Traktor Scratch

One of the most exciting new contenders in the DJ software battle is Traktor Scratch by Native Instruments.  The North America release date is currently set for May of 2006, and the hype is already building.  The question on everyone’s mind is, “Who will come out as the best DJ software in the Serato Scratch Live vs. Traktor Scratch battle royale!”

At first glance, Traktor Scratch is set up much like Serato Scratch Live.  It utilizes time coded vinyl/cds, an audio interface called the Audio 8 DJ interface, and Traktor 3 as the DJ software.  One of the coolest editions is the new audio cable that will ship with Traktor Scratch, it groups all of the cables together in a nice, neat, color-coded package.  This is sure to make setting up a breeze, and the final setup will be cleaner than usual. 


The vinyl records are quite similar to Serato’s and have a section where you can select the next track without taking your hands off of the record.  The records also have a side with “deeper cut grooves” for scratch DJ’s and turntablists.

The DJ software portion of the combo is Traktor 3, which has many of the same features as other DJ software solutions.  Along with key lock, instant looping, and zoomable waveforms, the software also includes effects like flanger, reverb, tempo-synced delay, and beatmasher, as well as filters based on the Xone:92 DJ mixer.

Traktor Scratch will have a price-tag of $669 when it is released in May, but if you are willing to trade in your Serato or FinalScratch 1 or 2, you can get it for $449.  Or, if you aren’t an idiot, you can sell your Serato Scratch Live or FinalScratch system on Ebay for $450 and then Traktor Scratch will only cost you $219!  Or, if you are like me, just keep your Serato (or FinalScratch) and wait until Traktor Scratch proves itself in real DJ situations.  If it lives up to the hype, it should be the next best thing in the digital DJ software war.  Watch out Serato!

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

DJ Serious Bizness August 29, 2007 at 11:56 am

Seen it in action, a dj homie of mine has it and loves it but I’ve never used it. It seems like a nice set up, but cmon now, for $599 I need to be able to scratch some videos too. With so much other stuff out there that’s just as good latency wise, have more features, and alot cheaper(even Serato is $539) I don’t really see Traktor Scratch doing alot untill they make a Playstation move and take it down a hundred bucks or so.

Frank Payne September 6, 2007 at 11:22 am

I just bit-torrented Traktor a few days ago to test it out. All I’ve got is the program loaded onto my laptop with no sound output (other than the headphone jack) and no control surface. So far, I like it a lot and am thinking of buying the Numark Total Control, which comes with the light version of Traktor. I don’t do any scratching so I don’t need any kind of control vinyl but I do need accurate manipulation of the track for accurate live starts. Obviously I don’t have the ideal setup (yet) but even without a soundcard, you can see how well the program responds.

I’m running on a 2.0 GHz Core2Duo and haven’t had any major problems. My biggest complaint so far is with it’s time-stretching algorithm. If you increase the tempo of a track above more than just a few BPM, it seems to drop information. So like if you’ve got a nice, tight 4/4 bass beat and you speed it up by 5 BPM, some of the beats get compressed and you lose the punch. You end up with this random muting of every second or third down beat. Again, this is through the headphone jack of my laptop (although I’m using a nice pair of Sony MDVR ‘phones) so maybe it wouldn’t happen through a proper sound rig.

The BPM counter also seems a little wonky. When it first analyzes the track, it gives you the average BPM of the track. But, as everybody knows, the tempo of almost any song changes slightly over the course of it. Some times I KNOW it’s displaying the wrong info and it takes waaaaay too long to figure it out. I was using CD players before (Numark Axis 9′s) and they were deadly accurate. You could see the BPM readout constantly changing, jumping up and down by one tenth of a beat. I’ve sat there listening to obvious tempo changes and Traktor’s just like “Hey, what are you lookin at?… Oh, you mean that!” I’m also not a very skilled DJ and rely way more on a digital readout than what I’m hearing so that doesn’t help.

Other than that I like it so far. The layout is clean and logical and, unlike ANY other program I’ve ever used, I didn’t feel like I needed to move everything around. It just makes sense. Can’t wait to give it a try on a real rig.

sineshift November 29, 2007 at 5:33 am

Traktor Scratch is by far my favorite, because its focus is a DJ utility, not a VJ program. Honestly scratching video doesnt look all that great anyway, just scrubbing back and forth frames, not as nice as some dynamic visualizations.
Ive used Serato, Final Scratch2, Virtual Vinyl, Cue, and Traktor Scratch. Serato is all round Solid, doesnt glitch out or shutdown in the middle of a set like Final Scratch 2 did. Virtual Vinyl and Cue are pretty much the same program, but they utilize more functions like samplers, effects, midi… these programs are all great for djing.
However, as a mix dj and Turntablist, Latency is a BIG issue for me. Traktor Scratch is the most responsive to the touch and best sounding in my opinion. You may need a fast computer to get the best of this program, but it was built behind the time tested Traktor DJ Software and comes with a solid 24bit 96khz 8in 8 out interface that has all the features mix djs enjoy, as well as the fastest response for scratch dj’s. The timestretching algorhythm is much improved over the past versions, and you can really see it shine when you power down a turntable and let the platter slow down to a complete stop. The audio does not degrade or dither in any bad way. Im not going to list all the features of these different programs, and really dj’s choose what feels best for them, but Traktor Scratch is definatly at the top for me (at least for now).

dj angelsphere March 17, 2008 at 6:49 pm

i use this software for my radio broadcasting. it’s awesome. get 1 now!!!

rennie foster March 18, 2008 at 8:27 pm


Charles Galloway May 25, 2008 at 7:30 am

I’ve had TS since Sept 07. It’s off the chain. The effects, the true vinyl feel are tight as hell. TS runs laps around any other DJ software out there.

