About as compact as you can get, without compromises: the iPad (even mini) alongside Z1 gives you a full-blown DJ rig, complete with dedicated output, headphone cue, control. Image courtesy Native Instruments.

The Z1 already works with NI’s iPad app as well as desktop. Now, you get a full-blown copy of Traktor Pro for your Mac or PC free, too. Image courtesy Native Instruments.

Okay, if you’ve got some old version of your DJ software, or (ahem) a pirated copy, or want to get your DJ rig together from scratch, this month there are really no excuses.

As covered yesterday, AKAI is bundling their new AMX controller and audio interface with a full-blown copy of Serato DJ. The timing for Serato fans is perfect: Serato DJ finally integrates what had been a muddled product lineup (ITCH?) under a single, rebuilt product. It’s tough-to-impossible to DJ well without some kind of basic audio interface and cueing interface, so the AKAI bundle gives you the smallest-yet solution for working that way, whether mainly a turntablists or mainly on the laptop.

At almost the same time, Native Instruments has announced a limited-run offer that bundles their state-of-the-art – Traktor Pro – with both their slim-line hardware models. That’s the TRAKTOR KONTROL Z1, which I see all over the place, also a basic audio interface with control surface for in-computer mixer. The Z1 can also be swapped between your Mac and PC and an iPad – there’s even a cable in the box. The audio interface works with any software, and the mixing control surface is automatically mapped to Traktor DJ for iPad as it is on the desktop.


The TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 is covered by the same deal. It’s not for everyone in the same way the Z1 is, but it offers some unique features of its own – in addition to adding effects controls and cueing, you can use the included touch strip to nudge tracks or loop or manipulate effects.


The NI deal expires after August; details:

I thought we were done – but one last deal. If you’re an FL Studio user, you can now get a copy of Image Line’s Deckadance DJ tool free, in the form of a “solo” (one deck) player you can use inside the program. That’s not going to be enough for everyone, but I could imagine it might still make an interesting turntablist-style instrument or the beginnings of a hybrid live/DJ set. For everyone else, it’s a nice window into what Decakdance can do as a plug-in; the full version supports up to four decks and can even run as a VST in other hosts. (So, for instance, you might load Deckadance as a full DJ tool inside software like Ableton Live, Maschine, or Renoise, adding a synced DJ set right inside a live setup.)

In beta now.

Deckadance SOLO | Beta Testing (via Synthtopia)
Deckadance (full version)

  • alex

    That photo of the Z1 is a bit of a blag. They’ve photoshopped out the power cable suggesting that it can be powered from an ipad.

    • Jason

      That was my first thought too. Pretty low of them in my opinion. I love my Z1 but needing the power cable with the iPad is a real pain… also, the fact that you can’t chain and use an X1 along with the iPad is a bit weak imho.

  • Regend

    The Z1 is a nice controller if that’s all you need. And yes, that’s all you need sometimes although I would love at least another controller to go alongside with…but the main difference the Akai RMX offers is that you can upgrade to DVS at a later time. That’s a huge bonus and entry point into one of the most popular DVS systems. Just my 2 cents.

    • B.C. Thunderthud

      Isn’t it the case that the AMX with Serato already works with DVS and that the NI stuff could be upgraded by buying Traktor Scratch Pro separately? The Traktor lineup is a bit confusing to me but Peter did say in the other story that the AMX was DVS ready.

    • http://soundcloud.com/yanisko James Yanisko

      It is my understanding that the AMX would need the Serato DVS Expansion Pack ($99?) to actually perform as a DVS system, though it is well capable of doing so. Combine that with the cuing and play/stop integrated into the controller….

      This still seems like a step up from the Z1 in my understanding, as you can only use the Traktor Scratch Pro version with an interface that has inputs, and the Z1 does not – so you would still need to carry around another audio interface to use Traktor with a similar DVS set up…and have a second controller for start, stop, cue.

      I’m hearing people talk about how Akai’s build quality might not be as
      good as NI’s, but I’ve been underwhelmed by NIs build quality, and Akai
      makes the Push – which everyone seems to like the build quality of….

    • REGEND

      you’re right. also, the AMX does look like an old Numark product idea. i need the AMX as a back up for traveling/touring so i can ditch my SL1 box.

    • B.C. Thunderthud

      Thanks for the clarification, I guess I was even more confused than I thought. As someone who doesn’t DJ but does enjoy scratching now and then it’s a shame that DVS is a premium feature in all the software packages but on the other hand the Deckadance demo version serves most of my needs.

    • http://soundcloud.com/yanisko James Yanisko

      You can scratch on just about any controller that has platters though, so DVS is not a bar to entry into scratching. Check out Digital DJ Tip’s website, they have a whole class dedicated to scratching on any controller with platters. (DDJ SX, Traktor’s pieces, even the numark mix track pro can do the job).

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Thanks for all of this — let me clarify the DVS story with AKAI, too.

  • http://soundcloud.com/yanisko James Yanisko

    Control of Deckadance Solo with midi is really interesting…Image Line keeps blowing me away. It seems like it can do what Serato’s new Flip mode can do and more – and then combine that with their plugin Gross Beat in your DAW, and you can really midi perform a scratch performance…..i like how this is going! (can’t wait to get home and play around with it).

  • abluesky

    Been working with the Z1 on an iPad. First time since vinyl that I’ve been excited about mixing again. Much more fun than using a laptop. If Serato created an iPad app I would be very interested in the new hardware.