Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro 2 Review

Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro 2

Overview:  

TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO 2 lets you spin digital files on four track decks using super-tight vinyl and CD control. The next generation of the award-winning digital vinyl system is easier to use than ever. Set it up in seconds thanks to the included TRAKTOR AUDIO 10.


Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro 2
Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro 2

Click to See Price!

American Musical Supply is the
Official Pro Audio Retailer of DJBooth

Go to www.AmericanMusical.com


Staff Review


Review Video & Demo


Setup & First Impressions

By DJ Blaze and DJ D-Mac

This is the DJbooth.net official review of the new Traktor Scratch Pro 2 Complete Digital Vinyl system. The complete system comes bundled with the new Traktor Pro 2 software and the Native Instruments’ premier DJ soundcard, the Audio 10. This review will cover both the Hardware and Software portions of the complete system. We will make some references to previous versions of the software and hardware for comparison purposes. The Traktor Pro 2 software and hardware will continue to keep all of the features of the Traktor Pro 1 software and hardware while also adding the new features highlighted in this review.

Please see our reviews of the Traktor Scratch Pro 1 and Traktor Scratch Duo 1 for additional information regarding the basic features of the earlier Traktor systems.


Unboxing Video


Features

Traktor Scratch Pro Hardware (Audio 10)


TRAKTOR AUDIO 10 DJ is the successor of AUDIO 8 DJ, and now comes with enhanced connectivity, better sound quality, four decks of inputs/outputs and a MIDI connection for other devices. The four decks can all be toggled to support any combination of vinyl Phono turntables or CD Line playback devices.

The audio 10 claims to have a new processor for better performance and lower latency, but I was unable to discern the difference between the audio 4 and audio 10 in terms of processing power. I was very happy to see that the Native Instruments interfaces no longer need those proprietary multicore cables as you can now connect simple RCA connectors directly into the Audio 10 interface making the setup a lot easier.

The Audio 10 can also run in direct-through mode when not connected to a computer, this way DJ’s can still play music through it even when there is no software present. The Audio 10 now has very clear LED readouts that allow users to know what each input and output is doing right at a glance. The audio control panel for the Audio 10 is located within the software, making it easy to configure the inputs/outputs of the soundcard.

The Sound quality of the Audio 10 is great. It boasts a high-quality 24-bit and 96kHz Cirrus Logic AD/DA converters for studio grade quality. I would say that the Sound Quality of the Audio 10 is slightly better than last generations’ Audio 4 and Audio 8 interfaces. It was very hard for me to hear the difference between the two as I had to switch back and forth between the Audio 10 and Audio 4 in order to actually hear a very tiny difference. If you are using an Audio 8 or Audio 4 and you are looking to upgrade merely for sound quality, then you may find that the price of the Audio 10 isnt worth the slight improvement in sound. The Audio 8 and Audio 4 interfaces already sound great and the Audio 6 and Audio 10 will only prove to have very minor upgrades to the sound quality.

Traktor Scratch Pro Software (New Features)


With Traktor Scratch 2, Native Instruments made some significant changes to the Traktor Scrach 1 software, including various tweaks to the interface and some useful new effects and features. In order to help you determine if the new features are worthy of an upgrade, we have broken down each major change in detail below.

User Interface & Truwave



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The new version of Traktor has a much more modern and organized look. Whereas the buttons on the old interface sometimes blended in with eachother, the new interface lays out all buttons and triggers in a way that not only looks more modern, but also makes it easier to spot the feature you are looking for. In summary, it looks less busy, and more organized.

The most immediately noticeable change made to the Traktor Interface is the addition of colored waveforms – or TruWave as Traktor calls it. The color coding allows you to quickly identify the snares and high-hats in the beat. This makes mixing easier and also gives DJs a visible cue to what the wavs represent. Serato has had this functionality for a while now, and we are glad to see that Traktor caught up. Furthermore, Traktor 2 allows you to zoom in on the waveform, which means that you can more precisely set your cue points.

Fans of Traktor will know that it offers a lot of options, not all of which are relevant all of the time. Because of this I was glad to see that Traktor Pro 2 comes with 3 different layout options - each one catered to a different type of DJ. The most basic layout strips the interface down to the bare essentials and in some ways emulates the simplified look of Serato. It eliminates the FX, mixer, sample deck, and some of the advanced buttons in favor of increasing the size of the waveform and browsing windows. This is ideal for the hip hop DJ looking to just mix records. On the other hand you can choose the more advanced layout which includes everything, as well as an option in between.

The one negative here is that Traktor 2 neglected to add a layout that places the waveforms of the 2 decks side-by-side (aka parallel waveforms). Serato fans love this feature since you can easily see if one of the decks is phased ahead of the other. Unfortunately at this time there is no option to do this, so it remains a Serato exclusive for now.

