The Third Deck

The Third Deck

26th November 2010, in Highlights, News/Blog ( Comments)

The Third Deck was built to complement a DJ rig via a laptop running Ableton Live. Please view the gallery below for details.


For DJs, the term “third deck” refers to a performance style that incorporates loops, acapellas and other sound samples in their music. (The “first” and “second” decks were reserved for playback and mixing of full songs.)

The “third” deck was originally an extra turntable or CD player. Now, it can also be found in DJ software.  In fact, most modern DJ software can accommodate three or more decks entirely within their interface.

The 60 Works Third Deck was built for a certain type of DJ. This person understands the computer DJ experience, but wants to retain a traditional workflow, only dipping a toe into the computer world. They only want one laptop deck. This person wants to maintain the experience of DJing with vinyl and/or CDs, but is willing to relegate third deck tasks to an unobtrusive computer and controller.

This is a very specific workflow with very specific requirements. What is needed here is a tidy controller with all the tactile properties of a third deck. Such a controller doesn’t exist in the market. It’s likely such a controller would never reach the market. Many, many existing mass-market controllers could meet this need, but no mass-market controller was made for this need.

That is the 60 Works Third Deck’s purpose. It meets a specific need, one that cannot be fulfilled through a large manufacturer.


The Third Deck was designed and built for three reasons:

  1. To show off. Imagine the Third Deck as a page in an artist’s portfolio. It has some relevance in the grander scheme (see 2 and 3 below), but its most important purpose is to prove 60 Works can build a good-looking custom controller.
  2. To defy the traditional controller industry. A large-scale manufacturer wouldn’t build this device. Its feature set is not suitable for mass production, and that’s what makes it special.
  3. To pay homage to the traditional controller industry. Despite the fact that it didn’t roll off an assembly line, the Third Deck was built to meet or exceed the quality of a factory-built device. This is the 60 Works philosophy. We meld the best of both worlds: hand-made crafting (personalization, customization and incredible attention to detail) with manufacturing precision (standardized parts, printed circuit boards and perfectly-milled components).
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3 Comments

February 18, 2011 5:38 am

60 Works « designingmusic

[...] to create individual control devices that are highly adapted to their specific needs. They have two examples of work but only to demonstrate what is possible and show the build quality and attention to [...]

March 16, 2012 8:34 am

DEE JAY

First time I hear about The Third Deck .Looks GREAT and very usefull .
Thanks for the article really informative.

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