Scratching is seen as an act of show-off or a way of exciting the crowd. While that might be true in many ways, scratching a DJ controller resembles the DJ’s vocals over a particular instrumental. It’s the Disk Jockey’s way of speaking to the crowd and uniquely excites them using various tricks and skills.
Some DJs have signature scratching styles, and others only scratch over specific song genres. Either way, scratching a DJ controller isn’t a skill to learn overnight and requires some discipline with frequent practice. It’s also not impossible, and if you are interested, you have to start somewhere.
Here, you’ll learn the basics on how to scratch a DJ controller to help you set the right foundation going forward.
What You Need
Learning how to scratch demands that you have a few things set in place. However, if you already have the DJ set-up, then this guide will inevitably get easier. If lacking a DJ set-up, understand that you only need two things: a mixer and some sound scratching effects to work with.
The mixer should have a right crossfader curve that’s sharp and straight open, unlike club-oriented mixers. Most modern mixers come with a crossfader adjust knob, giving you the best curve to work with.
On the other hand, good scratch sounds are necessary, especially during long hours of scratching. You don’t want your audience to get bored from repeated scratch sounds after every minute. Hence, you require ample, and decent scratch sounds at all times.
- The Baby Scratch
This is the simplest and most common scratch technique to learn on the turntable. The principles applied in doing the baby scratch are the same whether you are using vinyl, controller, or CDs.
Locate the sound starting point and move it back and forth simultaneously. You can do this without adding a beat at first, and add some music once you are content with the results.
- The Drag
In this technique, you’ll first cue the start of the sound and open the fader. Afterward, move the sound in a clockwise manner from the 9 O’clock to 12 O’clock position. Like the baby scratch, start this without a beat and add music once you’ve understood the practice well.
- The Scribble
Here, you’ll just be enhancing the baby scratch a little bit. You’ll be applying the same technique but moving the recorder double or triple times faster than in the baby scratch.
As you’ve seen, learning how to scratch a DJ controller isn’t easy. But most importantly, it’s also not an impossible practice. However, you need to first get the basics right before attempting to progress into more complex scratching techniques.
It is incredible when a DJ has mastered the art of scratching as this is exciting to their audiences. The more a DJ has learnt the best scratching skills, the more he is adored and loved by many of his/her funs. The tips highlighted above showcases the best ways in which a DJ can effectively scratch a DJ Controller.