Simple looking in appearance, yet deceiving, the Traktor Z2 mixer/controller ($899) is the company’s first foray into the stand-alone, turntable battle style market. It does support 4 channels, but is readily designed for flipping back and forth on 2 decks. You do get C & D channels at your disposal in the form of loops and pads with Traktor’s signature multi colored light spectacle found on their F1 model. It’s design, however, is a complete assault on Rane’s overpriced Sixty-Eight model but at half the price, with tons of more features.
The back of the unit finally gives Traktor users a much needed XLR output, but the rest is self explanatory with an extra set of booth outputs to note. Sadly, there is no digital out (SPDIF or AES/EBU). One beautiful move is the 2 extra USB jacks that serve as a mini hub to allow the addition of more controllers to the mix and relieve your laptop’s USB ports from running out on your setup.
The Z2 appears to be the magnet of choice for Native Instruments (NI) to lure in Serato turtablists into the world of Traktor, so if you are already a Traktor master on 4 decks with your handy midi controller of choice, this unit may not be destined for you, but I suspect the next move by NI would be to take the S4 into the stand alone phase with these wonderfully colorful pads, so I would wait and see. If you are still clinging to your Technics 1200’s, and are ready to go digital, or move over to Traktor, then YOU ARE THE TARGET MARKET for this model.