Dante June 27, 2008 at 9:26 am

Will it work with the FS Scratch Amp 1?

Manwell eff July 7, 2008 at 2:24 am

i don’t know what to do…does any one know which of the two is more resource hungry between Serato Scratch and Traktor scratch.


Charles Galloway July 17, 2008 at 6:05 pm

No, it doesn’t work with FS2

Chill July 21, 2008 at 3:13 am

No matter what anyone says, no other DVS System even compares to Traktor Scratch.

MIKE HUGHES July 23, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Chill as in Chris Hill, TO If so give a brother a shout,

Robert August 6, 2008 at 4:16 pm

2 questions:
1) Will it superimpose waveforms? (Like how Virtual Vinyl does? Or are you stuck with two waveforms in two windows?
2) How stable is the BPM count when using timecode vinyl? I just tried out Virtual DJ with their timecode vinyl, and the performance sucked! It was like someone was sliding the pitch slider up and down while I was trying to mix.

Any answers, please shoot me an email:

dj angelsphere September 14, 2008 at 5:10 am

this thing right here is very responsive! especially if you’re using the “MAC” version. it’s awesome, and it feels like the real thing too!!! get traktor dj 3 mac vesion and you’ll never regret it. ^_^

dj angelsphere September 14, 2008 at 5:12 am

this thing right here is very responsive! especially if you’re using the “MAC” version. it’s awesome, and it feels like the real thing too!!! get this 3rd version and a mac book pro and you’ll never regret it. ^_^

chus November 2, 2008 at 11:32 am

i like to ask if some one work whith TS and IBOOK G4 1 g ram 1.25 ghz

Dj Lefthand November 8, 2008 at 4:03 am

I’ve been using TS for quite some time now and i’m very impress in stability and sound quality. I tried to cd100s and it work!!!. I’m waiting for the copy of the traktor pro version. If you had conflict try to check your specs. before getting mad or over reacting behaivior on NI. Cheer!!! Traktor rules twice in a row for the best DVS.

A DJ December 26, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Vurtual Vinyl and Vurtual DJ are the same thing.
And they are the best.

Randy January 15, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Looking for a used copy or new cheap copy of traktor scratch.

canete February 3, 2009 at 11:15 am

I am considering buying the Korg Zero 4 mixer which is Traktor Scratch certified. I dont need the Audio 8 interface to run the traktor scratch system. However, Ive been wondering if there is a way to eliminate the use of the turntables and using the interface to split the channels at the source which is the program’s mixer. could anyone help me out with this?

donald February 20, 2009 at 12:01 pm

new to this. wanna buy the traktor scratch program, but all i wanna do is blend song to song. you know, play one song and then bring in another without stopping the groove. will traktor blend the songs for me automatically.

ER February 27, 2009 at 8:29 pm

@ donaldo
If you just want to “blend” songs, here’s a freeware from NI that will let you do that:

It’s called Beatport SYNC – Basically a dumb-down version of Traktor for the one simple purpose: to “blend” songs.

Musical Force DJ's March 9, 2009 at 9:14 am

We purchased the Native instruments Tractor Scratch Pro. We installed it into a HP Vista O/S with plenty Ram and hardrive space. I experience difficulty after I installed the V.1 update. The program would freeze and I would close the program through the Task Manager. I would attempt to reboot the system and the cpu would not turn off. I would have to resort to disconneting the power right down to the battery. I defraged the cpu and reinstalled the original software without the update and it works just fine. I love the software, hardware it has many features and sound great when installed properly. Make sure your drives are all in, and importantly you must plug the USB in the same port. They failed to mention this in the guide. A lot of what I learned was through trial and error intall, uninstall and install again using different options. Good Product minus the update. Have Fun and Practice.

DJ Churls March 10, 2009 at 5:08 am

I’ve been using Tractor for long en find it more en best quality music production among all. for mix trail contact +254725340509 Nairobi ( Kenya)

Musical Force April 17, 2009 at 3:55 am

In addition to my past comment I found that the Laptop I was using HP dv7 1279wm has usb’s that share power with other hardware and cause the program to not work properly and freeze intermittently. I pruchased a electrically powered usb hub and it worked like a charm. I would reccomend no matter what o/s and or computer is utlized this is a good way to keep your program running flawlessly.

I was in contact with the Native Instruments tech support, and let me tell you they were very informative and helped me resolve this issue. Thanks Gab.

dj angelsphere April 18, 2009 at 7:02 pm

oohuhuh, this is old! checkout traktor scratch pro for mac…it’s AWESOME!!! ^_^

dj angelsphere April 18, 2009 at 7:04 pm

one week already and I JUST LOVE IT!!!

daveriello November 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm

been using serato since version 1.2 and now I have traktorscratch pro in my bag.
For the end user experience (software installation, stability) serato beats it.
Traktor scratch need’s tweaking , driver installation software activation ….

gail May 28, 2011 at 3:33 pm

hey guys, look, just gettin starting doing this for the public and i have vdj 5 . I want to change but i dont need a program that mixes. i will be doing music videos on 150 inch screen and karaoke on a 26 inch monitor, any suggestions on software to go with. I have 2 peavey pr15 ipr1600 amp peavey pv14channel usb mixxer and the voco pro 4 recharable mics….ANY advice would be very nice at this time


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