Traktor Remix Decks: A Quick and Easy Way to Remix Songs in DJ Sets

Traktor’s Remix Decks successfully stirred up a lot of interest and a fair amount of controversy, but now that the dust has settled, is anyone actually using them? The reality appears to be that many DJs, including myself, are having a hard time finding simple ways to integrate them into a regular DJ set. Even Chris Liebing mentioned his lack of inspiration around them in Friday’s informative interview.  Today, we’ve got a creative recipe for Remix Deck success that only takes five minutes to cook up – and all it requires is a little special sauce.


Here are the problems we currently see with using the Remix Decks extensively in a standard DJ set.

  • It takes a lot of time to create a Remix Kit with individual loops and parts
  • There are not many quality pre-made kits out there to play with
  • It’s not practical to arrange a song manually using loops (a la Ableton) without follow actions and other more sequencer-esque tools
  • Placing a lot of sounds over finished tracks starts to sound very busy
  • Triggering quantized loops can get a bit boring for you and the audience

So what is my suggestion for spicing up the decks? Well, for starters: the Traktor Remix Decks can be used as very expressive sample players. 

  • You can play up to four cells at the same time (polyphonic control)
  • Each cell can have its own voicing and looping characteristics
  • They can each be routed to effects and individually affected
  • They can be quantized down to the 1/4 note
  • This makes them really good for the next evolution in cue point juggling of samples over songs.

Add in effects on top of the samples, and you have a recipe for fun remixing on the fly.  

  • Route Beat Repeat and “space” effects to individual samples to create morphing patterns that float over songs
  • Route the effects to cut out parts of your master track when you trigger a sample at the same time.

This last bullet is the key point. By double mapping buttons to trigger samples and turn on effects at the same time, you can create effortless remixes and chop up any song at will. Here is just one example:

Double map a big drum roll sample from a famous song and a beat repeat  on your playing track at the same time. Drop it in anywhere for a polished sound that seamlessly remixes any track. 

Simply put: when activating a sample cell, apply a complimentary effect to the underlying track on that same button press so everything sounds glued together and very much like a real remix.


Executing something like this is relatively simple in regular MIDI land. You would double assign a button to launch a clip and turn on an effect at the same time. The problem of course is that it’s only possible to control all remix deck cells through HID using the F1 controller or Midi Fighter 3D.  The MF 3D is the only controller today that sends out HID and MIDI at the same time, making these double mappings very simple on all remix decks. Fortunately you are not totally out of luck:

  • The top four cells in each Remix Deck are MIDI assignable, so everyone can experiment with this concept on any controller right away. 


For those of you that own a Midi Fighter 3D, here is my mapping used in the video:




Here are some ways you can get involved, win some cool stuff and show us your skills.

Instagram: Upload the best creative photo of a disco ball to Instagram (like the one by @eangolden above) – tag it with #remixthis and @djtechtools, and you could win a Midi Fighter 3D.

Facebook: Same as Instagram, show us the craziest photo of a disco ball – but be sure to post it on the DJ Techtools Facebook page wall and tag it!

Twitter: We want to hear what songs you would remix – using #remixthis, let us know what favorite old track you’d like to see chopped up in the Remix Decks.

YouTube: Post a video of you using this technique on a old track and we’ll feature the best one(s) on DJ TechTools social media – just let us know where to find it through one of the above channels.

Finally – Tell us in the comments some creative ways that you have been using the Remix Decks!

Ean Golden is the founder of Dj TechTools and a worldwide Dj specializing in controllers and new performance technology.

Follow Ean on: Twitter  Facebook   SoundCloud   YouTube 

Ean Golden is the founder of Dj TechTools and a worldwide Dj specializing in controllers and new performance technology.

Follow Ean on: Twitter  Facebook   SoundCloud   YouTube 

#remixthismidi fighter 3dremix decksTraktor Tips
Comments (93)
Add Comment
  • Remix Software Easy To Use | Computer DJ Software

    […] Traktor Remix Decks: A Quick and Easy … – REMIX DECKS LACKING FLAVOR? Here are the problems we currently see with using the Remix Decks extensively in a standard DJ set. It takes a lot of time to … […]

  • dj gaurav fulauna sultanpur

    dj gaurav fulauna sultanpur

  • Sharath .R

    Hi Is there any mapping available for M-audio trigger finger pro?

  • Christian

    Hey guys did anyone get the sound pack mentioned in the video? I have been looking around for it and can not find it. I checked back through my weekly e-mails and picked up all three of the Mad Zach volumes and its not in there. Just wondering as I would love to play around with this.

  • Bootlegger

    Is there a way to save the midi mapping FX changes with the Remix Deck? Since every Remix Deck will most likely be different.

  • Obed Fraser

    I don’t see the link mentioned about downloading the remix set used in the video, where can I find? Also, anybody have a good recommendation for a site where people share their remix sets?

