About new hardware.....

JayBe
JayBe Member Posts: 5 Sine

Hi all, I've just joined this forum and I'd like to a question about hardware - though I'm aware there's been a bit of discussion here and there, since NI made an announcement on the previous forum in October 2021.

I'm about to learn the art of DJing after about 10 years of dabbling in a very amateur manner, and in that vein, almost two weeks ago (and still in the window to return it), I bought an S4Mk3.

It was only a couple of days ago that I saw a video on Digital DJ Tips predicting new hardware from NI, and it's created a dilemma for me. The S4Mk3 is some years old now (2018), so I'm wondering if, given that the S8 has been discontinued, they are about to launch a new hardware update in this price range?

What would others do in my situation? Keep the S4, and get on with learning to use Traktor, with the presumption that the software will get an update later this year with Traktor 4, or send the unit back, because it's highly likely that there will be new hardware arriving very soon? I'm wanting to get on with learning, so the wait may be longer than I would want....

It took me ages to take the plunge with the S4, as it is an investment of £750, so I'd appreciate some insight/thoughts, knowing that no one knows what's coming (unless someone from NI can let me/the forum know when to expect news.....?)

Many thanks in advance

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Comments

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee AustraliaMember Posts: 675 Saw

    I personally don't use Traktor for my DJ work, mostly because I specifically like to use a Numark NS7III for the motorised platters and so use Serato.

    However I have been DJing since 1994 and learned very early from the simple fact I had no money, did most my gigs for free or handouts and built my system from old stereos and broken amps and speakers having to fix them up. I had a blast, learned a lot of skills and techniques as it was and tho would have loved an actual CDJ setup I learned to love the old component gear and hand built mixing console I made and I had and make the best of it. In later years I was then able to upgrade and decide specifically what I wanted and budget for it.

    Point is you can spend your life chasing the latest and greatest gear, thinking that you need that new model or the latest mac M1 machine to really open things up for you. If you have saved for what you have just bought and it was what you wanted, just get to work and use it, forget even if anything does come out, you got what you originally wanted, otherwise why not skip over the next version also, and the one after that and just wait for the version that comes out in 20 years from now?

  • zephry
    zephry SeattleMember Posts: 128 Tri

    My guess is unless something major changes with the software the controllers all function with Traktor in pretty much the same way.

    I have the S4mk3 and the S8 (I sold to a neighbor but use it quite regularly).

    I probably wouldn't buy any other controllers until there is a major shift in the software. That my controllers won't do.

    If you are new to djing, there is a learning curve and maybe a preference for what hardware or software you will be comfortable with. This isn't something you can predict.

    What you have should be fun and ok to learn on. Chasing the newest toys can be a major distraction from getting better.

    Also always record your mixing sessions and listen back in a car or in headphones. And finding someone to dj with is important.

  • nachopenades
    nachopenades SpainMember Posts: 9 Sine
    edited January 13
    JayBe said:

    Hi all, I've just joined this forum and I'd like to a question about hardware - though I'm aware there's been a bit of discussion here and there, since NI made an announcement on the previous forum in October 2021.

    I'm about to learn the art of DJing after about 10 years of dabbling in a very amateur manner, and in that vein, almost two weeks ago (and still in the window to return it), I bought an S3Mk4.

    It was only a couple of days ago that I saw a video on Digital DJ Tips predicting new hardware from NI, and it's created a dilemma for me. The S3Mk4 is some years old now (2018), so I'm wondering if, given that the S8 has been discontinued, they are about to launch a new hardware update in this price range?

    What would others do in my situation? Keep the S3, and get on with learning to use Traktor, with the presumption that the software will get an update later this year with Traktor 4, or send the unit back, because it's highly likely that there will be new hardware arriving very soon? I'm wanting to get on with learning, so the wait may be longer than I would want....

    It took me ages to take the plunge with the S3, as it is an investment of £750, so I'd appreciate some insight/thoughts, knowing that no one knows what's coming (unless someone from NI can let me/the forum know when to expect news.....?)

    Many thanks in advance

    I would wait, everything points to new hardware coming out soon. We are impatient, I hope that news arrives soon.

