Controller Clinic #34: Remix Decks vs SP-6 Sample Player

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
Remix Decks sample players serato SP-6 Traktor
Last updated 6 August, 2017


Using the performance pads on the DDJ-SX2, you can control Serato’s SP-6 sampler pretty effectively, but they’re not as flexible as Traktor’s Remix Decks.

Reader Robert writes: “Have finally taken the plunge and bought the newer Pioneer DDJ-SX2. I had been using Traktor for many years but decided to try out something new. My question is about the SP-6 decks in Serato which I assume are the equivalent to Traktor’s Remix Decks.

Traktor has a huge library of remix packs which can be bought to supplement the free stuff. I have checked out Serato’s website and I can’t find any substantial material/packs. The stuff I have found is very limited; is it a fact that Serato doesn’t have such material or am I simply looking in the wrong place?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

The SP-6 sample player in Serato DJ and Traktor’s Remix Decks are related (they both play samples) but not the same. In a nutshell, Traktor’s Remix Decks are designed to let you build your own live remixes of tracks using “stems” (constituent parts; samples, in other words), hence the company has worked with producers to get sets of pre-prepared stems ready to allow users to unleash their creativity on them. Not to say you can’t make your own (the Traktor Kontrol S4 has a Loop Recorder for that purpose).

The SP-6 is a more traditional sample player and doesn’t have the hardware support as yet to really unlock its layers like the Remix Decks, although with both standard sample triggering and velocity drumpad-style triggering, your DDJ-SX2 is among the best control surfaces for it (you should check out the Reloop Neon, too).

While you could build remixes up using the SP-6, it’s not something Serato is pushing. If the SP-6 is a sample player, then the Remix Decks are a “sample player on steroids”, a rethinking of the whole idea of using samples in DJing that goes beyond the SP-6 and other sample players out there.

So no, you’re not looking in the wrong place – it’s just that what you’re looking for doesn’t really exist for the SP-6.

Have you used the SP-6 and Remix Decks? Which do you like the most, or find yourself using more? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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