Sample decks show a large waveform, several pads, and access to quick controls for each pad. Sample decks are broken up into several components and understanding what they do is key to a quick, productive workflow.
Deck Header area
Here you can find controls for the Sample Deck that are applied across all pads and cues in a Sample deck, and are as follows:
Deck Play / Pause: Use this toggle Play or Pause for the loaded source file in the Sample deck. The white playhead in the middle of waveform display will move through the track as the source file elapses in duration.
Deck Voice mode: Use this to determine the voice mode for playback of cues / pads in the Sample deck. Use 'Mono' for single cue playback, or 'Poly' for simultaneous multi cue playback.
Deck playback mode: 'Hold mode' is the default playback mode, where triggered cue points will continue to play while the trigger is being held down. Alternatively, using 'Trigger mode' means cues will continue to play until the end of the cue length, or the end of the source file if no cue length is set - regardless of how long the cue trigger is held down for.
Deck Info Display: Information and tags relating to the currently loaded source file are displayed here and include; Title, Artist, Original key, Original BPM, and Elapsed track duration.
NOTE: Information is updated upon loading of the source file, so if you update tags, the information will only update once the file is reloaded to deck or ID3 tags have been scanned again.
Deck BPM: Displays the current BPM. Click and drag up or down to make changes, or double-click to enter a value manually. Hold control/command on your keyboard, while you click and drag, to make fine adjustments, or hold shift on your keyboard, to make coarser adjustments.
Sync: Click Sync to sync the Sample Deck BPM with the project BPM. Click again to disable sync and allow for manual control of the Deck BPM.
Halve / Double BPM: Click on x2 to double the current Deck BPM, or click on 1/2 to halve it.
Deck Keyshift / Detune: Choose either Key or Detune to select either semitones or cents, then click & drag, up or down on the value to adjust the Deck key. Hold control/command on your keyboard while doing so to make fine adjustments, or hold shift to make coarser adjustments.
Deck Waveform area
Here you'll find a visual representation of the source file, as a waveform with different colours that represent the frequencies most dominant, in that part of the audio. Red colours are used for sounds with low frequency content and lighter colours are used for sounds with higher frequency content.
Main waveform: A large waveform that shows a snapshot of the source file audio, with the playhead in the centre. Cue points are illustrated by small coloured flags which match the majority frequency of the audio content they are placed upon. Click & drag on the waveform with your mouse to scrub through the audio and 'drag' the playhead through the loaded source file. Use the + or - buttons on your keyboard to zoom in and out of the waveform, or use the scroll wheel on your mouse.
Waveform overview: This smaller waveform shows the entire source file as an overview, and also shows the cue points and current position of the playhead. Click on a section of the waveform overview to move the main waveform snapshot directly to that position in the source file. Click & drag horizontally to scrub through the entire source file.
Playhead: The white vertical marker that appears directly in the centre of the Main waveform, which illustrates the current playback position, and moves through the waveform as the source file is played.
Cue: Cues are coloured markers placed in the audio waveform, which assign playback positions for the coloured pads. You can trigger Cues by clicking on their corresponding pads with your mouse or trackpad, by triggering MIDI notes, or using your computer's keyboard. Cues can be made up of a start point, an end point, and the region between these two points.
Cue start: Near the top of each Cue, is a small handle, or flag that illustrates the start point of a Cue. Click & drag on the Cue start point, in the Main waveform, to move the Cue point to different parts of the source file.
Cue end: Near the bottom of each Cue, is a small handle, or flag, that illustrates the end point of a Cue. By default, Cue points will automatically place the Cue end point on the same position in the waveform as the Cue start - these Cues will play until the end of the source file when triggered. Click & drag on the Cue end point, in the Main waveform, to specify a place for Cue to stop playing - this will also create a Cue region.
Cue region: The space between a Cue start point and Cue end point, is illustrated by a shaded area matching the colour of the Cue itself, and also indicates the length of a triggered Cue point.
Beat Grid Mode: Click the ‘Grid’ button to enable Beat Grid Mode. Use this mode to make any corrections you wish to an audio samples beat grids for a more accurate reading. For more information about this mode, see the Overview: Editing Beat Grids section here.”
The Autoset feature is useful for quickly setting Cue points in Serato Sample, based on one of four preset modes. Using it will populate the pads with these cue points, according to the rule set by the Autoset mode preset.
Autoset can be found in the bottom left-hand corner of the plug-in, with the currently selected mode.
To choose another Autoset mode, click the downward arrow button and a drop-down menu option will appear to reveal the other three modes.
