Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8 Review


DJ Controller


Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the DJ box, Native Instruments prepare to unleash their S8 controller and this little beauty looks amazing. Having worked our way around the majority of the NI controllers for our DJ courses at Garnish HQ, we look forward to getting our hands on what looks like an outstanding piece of equipment.

The Kontrol S8 looks to be a similar size to the S4, but there are quite a few features that have been removed and updated. The jog wheels are no more, but their area of space has now been given over to a wide selection of new effects and faders to really take your DJ mixes to the next level.

Where the jog wheels used to sit are now two high definition mini screens that will allow you to see and manipulate the playing waveform. This will probably make the use of the laptop almost totally redundant, which will be seem by many as a good thing. Spending all night clicking through a laptop is really not most DJs idea of fun, and the S8 looks like it has more than enough on board to keep everyone happy.

The Kontrol S8 seems to have the best parts of various other Native Instruments controllers built into one package. This means there’s a touch of Maschine, the Z2, the X1 and the F1 all under one roof. Many DJs will understand what we are talking about here but if this just looks like a selection of letters and numbers, then we apologise!

Do you need really need all of these knobs and whistles to become a successful DJ? Absolutely not, but anyone that has been using Traktor controllers and software are sure to be salivating at the sight of this. I personally don’t travel anywhere without my Z1, so will be looking forward to giving this a test drive at Garnish HQ once it is finally released. We certainly wouldn’t suggest starting off with an S8 controller, but a few old hands are going to looking forward to seeing this latest advancement in controller hardware from Native Instruments.

You can have all the latest technology in the world, but unless you spend the time to learn your craft you might as well stay in your bedroom. Modern advancements may have made mixing a lot easier, but track selection, building a set and reading a crowd take a long time to master. Be prepared to put the hours in though, as there is no easy route to becoming a successful DJ.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but that’s why at the Garnish Music Production School we have a selection of great  tutors who can really help you get to grips with a wide variety of DJ formats. Whether you want to master a Native Instrument controller, spin vinyl or learn your way around the Pioneer CDJs, we have the right people on site to teach you any or all of the above. Simply drop us an email to hello@garnishmusicproduction or call 323 639 0125  for a chat about how we can help take your DJing to the next level.