May 28, 2019, New York, NY- SoundCloud, the world’s largest open audio platform, announced today its DJ software integration with industry leader, Native Instruments, is now live in their new iPad and desktop app, TRAKTOR DJ 2.
Traktor DJ 2, the new beginner-focused DJ platform from Native Instruments that we first revealed from the NAMM Show in January, has finally arrived.
It is available for Mac, Windows and iOS, and is currently a free download. It integrates with SoundCloud Go+ for access to many millions of tracks. SoundCloud is also free for 30 days via an in-app trial, after which it is a subscription service.
While the new app has obvious limitations at this time against Traktor Pro 3 (it’s only two deck, no Remix Decks or Stems decks, no metadata editing or Midi mapping, only works with Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3 and Kontrol Z1), it also has features that Traktor Pro 3 doesn’t such as track recommendations, Retina support, and of course streaming (expect more streaming services in the future too).
It’s an intriguing angle from Native Instruments (see our thoughts in the box below), and at launch, it looks and feels like a solid first attempt – we’ve been playing with it here on the iPad as we craft this piece.
We’d say that the biggest omission at launch would be auto playlist mixing, something people who dabble with DJ apps and streaming certainly value – maybe that’s coming in a future. What is coming very soon is our review, so watch this space…
Why two DJ apps from Native Instruments?
Native instruments is pushing the beginner friendliness of Traktor DJ 2. The company says: “Whether it’s a few friends at a house party, or a few thousand in a warehouse, we want to make mixing tunes and playing sets something everybody can do … it’s free, SoundCloud Go+ integration means you have access to an endless track collection, and Traktor’s song recommendations help you choose which one to play next. All you need is a laptop or iPad.”
But there’s another reason, too. The “old” Traktor, Traktor Pro 3, is indeed old – and has been increasingly creaky over the years as Native Instruments has grappled with its antiquated codebase in an attempt to keep it up to date. Traktor DJ 2 on the other hand, while taking its name from the (now unavailable) Traktor DJ app that was the company’s first foray into iOS DJing, is actually a brand-new app and codebase.
It is not hard to see the long-term thinking here: Develop Traktor DJ 2 so that eventually, it will replace Traktor Pro 3 – solving the issue of updating Traktor Pro 3 being practically impossible for Native Instruments’ coders in recent times.
To be clear though, Native does say that “Traktor DJ 2 and Traktor PRO 3 will therefore be developed and updated in tandem in the coming years” – so current Traktor Pro 3 users need not worry just yet.
Traktor DJ 2 launched with its very own Soundcloud Go+ streaming service. Now that most DJ software have their own streaming offerings it’s almost become a 2 stage decision process. Is the software right for me? And is the streaming service attached to it going to fulfil my needs?
The integrated streaming service
DJ Software Price: Free
Streaming service: Soundcloud Go+
Streaming service price: £9.99 per month (Recommended package)
Free trial available: ✓ 30 days
Soundcloud Traktor Pro 3 Download
- Great looking UI
- iPad App available
- The biggest streaming library
- Nice compatible DJ controllers
- Perfect for beginners
- No music download for offline playback
- Choice of compatible DJ controllers is very limited
- Simple and clean UI is missing Traktor’s Pro effects and advanced features
If you think you are not going to use streaming, well… think again. If not now, then in the future you probably will. And you may as well get attached to the right software from the start.
I have split this review into 2 parts; The DJ Software and The Streaming Integration. Let’s kick things off…
The DJ Software
Don’t get it confused with Traktor pro 3 – that is a different entity in itself. Traktor DJ 2 is designed in a completely different way, focusing on the essentials for DJ’ing. When we say ‘essentials’ while talking about Traktor, that’s bringing everything back down to a manageable level, with most of the functions that probably 90% of DJ’s actually use.
However, Traktor DJ 2 is only compatible with Traktor DJ controllers. This restricts the software as a beginner DJ solution and nothing more. Once you get offered gigs in clubs, you will come a bit stuck as this software will not be compatible with the clubs set up. If that’s fine with you and you’re only looking to DJ at a few parties here and there then buying a Traktor controller and downloading this free DJ software could be your solution.
The choice of the 2 DJ controllers includes:
Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3
Traktor Kontrol S3 MK3
Pushing themselves even deeper into the beginner DJ market, Traktor DJ 2 is also available on iPad (no Android support yet). With the same integration of online music streaming the iPad app becomes an all-in-one solution for beginners. You can mix on the app using the iPads touch screen, or you can connect to one of the above compatible controllers.
Taking it for what it is, it is a very stable piece of software, with a nicely laid out UI and easy to learn features.
The Integrated Streaming Service
With access to a complete selection of popular tracks and underground releases. Soundcloud go+ boasts a catalogue with more than 200+ million tracks, which is the biggest of the bunch in all the DJ streaming services.
But it loses on one major floor – the inability to download tracks for offline playback. Professional DJ’s simply can’t consider this streaming service due to this factor. But for the beginner DJ learning at home or playing at house parties where a reliable internet connection is available it could be a fun solution.
Traktor DJ 2 is built for beginner DJ’s in mind. It is a free App for iPad, and free software for IOS and Windows. It also comes with a 30 free trial of Soundcloud Go+. So if you’re tempted by this option then you may as well download it and give the whole package a go. I must say that when you have access to this much music within a very intelligent DJ app it is a lot of fun.