Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 Review

If you’re in the market for a new mixer, you’ll be intrigued to learn that the Traktor Kontrol Z2 has garnered attention for its impressive 24-bit sound quality and seamless integration with Traktor software.

But what sets this mixer apart from others in its class?

Its design and build, performance and integration, control layout and usability, and sound quality and connectivity are all important factors to consider.

Whether you’re a seasoned DJ or just starting out, finding the right mixer can make all the difference in your performances.

So, let’s dive into what the Traktor Z2 dj mixer has to offer and whether it lives up to the hype of being one of our top picks.

Key Takeaways

  • Solid metal chassis and well-constructed knobs convey quality and durability
  • Seamless integration of analog sources and Traktor software
  • Natural transition into DJing with Traktor
  • Excellent sound quality through built-in audio interface

Traktor Z2: Design and Build

When you first lay eyes on the Traktor Z2, its solid metal chassis and well-constructed knobs immediately convey a sense of quality and durability. This DJ mixer, designed by Native Instruments, is a testament to innovation in DJ gear.

The Traktor Z2 seamlessly integrates analog sources and Traktor software, offering a natural transition into DJing with Traktor. Its two-channel mixer, combined with Remix Decks and control vinyl, provides a perfect platform for mixing and matching between Traktor and external decks. The analogue mixer, with its built-in soundcard, delivers a great-sounding experience.

The LED readouts, shift buttons, LED meters, and crossfaders make it easy to control and navigate during performances. The 2+2 design, featuring two main channels and two additional channels, along with an FX control section, and various knobs and controls, enhances mixing capabilities.

The Traktor Z2’s design and build reflect a commitment to quality and innovation, making it a top choice for DJs seeking a reliable and versatile mixer.

Performance and Integration

Seamlessly integrating with Traktor and external decks, the Traktor Z2 offers a natural transition into DJing with Traktor. Its well-built analogue mixer is designed to produce great sound and integrates flawlessly with analogue sources and gear. The mixer boasts two main channels and two additional channels, providing the flexibility to mix and match between Traktor and external decks.

This allows for a truly custom DJing experience. The Traktor Z2 features upfaders, filter knobs, three-band EQ, gains, and line/phono selection switches, empowering you to fine-tune your performance with precision. Additionally, the FX control section, volume knob for extra channels, and deck select buttons enhance your control and creativity during live sets. This level of integration and performance versatility is perfect for DJs who demand innovation and reliability in their equipment.

Key FeaturesDescription
Seamless IntegrationSmoothly integrates with Traktor and external decks for a natural DJing transition.
Versatile PerformanceUpfaders, filter knobs, three-band EQ, gains, line/phono selection switches, and FX control section.

This integration and performance flexibility make the Traktor Z2 a standout choice for DJs seeking a dynamic and innovative setup.

Control Layout and Usability

With a focus on usability and control layout, the Traktor Kontrol Z2 features a solid metal chassis and well-constructed knobs with a dampened quality preferred by Native Instruments, seamlessly integrating with Traktor and external decks.

The mixer includes front and back features such as headphones sockets, crossfader controls, line-ins, phono-ins, and various outputs, offering convenient accessibility during performances. Its FX control section, volume knob for extra channels, infinity encoder for loop control, and deck select buttons contribute to its usability and versatility.

The control layout provides clear visual feedback and precise control with LED readouts, shift button, LED meters, and crossfader, allowing for seamless mixing and matching between Traktor and external decks. This layout makes it user-friendly and adaptable for both experienced and beginner DJs, allowing for a natural transition into DJing with Traktor.

The Traktor Kontrol Z2’s design and layout have been carefully crafted to enhance the DJ experience, making it an innovative and intuitive choice for those seeking new controllers that seamlessly integrate with DJ software and external decks while providing a high-quality audio interface.