Once you’ve chosen an Autoset mode, press the Autoset button again to populate the pads with Cues. You can continually press the Autoset button to search for alternative cue points, if you find the ones that are initially set are not to your liking.
Repeatedly pressing the Autoset button will continue to re-populate every pad. Cues that have been ‘favourited’ will not be overwritten when using Autoset.
- Find Samples (default): Find Samples uses an algorithm to find regions of the sample that are more suitable for sampling. Cues are then placed randomly but on beat within those regions.
- Set Random: This mode creates Cues at 8 randomly selected positions on the track. Clicking ‘Set Random’ again will randomize the 8 Cue points.
- Serato DJ: This mode will load Cue points previously set on the file in Serato DJ (option will be greyed out if no Serato DJ cues exist)
- Set Slicer: This mode creates 8 consecutive Cue points in a row (a domain), with a set length, starting from the current playhead position. The starting position of the domain can be adjusted using the Slice Region controls that appear after using the Slicer Autoset mode - via the left and right arrows. The length of each cue can be set using the beat value and the two left and right arrows. Cue length can be changed to several values between 1/16, and 16 beats, and adjusting the length will immediately reset all Cue points to match the respective setting.
- Set Endless Slicer: This mode creates 8 consecutive Cue points in a row without a set length, starting from the current playhead position and playing through until the end of the audio file. The starting position of the clip can be adjusted using the Slice Region controls that appear after using the Slicer Autoset mode - via the left and right arrows. The length between each slice can be set using the beat value and the two left and right arrows.
Here controls that affect each selected pad (and by proxy their associated Cue) can be found. Parameters are saved to each pad, so if a pad and corresponding Cue are deleted, those same parameters will be lost. Pad colours will also change based on the Cue colour in the Main waveform. Cue Parameters can be adjusted across one or more pads simultaneously - to select multiple pads, simply hold shift while clicking on subsequent pads.
Cue Attack: Adjust the time it takes for the selected Cue to reach it's peak volume (0.00ms to 10s)
Cue Release: Adjust the time it takes for the selected Cue to drop from it's peak volume to silence (0.00ms to 10s)
NOTE: Deck play modes affect the Cue Release parameter.
Cue Reverse: Toggles reverse playback of the selected Cue.
Cue Favorite: 'Favorite' a Cue, to prevent it from being overwritten by the Autoset function. Using this in conjunction with the Autoset feature, allows you to retain useful Cue points, and quickly replace less useful ones.
Cue Tempo: Click & drag vertically to adjust the playback tempo of the selected Cue, from 75% to 300%. Cue playback is calculated with the Deck and Project BPM in mind, so increases to the Cue Tempo are cumulative. Use the 2x and 1/2 to quickly double and halve the Cue Tempo. Hold control/command while clicking & dragging vertically to make fine adjustments, or hold shift while doing so to make coarser adjustments.
Cue Key Shift: Allows for individual adjustments to the key of the selected Cue at values ranging from -24 to +24 semitones. Changes made are in addition to any changes made to the Deck or Project key, and are cumulative.
Pad tools panel
Keyboard mode: Allows one Cue to be played across multiple pads, at variable pitch, which represent the notes on the piano roll.
NOTE: The Keyboard mode toggle is greyed out when multiple pads are selected.
Play in Key (only available when Keyboard mode is turned on): Use this to show only the notes compatible with the Project Key, in the Sample Decks' piano roll. When turned off this feature will also show all notes on the piano roll, with their respective keyboard shortcuts displayed in the parameter panel.
Pad range (only available when Keyboard mode is turned on): Click on the left arrow to move the octave range for the pads down, or click on the right arrow to move the octave range for pads up.
The Mixer panel in the Sample deck, controls aspects of each pad, and like the controls in other areas of the Sample deck, change color to match the selected pad. You can also adjust the Mixer panel parameters for all pads by holding shift on your keyboard while clicking on multiple pads to select several at a time (controls turn white in this case). Double-click on a Mixer control to reset it to the default value.
Gain: Increases or decreases the maximum volume that the selected pad or pads can reach.
High: Reduces or increases the high frequency content in the selected pad or pads.
Mid: Reduces or increases the mid frequency content in the selected pad or pads.
Low: Reduces or increases the low frequency content in the selected pad or pads.
Filter: Turn clockwise to engage a high pass filter, and counter-clockwise to engage a low pass filter, on the selected pad or pads.
Fader: Click and drag the fader up to increase the volume of the selected pad, or down to decrease the volume of the selected pad.