It was just over one month ago that images for the new Traktor Kontrol X1 were leaked online. Today Native Instruments officially announced the revision to the Kontrol X1 which features new touch strip controls, touch sensitive encoders, and LED loop size indicators. They’ve made a promotional video, embedded above, which shows off the controller and its touch strip controls.
My first impressions remain pretty much the same as they did when the images were leaked last month. You can watch my initial reaction video below to learn more.
What We Know Now
The biggest reveal from the announcement was how the touch strip works. There have been a few controllers in the past that used touch strips, but it never really caught on. In the video you can see the touch strip used for needle drop scrubbing through your tracks, bending the pitch of your track decks, activating loops, and adjusting effects. In many ways it functions like the gestures in the Traktor DJ iOS app. For those who regularly use the Traktor DJ app or other iOS DJ apps, it should be very familiar. I’ll have to try them out myself before passing judgment.
During the NAMM show earlier this year, there was a lot of talk online about modular DJ setups. The idea is that instead of buying a controller with mixer, effects and player controls, you could mix and match different controllers to create your own custom DJ setup. The advantage of using a modular setup is that you can easily bring your gear with you wherever you go. Native Instruments was mentioned at one point to be moving in that direction, but I didn’t see it how it would happen. With the reveal of the new X1, and the Z1 earlier this year, it’s starting to make sense. Instead of buying a Kontrol S2, you can buy the new X1 and a Z1 to give you full control over 2 decks, a mixer, and effects. Want to add remix decks into your setup? Buy a a Kontrol F1.
Now that the new Kontrol X1 has officially been announced we know more than we did when the product images were leaked. If you already own a Kontrol X1, do the new features entice you to upgrade or are you happy with what you have now? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.