Native Instruments has unveiled their newest DJ controller, the Traktor Kontrol S3. The S3 sits in between the S2 MK3 and S4 MK3 and is largely an S2 MK3 with 4 channels.

This means that it doesn’t have an effects section for each deck, no spinning jog wheels, and no built-in LCD screen.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S3
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S3

But it does have 4 channels, and the I/O section is also way more advanced than the S2 MK3, with a balanced XLR, TRS, and RCA outputs, an RCA input, and a MIC input.

The S3 will also be compatible with the Traktor DJ 2 app like the S2MK3, and that’s a plus. For example, mobile DJ’s that want/need a reliable backup solution when performing can hook up their iPad in case of laptop problems.

It makes sense that Native Instruments left out a few features from the S3 that the S4MK3 does have, such as the spinning jog wheels with haptic feedback and the small LCD screens that show all sorts of track data.

But I’m scratching my head as to why the left out the per deck effect units. This is such an essential part of the Traktor Pro experience and for a controller that costs over USD 600, it just feels out of place, in my (humble) opinion. It’s OK for the S2MK3 that costs under USD 300, but in this price range DJs will expect to be able to control effects on a deck by deck basis, and that’s just not possible here.

Still, if you are in the market for a 4 channel Traktor Pro 3 controller, and the USD 1000 price tag of the S4 MK3 is just to high, this might be the way to go.

Key Features

  • four-channel mixing section
  • dual-layer deck controls
  • large jog wheels ring illumination
  • full performance pads
  • loop encoder section
  • mixer FX knobs
  • iOS compatibility
  • XLR and RCA master outs, TRS booth out, MIC input, RCA aux input

Pricing and Availability

On pre-sale now, available in November, for USD 649.