Capturing samples in Traktor is extremely easy and there are a couple of ways you can do this. One way is to use the sampler, which I have covered in a previous tutorial. The other way is by capturing samples into the top row of remix deck cells.
For those that have not used the remix decks before, you can get a basic idea of their functions in an article titled: Traktor Remix Deck Basics.
If you already own a Kontrol S4 you are in an ideal position to start working with the remix decks. If you don’t have a controller, don’t despair, you can also do this with your mouse! (more about that below) You don’t need to go out and buy anything else to make use of the remix decks. Whilst you are limited to the top row of cells with this set up, there are some great ways you can start to experiment with the remix decks and in this post I am going to show you how to start capturing and using loops in your DJ sets.
Setting up to Capture Loops
Capturing Loops is the easy part, but before you do so, it’s imperative that you get everything set up right in the first place.
- Set one of the spare decks up to be a remix deck by clicking the deck letter and navigating the dropdown to select ‘Remix Deck’.
- Setting the master clock as the main tempo will make things easy to start with. You could simply set it to auto, but whatever you choose, make sure that sync is on in the remix deck.
- Turning on the Keylock for each column of remix deck cells is also necessary to make sure that the pitch of the sounds stays the same as that of the original you are going to capture.
- If you want to apply effects to the cells, you will also need to make sure the effects option is highlighted in the cell columns.
- You will also need to make sure the remix deck is set to capture from the correct deck. There is a drop down option in the remix deck header for you to select either Deck A, Deck B or Loop Recorder. (The remix deck layout must be set to full or advanced in order to see the deck header)
- I would also set the quantize option to 1 beat instead of 4, this will allow you to launch a clip every 1 beat, otherwise your clip will delay until each musical bar is complete. But this is down to your own preference.
Once you have all that set up you’re ready to start capturing samples into your remix deck.
Capturing Loops to the Remix Deck
In order to capture sections of a track to the remix decks you simply have to press one button, however, the size of the section you capture will depend upon the current loop size setting.
If you are using a controller, you do not need to have an active loop set in the deck that you wish to capture from, but the size of the loop setting will determine the length of the sample you will capture. An 8 beat loop will capture an 8 beat section into the remix deck cell. This is made very obvious in the video below.
Don’t have a controller?
If you don’t have a controller, don’t despair, you can do all of this with the mouse. To capture a section of track from one of the decks, you simply set a loop in the deck you wish to capture from and then drag this loop by clicking and holding the deck header and dragging it to the cell you wish to load it into.
Then to play that cell, simply click the coloured tile to the left of the cell.
Go play with Loops
This tutorial simply scrapes the surface of the remix decks in a hope that it might encourage you to start investigating the intricacies of the remix decks. By bringing loops into your DJ sets you can add texture or flair to your sets, create fills in the places where a track contains a breakdown, or, to maintain a vocal sound through a track that is lacking one.
Have fun with loops!
Sign up for the Traktor Tip’s Remix Deck Course