Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8

Complete 4-deck USB DJ Control Surface and 24-bit/48kHz Audio Interface for Traktor Pro 2 with Remix Deck Layout and Full-color Screens
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8 image 1
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8 image 1
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Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8
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Complete Traktor Control for Live Electronic Musicians

Many digital DJs and live electronic musicians today feel about as comfortable operating a turntable-style jog wheel as we would performing open-heart surgery. For us, Native Instruments came up with the Traktor Kontrol S8, a tactile control surface built around the parts of a traditional DJ controller we actually use. In place of the large aluminum platter that typically takes up about 40% of each deck section, the S8 offers you a pair of large color displays with dedicated controls that mirror Traktor's Remix Deck layout, but they're also perfect for regular track playback as well. Beyond that, the Traktor Kontrol S8 gives you full 4-deck control, killer performance pads, and a whole lot more.

Native Instruments Traktor S8 DJ Controller at a Glance:
  • Touch-sensitive controls let you command all aspects of Traktor Pro
  • Full-color displays provide amazing Remix Deck control and much more
  • Complete 4-deck mixer section includes a stunning USB audio interface
  • Stems format support provides a new way to DJ
  • Ableton Link integration for reliable synchronization
Touch-sensitive controls let you command all aspects of Traktor Pro

Don't let the slightly unconventional look of the Traktor Kontrol S8 throw you - this bad boy is mission control HQ as far as Traktor Pro 2 is concerned. Whether it's digging through your virtual crates, piling on the effects to create a killer buildup, or leapfrogging through cue points to lay down a funky new groove, there's not a thing in this beast can't handle. There's even a pair of touch strips onboard to give you fast and accurate track position scrubbing, pitch bend control, and more. You've never experienced a controller that keeps you in the zone quite like a Traktor Kontrol S8. And if you're totally new to Traktor Pro 2 (which comes included), you couldn't ask for a better way to dive in.

Full-color displays provide amazing Remix Deck control and much more

When Native Instruments unveiled their Traktor Kontrol S8 to us, many of the electronic musicians here at Sweetwater gave a collective whoop of joy and started clearing space on their desks. Many of us had been hoping for a controller build around Remix Decks since they were first introduced in the 2012 release of Traktor Pro 2, and these full-color displays totally blew us away. Not only do you get a full display that mirrors Traktor's Remix Deck window, you also get a full set of controls that let you tweak playback options, adjust levels, set loops, and more. These displays also make working with regular track playback a blast, giving you an added degree of hands-on control over track parameters.

Complete 4-deck mixer section includes a stunning USB audio interface

One of the things that's easy to overlook on the Traktor Kontrol S8 is the 4-deck mixer section. By now, we've all come to expect four decks worth of mixing on any major DJ controller, and even the grippy knobs, smooth filter controls, and playable faders on the S8 seem par for the course. But what you might not expect is the excellent mixer/audio interface that's onboard, which offers four sets of stereo inputs (line or phono), a pair of microphone inputs, and a variety of outputs to fit into any sound system. And when it comes to sound quality, you really can't knock the 24-bit/48kHz resolution, which will give most dedicated recording interfaces a run for their money.

Stems format support provides a new way to DJ

Stems is a cool multitrack digital audio file format that's perfect for performing DJs. Unlike conventional WAV, AIF, or MP3 files, Stem files utilize the power of the MP4 format and AAC encoding to provide you with four sets of stereo audio you can mix, mute, and process independently. With software and DJ systems that support Stem files, such as Traktor Kontrol S8, you can grab the drums from one Stem, snag the bass line from another and put them together seamlessly in real time. Just like -infinity EQs, 4-deck setups, and Remix Decks revolutionized DJing, the Stem audio file format is bound to change the way you perform.

Ableton Link integration for reliable synchronization

As of Traktor 2.11, you can experience the collaborative freedom of Ableton Link. Lock multiple systems to a common timeline. Change tempo globally across systems. Enjoy spontaneous jamming, collaborative creation, and synchronized performances. This is a free update for Traktor 2.x owners.

Native Instruments Traktor S8 DJ Controller Features:
  • Powerful and comprehensive control surface designed around Traktor Pro 2's Remix Decks
  • Hands-on controls cover all aspects of Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 DJ software (included)
  • Full-color displays and dedicated controls provide access to Remix Decks with detailed visual feedback
  • 16 playable tri-color backlit pads let you trigger samples and cues, set loop points, and more
  • 4-deck mixer provides inline metering, 3-band EQs, dedicated filter controls, and smooth faders
  • Touch strips let you skim through tracks, control pitch, and adjust other parameters on the fly
  • Dedicated effects controls let you take hold of over 30 included studio-quality effects
  • Integrated 24-bit/48kHz audio interface provides 4 stereo channels, 2 mic inputs, and XLR outputs
  • Ableton Link integration offers reliable synchronization
Experience Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 in a whole new way with the Traktor Kontrol S8!

