Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S3

The Kontrol S3 is an introductory 4 deck controller with good build quality and integrated sound card. This is the first controller released with the « S3 » name.

The Kontrol S3 can run from USB bus power. Using the separate power supply increases the brightness of the LEDs, which is helpful for using it in daylight, and increases the volume of the headphone output.

Nouveau dans la version 2.3.0.



The Kontrol S3 is a USB class compliant audio and HID device, so it is compatible with Mixxx without any proprietary drivers on GNU/Linux and macOS. On Windows, it is recommended to install the driver from Native Instruments and select the ASIO sound API in the Sound Hardware section of Mixxx’s Preferences.

With the S3 plugged in, the device is listed as an available controller in Mixxx’s Preferences. The controller uses HID for the knobs, buttons, and other components on the device, so the mapping can only be loaded when you select the HID device on the left side of Mixxx’s Preferences.

Audio Hardware setup

The S3 has a standard 4 channel sound card. You should configure the channels as follows:

Audio Output

Channel Configuration


Channel 1-2


Channel 3-4

Audio Inputs

The S3 has two sets of inputs, but only one can be active at a time. There is a set of line-level RCA inputs on the back of the controller, and a combo XLR / 1¼ » mic jack on the front. Use SHIFT + EXT to switch between these inputs.

Mapping description

Note that Mixxx doesn’t have the concept of a single « leader » deck for sync. Instead, push and hold the SYNC button to « lock » sync on for all decks you want to remain in sync. Or you can push SHIFT + SYNC to lock sync on. Refer to Sync Lock documentation for details.


There are two SHIFT buttons, one for each side of the controller. Make sure you press the SHIFT button on the same side as the control you want to modify.


  • The GAIN and equalizer HIGH/MID/LOW knobs and the CUE (headphones) button behave as labelled.

  • FX Enable, buttons, FX select buttons, and the FX knobs: See Effect section below.

  • EXT: The EXT button changes the fourth channel pregain (knob), pfl, and volume (slider) adjustments to operate with the Microphone input. The microphone does not respond to EQ or effects.

  • SHIFT + EXT: Switches input sensitivity for the input connectors from Mic to Line and back again.

The Main Volume knob on the S3 controls the volume of the S3’s main output in hardware, so it does not affect the software main output gain knob in Mixxx by default. You can hold SHIFT and turn the knob to adjust Mixxx” main output gain. Note that this will still also adjust the hardware gain, so after you release SHIFT you’ll need to adjust the knob again.

Peak display is only generated from software. So if you see clipping indicated, lower the gain of the playing decks or use SHIFT + Main Volume knob.




Library encoder press

Load track selected in library to the deck.

SHIFT + Library encoder press

Eject track.

Small play button

While held, plays the current track in the preview deck. If you rotate the library encoder while you hold the PLAY button, Mixxx will scan through the track being previewed.

Star button

This button is not used.

List-plus button

Adds the current track to the Auto DJ list.

VIEW button

Move focus of library control between left-hand tree and main list.

Transport Mode Buttons




Activates a reverse-roll (aka « censor ») effect.


Turns on reverse playback mode.


Turns on Quantize mode.


Turns on Slip mode.


When on, touching the jog wheels enables Scratch mode.

SHIFT + Wheels

Hold to use the wheels to quickly scroll through the track.

Deck Select Buttons

Pressing a Deck Select button will activate that deck.

Press and hold one Deck Select button, then tap a second Deck Select button to clone the track loaded in the first deck to the second.




Right Encoder Turn

Double/halve loop size.

SHIFT + Right Encoder Turn

Move loop forward/backward by the beatjump size.

Right Encoder Press

Activate loop of set size from current position, or disable active loop

SHIFT + Right Encoder Press

Toggles the existing loop on and off.

Left Encoder Turn

Beatjump forward/backward.

SHIFT + Left Encoder Turn

Adjust beatjump size.

Left Encoder Press

Activates beatloop roll.

SHIFT + Left Encoder Press

Activates a loop and then stops.