  • Leland

    Apologies if this is a newbie question – I just picked up an F1 yesterday. When I try to follow along with Ean’s video after pressing “Learn”, pressing one of the 16 pads on the F1 doesn’t do anything to tie that button to the effect. Can anyone please tell me what I’m missing?

  • Steven Green

    hey , how can i change the new remix decks to sample decks on tracktor pro 2

  • PalaceOne

    is there a midifighter classic mapping for remix decks?

  • PalaceOne

    is there a midifighter classic mapping for remix decks?

  • PalaceOne

    what about a Mapping for the remix decks with the Midifighter Classic?

  • PalaceOne

    what about a Mapping for the remix decks with the Midifighter Classic?

  • Derek Fields

    Can anyone tell me why my remix deck only has 4 slots for samples showing in Traktor (as opposed to the 16 slots seen in the video)

  • Codie Du Minimale

    any chance of using a maschine instead of the midi fighter?
    and are there any pre set mappingsss?

    • Vincent Cox

      Yes there is.
      I’ve created a program to use every controller with the remix decks.

  • Eric

    can the S2 use the midi fighter 3d to remix or do you need the s4?

  • Mike

    When I import your mapping Ean, there is no F1 on the drop down and my mf3d doesn’t flash the lights for the remix decks. Please help me out

  • JeriaSound

    Where does Ean get those awesome custom colored knobs and faders for the s4? Is there a website that sells them?

    • Felipe Barbosa

      Err… DJTT store? Oo
      Search “Chroma Caps” there ;D

  • Hayden Gullins

    please make an F1 mapping simular to this !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Connor

    Liking the new disco ball location, Ean 🙂

  • Robert Wulfman

    If you are using the F1 and you want your pads to activate other things with the samples like ean shows you above, you can create an additional mapping for the F1 and Next to it go to the drop down menu for in-port and select Kontrol F1. This should activate both mappings on the device. It’s important to note that, if you go to midi mode then back the new mapping will not be activated.

    • Guest

      LAST MINUTE UPDATE: Apparently if you leave the preferences window open and on the new mapping’s page, switching from midi to back will keep it enabled. I find, if you make the window as small as possible, it will almost fit into the space between the program name and all of that other stuff at the top.

    • Hayden Gullins

      can you post a mapping for the F1 of what you did

  • LPD8mapper

    Hi All !
    Can somebody please help me to understand ?

    After some hours of reading articles about NIT-RD and the mapping advendure,
    I understood there is no way to map a sample/clip from a choosen row (of a column of a Remix Deck) but i can see it able to be done on the wonderful Midi Fighter 3D and also for Lemur on iPad, that are not (yet?) offical controlers for the RDs …

    So i’m still disapointed because i can’t find anything on Traktor GUI or tsi files about this feature (i know it’s a crtical one by so many ways lol )

    So if you can excuse my poor/strange/frenchy English, please somebody call 911… or just help me there 🙂

    Thank you so much and again, Bravo DJTT Team for your crazy works!

    DJ Swill’O

  • DjmYo

    Hi peeps, I’m not that familiar with the midi programming for the S4. is there an easy to follow tutorial somewhere that shows how to program the S4 to do these more advanced functions? For example, I have a X1 that I don’t use and I saw Ean posted a great post on how to use the X1 for track prep, but I don’t get how to create a different mapping and then apply it and then turn it off for performances and such. Thanks!

  • beatzhoven

    I get the sneaking suspicion that this won’t work for midi fighter classic or pro, only the 3D. I want to be wrong so badly!

  • NB

    For the competition, does the photo have to be our own? I’m seeing a lot of pictures on your FB/Twitter that are definitely not original, and as cool as they are, I wanna win!

  • dj arnie

    Someone else asked can this be done with the F1 dude.

  • Skyler Mann

    Always something new and innovative. This is no different. Love it.

  • James 'Pioneer' Burkill

    guys as of yesterday announced on the forum there is no HID firmware for MF Classic or Pro

  • Johnyfav

    Ok so I think this is amazing but I think I’ve not set something up right. The samples just loop. I notice in the top video that even if they have the little loop icon then only fire once. Can anyone help?

  • RawB3at

    still waitin for mf pro support 🙁

  • Ryan Dejaegher

    Is this mapping possible with the F1?

  • TurnToSideB

    I’m currently using the remix decks in live play for instrumental and accapella loopers. Much like a lot of Dj’s will bring a pre-edited track with said accap with a different instr laid under and mid track on a chorus switch out to a different instr. The remix decks let me do that without using pre-recorded tracks. As well as using them much like a basic sampler with mixing fills, name drops etc.

