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The scratch problem
Old 24th January 2020
  #1
Gear Head
The scratch problem

Hey Slutz,

it's been a while (had to write my master thesis). Having time for music again, I (once more) stumbled over the scratch problem.

Scratches are cool and awesome. However, I do not own a turntable and there is a long list of other gear that I have to buy before this instrument may move in with me.

So all of you who also don't have the money (yet) to buy a turntable or are not able to handle it well, but still like to throw scratching in your songs from time to time: how do you make and fake it? (For everyone saying get a turntable and do it properly, yes thank you I get your point. I'll do so later.)

Until now I got the best results by throwing a lot of scratch samples on a keyboard and play until I like what I play. However this does not enable me to scratch parts of my own songs. What do you do?

Cheers
.drIX.
Old 25th January 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
I could write a long post about why you should.........you know but I cut it short here hoping you know what you're doing

You can try a DJ software. I recommend MIXXX because it's free, open source, for Win, macOS and Linux and good enough.
https://www.mixxx.org/

You can try to control it via mouse and/or pc keyboard or buttons/knobs/wheels on your MIDI keyboard or pads. But I think that won't get you close enough to sound authentic (at least not without much practice). Ao you should think about investing in a DJ controller. I know you don't want to invest but there are controllers for under 100$ that will really help. Something like the Numark Party Mix
https://m.thomann.de/de/numark_party...rch=1579908569

peace
Old 25th January 2020
  #3
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterpiper0815 View Post
I could write a long post about why you should.........you know but I cut it short here hoping you know what you're doing

You can try a DJ software. I recommend MIXXX because it's free, open source, for Win, macOS and Linux and good enough.
https://www.mixxx.org/

You can try to control it via mouse and/or pc keyboard or buttons/knobs/wheels on your MIDI keyboard or pads. But I think that won't get you close enough to sound authentic (at least not without much practice). Ao you should think about investing in a DJ controller. I know you don't want to invest but there are controllers for under 100$ that will really help. Something like the Numark Party Mix
https://m.thomann.de/de/numark_party...rch=1579908569

peace
Thanks a lot! That is exactly the kind of short term solution I was looking for.

Ouh and invest some bugs in a controller is not the big problem. A good turntable + all the vinyl is just a whole other price league. Also again I wouldn't know how to scratch with my own material as I have it on my harddrive instead of vinyl.

Last edited by .drIX.; 25th January 2020 at 04:45 AM.. Reason: Added the last part.
Old 25th January 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
It's very easy to make your own scratch samples with software these days.

Old 25th January 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
It's very easy to make your own scratch samples with software these days.

Very easy?
Ok a rhythmical gate is easy. FX like tapestop/turntablestop, yes there are plug ins for that. Babyscratch? Ok that might be relative easy too even with so called 'scratch' plugins that provide 'mouse-scratching' a sample but if you want to 'emulate' any more advanced scratch techniques it will get hard and time consuming (BTW 'mouse scratching' is easier on a notebook with the touchpad)
I've made some programmed scratches that sounded relatively good with the FL Studio 'WaveTraveller' but still: Time consuming and you have to understand the physics/movements of the many scratch techniques and how to convert that knowledge into the diagram with linear and bezier curves in 'wavetraveller'

Here is an example (not from me ).If you just wanna listen to what it sound in context jumpt to 14:30

IMO that time is better spend with the DJ Controller I mentioned above. But even with this it takes time. If you scratched before with turntables it might be easier but because of the small and especially not rotating platter some scratches will take 'reeducation' of the hands movement.

peace

BTW what software was used on the track you posted?

Last edited by peterpiper0815; 25th January 2020 at 04:50 PM..
Old 25th January 2020
  #6
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
It's very easy to make your own scratch samples with software these days.
Cool story. However, it does not answer my question or help me or other potential readers in any way.

Last edited by .drIX.; 25th January 2020 at 07:03 PM.. Reason: English is not my mothertounge
Old 26th January 2020
  #7
Here for the gear
 

you could try it that way but i think its a long way to master this

https://saccobelmonte.tumblr.com/pos...r-mouse-skills
Old 27th January 2020
  #8
Gear Head
 
Ovee's Avatar
 

In my humble opinion the best way will be to hire a turntablist. Of course the are ways of doing it in a DAW like mentioned above, but unfortunately making it in a "virtual" way will never sound realistic. Even the basic baby scratch made on a turntable will sound much more real than made in a DAW.

But if your budget is really tight, fake it till you make it! It's just about having fun
Old 27th January 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by .drIX. View Post
Cool story. However, it does not answer my question or help me or other potential readers in any way.
Just use ANY sound designing software and start drawing pitch envelopes.

