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Tougher Than Charles Bronson!

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If like me you like your hardware hardwearing then the Z2 may be the mixer for you. Bringing us their first laptop DJ-tailored mixer Native Instruments keep it simple.

Firstly, it looks and sounds incredible, functioning nicely as a standalone analogue mixer. So plug in cd, vinyl decks and/or microphone and your away, simple. The Z2 has great filters, smooth cross and upfaders and nice EQs for a standard scratch DJ set up. But pushing “shift” whilst selecting the “Traktor” button turns Traktor into live deck mode which still lets you hear your vinyl or CDs although now you can use all of Traktors effects on them too, also making your analogue inputs recordable by the software.

In the box you get two pieces of Traktor control vinyl, two Traktor control CDs, a mains and USB lead also a copy of Traktor Scratch pro and everything you need to set it up.

On the front there are two headphone sockets (1/8” and 1/4”), crossfader curve knob and crossfader reverse switch. Turn the unit round and you have two phono ins and two line ins, an aux in, booth balanced TRS, main XLR and balanced RCA outputs. Cleverly also on the reverse of the unit as well as USB there is an intergrated USB hub for plugging in external sources such as hard drives or Traktor Kontrol.

Looking at the face there are four vertically numbered buttons for cue points, and very pretty they are too.  Also “flux” mode which keeps the track playing in the background so no matter how in depth you get with your tweaking, when you finish the music always returns to its former glory.

Another awesome addition to the Z2 is it’s Macro FX. This section of the unit gives you rudimentary control over all of Traktors effects. As well as this you get control of the 11 macro effects designed especially for performing with the Z2 and with names like Laser Slicer and Event Horizon you can be sure to expect some pretty mind bending results.

The workflow and integration with Traktor doesn’t get much better than this. You can be playing standalone on vinyl decide you want to plug a laptop in and use Traktor. Press the “Traktor” button on the channel that your not using put the Timecode vinyl on that corresponding deck and your playing through the software seamlessly, something I personally have been waiting a long time for.

We really liked the Traktor Kontrol Z2, it try’s hard to not confuse situations, but at the same time giving you what you really need which we don’t see enough of. Its built like a German tank has multiple seamless applications and can scratch it up with the best of them. All in all a solid thumbs up!

PROS – Seamless integration between analogue and digital sources. Flux Mode. Macro FX. Exceptional build and sound quality

CONS – Limited control of effects. Only two channels. Price £659.00

 

For the full specifications visit http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/traktor/dj-mixer/traktor-kontrol-z2/

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