  • nukage

    Very nice.. this trick seems a little more suited to ableton, I could imagine using a few tricks to switch between different sets of clips/effects in the same set.. I use Stutter Edit in my productions to clear out other sounds while I drop in a new synth or something, maybe something similar could be used live

  • BISS

    Thanks for inspiring us all…

  • Kane Wilkerson

    and this is why i ran out and signed up for mf3d prelaunch, this is why i knew to buy a mf3d over the f1…there was just no way the f1 was gonna be able to hang with Eans genius.

    • Hayden Gullins

      ya i want to know where i can trade my F1 in for a Mf3d

  • Aaron

    I have a quick question, Is it possible to mix Ean Golden’s mapping with my own custom mappings? And use both at once?

    • Kane Wilkerson

      if your custom mapping is for the mf3d… id say you gonna run into conflicts somewhere… but if its for another controller, youll be fine

  • Emil Beatsnatcher Brikha

    I use the MF3D all the time as a drum machine and one hit sampler. Adding afro and latin rhythms to house beats is delicious, white noise, cymbals and stuff like that to bring up the energy and hype the crowd with snares and claps in breaks…. Until the Remix Deck crashes Traktor.

    I posted this in the forums but nobody seems to know what it is, it’s shown in Eans video as well, the counting thing which you can see underneath the quantize button. In Traktor, when that counter reaches higher numbers, it completely kills my CPU and crashes Traktor,

    Here´s the forum thread if anyone can help on this:

  • Anonymous

    speaking of getting stems to remix the NIN have released many of their songs with all channels separated. do any other artists do this?

  • Will

    perhaps I have another perception of ‘this afternoon’ but where are the links to the mentioned files?

  • edd

    I so want to use them to trigger bongo samples but in stuck using ableton for that and using the 2 software just causes instability so i need the remix decks but there firmware for the other midi fighters any news on the release date???

  • DJ Peter Lo

    Ean is such a San Franciscan hipster it’s funny.

  • Brett

    Good concept. As usual, excellent execution of the available technology, but I have a question… Who actually utilizes techniques like these while playing out at professional gigs with great success?

    It’s awesome that the envelope is always being pushed technologically but it almost seems like we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. Maybe Providence, RI is just a dead zone when it comes to culture but I have yet to see any DJ around here do much more than the traditional blending of two tracks. Ok… maybe someone will throw in some samples, a little reverb and a bit of the beatmasher/loop roll but that’s about as crazy as it gets. It seems like doing more than that starts to sound kind of rough. It takes away from the rhythm/melody and it shows on the dance floor

    I miss the DJTT days of mere cue point juggling between Daft Punk and Afrika Bambaataa songs. That was inspired! Taking classic tracks and playing them in a way that couldn’t be replicated with older technology.. That idea is what got me into digital DJing. It gave you new tools to add a pleasant sounding spin to great music.

    For the first time I feel like technological advances either too hard to, or not worth keeping up with… Maybe I’m wrong though! Maybe someone out there is creating great danceable routines and playing great sets with all of these software/hardware advances and I just haven’t heard them yet.

    Let me know!

  • Lee Grace

    whats the deal with the DJtechtools banner logo going to a pioneer youtube vid?

  • Ryan Glassman

    Could you do this by MIDI mapping the buttons on the F1?

  • Cody Harness

    Hey Ean, I haven’t gotten ANY word on one of your other contests I entered. I tagged the Midi Fighter 3D and you guys on Twitter and never got the store credit. What’s the deal?

  • James 'Pioneer' Burkill

    Yes it good but whens the other members of the midi fighter family get the firmware upgrade?

  • Dj-B-Wick3d

    hey when are you gonna post a link for the remix deck you assembled for the video?

  • L

    Finally something that makes sense to use live ! Thanks Ean.
    Someone to show us how to do it with Ableton Live? Can u link any sample to a given effect that would affect the playing track?

  • Kyle

    But come on, an entire post about utilizing the remix decks, without even mentioning the F1?

  • Anonymous

    I like the concept you demonstrate Ean, but (there is always a but with me:-)), wouldn’t the mapped in effects always be on that one button, basically making it very specialized and possibly restricting how other Mix Sets would work with that mapping? I mean, the mapping is relative to the controller and not the Mix Deck cells in each Mix Set, right? So yes, it is a cool idea, but it would start to get hairy the more effects I program on the buttons and the more sets I have. I’d have to be very careful the samples in the Mix Sets don’t seriously collide with the effects I’ve mapped. Right?


    • Patch

      You just sold 100 3D’s minimum…

      …and good work on bringing 80’s electro to DJTT! Next video – use Al Naafiysh by Hashim!

    • dude

      This is a very good point. As you build your remix sets you’ll have to remember what effects are mapped to each controller button and use samples that compliment them.

