My Initial impressions of Traktor S4
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default My Initial impressions of Traktor S4

    Do you have it?
    YES!

    Does it live up to all the hype....?
    Hmmmmmm maybe - depending on what kind of user of traktor you are.

    Give us your first impressions...!
    I love the hardware! There is a lot to like!, hardware is very well built and feels excellent. The new features are awesome. However they have also taken some things away which i can't understand and severely frustrating.

    Does it do all you want it to...?
    No!!!!!!!!! Not at all.... I'll be still using my VCI-100 and traktor pro for a while until they sort the software and give the creative customising power I need. Being a power user of traktor pro and exploiting its programming features for customised control of macros/multiple software parameters on single knobs, button and jogwheel pushes, (e.g. like djtechtools style of mapping, with fader effects, sweeps, multiple macro effects etc). I feel very very very very limited as I can't do that on the S4. As you can only program on top of what's already there, you can't change any existing parameters. However, being a power user of traktor pro and exploiting its programming features for customised control of multiple software parameters on single knobs, button and jogwheel pushes, I feel very very very very limited as I can't do that on the S4. As you can only program on top of whats already there, you can't change any existing parameters.


    Addtionally I use a 17" screen, but why is the big empty gaps in the bar where, effects, master clock and recorder and it forces me to switch as if I was on a smaller screen. Please… please please give me the ability to make effective use of space like traktor pro.

    They have also taken away the record out put!!! why!!! I used this output all the time to drive a secondary set of speakers at some gigs and parties at home, I know most people wont use the feature as they will use the inbuilt soundcard, but I like using my echo audio fire, and its there on traktor pro, and I have used it since the initial version of traktor before pro, when it was there to drive additional monitors. Please give us the choice for these things.

    I predominantly use master clock as the master tempo all the time, so I would have expected there to be a rotary knob to control master tempo using a shift function, but I'm still figuring out how to map this on to something, without multiple things happening at the same time because of the lack of being able to disable a pre-programmed function.


    Was it worth the wait......?
    If you don't have traktor pro, or use use traktor pro in a basic way without much customisation then go for it! it wont let you down, but if you are, its maybe worth getting it to play around with, but i'll still be using traktor pro for a long while until these software limitations in comparison to traktor pro are addressed… If not addressed, i'll be selling it, because there are a lot of things i do now in mixing that i can't live without.

  2. #2
    DJTT Dominator JesC's Avatar
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    I would love to get my hands on a S4, but I have to wait until tax season to get able to drop 8 or 900 on some gear. I already used the S4 at the DJ Expo and a million things came to mind for new sets, but i have to wait...Good luck with the S4!
    Controllerist: Think different | SoundCloud | MixCloud | Twitter |

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info, man. The customization aspect is the thing I've been trying to figure out. I love the idea of this controller, but if what you're saying is true, the S4 is a no-go for me.

    So the midi mapping doesn't work the same as TPro? No custom map saved out as a file? Or is it that it pretty much works the same but default functions cannot be changed or deleted? I don't get it. Why would they take the robust midi mapping from TPro and cripple it? I've got so many custom features and macros in my mappings there's no way I can live without... No S4 for me??
    MacBook 2.4GHz, 6GB, Traktor Pro, Ableton Live, Bomes MT, Audio Kontrol 1, Vestax VCI-100 SE Custom, M-Audio Axiom 25, Akai APC40, NI Maschine, 2x Midi Fighters (c/o DJ TechTools - Thanks!!)

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  4. #4
    Tech Guru Nicky H's Avatar
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    You can run it in midi mode and map everything - check Ean's vids where he's using the jogwheels for fx.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong... mines not here till next week so can't check.
    SC | MC

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by JesC View Post
    I would love to get my hands on a S4, but I have to wait until tax season to get able to drop 8 or 900 on some gear. I already used the S4 at the DJ Expo and a million things came to mind for new sets, but i have to wait...Good luck with the S4!
    yeah i hear ya Im a poor college student lol. I have to wait hella days to drop a stack on dj gear. Got bills and rent. One day though lol the work will have payed off.

  6. #6
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicky H View Post
    You can run it in midi mode and map everything - check Ean's vids where he's using the jogwheels for fx.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong... mines not here till next week so can't check.
    This kind of clarifies the mapping bit

    http://www.traktorfreaks.com/en/kont...rmappings.aspx

    Yu can select to use the jogs for FX in preference so it's natively built in.
    Chris Jennings FHP

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  7. #7
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    Ok, thanks for the Traktor Bible link. It looks like the S4 is fully custom mappable, as long as you don't mind working off the template and/or building from scratch. Which I don't mind.
    MacBook 2.4GHz, 6GB, Traktor Pro, Ableton Live, Bomes MT, Audio Kontrol 1, Vestax VCI-100 SE Custom, M-Audio Axiom 25, Akai APC40, NI Maschine, 2x Midi Fighters (c/o DJ TechTools - Thanks!!)

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  8. #8
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    Super knobs are awesome, my two favourite uses are creating a sweep/freeze knob which does a nice sweep effect of 3 different effects at set rates, and then combined with a freeze. The other is my own creation of the Pioneer Jet Effect using 3 effects.

    I also love the jog wheel effects capability of the VCI-100, especially with the touch on/off. I could be wrong, but I am not sure the S4 jog wheels have a touch on/off signal like the VCI-100? Also, with the jog wheel effects mode, I want the capability to map this myself, not be forced into only controlling the third parameter/effect.

    I know you can switch into midi mode - but the problem is you may want to do features on the standard mapping, at the same time as using a super knob.

    Whats required is an expert mode, which allows you to dis-able pre-programmed functions. Which you can then remap as you like in the standard mode.

    I could remap everything in midi, but that would take away the benefit of the HID interface.

    I would like the S4 to be a superset of everything i can do in Pro, not give with one hand and take away with another.

    Hopefully this will be addressed in a near future update.

    If i had known it was going to be this limiting, I probably would have held off for a while. I guess, lucky Traktor S4 installs as a separate instance so I still can play with the Traktor pro/vci-100 setup at the same time.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zac Kyoti View Post
    Ok, thanks for the Traktor Bible link. It looks like the S4 is fully custom mappable, as long as you don't mind working off the template and/or building from scratch. Which I don't mind.
    I just checked this link out now as well. Definitely looks promising. I think I am going to build my own mapping from scratch and getting working exactly how I want.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru Yul's Avatar
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    I'm currently custom mapping the unit fully. I'm not in midi mode (or am I mistaken), I've erased the native mapping and added the default S4 user one to start as the base. I took the time to understand how this provided mapping was working, cleared bits by bits the functions I was going to remap and create the new parts in a new user section.
    This is what I'm having limitations on:
    - you can't map some functions on some controls: knobs and faders don't have an on/off or hold possibilities (like they have on TP) and if you try the learn window from the controller manager will tell you the control being 'inappropriate'
    - the amplitude provided by the jogwheel (encoder) is 'low' even with settings at 300%/100%, when mapped for FX amounts. It may or may not be an issue for Fx management depending on what it's applied to. (a full revolution of the jogwheel will pass the D/W from 0 to 25% roughly for example).
    - you loose the benefit of the loop length screen
    - Passing to midi mode and using the controller editor allows to use midi signals (in this case you have to create a generic midi device) but you can get the messages you want.. I think...

    But I've started so those are really first thoughts, and please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Last edited by Yul; 11-06-2010 at 07:40 AM.

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