Sample Decks



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The most exciting new feature in Traktor 2 is its ability to load sounds and loops into 4 sample banks per sample deck. These sample decks can then be controlled via mouse/keyboard or even a Midi controller such as the Traktor X1 or even a all-in-one unit like the Traktor S4. The sample decks are pretty easy to use but allow skilled DJs to construct some incredible live remixes on the fly. You can either load up audio samples (Traktor 2 comes with a few to get you started) or you can create your own using loops within tracks that you set. The sample decks are by far the most exciting and revolutionary advancement included in Traktor Scratch 2 because it allows DJs to move beyond mixing and cutting into live remixing.

Loop Recorder



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This feature is closely related to the sample Decks, as it allows you to take a loop, apply effects and save it as its own sound file snippet. You can then take this file and load it up in one of the sample decks. Overall, we found this process pretty simple and intuitive.

New Effects

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Traktor Scratch Pro already came with a number of effects and Traktor Pro 2 ads four more to the DJ's arsenal. These include Tape Delay, Ramp Delay, Bouncer, and auto Bouncer. Bouncer is my favorite new addition simply for the fact that its so extreme. I dont see me dropping it in a set as a hip hop DJ, but a Dub-Step DJ could probably find some interesting uses for it especially when chained together when other effects.


Conclusion / Recommended For

The Traktor Scratch Pro 2 software and Hardware both have much needed upgrades that ties in with today’s popular 4-deck mixing style and allow users to switch between setups on the fly. For the Audio 10, the sound quality has been slightly improved and the additional MIDI input/output along with the MAIN input/output RCA connections open up the door to many more mixing possibilities. The Main inputs/output can be used for the new loop recorder and playback, or simply as a Master Output.

You can now run a total of 4 analog turntables directly through the Audio 10. Each of the four deck inputs can now be controlled through the software to switch between vinyl or line level inputs depending on if you are using a CD deck or a vinyl turntable. The Audio 10 can also route outputs to four different decks making it the ideal soundcard for DJ’s who want to use a controller like the Denon DN-MC6000 or Numark NS6 along with two other external decks allowing for 4-full decks of control. The Audio 10 is built with a mostly metal construction and will last for years to come.

The Audio 10 is very versatile and can also be used with any other DJ software on the market today. The only MINOR gripe that I can find with the TSP2 system is the lack of an additional USB connection so that two computers can connect to the system. This feature would make it easy to switch between DJ setups for club installations or for DJ’s who want to battle it out using two separate libraries of music.

With the Traktor Scratch Pro 2 software, Native Instruments has incorporated features that fans have been asking for as well as brand new capabilities that will help take DJing to the next level. Whereas the Colored waveforms brings the software up to par with the standard set by Serato, the Sample Decks and loop recorder are game-changers that open up a new world of possibilities for skilled and creative DJs.

While the DJ Booth staff was really hoping that it would include parallel waveforms, the Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro 2 system is one of the BEST (if not the best) Digital DJ Solutions out on the market today and the hands down choice for DJs interested in going beyond simple mixing and cutting.


Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Four Decks of Control
  • Solid Build Quality
  • Lots of inputs and outputs (MIDI, Master, Headphones, etc…)
  • New Live Loop Recorder & Sample Decks within Software allows for live remixing
  • Full Color Track Waveform
  • Good Price when compared to competition
  • Simplified RCA Cable connection (no more dongle cables needed)

Cons

  • Lack of additional USB port for true 2-computer connectivity
  • Unable to display waveforms side-by-side

DJ ControllersNative Instruments

Written by on 08/8/11




Features & Specs


Features

* TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO 2 Software
* TRAKTOR AUDIO 10 audio interface
* 2 control vinyls & 2 control CDs
* 6 x RCA cable, USB cable, power supply
* Setup guide, pdf manual, beatport giftcard

* Auto Detection for NI audio interfaces and controllers; ships with mappings for all relevant controllers
* Two additional inputs and outputs on the front side for FX send/returns or as dedicated Sample Deck channels
* Direct Thru mode allows analog signals to pass without a computer connected, making DJ switchovers a breeze
* New status LED design for clearer signal chain monitoring

* TruWave waveforms offer a whole new dimension to your mix - superior wave drawing technology results in amazing detail
* Selectable color schemes to differentiate between kicks, hi-hats and snares and anticipate your mix
* Thanks to various zoom levels, set up tighter cue points than ever before
* The overview of the whole track (“stripe”) clearly displays the track’s arrangement with full detail