  • metalface
    metalface Member Posts: 4 Sine
    I am in a similar situation... I have more or less sold the S4 MK3 to myself because having tested a fair few controllers in the past year I've realised I need moving platters. I only have decks at present and that's how I've always played, and trying to adjust to the non-moving jog wheels on the controllers I tested felt unnatural to me. I like to scratch and do small drag-backs (for beat juggling etc) and I could not find a way of getting the various softwares to behave like a turntable, by that I mean when you pull back vinyl the platter is still moving, so when you let go the record is immediately moved forward and plays again. With the controller jog wheels I always found there to be this bit of silence when I let go of the wheel because, I presume, they were still moving backwards ever so slightly and the software was waiting for them to stop 100%. I found I could almost get them to behave in the way I was used to by pushing forward as I let go but that just seemed ridiculous to me and I couldn't get into the habit. Couldn't find any setting/adjustment anywhere in Serato so I assumed this was something you've just got to get used to.

    So yeah, I use Traktor anyway with my decks and the S4 seemed like the logical choice for me, but that announcement on the NI website threw a spanner in the works. Then Pioneer just announced the REV series, but the 2 controllers that they've launched today are no use for me as the moving platter REV7 is way more than I'd be happy to pay, I might as well sell my decks and move exclusively to that given the cost and I only want a mobile controller I can take around my house or out with me occasionally, I'm not a pro DJ or anything of the sort. And to be honest I'd prefer the Rane One to the REV7 anyway.

    Then the NI 25th Anniversary came along and the S4 was the only controller (exclude the X1 from this) they did in the 2 colours - was that 1) because they weren't planning on making a revised S4 (or worse, maybe not any DJ hardware?!) anytime soon meaning buyers of those units weren't going to get annoyed when a new controller gets launched in a few months, or 2) the S4 is the most expensive so they could make the most profit or 3) ... something else?

    I know nobody at NI can possibly properly comment on this topic. You'll probably get people interpreting Ryan @ NI's comment to "keep the S4" as meaning they aren't planning to replace it! The gap between the S2/S4 MK2's and the MK3's was a pretty long time, and it's been almost the same again since they were released so you kinda feel they should be updated soon? But then in that first period there weren't the lay-offs at NI, no global pandemic etc so who knows.

    Like JesterMgee said - you just need to make a decision and be happy with it, otherwise you'll forever get stuck in the cycle. I'm 95% there with the S4, I just know that given my luck NI will announce something the week after I've purchased it  :D
  • Karlos Santos
    Karlos Santos United KingdomModerator Posts: 136 mod
    metalface said:

    Like JesterMgee said - you just need to make a decision and be happy with it, otherwise you'll forever get stuck in the cycle. I'm 95% there with the S4, I just know that given my luck NI will announce something the week after I've purchased it  :D
    Exactly this 👆
    If you choose your equipment wisely and it does what you want it to do for the DJ you are, you will never make a bad purchase. Sure, it's super annoying when a new model comes out but how likely is it to have so many new features that it makes your purchase redundant, not likely at all.

    I completely understand that money is tight and you're making an investment when you buy DJ gear but there is an active 2nd hand market so if you buy well, you will always be able to trade in and trade up.

    Karlos.
  • Wyley
    Wyley CanadaMember Posts: 236 Saw
    I have the S2mk2 and still use it.  So many ‘new’ controllers have been released after and I’m still here using it.  If you like your machine keep it.
  • JayBe
    JayBe Member Posts: 5 Sine
    metalface said:
    I am in a similar situation... I have more or less sold the S4 MK3 to myself because having tested a fair few controllers in the past year I've realised I need moving platters. I only have decks at present and that's how I've always played, and trying to adjust to the non-moving jog wheels on the controllers I tested felt unnatural to me. I like to scratch and do small drag-backs (for beat juggling etc) and I could not find a way of getting the various softwares to behave like a turntable, by that I mean when you pull back vinyl the platter is still moving, so when you let go the record is immediately moved forward and plays again. With the controller jog wheels I always found there to be this bit of silence when I let go of the wheel because, I presume, they were still moving backwards ever so slightly and the software was waiting for them to stop 100%. I found I could almost get them to behave in the way I was used to by pushing forward as I let go but that just seemed ridiculous to me and I couldn't get into the habit. Couldn't find any setting/adjustment anywhere in Serato so I assumed this was something you've just got to get used to.

    So yeah, I use Traktor anyway with my decks and the S4 seemed like the logical choice for me, but that announcement on the NI website threw a spanner in the works. Then Pioneer just announced the REV series, but the 2 controllers that they've launched today are no use for me as the moving platter REV7 is way more than I'd be happy to pay, I might as well sell my decks and move exclusively to that given the cost and I only want a mobile controller I can take around my house or out with me occasionally, I'm not a pro DJ or anything of the sort. And to be honest I'd prefer the Rane One to the REV7 anyway.

