Learning to scratch on a controller
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  1. #1
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    Default Learning to scratch on a controller

    Hi all.

    I'm a 35 yo guy who used to do a bit of mixing (dnb, techno, and trip-hop) when I was younger ( not commercially, just bedroom/party level). But then the parties stopped, along came marriage,kids,etc, and my turntables ended up gathering dust and were eventually sold. The itch has never left me though and I really want to get back into it.

    I wasn't the greatest DJ in the world but I loved doing it and I could throw down a decent mix or two when I wanted. The one thing I never learnt to do though was scratch and its something that I really want to do. The thing is though that this time round I don't have the money or space for decks, so I was thinking of getting a controller ( nothing too expensive though) to have some fun on.

    Ive seen some amazing scratching on controllers so obviously it can be done, but how hard would it be for the likes of someone like me to learn to scratch from the beginning on a controller?

    Any input is much appreciated :-)

  2. #2
    Tech Guru the_bastet's Avatar
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    The SX is okay. The jog wheel tends to walk on both Serato and Traktor. Reloops have amazing response with such small platters. DO not get CDJ's to use as midi or HID for scratching. They leave so much to be desired, it hurts. The denon sc2000 is pretty chill. I didnt have any issues. It does have a problem with scribbles tho. Just not enough resolution I guess.
    - Equipment - 2X Technics 1200, 2X Audio Technica ATLP1240, 2X XDJ700, 2X XDJ1000 MK2, Denon DNX-1100, Mixars DUO, DJM750 MK2, NI Audio 10, NI Aduio 4, Serato SL3, 4X Shure M44-7, 2X Ortofon Pro S, 2X Numark Groove Tool, Maschine MK3, Samson Carbon 49, Roland SE-02, Novation Launchcontrol, TouchOSC, Nocation Peak, Arturia MiniBrute, Korg Volca Kick, MicroKorg (Classic), NI Komplete Audio 6

  3. #3
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    Yeah its definitely going to be a controller rather than CDJs.

    I was looking at the Denon MC2000. Seems to be a decent enough device for the price.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru SlayForMoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hellnegative View Post
    The SX is okay. The jog wheel tends to walk on both Serato and Traktor. Reloops have amazing response with such small platters. DO not get CDJ's to use as midi or HID for scratching. They leave so much to be desired, it hurts. The denon sc2000 is pretty chill. I didnt have any issues. It does have a problem with scribbles tho. Just not enough resolution I guess.
    I disagree with most of this.

    Also - I don't know any well known scratch DJ that has learned scratching on controllers, it's always the other way around.
    Denon X600 - 2x Denon SC-2000 - AKG K181DJ - NI Audio 2

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor beisi's Avatar
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    Best gear for learning scratching is decks and a mixer of course.

    Failing that you ideally want
    - super tight jog wheel performance
    - a decent cross fader
    - jog wheels with a virtual sticker marker LED

    The best portable controller for scratching:
    - VCI380 with CF-X2 upgrade (SDJ)

    The best non portable controller for scratching:
    - NS7II (SDJ)

    The DDJSX/SX2 (SDJ) runners up IMO, obviously better with the innofader mini PNP.

    I don't rate the S2/S4 native Traktor controllers for scratching due to the jog wheel mechanism and the challenge if you want to upgrade cross fader (maybe this easier now tho... was still under the impression you have to take the whole face plate off).

    Lastly another option if you don't mind doing the octopus arms stretch is to use the S4/S8/DDJSX/SX2...others as a mixer with real decks plugged into it, but then you could just as easily buy a real mixer to go with your real decks.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru 031999's Avatar
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    I enjoyed scratching on the Numark 4Trak, those jog wheels are nicely weighted.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru the_bastet's Avatar
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    Why not just get a set of ATLP120's and an AMX?
    - Equipment - 2X Technics 1200, 2X Audio Technica ATLP1240, 2X XDJ700, 2X XDJ1000 MK2, Denon DNX-1100, Mixars DUO, DJM750 MK2, NI Audio 10, NI Aduio 4, Serato SL3, 4X Shure M44-7, 2X Ortofon Pro S, 2X Numark Groove Tool, Maschine MK3, Samson Carbon 49, Roland SE-02, Novation Launchcontrol, TouchOSC, Nocation Peak, Arturia MiniBrute, Korg Volca Kick, MicroKorg (Classic), NI Komplete Audio 6

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hellnegative View Post
    Why not just get a set of ATLP120's and an AMX?

    I'd love to get turntables, but they're simply too expensive (even those ones), and I really don't have the space for a permanent set up.

    These are the 2 main reasons I'm going down the controller route this time.

  9. #9
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    On most controllers, a "scratch like" effect is possible...but without manipulating the jog wheels. Ean shows a "scratch like" technique with whit noise on a 900. This can be done with any loop of white noise. This is FAR easier than "actual" scratching, but has much the same musical possibilities when incorporated into a set. A micro loop of almost any sound can also be used to generate "scratch like" sounds.

    Denon X1600, NI X1 Mk1 & Mk2, MF Twister
    Kontrol S2, Maschine Mk1, APC 40
    Retired: VCI-100 Arcade (Signed #198/300))
    BFM 10x DR200 & 10x Titan 39

  10. #10
    Tech Guru 031999's Avatar
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    duplicate track onto other deck, put the gater on 1/4 or 1/8 and scratch it up.

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