
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