Rate / Keylock

There are two ways the rate sliders can be mapped: Absolute, and Relative. Absolute mode is the default. In this mode, the position of the pitch slider matches the on-screen pitch slider position. If the sliders are misaligned, Mixxx engages « soft takeover mode » – Mixxx won’t update the value of the slider until the controller matches the GUI. In Relative mode, moving the slider always adjusts the value of the pitch slider, even if they don’t match.

  • Absolute Mode:

    • KEYLOCK: Press to toggle keylock mode.

    • SYNC: Press to beatsync, or press and hold to activate Sync Lock Mode.

    • Pitch slider: Adjusts playback speed.

    • SHIFT + Pitch slider: Adjusts musical key

  • Relative Mode:

    • KEYLOCK: Press to toggle keylock mode (toggles when releasing the button).

    • SYNC: Press to beatsync, or press and hold to activate Sync Lock Mode.

    • Pitch slider: Adjusts playback speed.

    • Keylock + Pitch Slider: adjusts musical key

    • SHIFT + Pitch Slider: Allows the user to move the slider without any effect.

Button Pads

The grid of 8 buttons have two possible trigger modes: Hotcues, and Samplers.

In Hotcues mode, pressing the number button will set the hotcue if none exists, and activate it if one does. If you hold SHIFT and press a button, it will clear that hotcue.

In Samplers mode, the buttons on the left side of the controller correspond to Samplers 1-8. By default, the buttons on the right side of the controller also correspond to Samplers 1-8. If you edit the javascript file and set TraktorS3.SixteenSamplers = true;, the samplers on the right-hand deck correspond to Samplers 9-16. By default, pressing a number button will activate a sample. Pressing the button again will stop sample playback.

You can change this behavior by editing the javascript file to set TraktorS3.SamplerModePressAndHold = true;. In this mode, the sample will play while the button is held, and stop when you let go.

In both modes, holding SHIFT and pressing a button will eject the sample if it is not playing, and will rewind the sample back to the beginning if it was playing.


This mapping has two modes for controlling the Mixer FX section. The default mode emulates the Mixer FX behavior as designed by Native Instruments and focuses on Mixxx’s quick effect chains. The second mode is specific to Mixxx and instead provides detailed control over Mixxx’s four effect units at the cost of being more complex to use.

Quick Effect Mode (default)

This mode mimics the intended Mixer FX behavior of the S3 by using Mixxx’s quick effect chains. The idea is that the Filter and FX 1-4 buttons on the right hand side of the controller’s mixer map to the first five quick effect chain presets selected in Options ‣ Effects. The Filter button, which is considered to be the default state, is mapped to the first preset in the list, and the other FX select buttons are mapped to the next four presets. Pressing one of these buttons changes the quick effect chain of each of the four channels to the corresponding preset, allowing you to control different effects with the FX knobs. The FX Enable and FX select buttons light up to indicate which effect chains are active and on what channel. Meanwhile, pressing and holding one of the five FX select buttons while pressing one of four channel’s FX Enable buttons assigns a quick effect chain preset to that channel without affecting the other channels. This allows efficient use of the controller’s limited number of effects controls.


To make optimal use of this mode, you may want to change the following preferences:

  • The very first quick effect chain preset in the quick effect presets list on the same Options ‣ Effects page should be set to the Moog Filter preset or another filter preset.

  • The next four quick effect chain presets should contain that exact same filter effect, plus another effect. Delays, reverbs, flangers, trance gates, and white noise are some examples of effects that would work well here.

  • Switching to a new quick effect chain preset using the Filter and FX 1-4 buttons will load that preset’s default values. If the FX knob is not already in the neutral position for the preset, then the FX knob will be put in soft takeover mode and you will need to turn it to match the super knob’s new position before you can start using it. This behavior differs from similar setups in other DJ hardware and software.




Filter/FX 1-4

Change the quick effect chain on all four channels to the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth quick effect chain preset.

Filter/FX 1-4 + FX Enable

Change only one channel’s quick effect chain preset without affecting the other channels.

