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Traktor Goes Pro

Native Instruments' new Traktor Pro DJ software replaces previous versions and wiped the floor with the competition at our Tech Awards.

The new Tech Award-winning Traktor Pro DJ software is a major reshape of the existing four-deck Traktor 3 software and features some slick new features that make it even more powerful and far simpler for demanding professional use. It replaces both Traktor 3 and Traktor Scratch so all users are now equal.

The visually-led DJ who's used to flicking through crates of vinyl and folders of CDs rather than lines of text can scale cover art in the tracklist. And resizable high-contrast text means the laptop can be pushed right out of the way when performing with the information still visible, helping to remove the stigma of DJs looking as if they're checking their emails.

Full cover art is seen in the file browser and on the decks themselves and along with much brighter waveform views and deck display text, the whole experience is a lot less fiddly.

It's even possible to turn up with your portable music drive and use someone else's Traktor Pro laptop set-up because all settings are stored with your files rather than in a system folder.

Another plus is how they've ditched the confusing multiple windows at the top of the software and brought all deck-specific tricks onto the players themselves.

The decks feature all the looping and beat-grid controls, along with eight new slots for hot loops or hot cues distinguished apart by their colour. And remember, everything can be mapped to Midi with macro options to send multiple messages with one action.

Jumping between the hot cues and loops is now completely seamless if you tick the quantise option. Now every time you scan through the track waveform, jump to a cue or loop, it will always be done on single beats - all possible thanks to the overhauled synching system.

Relying on the beat-grid feature, it's now painlessly automatic and far more accurate than ever before. This offers Ableton-like syncing of music throughout the whole programme without the annoying and time-consuming setting up of warp markers but still allows for changes in tempo. This is by far the most influential change as it brings similar sequencing aspects of Ableton but with the freedom to jump into an impromptu remix on the four decks and easily drop back into regular DJing and scratching.

All decks can be locked to the global clock, which now sends and receives easily to lock other applications or further copies of Traktor into the mix. You can also choose to lock all internal decks along with the Midi clock to the active deck in Traktor Pro.

It also packs in 22 unique new effects, which feature the under the hood power of their dauntingly deep Reaktor software. Two banks offer advanced mode, which limits FX control to one parameter and enables stacking of three in each, and simple mode limits one effect per bank but with several controls to really enhance your performance.

The only down side we see is the need for a seriously up-to-date computer. You'll need at least a 1.66GHz dual core machine for the software and more for Traktor Scratch but it's worth it.

They've ditched the mix automation recording and if you're looking for video scratching, there really is no chance this will happen soon on this platform.

Traktor 3 has been half price for a while now at £85, but Pro brings the price back up to £169. Owners of any previous versions of the software can upgrade for £79 or it's £59 to upgrade from Traktor Scratch. If you already upgraded Traktor Scratch with Traktor 3 then the Pro version is free and replaces Traktor Scratch software. So go get it now.

PRICE

Traktor Pro £169
Traktor Scratch Pro £449

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