* Grab and layer your own loops or use the included loop content. Create one-shot samples or use the included DJ Craze scratch sounds
* Grab loops live out of a running deck, store your favorites in the loop library, and develop your own arsenal of beats and sounds
* Layer up loops in perfect sync with the decks
* Tweak the volume and filter for each Sample Deck slot separately
* 2 different sizes for the Sample Decks; each of the 4 decks can be switched from track deck to Sample Deck and vice versa, on the fly

* Full iTunes® integration / iPod® compatibility for fast and efficient searches
* Search through tracks via Crate Flick cover art browsing, just like a vinyl crate
* Auto track analysis, BPM detection and beat-gridding offer help for instant track preparation

* 40 original loops and 10 full tracks drawn from Loopmasters’ new DJ Mixtools series, plus additional scratch sounds by DMC Champ DJ Craze
* Drum, bass, percussion and synth loops in dubstep, minimal, house, techno and trance styles
* Grab loops from any playing track in seconds, and save them in the loop library

* Trigger the recording using a foot pedal, a DJ controller such as TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 or a keyboard hot key
* Overdub on top of the running loop in real time, creating additional layers and heightening dramatic FX buildups and peaks
* Works like a 5th deck. You can transfer the layered loop into a Sample Deck slot instantly, freeing up the Loop Recorder for further use

* Auto Detection for Native Instruments audio interfaces and controllers; ships with mappings for all relevant controllers
* New layouts, including Essential View for maximum ease-of-use when using TRAKTOR with external mixer and controller(s)
* PRO versions only: 30+ effects, now with the much requested Tape Delay, plus Ramp Delay, Bouncer and Auto Bouncer

* Differentiate between kicks, hi-hats and snares and mix your tracks visually
* Set up more accurate cue points and Beat Grids for even tighter mixes
* Track stripe clearly displays the track’s arrangement for better mix anticipation



* Trigger the recording using a foot pedal, a DJ controller such as TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 or a keyboard hot key
* Overdub on top of the running loop in real time, creating additional layers and heightening dramatic FX buildups and peaks
* Works like a 5th deck. You can transfer the layered loop into a Sample Deck slot instantly, freeing up the Loop Recorder for further use





* Auto Detection for Native Instruments audio interfaces and controllers; ships with mappings for all relevant controllers
* New layouts, including Essential View for maximum ease-of-use when using TRAKTOR with external mixer and controller(s)
* PRO versions only: 30+ effects, now with the much requested Tape Delay, plus Ramp Delay, Bouncer and Auto Bouncer



* Differentiate between kicks, hi-hats and snares and mix your tracks visually
* Set up more accurate cue points and Beat Grids for even tighter mixes
* Track stripe clearly displays the track’s arrangement for better mix anticipation



* Full iTunes® integration / iPod® compatibility for fast and efficient searches
* Search through tracks via Crate Flick cover art browsing, just like a vinyl crate
* Auto track analysis, BPM detection and beat-gridding offer help for instant track preparation



* 120g timecode vinyl and 2kHz timecode for ultimate ‘tight’ feel and precision
* Feels like each file is cut into the wax even with motor-offs and ultra-fast rubs
* Also available separately in a selection of colors - white, red, blue and transparent



* Get optional beat-matching help with SoftSync, easily sync the tempo for the incoming track, but still cue it in manually, keeping that special feel of spinning vinyl
* SoftSync makes sure your mix stays perfectly in phase over minutes – no drift!
* Use the software to easily rock the after party when timecode control isn’t available



* Trigger perfectly timed auto loops on the fly, and take your set into new territories
* Store up to eight hot cues per track and re-arrange tunes with the track parts you need
* Super-precise loop and cue points, thanks to the seamless waveform zoom and multiple cue types



* Trigger one-shot samples and loops, included Loopmasters content or DJ Craze scratch sounds
* Grab loops live out of a running track deck, and tweak the volume and filter for each
* Layer up loops in sync with the decks and store your favorites in TRAKTOR’s loop library

* Effects useable in Single and Group Mode – chain up to 6 effects together for amazing sound mangling potential
* 30+ effects, now with the much requested Tape Delay, Ramp Delay, Bouncer and Auto Bouncer
* TRAKTOR FX are now routable via the TRAKTOR AUDIO 10 for use as a send and return external FX box

* Trigger the recording using a foot pedal, a DJ controller such as TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 or a keyboard hot key
* Overdub on top of the running loop in real-time, creating additional layers and heightening dramatic FX buildups and peaks
* Works like a 5th deck in TRAKTOR. You can transfer the layered loop into a Sample Deck slot instantly, freeing up the Loop Recorder for further use


Purchase the Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro 2


Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro 2
Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro 2

Click to See Price!

American Musical Supply is the
Official Pro Audio Retailer of DJBooth

Go to www.AmericanMusical.com



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Avg Rating:   54321     Total Ratings: 1
 
 
 
 
 

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