FX Enable

Bypass the channel’s quick effect chain.

FX knobs

Change the channel’s quick effect superknob.

Multi Effect Mode

Because the S3 has limited effects controls, this FX setup is unusual and a little complex. Each deck has a single effect toggle button and one knob, and on the right-hand side of the mixer there are five buttons, one for each effect chain and one for the QuickEffect. These buttons and knobs are used in different ways depending on how they are pushed, and together allow the DJ to customize all of the effects.

There are three modes that the effect controls can be in: 1. The initial mode is Filter Mode. This mode is indicated when the FX ENABLE buttons have the same colors as the individual decks. This mode is used for adjusting QuickEffects and assigning Effect Chains to decks. 1. The next mode is Effect Chain Edit Mode. This mode is indicated when the FX ENABLE buttons are all the same color as one of the effect buttons. This mode is used for turning individual effects in a chain on and off, and adjusting each effect chain’s mix knob. 1. The last mode is Effect Focus Mode. This mode is indicated when FX ENABLE buttons are all the same color as one of the effects, and one of the FX SELECT buttons is blinking. This mode is used for tuning individual parameters in an effect and enabling or disabling effect toggle buttons.

Switching Effect Modes

At any time, you can push the FILTER FX SELECT button to return to Filter Mode. If you get lost, try pusing the FILTER button to start over.

Press any FX SELECT button to enter Effect Chain mode for that number chain. If you press the same FX SELECT button again, you’ll return to Filter Mode. Press a different FX SELECT button to enter Effect Chain mode for that other chain.

Press and hold an FX SELECT button, then press a FX ENABLE button to enter Effect Focus mode. The FX SELECT button will start blinking. From left to right, the FX ENABLE buttons will focus on the first through fourth effects in the chain. If you press any FX SELECT button, you’ll return to Effect Chain mode.

Soft Takeover

The knobs have Soft Takeover mode enabled, which means you need to turn the physical knob to match the current position of the UI knob before the value will change. If you are wondering why it seems like the values aren’t changing, you may need to rotate the knob more.

Assigning Effects

You can assign effect chains to individual decks in Filter Mode. Press and hold FX ENABLE, then press the desired FX SELECT button or buttons. The FX SELECT buttons that are bright are the effect chains that are selected for that deck.

Filter Mode

In Filter Mode the FX knobs control each channel’s selected quick effect. By default this is a combined low-pass and high-pass filter, but a different effect can be chosen from the Options ‣ Equalizer section or directly from the mixer if supported by the selected Mixxx skin.

Effect Chain Edit Mode

In Effect Chain Edit Mode, the FX ENABLE buttons change color to match the selected FX button. The lights will be dim if the effect is disabled, and bright if it is enabled. Tap the FX ENABLE button to enable or disable the effect. Turn the first three knobs to adjust the meta knob for each effect. The last filter knob adjusts the mix knob for the whole chain. This is to prevent sudden changes in sound when navigating between modes.

Effect Focus Mode

In Effect Focus Mode, the FX ENABLE buttons represent effect button parameters, while the four knobs adjust the first four parameters of the selected effect.

Mapping options

There are a number of user-friendly customizations possible on the S3:

  1. Change between the Quick Effect and Multi Effect modes for the Mixer FX section of the controller.

  2. Toggle between Absolute and Relative pitch slider mode.

  3. Customize the colors for decks A, B, C, and D.

  4. Change the Sampler playback mode.

  5. Whether wheel touch scratching is on by default, and how sensitive the jog wheel is.

To make these changes, you need to edit to the mapping script file.

  1. Open Mixxx Preferences and select the Kontrol S3 in the side list.

  2. There will be a box labeled Mapping Info, and that box will have a section labeled Mapping Files.

  3. Select Traktor-Kontrol-S3-hid-scripts.js.

  4. Either the file should open in an editor, or you should see a file browser window with that file selected. If you see a file browser, right click the file and select an option to edit it.

  5. At the top of the file will be short instructions explaining how to edit the file.

Changes you make will take effect as soon as you save the file.