Tech Specs

Controller Style Mixer/Decks
Mixer Section 4-channel
Faders 4 x volume, 8 x sub
Crossfader Standard
Pads/Triggers 16 performance pads with tri-color backlighting
Audio Interface 8-channel, 24-bit/48kHz
Inputs 4 x stereo RCA, 1 x XLR/TRS Combo, 1 x 1/4"
Outputs 2 x XLR, 1 stereo RCA (Main Out), 2 x XLR (Main Out), 2 x 1/4" (Booth Out), 1 x 1/4" (Headphones), 1 x 1/8" (Headphones)
USB 1 x Type B
Included Software Traktor Pro 2
Width 18.5""
Depth 15.24"
Height 2.6"
Weight 11.03 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number 22792

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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I Ann very pleased with my S8! It is a great tool, and a lot of fun! I love the remix and stems capabilities! Excited to create my own stems and get really creative with it. I knew I wouldn't be doing any scratching. The touch strip is very easy to use and does what I would use the jog wheels for, so why not save the real estate for something else? All in all, I am very happy with my purchase!

So Sick!

I've used this thing for about a year now and I still have things to learn. My computer is below specs and it works as long as I don't try and be a boss with a ton of fx on 4 decks. The only thing I touch the laptop for is to sort by key, bpm, artist, track, etc... I actually feel like I don't know Traktor that well because I only use the S8. The sound card in this thing sounds great. I don't really miss jog wheels because once you figure out how to skip through tracks that doesn't even matter anymore. If you want to scratch then get a turntable, you can use time coded vinyl or just use your table normally. PROTIP: hit the LOOP button and set the Loop length to 16 or 32 with the loop knob. Then just hit the far right or left ORANGE pad to skip that many beats in the song. If you set a queue point 32/64/128 beats before a drop then you can do double drops easily. If my computer was better I could do so much more lol.

Solid piece for synthesis of two worlds

I just felt the need to balance the force here at Sweetwater. Perhaps the 2014 review is a little short-sided. This controller has a sturdy build, works every time I fire it up, and met my high expectations for NI hardware. Plug the turntables or CDJs into the S8 and suddenly "mixing other styes of music with odd tempos" is just exactly as it's always been - easy. Mix similar tempos and the thing will basically do it for you, but I recommend still using timecode - keeps you sharp. The standalone mixer does, in fact, function correctly. Just tap the traktor buttons up top to enable "thru" mode, whether or not you want to use Traktor, and music passes through as expected. I have zero "bugs" with Traktor on my Macbook Pro, or the S8, for that matter. It's completely solid. I have played 6+ hours at shows non-stop with zero issues, using all 4 tracks alternating from live inputs to traktor decks. The space dedicated to various areas on the S8 fit it's intended user precisely. This is NOT your standard Dj mixer. It is a "live remix, play with your own production pieces on the fly, mix it with tracks while you file, and get silly" controller. Every function on Traktor has a corresponding control on the S8, so you can really get inside the deeper functions of the software. The only complaint? The crossfader should be more like that of the Z1. Scratching is awkward, both because of the width of the device and due to the crossfader itself. The sensitivity is just not that great. Otherwise, this machine is fantastic. If you are pretty happy just mixing two tracks end over end, with a little EQ here and there, save your $. If you understand what I just said, and you also want to REALLY play with sound live, on the fly, and create something new each time you play, then buy this thing and stop wondering about how awesome it is. If you are a sorta-producer and you want to mix your stuff with other songs, and have more hands-on control over your cue points, looping, fx, and other special playback modes, get the S8.
Music background: Dj, techie, hobbyist producer, musician


I have used s8 for 2 weeks now. my conclusion been there a lot of hype and pr for it that you shouldn't believe in. 1. putting your laptop screen away just wont happen with s8! what happens you end up using 3 screens and spend more time on screens than before as some important functions are missing onboard s8 screen.2.the so called standalone isn't a real fully standalone mixer, which means it can crash together with traktor in a middle of a gig and stop working unless you do a full restart of s8!! I thought one of the reasons to have standalone mixer is to be able to use it on those situations!3 still too many bugs in firmware/driver......4. would be nice with bigger screens5. tempo changes takes to much time with s8(instead of using traditional pitch.)6.mixing older music that traktor cant analyse correctly isn't as nice on s8 touchstrip and harder than platter to use.7 to be honest most djs at the most will be using 1-2 samples on a track at most, not sure why dedicted so much space on s8 for that???
Music background: dj, musician,engineer
See also: Native Instruments, Native Instruments DJ Controllers