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

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
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.

Click here for your free DJ Gear and software guide