Sound Quality and Connectivity

The Traktor Kontrol Z2 delivers excellent sound quality through its built-in audio interface, making it a top choice for club settings and turntable connectivity. The mixer’s sound quality is well-suited for integrating with both Traktor software and external gear, providing a seamless mixing experience. Whether you’re using Traktors, vinyl, or CDs, the Z2 ensures a high-fidelity audio output. Its phono inputs allow for easy connection to turntables, while the USB hub provides seamless integration with digital setups. The metal chassis not only adds durability but also reduces interference, enhancing the overall sound quality.

In terms of connectivity, the Z2 offers various options, including headphone and microphone inputs, line and phono inputs, and USB connectivity. This ensures that you can easily connect all your gear without hassle. The Slip mode and responsive crossfader further enhance your control over the mix, providing a dynamic and innovative mixing experience.

With its solid sound quality and versatile connectivity options, the Traktor Kontrol Z2 provides a natural transition into DJing with Traktor, offering a well-rounded mixing experience that will meet the demands of any modern DJ.

Traktor Z2: User Feedback

Users overwhelmingly praise the Traktor Kontrol Z2 for its seamless integration with Traktor software, making it a natural choice for transitioning to DJing with Traktor.

The mixer’s well-built, high-quality construction and its ability to seamlessly mix between Traktor and external decks receive positive feedback. Its great sound quality is highlighted, making it suitable for club settings and connecting turntables.

Some users suggest improvements, such as longer faders, and express interest in a potential Z4 model with 4 channels. The inclusion of a built-in USB hub is highly appreciated, with some expressing a desire for it to become a standard feature across similar products.

Users also appreciate the potential for custom CSS, JavaScript, and CSS files, providing flexibility for personalization. However, some users have encountered issues such as blocked access, CAPTCHA, and the need for server restarts, indicating areas for improvement in the user experience.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the Traktor Z2 garners positive user feedback for its seamless integration and sound quality, making it a commendable choice for DJs.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 Review

Native Instruments has a long history of providing software tools, the frontrunner in this being Traktor. Traktor is arguably the best DJ software available in electronic music.

The emergence of Traktor has been prompted by the decisive shift from CD-to laptop DJing witnessed in the last few years.

Traktor Kontrol Z2 is Native Instruments’ first mixer in the line of laptop DJing. This latest creation serves as a conventional stand-alone mixer, an audio interface and a Traktor control surface.

About

The Traktor Kontrol Z2 works as an analog mixer. This means you can plug record decks and CD players for input, which is passed through an amp and projected through speakers, while you DJ away.

While this is not new, the Z2 gives you a good Djing experience with its set of one-knob filters combined with the standard EQ settings and volume.

The Z2 also provides an audio interface meaning it can be connected to a computer and function as a DJ sound card. This is unlike previous editions of most Djing equipment which relied on sound output from the inbuilt sound tool of a computer.

The Z2 adopts the current model of equipment which incorporates an audio interface which is inbuilt to enable the equipment to dictate the sound quality.

To add on to that, the audio interface of the Kontrol Z2 is compatible with Traktor Scratch. This makes it possible to use the mixer with CDs or control vinyl’s which are specially made containing “timecode” (A digital signal that is understood by Traktor).

Another essential feature of the Traktor Kontrol Z2 is the Midi controller which can control most of the features of the Traktor software including the Traktor Pro 2.6 whose launch was set to coincide with the release of the Kontrol Z2.

Finally, it has a powered USB hub which is one of its most special additions. Therefore, you do not have to use the free USB sockets on your computer to plug other equipment onto the Djing unit. Some commonly used instruments which can be plugged are the Traktor Kontrol F1 and the Traktor Kontrol X1.

Construction and Impression

Traktor Kontrol Review

While the Traktor Kontrol Z2 has a similar appearance to other Traktor Kontrol DJ controllers in the Native family, it sets itself apart with an all-metal chassis which is heavily built making it feel like a tank.

The side panels have a coating made of rubber while the front, bottom, and rear have a shiny plastic inlay. Underneath, all the knobs are covered with plastic which could prove quite risky while transporting the equipment.

The buttons are a combination of plastic and rubberized pads giving them a nice feel to the touch. They are also easy to control. They are designed to illuminate to let the DJ know which “mode” they are. They are also designed to be durable.