Personally I use the Emulator X.
Old 31st January 2020
  #10
Here for the gear
 
tific's Avatar
 

The majority of budget dj controllers use midi.( See image )The Jog wheels are touch sensitive & scratching is possible. The problem is that many jog wheels have no options to calibrate resistance , acceleration or weight for more expression & nuance. This means that the range , resolution & scratch variations are basic.However some techniques can be replicated with midi note mapping. Or improved by using a touch screen..

Dj controller replication with gamepad or midi keyboard As previously explained by peterpiper0815.

Install the free home version of Virtual dj & select an interface with the largest platter your monitor resolution can support. I recommend.. Old school by Zanard.
Go to the menu / options / all settings & change scratch sensitivity to 0.6 Also change the crossfader curve setting in the software to cut.. so you don't have to move your input device too far. You simply map a wheel or lever or use the mouse on the platter to simulate the scratching motion.Then map another lever ,wheel etc to the fader to simulate open & closed fader.

Phone , tablet or Android emulator options


⁃ Install an app like Mixfaderdj or Djay & output the audio to your fader inputs which should ideally be automated or midi mapped.
⁃ You can consider running a dj app on an Android emulator on your desktop. ( See image )

Sources tips & notes.

Virtual Dj has some scratch plugins. Two individual audio interfaces can also be used.
A touch screen gives better results when compared with a cheap dj controllers jog wheels.
The Mixfaderdj's apps.. jog wheel is proportionally larger than the Numark partymix controllers jogs on a 5.5 inch phone screen.
Virtuasonic mijoy is an older 32 bit Vst which converts a game pad to midi.
Blue Cat audio has ( Blue Cat's Gain Suite ) which are free midi mappable fader channel strips.
Ots Lab has OtsTurntables which is free dj software with a smaller interface for very basic faderless scratches ( Ots were one of the earliest dj software creators but got left behind because they had limited midi or controller support)

Timecode

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NplaOpqflbg

There's another way to do high resolution scratching using an app..a timecode signal & Stagecraft Software Scratch Track vst which is detailed in my post history.Your channel input fader on your daw should ideally be midi mapped or automated so it behaves like a cross fader in all these examples.Volume automation , audio curve fade editing & muting will also help enhance the results..

Early examples of scratching using synthesiser patches or samples

Mantronix - Needle to the groove..& also .Jamming On The Groove
Divine Sounds - Dollar Bill Dub Dub.. & also .What People Do For Money.
Shannon - Let the music play ( 12" mix )
Xena - On The Upside ( Dub version )
Project Future ‎– Ray-Gun-Omics.
Roland rat - Rat rapping.

Reel to reel tape scratching & manipulation

Tappa Zukie - Simpleton Badness.
Laurie Anderson - Song for Juanita. ( Laurie created a tape-bow violin to perform some clever wordplay )
Musique concrète also deserves a mention.
Tape scratch manipulation is also documented in William Burroughs - The Ticket That Exploded book.
Pink Floyd is also rumored to have recordings with tape scratching that i'm still seeking.Christian Marclay also deserves credit for his turntable performances.
My favourite scratch is. Pumpkin & The Profile All-Stars - Here Comes That Beat ( Dj Galaxy ) as the sample selection & panning is perfect.
Attached Thumbnails
The scratch problem-vestax-vc100-midi-data.jpg   The scratch problem-virtual-dj-old-skool-skin.jpg   The scratch problem-virtual-dj-scratch-settings.jpg   The scratch problem-memu-android-emulator.jpg  
Old 17th February 2020
  #11
Lives for gear
 

I have tried and researched many avenues on this subject, and at the end of the day there really isnt faking it unless you can accept a subpar sound. Even DVS systems sound meh compared to scratching mint analog vinyl with a working needle.

You can get a portable turntable with a crossafer for cheap (like the new reloop spin costs only 229$) and just connect it to your soundcard. Its not like you need a Vestax or a Tech12 and a super-expensive scratching mixer to get started yknow

Another option is to either hire a session turntablist or ask someone to make some scratching samples for you in a specific BPM
Old 17th February 2020
  #12
Just buying a turntable for scratch sounds won't get you what you are probably looking for. You also need a professional DJ mixer that has faders designed for scratching use as opposed to just mixing between 2 decks. You then need to practice a lot as with any instrument to get proficient and have the correct sound source to scratch with be it a dedicated scratch record or sounds that you can use in DJ software such as Serato or Traktor that doesn't just play the tracks for you but the type that is just a storage medium that means the DJ still does all of the work.
As above - you might be best with getting a turntablist to do bespoke scratches for you so you can ask for a particular type of scratch and some of their own flavour. I'm available for session work so PM me if you're interested. Here's me doing a non rehearsed scratch thing for Innofader and Scratch Pro Audio from way back in 2012:-

Old 21st February 2020
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Hire a tabalist
Old 26th February 2020
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by .drIX. View Post
Hey Slutz,

What do you do?
I would buy a Numark PT01 Scratch. Or pay someone online, there are lots of young dj's out there who can do that for you for a small amount of money.
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