Native Instruments Makes a Portable Controller for Its Hot iOS DJ AppsS

We're quite fond of both the iPhone and iPad versions of Traktor DJ. Rather than mimic the turntable rigs of yore, they're DJ apps admirably designed with interfaces tailored to touchscreen interfaces. Today, the app's developer, Native Instruments, announced small piece of hardware designed to control the apps.

Traktor Kontrol Z1 is a lightweight two-channel mixing board designed specifically to control the Traktor DJ apps. It handles as you'd expect, since NI has always been a hardware company, after all.

Now, you might be asking yourself. if the apps are so easy to control from touchscreens, why on earth would you want a piece of hardware to control them? Well, according to Native Instruments, the apps will work just fine if you're DJing a small party, but if you want to turn up the feed coming out of your iOS device's 30-pin (or lightning, with an adaptor) port LOUD—it's going to start sounding grainy and crappy. This external controller acts as a portable sound card that makes the hot jams you're spinning ready for the thudding sound system of a club.

The Traktor Kontrol Z1 is available from pre-oder now for $200. If you're plopping down $200 for a controller—in addition to the price of the app—you're starting to get into the price range where there are other options out there. But if you're invested in Native Instruments' Traktor ecosystem—including its larger, more expensive progenitors, this could be a good buy. [Native Instruments]

Photo by Nick Stango