The box containing the unit itself comes with other components. These are packed inside the box and include: two Traktor control CD’s, two Traktor control vinyl pieces, a USB and a cable to connect to electricity.

Essential items such as stickers, installation instructions, safety flyer and your serial number card are all also contained in the box.

Setting Up

Setting up Traktor Kontrol Z2 is a bit complicated especially for beginners.

And it’s typical of most Traktor gadgets.

First, you need to register yourself as well as your software on the “Service Center” provided by Native Instruments. This is used to give you authentication and to provide you with software upgrades.

The process is not easy and could cause anxiety for first time users who would be unsure if they’re doing everything right. A typical case that most people encounter is a dialogue that asks one to “Please launch Service Center now” while only providing a “Restart” button.

Users who already have Traktor 2.6 only need to download the Z2 driver on the Traktor website. This setup enables the Z2 to appear on the configuration panel.

Finally, manually configure the Traktor software to recognize the Z2. There are several pointers to guide you and tell you that you are on the right track.

Mixing Controls

Traktor Scratch Pro Software

Faders are at the core of every mixer, and the Traktor Kontrol Z2 comes with three faders.

All three are Mini-Innifaders with a fantastic feel. The crossfader has been cut to 1mm, is smooth and loose which makes it easy to pull off any scratching move that Dj’s love. On the other hand, the line faders have much more resistance and are not adjustable in whichever way.

They are, therefore, better used in mixing rather than for scratching purposes.

There is a seven-bar Master and Line level indicator strip located in the middle of the line faders. This strip is beautiful and detailed for the right control of volume.

The central indicators show either the C/D Deck volume level or the Master volume. Outside indicators show the A/B deck volume level. The other control buttons are the CUE A and B buttons which help preview the tracks on the decks through the headphones.

Above them are the headphone volume control knob and the Cue/Mix knobs. On the upper-middle side of the Z2 are the transport controls.

A Quantize button above the transport controls helps to keep everything in sync.

Since the Traktor Kontrol Z2 can operate on analog decks, each channel has its own over-sized High-Low Pass filter which means it will work with or without software control.

An FX1 or FX2 module button is located on each deck and activates various effects on either the left or right decks.

The Booth and Master Volume control knobs are located on the top right corner of the mixer.

Recommendation

All in all, the Traktor Kontrol Z2 is designed to bring the top Traktor features to your fingertips.

It makes it fun to DJ on while producing great sound.

Previous users of Traktor will continue to have the same great experience while mixing as before while allowing you to plug that USB directly into your laptop. It will integrate well with your analog gear and sources.

Above all, the Traktor Kontrol Z2 is well priced.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happened to Traktor Z2?

What happened to Traktor Z2? Traktor Z2 features a durable metal chassis, seamless compatibility with Traktor software, and well-constructed knobs. It offers solid performance but may require accessories for optimal use. Updates and alternatives are available.

Is the Traktor Z2 Standalone?

No, the Traktor Z2 does not have standalone capabilities. It requires hardware integration with a computer or external audio source. It functions as a mixer, offers controller options, and has various connectivity options, but needs Traktor software for operation.

Is Traktor Z2 Plug and Play?

Yes, the Traktor Z2 is plug and play, ensuring compatibility check and easy setup process. Simply connect via USB, controller mapping and firmware update are automatic. Enjoy seamless integration, audio interface, mixer functionality, and performance mode. Troubleshooting tips ensure smooth operation.

Does Traktor Z2 Come With Software?

Yes, Traktor Z2 comes with Traktor Scratch Pro 2 software, offering seamless integration with external decks, complete control over Remix Decks, and a wide range of performance features for innovative DJing.

Conclusion

Overall, our Traktor Kontrol Z2 review shows it is a solid choice for DJs looking to incorporate Traktor into their setup. Its sturdy build, seamless integration with Traktor software, and range of controls make it a versatile and reliable mixer.

While it may be challenging to set up, especially for beginners, the positive reviews for its quality and performance make it a worthwhile investment for those looking for a high-quality mixer.