    • Ewan Matheson

      The way I was thinking watching this was that you’d end up categorising your effects channels so remix channel one would be your EQ bass kill samples, channel 2 some beatrepeat ones… etc… Might end up being quite restrictive but certainly one way you could set it up?

    • Ryan Glassman

      You could make new mappings for new mix sets (or groups of mix sets) and save them as different .tsi files, and then load the appropriate .tsi for the mix set you’re playing with. It would still restrict you from changing to a radically differently constructed mix set during live play, but that would allow you different mappings.

      • zzzuperfly

        ah thats what I was thinking – it is possible to have several tsi for the same unit right? so if i have lets be modest 4 and just turned on the one i want to use? since the ones not listeneing to anything shouldn´t make problems or?

        and me too are waiting for a mapping for the mf classic :/

        • BPSS

          My experience is you need to restart Traktor when fiddling around trying different maps on the same controller.

    • Ean Golden

      Yes – The effects are hard coded, so the kits need to fit the effects but you can always turn off the effects and just launch clips or samples without any effects. I am finding that by grouping kits in a consistent way (drums at the bottom for example) that it makes them a lot easier to remember.

      • Anonymous

        Please explain how to turn off the effects. Do you mean turn off the effects units? Or do you mean actually stopping the midi output of the MF3d? I wasn’t aware you could do the latter and if it is true you can, that would be totally rad.

        Also, this question has been burning in my gut for some time. Was the “Midi over HID” in the MF3d a design fluke or actually purposely intended? Would you be so honest to say it was a fluke? hihihihi…It doesn’t matter really. The capability just happens to open up many more possibilities, like the suggestions you make in this article. I’m glad I have the MF3d.:-) I just need to get my S4 Jog FX full version mapping finished, so I can start seriously playing (and mapping) the MF3d…….


        • Anonymous

          Oh, and maybe we have another suggestion for NI? I’d call them “mini-maps”, where you could actually make small mappings to control different effects for each cell of the Mix Sets making them relative to the Mix Set cells and not the controller that is launching the samples.


      • djbwick3d

        there was no sound pack options where is that at?

        • Christian

          Was this sound pack ever made available? I can’t find it anywhere and would even pay for d/l.

  • djin50mnia

    Excellent tutorial Ean!! I know kids have been wanting to do this ala Skrillex for a while but didn’t like the idea of using Ableton. Keep the good info rollin!

  • Brodyism

    this question is about upgrading the midi-fighter pro: Can I put the RGB buttons on my MF pro, somehow change the firmware to send HID and use that to control the remix decks?

  • dave

    no download links here ean..?

    • Ean Golden

      DL links for mappings and sounds going up this afternoon

      • Ryan

        Hey Ean, this is an awesome idea, however as someone pointed out earlier, once this mapping is made it’s limited in the sense that the remix decks will now always have FX on them. I’m sure this could be fixed using one of your favourite tools, a foot pedal. Map the foot pedal to be a modifier so that only when its pushed will FX turn on for the remix decks. Also is this mapping possible for the F1?

        • Ean Golden

          it’s actually really easy to turn off all the effects and just launch remix deck clips. That is the basic functionality with the option of turning on the FX tricks.

          • Troy Cobb

            I was noodling as to whether mapping another button or buttons (like on a second MF) would allow one to change a) if the effect is triggered and b) what effect gets triggered. Is it possible to link an HID triggered event on one controller with a conditional as to the button state on another? For background, I have the F1, not the MF3D, though I do have an MF classic, and the S4.

      • Doobie

        Maybe i’m overlooking it …. but where are the sounds?

      • Ajay

        Hey Ean, thanks for the mapping, and the inspiring video. However I didn’t see the sounds anywhere to download. Can you give a link to the remix set you were using. Thanks so much.

  • Mike

    Ean Golden for president!

  • Will

    I can use remix decks who are in sync. Most of the times they are NOT.

    • Jim

      Are you using a midi controller or something other than an F1? I think there is a bug with the remix decks and them ignoring the quantize settings. I made a thread in the general forum about.

      • Will

        will check that, thanks

  • Chris Jennings

    “Do we get to say wikki-wikki-wikki again?” That was my favorite song to pull out the card board to.

  • FDRK

    Great post! Love the macro that you did. Will be usefull!

  • Emery

    So you can only do this with the MF3D? not the F1?

    • chris

      is it possible to make a mapping for a Galaxy Tab Tablet on Android (like Ipad with Lemur?)

  • Mitch

    Now I think the real question is where can I get that dope hat?

  • foos

    For submitting content, what’s your deadline? If I had a good idea, I’m unable to execute it on ‘opening day’ August 13th. Can you give us all until after this coming weekend, the 18th/19th? I don’t have a disco ball but will be at a location Saturday to take the sniper shot.

    • Spacecamp

      It will be all this week : )

  • empolo

    Another excellent idea from DJTT. Great think tank you guys are.