surfing sound waves is the platform for online music discovery based in Venice, CA. Founded and curated by Irina Liakh @irinaliakh, SSW brings extensive coverage for both indie and pop music, giving voice to the best emerging artists and celebrating established musicians across all genres.
Recently SSW team got a chance to test several different DJ controllers with the goal to find the best hardware for those who want to learn.
TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 made by German company Native Instruments was our top choice.
Native Instruments has been the industry leader and pioneering innovator in the production of software and hardware for computer-based music production and DJing. Native Instruments debuted their first product for computer-based, real-time sound synthesis in 1996. Since then, the company’s instruments and tools defined the sound of countless professional productions.
TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 is an all-in-one DJ controller which comes together with the full edition of TRAKTOR PRO 3 (the legendary DJ software, used from clubs to the biggest stages around the world). TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 condenses the club-standard software and hardware system into an ultra-portable form. The USB-powered system has been equipped with upsized jog wheels that offer more responsive touch-sensitivity and give DJs pinpoint control when scratching and nudging.
It’s very easy to use, all the user needs is the laptop and music library to start! After the software is downloaded and installed the DJ can connect the Traktor controller to the laptop using USB cable and it’s ready to go!
Both the TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 and TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 have undergone a complete redesign, with a visual language and build approach that aligns closely with TRAKTOR’s club-standard heritage. The two systems also feature 16 RGB-backlit pads for triggering samples and loops, as well as for setting and triggering cue points. Both systems also provide full integration with Mixer FX in TRAKTOR PRO 3, with a dedicated control section on each channel.
New large (14 cm / 5.5”) smooth precision jog wheels with two modes:
1. Jog mode: Classic spin-to-nudge function, as well as scratch capability
2. Beatgrid adjust mode: Use the jog wheel to manually adjust beatgrid in TRAKTOR
• Club-standard layout with identical deck design, 2-channel mixer, and fast control of key TRAKTOR features
• 16 RGB pads for triggering Hotcues, loops, or samples
• 3-band EQs with modeling of industry standard mixer EQs
• New Mixer FX for instant one-knob FX and filter control on each channel. Choose from eight FX and three filter types to assign to four hardware FX slots
• Pro Mixer Layout with redesigned monitoring section and four dedicated slots for Mixer FX plus filter
• Full version of TRAKTOR PRO 3 included
• Connectivity: 44.1/48 kHz / 24-bit audio interface, mic input (1/4″ / 6.3 mm TRS), headphone out (1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS), 2x stereo main out (line and 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS), USB port, iOS port, 12V DC
Powered via USB 2.0 or with optional power supply unit.
INCLUDED SOFTWARE (provided as download upon hardware registration)
• Windows 10 (latest update, 64-bit)
• Mac OS X 10.12 or 10.13 (latest update)
• Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU
• 4 GB RAM
• USB 2.0 or higher (cable included)
• Graphics card which supports OpenGL 3.3 or higher
JBL brand is the most recognized audio brand in the world. For 72 years, JBL has been engineering a precise, impressive sound. From iconic events like Woodstock in 1969, to presidential inaugurations, concerts at Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center, Coachella Festival, and games at major stadiums, JBL has helped listeners have unforgettable experiences. The brand has won a Grammy, an Oscar, and several other awards for technological achievements.Last year the first JBL Fest became the talk of the town when it landed in Las Vegas and created a major buzz.
The second annual JBL Fest, held this October, was highly anticipated and exceeded all expectations.
An immersive, three-day JBL experience brought guests from all over the world—loyal fans, partners, influencers, journalists, and of course, performers and entertainers. JBL created a unique opportunity for those guests to learn everything about the brand firsthand from the engineers, experience the powerful sound from car audio systems during Joy Ride, and party it up with the biggest celebrities and JBL ambassadors.
JBL Fest began at Omnia Nightclub with “COVERS” (An Intimate Musical Experience with the legendary Quincy Jones), followed by the JBL Platinum Party. Quincy Jones introduced his mentees (Clark Beckham, Jonah Nilsson, and Shelea), who performed several songs produced by the iconic producer, including Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Jones answered a few questions about his career and told the audience that he learned how to “party and work at the University of Ray and Frank,” referring to Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra. The 28-time Grammy Award winner mentioned the importance of mentorship , saying that he himself was mentored while coming up (Jones was mentored by the likes of Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, and Count Basie), and it’s important to give back because these new artists are the future. (Editor’s Note: If you haven’t seen “QUINCY,” a new Netflix documentary about the life of Quincy Jones, co-directed and co-written by his daughter, Rashida Jones, and Alan Hicks, you absolutely must.) After “COVERS,” the audience moved to the party where the host for the weekend, model and influencer Olivia Culpo, brought out Rachel Platten to perform her biggest hits (including “Fight Song” and “I’ll Stand By You”). Legendary NBA champions Kevin Garnett and Magic Johnson were in attendance.
Day 2 began with the “How to Listen” Session, where JBL’s lead sound engineers walked the audience through the listening process and training on how to evaluate sound. After that, the guests were able to experience the new in-vehicle sound systems during Joy Ride and use their newly acquired knowledge. .
Tinie Tempah (the UK’s hip-hop, rap, and grime sensation and JBL ambassador) lit up the stage when he performed to a full house at JBL LIVE! at the Brooklyn Bowl. Pop star Ellie Goulding brought the house down and wowed the crowd when she came on stage and performed her hits, including “Love Me Like You Do,” “Burn,” and “First Time.” Even though the singer lost her voice mere hours before the show and it was unknown until the very last moment if she was going to be able to go on stage, Goulding crushed it and made the crowds go wild. .
The appearance of global superstar and award-winning actress, producer, and philanthropist, Priyanka Chopra, was highly anticipated. She attended JBL Social Suite and made a special guest appearance on stage at JBL Sound Splash Pool Party, talking about her excitement in joining the JBL family and welcoming Mr. Worldwide, Pitbull, to the stage. Pitbull’s brought his unstoppable energy, infectious hits (including “Timber,” “Feel This Moment,” “Don’t Stop the Party,” “Time of Our Lives,” and “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”), and powerful messages between songs. What a way to close a fantastic festival!
JBL created a unique and unforgettable experience! And we are absolutely looking forward to #Year 3 of JBL FEST!