Pioneer’s CDJ sometimes seems as much a part of the club scene as … a bar. An NI software update marries the decks and their onboard UI to Traktor’s mix, cueing, remix, and library features. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Will Will, in the UAE.

Some surprise news out of Native Instruments today: NI’s Traktor can now integrate with Pioneer hardware, including the CDJ. We’ll see how the news will be received by DJs, but it at least suggests an attempt by the two companies to make their tools coexist in more peaceful fashion. The integration itself is best seen in the video, but it’s pretty impressive: for users comfortable with Pioneer’s flagship mixer (the DJM-900) and the CDJ deck, the stuff in Traktor is accessible directly from hardware.

It could also be part of a larger trend: it’s computer functionality, away from the computer. That extends not only to controllers and these sort of integrated DJ solutions, but a wide variety of attempts, ranging from designers to hackers to DIYers to big companies, to take what makes the computer great while getting away from the familiar folded hinge of a laptop display.

This software update does, however, fall short of widely-desired functionality in Traktor, extending control of the new Remix Decks to third-party hardware and making MIDI assignments in general more flexible. I expect we’ll hear from some critics in comments for that reason, but I’d also see this as an accelerated release cadence out of NI that could see those sort of controller features soon. I’ll certainly be watching for them.

Here’s more good news, too: all of this is accomplished with HID, the standard USB protocol. That suggests the potential of sticking to standards, for companies beyond just NI and Pioneer, and certainly demonstrates more standard hardware support coming out of the Berlin software company. Here’s what NI says about what they’ve done in this update:

It’s never been easier to set up Traktor in the club. The latest 2.5.1 software update provides plug and play usability with Pioneer’s CDJ Series (2000/900/400) and DJM-900 Nexus Mixer, thanks to advanced HID support. Use the CDJ to access tracks, cue points, loops and more in Traktor, with all relevant information on the CDJ’s display – from track artwork to detailed waveform displays.

This integration gives CDJ users access to powerful features such as Traktor’s Remix Decks, sync, superior cueing and looping, intuitive browsing and world class effects. Traktor memorizes your settings, so every DJ booth becomes your DJ booth, no matter what equipment is installed.

More information:

And previously:
Traktor 2.5 Remix Decks + Custom Controllers: What You Need to Know, Why HID Matters
Traktor 2.5, Kontrol F1 Arrive with Live Features; Hoping for More Live DJing

  • Elburz Sorkhabi

    Love the title! Good to see these two titans co-existing.

  • fabian

    i’ve been waiting so long for this! tried it yesterday: 2x cdj 2000 + 1x djm 900. used a cheap usb hub to connect the cdjs to the laptop => control-glitches on the 2nd deck (seems like the cdj sent some ghost controls) => not usable. after plugging the connectors into the laptops usb ports directly, everything worked like a charme! (maybe a better usb hub works)
    -> cdjs as controllers only (djm as soundcard) => no audio connection required (only 3 usb cables => fast & stable setup)
    -> cdjs as controller + audio interface => had to increase the audio buffers to get a glitch free audio stream, but still a very fast setup (2 usb cables). for clubs without mixer with built-in audio interfaces

    still isn’t as fast as dvs but now it’s a setup you can work and even scratch with. will use it the next weekend with a djm 2000 as audio interface. i’m thrilled :)

    • Kev Dot Kruz

      I’m a bit confused – do I need one usb cable for each Cdj? – and if the club has no usb mixer I still need my soundcard, yes? …about your post, your usb root hub may be set for energy saving.( goto – device manager/ choose usb/ rt click usb root hub /choose properties/choose power management /make sure everything there is unclicked)

    • fabien

      Will try that. Thanks. Yes you need one usb cable per cdj. If the mixer doesnt have a built in audiointerface, you can use the interface of the cdjs! No extra interface needed. On windows you just need the cdj driver. Then traktor sees a cdj asio interface with two players (just configure it in the output section of traktor). On mac you need a special tool that merges both cdjs in one interface (i think).

  • na

    Great, my hard earned money which lots of it goes to NI and they are wasting resources on this while instead they could be ironing out the plethora of bugs in their entire software range. Just great, I love NI’s priorities…

  • Sandra Turner

    I don’t know. I’m not sold on this, but thanks for the effort :).