Gone are the days of 1200s and massive boxes of records, because like everything else tech, DJ equipment is getting smaller and smaller. Sure, if you’re Armin van Buuren you’re still using four CDJs, a mixer and a laptop in a very clever-yet-elaborate set up, but if you’re playing a few tunes at a friend’s party, the choices just became more convenient than ever before thanks to Native Instruments and the newly announced Traktor Audio 2.
At first glance it’s just a cable, but it’s actually a cleverly streamlined audio interface that gives you the ability to DJ where and when you want. Put simply, using “DJ” apps such as NI’s Traktor DJ app using the single headphone jack on the modern smartphone make beat-matching impossible without the use of relatively cumbersome audio converters. But the Traktor Audio 2 provides separate cue and main mix outputs in a package small enough to fit in your pocket, meaning you can mix just as you would on vinyl, CDJs or digital controllers, on anything you can connect your iPhone to.
With a retail price of around $100, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a pair of CDJs, and while you shouldn’t expect to see this taking over the local superclub any time soon, the Traktor Audio 2 is a game-changer that brings pro DJing to the masses. The usual arguments about what constitutes “real” mixing are bound to rear their heads as they always do when any new technology appears, but if you believe a good DJ is judged by what they play rather than how they play it, this opens the doors for anyone to prove they’re the next Carl Cox without having to invest thousands on pro equipment.