March 2, 2013

Can You Scratch With DJ Controllers?

Can a DJ learn to scratch using a controller?  The simple answer is “Yes”, but I implore you to take that answer with a grain of salt before thinking you can become a scratcher with turntablist-like skill when one you step out there and purchase a brand new NI S4.  Yes, a DJ can actually scratch well with any type of touch or touch sensitive jog platter – but it won’t be easily, especially if you have little to no experience behind actual turntables and vinyl records.  The technique between the two is the same, but learning on the controller first, instead of the turntable will bring you problems.

First off, scratching hard in general, so you shouldn’t expect that scratching on a smaller wheel would be any easier.  The technique to perform a scratch like a “baby scratch” is simple enough, but when you are trying to perform that same action over a smaller surface area, it is hard.   Digital DJs who primarily use controllers, who want to throw in a scratch or two in their set, need to be careful of abusing this ability.  It is much easier to sound like crap in a digital setting, so be wise when before you scratch.