Native Instruments Kontrol Z2 Battle DJ Mixer

Vuelta de vacaciones con muchas cosas en la cabeza, cosas buenas, cosas malas y cosas a las que de responder, pero todo suma al fin de cuentas y son nuevas experiencias, que se almacenan en la memoria y que hacen que maduremos personal y profesionalmente…estoy preparando un par de artículos, que tal vez se fusionen en uno solo, un resumen de las experiencias del verano y una respuesta a un artículo que e leído, pero mientras tanto, toca repasar las novedades aparecidas durante las vacaciones…

Empezamos con el nuevo mixer lanzado por Native Instruments, el Kontrol Z2, Según Native, con este nuevo aparato “los DJs mezclarán pistas, fundirán beats y trabajarán con efectos de una forma enteramente nueva”. Se trata de la primera incursión de Native Instruments en la fabricación de mezcladores genéricos (no controladoras) para Traktor Pro y dispositivos analógicos, pues podemos conectar y mezclar con Giradiscos o Cargadores de CD, pero eso si, desarrollaremos todo su potencial trabajando con Traktor…actualización de una imagen a tamaño real del controlador Kontrol Z2, como se puede observar en el mixer, este es el nombre definitivo…

DJ Craze con el nuevo Kontrol Z2

Se trata de una unidad pensada para presentar batalla a mixers de otras marcas como Rane, Vestax, Denon o Pioneer, un sistema orientado a Traktor Scratch, con tarjeta de sonido interna y por lo visto armazón metálico, una unidad solida y compacta, perfectamente integrada con el resto de dispositivos de la marca.

  • Mezclador estilo batalla de Dos canales, certificado para Traktor Scratch: Se trata de una unidad pensada para presentar batalla a unidades de otras marcas como Rane, Vestax, Denon o Pioneer, un sistema orientado a Traktor Scratch, armazón metálico y tarjeta de sonido interna de gran calidad, como no podía ser de otra forma.
  • Dos canales extra para Traktor: Se trata de una mesa de dos canales, Phono/CD, pero en la que podremos controlar otros dos canales adicionales de Traktor Pro desde el ordenador.
  • Un Hub USB: La mesa cuenta con varios puertos USB a los que podremos conectar una Kontrol X1 o Kontrol F1, liberando de esta forma al ordenador y mejorando su rendimiento.
  • Nuevos Efectos: Nuevos efectos añadidos al gran arsenal tales como “Laser Slice” o “Bass-o-matic”.
  • Flux Mode: Esta es una novedad que todavía no tengo clara, pero según el diccionario, se trata de “cambios continuos”, que si traducimos del ingles y en el entorno en el que estamos, vendría a ser algo así como “edición continua”, es decir, editar y trabajar de forma continua sin interrupciones, suena bien, no cabe duda.
  • Otras Características: Control MIDI de los Loops, Control MIDI de los Efectos de Traktor, Puntos de Inserción (CUE’s) independientes para cada canal, Filtros Independientes, Navegador para la librería de Traktor, Tarjeta de sonido integrada (imagino que 24 bits 96 kHz).

[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh8ZvRzZcPg&hd=1[/youtube]

English

The guys at Native Instruments given us the last couple of years fantastic hardware for the Traktor series. They’ve mainly focused on controller surfaces for either parameter (X1), sample trigger (Machine/F1) or the all-in-one approch(S2/S4). Now their about to go for the hard core and most central piece of a DJs Tools: The Mixer. (Which I’m pretty sure is named Native Instruments Kontrol Z2).

  • Two-channel Traktor Scratch certified battle-style mixer – The unit is full-sized (you can see a Traktor Kontrol F1 elevated to be flush with it in the video), and thus let’s guess its going to be metal (I’ve never seen a plastic full-sized mixer). Presumably it will be built to the same high standards as the rival units it thus completes with, namely the aforementioned Pioneer and Rane models. Of course it will need to have a built-in audio interface.
  • Two extra channels for Traktor– From the video there appear to be only two line/phono inputs on the back of the mixer, but there are clearly four VU meters (marked A,B,C and D – the latter two doubling up as masters). The video also shows two control decks (a Pioneer CDJ and a Technics) plus an F1, which is therefore controlling at least one of decks C & D. It is not clear whether these are integrated in to the mix via a soft-takeover style using the same two channel faders with layer buttons (there do seem to be layer buttons), or via some other method, such as dedicated rotaries. What it dos mean is that the audio interface will be at least eight-in.
  • A USB hub for integrating all your Traktor gear into one USB cable to your computer – The word “USB hub” is clearly visible on the back of the computer in one of the shots from the video.
  • Midi control over loops – There is two-digit LED feedback, similar to the S4. This is almost certainly feedback for the mixer’s control over Traktor’s software loops – indeed, the loop encoder is shown in use in the video.
  • Midi control over Traktor’s effects engines – There are effects, but whether they’re on-board (like the Pioneer DJM-900, for instance), or whether the unit simply offers Midi control over Traktor’s effects, is unclear to our eyes.
  • Hot cues for each channel… but do these buttons do more? – There are four buttons down the left and right of each channel, similar to those on the Rane Sixty-Two or indeed on the Kontrol F1. These are sensibly going to be hot cues (I’m pretty sure they’re being used as such in the video) but could also be sample trigger buttons and maybe even assignable as transport controls too. The fact that they are multi-colour suggest multi-use and some sample deck involvement, and the fact that there’s a big “shift” button suggests comprehensive Midi control will be mapped across not just these but the majority of the mixer’s knobs, buttons and faders.
  • Separate filters – There are clearly five rotaries above each line fader. Taking gain, hi, mid and lo out of the equation that leaves one, and taking into account that the lowest rotary is a little bigger than the rest (plus you can see an “F” under the knob in one of the shots from the video), we’re outing this as a channel filter. But will they be hardware filters like the Vestax VCI-400, and thus usable with any inputs, or just software filters?
  • Traktor library browser – There’s a mid-central lone knob with a couple of buttons beneath it that are labelled with a single character; likely “1″ & “2″ or “A” and “B”. We reckon this is a library browser for navigating and loading tracks in Traktor.
  • Integrated Soundcard: You can see “Master Out” along with some blurry additional outputs – most likely XLR out for masters, again with the seeming intent of putting this unit on the same level with similar Rane and Pioneer offerings.
  • New Traktor Effects: some awesome new effects seem to be coming alongside this mixer’s announcement – in the video you can see both a “Laser Slice” and well as a “Bass-o-matic” being controlled with the mixer’s onboard controls.
  • Flux Mode: The dictionary defines flux as “continuous change”. Sounds like fun to me. If you watch the video closely, you’ll get a good idea. I also see S4-like LCD screens, presumably for loops.