At its core, DJing is about playing great songs and transitioning between them smoothly. DJ software makers invent new features to set themselves apart, but sometimes it’s hard to tell how you would even use them! The Remix Decks are a prime example: great in concept, but practically speaking, most DJs don’t end up utilizing their potential in real sets. Today we will share six real ways that you can use the Remix Decks or the SP-6 sampler in Serato to spice up the mix without just adding fluff.
Here are 6 of my favorite ways to use samples or remix cells to add creativity in a real DJ set:
Kick, Snare Fills
- It’s very hand to have a few punchy snares and kicks ready for break downs. I like to use these to drop in a quick break beat or create some improvised build up finesse.
- By quantizing the remix cells and adding a little reverb or delay you can serve up a real tasty filler.
Hi Hat backing tracks
- House music can almost always fit another hat groove, and it’s nice to have a consistent part going over several tracks to make them consistent.
- The back beat hat, and steady 909 ride are some of my favorite staples to bring in and out of the mix.
Low end support
- Many great songs simply don’t have enough low-end for a big club, and turning up the bass is not a sufficient replacement for real frequencies.
- In this case take a short kick loop from a song that you know works and keep it ready to layer under weaker tracks.
Keep a loop Going
- No one actually plays 3 or 4 full songs at the same time – we just like to keep certain loops going. instead of looping a full deck, just copy that loop into a remix cell and bring it back in later.
- It’s a waste of a good deck to just run a single loop – and this saves them for later use.
- We all like to add beat-masher builds and reverb swells to the mix. It adds dynamics, originality and more importantly – they are fun!
- Put the final cherry on top by dropping a splash or white noise sample on the one after your effects build.
Extra Credit Bonus
- Of course it would be remix not to mention the Midi Fighter Twister, which features an amazing Remix Deck sequencer.
- This replaces running machine in the background and allows you to sequence drum patterns right inside of a remix deck.
Additional Reading and Resources
- Download the Remix Deck Sequencer including free drum samples used in the video
- Free remix sets can be found here!
- Interested in some of the music from the tutorial? Here is a free download of the main track.