My experience with Novation Nocturn using Traktor Pro

Bought this budget controller to use it with Traktor Pro. Using a mouse to control various software buttons is possible but nothing like using two hands simultaneously on physical buttons and switches. Check out the official site for detailed info and some videos, like the one below which they produced.

What I liked about it

  • It allowed me a more tactile feel to switch effects on/off, adjust levels, etc.
  • It’s small, lightweight and didn’t require an external power supply.
  • LEDs showed levels around all the buttons, giving you visual feedback
  • The overlay feature was great because you could label the buttons just incase you didn’t know which page you were on
  • Good price for an entry level mixer/controller
  • A wealth of mappings already available for download and then modify or your style or you could create your own
  • Not processor hungry!

What could be better

  • Auto-learn touch features didn’t work in Traktor, had to map manually or use a mapping file
  • The x-fader adjustment was dependant on the current screen/page. Switch pages and you would have to line up the adjustment to match the current screen. Not great if you are moving between screens, e.g. you may have the slider to the right on one page, change pages and the new page may have the software position in the middle. Takes a bit of getting used to.

Conclusion

A great entry level (RRP £69 and 2nd hand on eBay for around £35) bit of equipment with a easy interface to allow midi-mapped controls using software packages like Ableton Live, Traktor Pro, Logic, etc. Great for studio work, working with various plugins and for any budding digital DJs wanting a cost effective mixing system. There are far more feature rich controllers out there with even more buttons designed specifically for certain software packages but the price will reflect this.

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