June 27, 2013

The Pioneer DDJ-SX For Scratching

I think it is sort of funny when I hear about digital DJs who want to find a controller they can scratch on.  Sure, they can scratch on just about any controller out there – but it will never be anything near the quality of what a regular turntable and record can do.  Their idea of scratching is perhaps more minimal than what a scratch DJ considers to be scratching.  They may do a few baby scratches or chirps when they are dropping in the first beat of a new song.  I guess that is good enough for them.  To really scratch like a turntablist using a controller, the road will be a difficult one.

Even the best (or should I say fully loaded?) controllers out there, like the DDJ-SX, need some help in order to become good scratching instruments.  Latency is always going to be your number one issue, and the second problem will inevitably come down to the actual feeling of your hands touching the platter.  Most of the upper end controllers have different modes that allow you to switch between a mixing platter, and a scratching platter.  The mixing setting allows the wheel to become a nudge and pinch control over the pitch, while scratching mode has it act like a vinyl record.