    Then the NI 25th Anniversary came along and the S4 was the only controller (exclude the X1 from this) they did in the 2 colours - was that 1) because they weren't planning on making a revised S4 (or worse, maybe not any DJ hardware?!) anytime soon meaning buyers of those units weren't going to get annoyed when a new controller gets launched in a few months, or 2) the S4 is the most expensive so they could make the most profit or 3) ... something else?

    I know nobody at NI can possibly properly comment on this topic. You'll probably get people interpreting Ryan @ NI's comment to "keep the S4" as meaning they aren't planning to replace it! The gap between the S2/S4 MK2's and the MK3's was a pretty long time, and it's been almost the same again since they were released so you kinda feel they should be updated soon? But then in that first period there weren't the lay-offs at NI, no global pandemic etc so who knows.

    Like JesterMgee said - you just need to make a decision and be happy with it, otherwise you'll forever get stuck in the cycle. I'm 95% there with the S4, I just know that given my luck NI will announce something the week after I've purchased it  :D
    We're in the same boat my friend, or at least you sound like you're about to jump in! It took so many hours of thinking / research to make the decision, and I think the comments are right, it's best to just be happy with what I've chosen (though I keep wondering about buying a new piece of kit that came out almost 4 years ago! - maybe that says it all, 4 years old, and still at the top of 'best of' reviews..... :)
  • d_j_m
    d_j_m earthsideMember Posts: 27 Sine
    weighing in with the fact that i am literally learning Traktor via an S2 MK1 lol - it lived in a box until it came to live with me, so even though it's ancient it's like new and serves the purpose just fine. the only reason i'm even eying other gear is because i want 4 instead of 2 already, but i still have so much to learn that i'm fully capable of learning with this. 
  • JayBe
    JayBe Member Posts: 5 Sine
    edited January 14
    Thanks everyone for the comments so far. I feel reassured that having taken the leap and invested, I can open the box and start playing with this piece of kit (it's been looking at me for days!). I get the need to make a decision and not get waylaid by what else is out there, or might be, some day in the future. Thing is, I was also deciding between the S4 and the DDJ-1000, and when I found out the DDJ wasn't available to buy until April, it made that decision easier! I like the reminder of being able to trade-in, it's good to be reminded I've chosen a sellable piece of kit that won't lose too much if I do sell. And I liked the clear advice to just get to work and use it! And maybe Ryan @ NI was being a bit helpful?!....Anyway, time to get it out, and see what it can do!! ;)
  • Tellmeaboutit123
    Tellmeaboutit123 YorkMember Posts: 145 Tri
    I’ve just bought an S8 and love it. Amazing controller. I’ve had quite a few NI Tractor hardware pieces. I’ll be keeping this for years to come. Hopefully NI will keep support remix decks and stems. 
  • olafmol
    olafmol Member Posts: 90 Tri
    Just enjoy your new toy and start playing with it! The standard "2 decks and a mixer" format will be here for quiet a while, so what you learn on the S4 will never be out of date. Especially since "real DJ'ing" is all about musical programming and using your ears and emotions, and not depending to much on technology (ignore sync for fun and use the pitch sliders and jogs, it's good to learn this). And I don't think a new Traktor hardware will be done in 2023 as we have Covid, lack of chips, and the questionaire was just recently sent out. So you'll be good!
  • WilliamThaKonqueror
    WilliamThaKonqueror Los Angeles CaliforniaMember Posts: 17 Sine

    Native would have gotten my money if they just released the Z2 with the 25 anniversary colors. We shall continue to wait, but something as simple as this would have made us go crazy!!

  • Mutis
    Mutis Member Posts: 207 Saw

    Maybe an standalone Traktor+ hardware… being just the M+ guts, screens, an usb hub and whatever you guys could miss…

    then plug your actual hardware and voilâ: standalone Traktor controllers.


    It will be a solution for many actual issues such non-class compliant controllers and no need for mfi support from the iPad route… NI has the technology and users will receive it open arms (IMHO). Traktor is less cpu hungry than Maschine/Komplete btw…


    I will prefer an iPad based solution (and it will be more powerfull) but since that was an end road… Properly priced and with some additions (realtime stems) it could be a success (IMHO again).

  • Aquadics
    Aquadics Member Posts: 33 Sine

    The S4 mk3 is a great controller. It will take you quite a while until you will come to any limits. Especially the possibility of using it motorised and in jog wheel mode is gold. Within this price range, I could not imagine that you will find any other controller with such a professional level.

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