Traktor F1 Review
After many months since Native Instruments announced their later DJing toy, the Traktor F1 finally gets unleashed onto the DJing market and we have managed to pre order and get it asap to bring you the best Traktor f1 review possible.
So was it worth the wait?
Well absolutely! This new ‘add on’ to your DJ set-up is a handy to say the least accessory that adds a new creative new element to the party.
Armed with 16 bright multi coloured LED touch sensitive pads, four faders & four rotary knobs this is a midi controller not to be laughed at or ignored. You have most likely seen the F1 put to good use by DJ Shiftee so you will have seen some of the possible capabilities of this controller yet I can assure you that it really has no limit to the creative mind.
The Kontrol allows the DJ to get deep inside a mix and bring any house party, club or even stadium to a new atmospheric high.
Well that’s enough of blowing the smoke up the rears of Native Instruments new release, let’s get on with the hands on review of the Traktor F1.
To begin with the build quality of the Traktor F1 is as you would expect from any NI midi controller. It is made of rugged plastic with metallic trim in the places that you would expect it to get knocked against other gear in the DJ booth.
This DJ accessory is almost identical in size to the X1 FX Kontrol and there is a comfortable amount of room for you to navigate between each parameter.
The rotary knobs are rubberized just as the Traktor S4/S2 to allow a great grip even in the sweatiest situation and the faders smooth and accurate to the touch.
Enter the matrix
The Traktor F1 pads are made of the same quality that you find on the Maschine and feel solid yet sensitive to the touch with no latency when triggering a sample, track or one-shot through the Pro 2.5 Remix DecksTM.
There are four smaller pads located at the bottom of the matrix which act in the same way as Ableton software and midi controllers such as the APC40 and allow the DJ to stop or mute samples.
The global section of the Traktor F1 allows access to quantize, reverse , sync and adjust the sample size and also features the extremely handy push encoder feature to scroll through your 64 samples.
Another extremely useful feature is the capture button which enables you to capture parts/segments of a track(s) on the fly and drop them into the Remix DecksTM.
Bring on the 2.5 software
By the time most of you existing Traktor Pro 2 software users are reading this you will more than likely already have the free upgrade installed on your Mac or PC and using the new Remix DecksTM. If not then please read on my friend.
The new RD’s work perfectly in harmony with the F1 Kontrol and really make the most out of the Traktor DJ software. Like everything else it does take a while to get used to but opens up a whole new world. It is recommended that you are using a laptop or home computer that has at least 2GB RAM as these do take up a chunk of memory whilst in use, so it maybe time for some of you to consider upgrading your hardware.
Well unfortunately yes. NI have not made the LED pads velocity sensitive which can prevent expression and a certain level of depth to the energy and expression of your mixes however this is really plucking at straws and you can always rely on a great product from NI.
The Traktor F1 unit has been launched at the RRP of $279 / 249 EUR so is close in line to the X1 FX Kontrol that can be found in use by many of the big household DJ’s.
Round it up
For mobility, features and appearance we have to give the F1 a huge 4.5 out of 5 stars yet if you have some extra disposable income to burn then our advice would be to get the Maschine Micro or even the Maschine to your digital DJ set-up but bare in mind that we discovered that there is no mapping for Maschine use however I am confident that this will change in the not so far future
The F1 kontrol will definitely open up some new doors for your DJing sets and creative mind yet like any other DJ equipment there no guarantee and it is really down to you to make it happen. The Traktor F1 will certainly give you freedom of speech it is just a matter of you putting it to good use and searching outside the box.