8 Emerging Technologies That Are Redefining How DJs Play Live

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8 Emerging Technologies That Are Redefining How DJs Play Live

What will define the next era of DJing?

DJ technology has come a long way. The heart and soul of DJing is selecting. And it always will be. But when it comes to the future of DJing, selecting is only half the story.

The other side of the story is what you DJ on and how you play those tracks back.

LANDR just launched Stems mastering for DJs everywhere. Which got us thinking about the bright future of DJ technology.

So we took a look at some of the newest and best DJ tools out there to give you a picture of what’s redefining DJing right now…Here’s the most exciting new DJ tech available to curious selectors everywhere.

1. Stems

These days, most DJing innovations are hardware based. The actual audio formats haven’t changed much. It’s still Vinyl, CDs and MP3s right?

But Native instruments changed all of that with the introduction of the Stems format.


Stems is an open file format that allows DJs to play, layer and rearrange independent parts of a track. A Stem file contains a track split into four musical elements, like drums, bass, melody and voice.

DJs can manipulate and layer the bass line of one track, the vocals from another and the leads from a third. Or any other combination you can think of.

It’s a new DJing format that brings all the best parts of production into a live DJ setting—like creating new drops, breakdowns and acapellas live in the booth.

The trend of DJs also producing has never been stronger. The Stems format acknowledges that intersection of disciplines and folds them into an entirely new way to play.

What’s awesome about Stems:

  • Stems is an open file format so they’re compatible across all kinds of gear
  • NI offers a whole line of controllers that are Stems compatible and built to do some seriously mind bending things
  • Stems lets the growing number of producers who are also DJs take their studio science into a live setting
  • Being able to manipulate and remix certain layers of tracks gives tracks a life way beyond their initial release date

2. Traktor Kontrol S8


Most DJ controllers still riff on the classic 2 turntable setup. But the Traktor Kontrol S8 has set aside the traditional ‘wheels of steel’ setup and pushed DJing into a whole new realm of creation.

The Kontrol S8 shines the hardest when playing Stems.

The S8 is four decks in one sleek unit with four assignable remix slots, dedicated faders for each Stems element (bass, drums, synth, vox etc.), and a built in 4 track display for referencing your Stems and cue points.

But it’s not just a standalone unit either. It’s fully linkable with CDJs, turntables and other controllers, and acts as a mixer for everything connected.

Plus, the Kontrol S8 is plug-and-play ready to use with the TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO software.

DJ Shiftee gives a spot on demo of some of the things that are possible with the S8.

Rory Seydel

Rory Seydel is a musician, writer and father who takes pleasure in touring the world and making records. Creative Director at LANDR.

@Rory Seydel

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