A while back, I was contacting Mr. Setiadi Chandra, the owner of ChandraCom music equipment store. I was interested in getting a licensed Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 software for gig uses. It turned out that he no longer has the stock of boxed Traktor Pro 2. So he offered me to get it straight from NI’s website for $89 OR buy from him a Traktor Audio 2, a small 2-channels audio interface with a license for Traktor Pro 2 software INCLUDED, for only $119 (actually $108 with the generous discount!). So, it looked like I wasn’t doing my homework for not knowing that NI has that kind of package.
Now onto the products. I will talk about the Traktor Pro 2.6 the next time I review my Hercules DJ Control AIR. For now I’ll just ramble a little about the Traktor Audio 2 (from here on out I’ll just call it TA2).
The box for TA2 has the same packaging standard with the other NI products. Matte cardboard box with some great graphics printed on the front, while the product descriptions and system requirements along with some new product releases are clearly printed on the back of the box. The size of the box is roughly just the size of a paperback novel. And I found out later, that the front cover could flip up to reveal some information about the Traktor Pro 2 and some setup possibilities for the TA2.
Upon opening the package, we have the TA2 unit itself, one shielded USB cable, two stereo 1/4″ TRS to stereo RCAs cables, one Serial Number card, a brief instruction sheet, and a sheet of Traktor stickers. Yay stickers!
The TA2 unit houses Cirrus Logic AD/DA converters, with 24-bit / 96 kHz sound resolutions for great audio output. It’s small, just the size of a deck of playing cards. The casing is a bit plasticky compared to the other NI audio interfaces, but with the combination of matte, glossy and brushed metal texture in black coloring, it still looks and feels tough nonetheless.
TA2 only has 3 connection interfaces, one USB connector for power and data transmissions along with two 1/4″ TRS connectors for stereo audio output. This is where the good things came in. The audio outputs could be set up in two different ways. With internal mixer (i.e. Traktor Pro), one output would be the master out, and the other would be the monitor for your headphones. When used with an external mixer, you can send all of the output channels directly to the mixer, one for each deck. And don’t worry, there are volume adjusters for each channel on the sides of this unit.
No products will look great without lights. Yes, lights. They spiced up your gear a lot, right? The TA2 has two green LEDs, one for each channel. The LEDs function as visual feedback when there are signals going on every channel.
What about the sounds, you say? The sounds are great. This tiny beast really packs a lot of punches. The thump and clarity are awesome. So awesome you won’t believe that they came out from a device that small.
No matter how awesome a product is, when it comes to complicated and non hassle-free installation, people will instantly look away to another. Fortunately, the installation process for TA2 is straightforward and hassle-free. I just need to register the product’s serial number (printed on the SN card) on NI’s website, download the latest driver for the appropriate operating system, fire it away, and you’re done. After the installation, you can plug the TA2 to your system with the supplied USB cable. Set some preferences for sound cards in the OS’s control panel, and enjoy the sounds.
All in all, I was positively surprised about this tiny beast. The features are limited, but still a really great bang for your buck. And did I mention that it came with Traktor Pro 2 DJ software? The package will make you go crazy and start mixing in no time, entertain your friends, do your experiments, even make money from it. For you who need a simple, 2-channels, ultra compact, portable audio interface, then this one is for you. For the others needing more features and/or channels, there are Traktor Audio 6 and Traktor Audio 10 on the market. Well, see you on my next review.