Soul to Unite

Native Instruments introduces X1 MK2

July 15, 2013

Native Instruments has been the manufacturer of our weapons. We are excited to hear they have just introduced Mark 2 of their X1 controller. It will be available really soon an we’re thinking seriously do we need one.

X1 MK2 adds many features. DJ TechTools gives insight of whats new:

The new controller incorporates many of the features that have been added to Traktor in the last three years that have become a central part of the software’s workflow.

A few of them are pretty obviously additions, like the loop count display over the (now touch-sensitive) loop encoders (they’re also used to choose what decks you assign the unit to at start up), the multi-color cuepoint buttons, the addition of Flux mode and effects assignment. Even smaller additions like the larger Play/Pause and Cue buttons very much seem to be in line with improving the experience of what DJs most commonly use a controller for.

The touch strips tell a similar tale in their function – their primary functionality aren’t some crazy new form of control, but instead a familiar set of controls that just make more sense in strip form. The strip can be used in split mode between two decks or in a single deck mode. Rather than pushing and pulling the pitch, the control moves the phase of a song – less ideal for traditional DJing but more aligned with how modern DJs learn. This all can likely be changed around with your own remapping of the controller!

Of course, remapping the touch strip to effects will be the most fun – and we wouldn’t be too surprised to see Traktor DJ-like touch features show up in some future mappings. We reached out to Native Instruments to ask them all of the different types of touch controls baked into the unit at launch, and they identified the following:

  • By default, the touchstrip is in two deck mode – and because it touchstrip can recoginze 2 fingers at once, you can nudge both Decks simultaneously. As mentioned above, you can “re-size” the touch strip control to be used entirely for one deck.
  • The type of action changes based on if a track is playing or not. If one is, the touch strip nudges (complete with a phasemeter above the strip itself). No track is playing, the strip has scratch control, allowing rapid readying of the playhead location (i.e. starting point, HotCue position, etc.) and you’ll see a track progress meter in the LEDs above the touchstrip.
  • The strip is also FX assignable – turning on an effect when you touch it and off when released. Two fingers allow you to jump back and forth between two different FX settings. Put your finger in one position, then put a second finger in another position–the FX will jump to the secondary position. When you remove your second finger, the FX jumps back to the position of the first finger.
  • Assigning the strip to Auto-Loop control has a similar result: touching the strip drops a loop of a specific size, but turns off when you release – and two fingers allows jumping between loop lengths. The Traktor team was sure to note specifically that: “This is super-awesome with Flux Mode turned on.”

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