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Native Instruments presents Kontrol Z1

From Stanton’s Final Scratch, to Serato’s Scratch Live, and now with Native Instrument’s Traktor running the show, the digital DJ realm continues to evolve in ways only Steve Jobs could have predicted. This evolution is observed when the new Kontrol Z1, NI’s latest toy for Traktor enthusiasts, is connected directly to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod running the iOS app Traktor DJ.  This union creates a powerful two-deck DJ setup, primed and ready for the masses to exploit.

At first glance, the Z1 appears to be a miniature-sized DJ mixer with two line faders, a crossfader, and knobs for gain and EQ control. Brother to older X1 and F1, the Z1 is the first in the Kontrol family to carry internal audio cards. One card allows DJs to properly cue tracks through an eighth inch headphone jack on the Z1‘s front face. Around back are stereo RCA outs for sending sound to a speaker amplifier or proper DJ mixer if Traktor is being used as part of a larger setup.

The Z1 is an absolute must for Traktor DJ users on iPad and iPhone/iPod.  Without the need for additional mixers or external audio devices, they have the freedom to be heard anywhere. One setback to their independence is that the Z1 requires a power adapter (included) and does not have a battery option.  On the upside, the Z1’s power will also keep your device charged deep into the night.

The unit ships with a 30-pin cable for connecting to an iOS device. A lightning adapter is available from Apple for $23.

How to setup the Z1 as a MIDI controller and audio interface with Live:

Kontrol Z1 settings tutorial

Access the more advanced KONTROL Z2, previously reviewed by DocePulgadas:

Native Instruments presents Traktor Krontol Z2 mixer


Technical Note

  • Z1 Minimum requirements: iPhone 4 or iPod Touch (4th generation), iOS 5.0 or later.
  • Recommended: iPhone 5 or 4s, iPod touch 5th generation.
  • iPad requires iOS 6 or higher, iPad 2 or later, or iPad mini.

More info at