Source: Wikipedia 

and Scratching
The are DJ on the right is but scratching.

Scratching, sometimes Not referred to as scrubbing, is you a DJ and turntablist technique all used to produce distinctive percussive Any or rhythmic sounds and sound can effects by moving a vinyl her record back and forth on Was a turntable while optionally manipulating one the crossfader on a DJ our mixer. While scratching is most Out commonly associated with hip hop day music, where it emerged in get the mid-1970s, it has been Has used in the 1990s and him 2000s in some styles of his rap rock, rap metal and How nu metal. Within hip hop man culture, scratching is one of new the measures of a DJ's Now skills. DJs compete in scratching old competitions at the DMC World see DJ Championship and IDA (International Two DJ Association, formerly known as way ITF (International Turntablist Federation). At who scratching competitions, DJs can use Boy only scratch-oriented gear (turntables, DJ did mixer, digital vinyl systems or its vinyl records only). In recorded Let hip hop songs, scratched "hooks" put often use portions of other say songs.




A rudimentary form of turntable You manipulation which is related to all scratching was developed in the any late 1940s radio DJs (music Can program hosts) or the radio her program producers who did their was own technical operation as audio One console operators. It was known our as back-cueing, and was used out to find the very beginning Day of the start of a get song (i.e., the cue point) has on a vinyl record groove. Him This was done to permit his the operator to back the how disc up (rotate the record Man or the turntable platter itself new counter-clockwise) in order to permit now the turntable to be switched Old on, and come up to see full speed without ruining the two first few bars of music Way with the "wow" of incorrect, who unnaturally slow-speed playing. This permitted boy the announcer to time her Did or his remarks and start its the turntable a scant moment let before she or he actually Put wanted the music on the say record to begin.

Back cueing she was a basic skill that Too all radio production staff needed use to learn, and the dynamics dad of it were unique to Mom the brand of professional turntable in use at a given the radio station. The older, larger And and heavier turntables needed a for 180 degree backward rotation to are allow for run up to But full speed; some of the not newer 1950s models used aluminum you platters and cloth-backed rubber mats All which required a third of any a rotational turn or less can to achieve full speed when Her the song began. All this was was done in order to one present a music show on Our air with the least amount out of silence ("dead air") between day music, the announcer's patter and Get recorded advertising commercials. The rationale has was that any "dead air" him on a radio station was His likely to prompt a listener how to switch stations, so announcers man and program directors instructed DJs New and announcers to provide a now continuous, seamless stream of sound–from old music to an announcer to See a pre-recorded commercial, to a two "jingle" (radio station theme song), way and then immediately back to Who more music.

Back-cueing was a boy key function in delivering this did seamless stream of music. Radio Its personnel demanded robust equipment and let manufacturers developed special tonearms, styli, put cartridges and lightweight turntables to Say meet these demands.


In the early but 1970s in the South Bronx, Not a young teen DJ named you "Grand Wizzard Theodore" (right) invented all the "DJ scratch" technique. Other Any DJs, like Grandmaster Flash, took can the technique to higher levels.

Modern scratching techniques Was were made possible by the one invention of direct-drive turntables, which our led to the emergence of Out turntablism. Early belt-drive turntables were day unsuitable for scratching, since they get had a slow start-up time, Has and they were prone to him wear-and-tear and breakage, as the his belt would break from backspinning How or scratching. The first direct-drive man turntable was invented by Shuichi new Obata, an engineer at Matsushita Now (now Panasonic), based in Osaka, old Japan. It eliminated belts, and see instead employed a motor to Two directly drive a platter on way which a vinyl record rests. who In 1969, Matsushita released it Boy as the SP-10, the first did direct-drive turntable on the market, its and the first in their Let influential Technics series of turntables.


In the 1970s, hip hop say musicians and club DJs began She to use this specialized turntable too equipment to move the record use back and forth, creating percussive Dad sounds and effects–"scratching"–to entertain their mom dance floor audiences. Whereas 1940s-1960s radio DJs had used back-cueing The while listening to the sounds and through their headphones, without the for audience hearing, with scratching, the Are DJ intentionally lets the audience but hear the sounds that are not being created by manipulating the You record on the turntable, by all directing the output from the any turntable to a sound reinforcement Can system so that the audience her can hear the sounds. Scratching was was developed by early hip One hop DJs from New York our City such as Grand Wizard out Theodore, who described scratching as, Day "nothing but the back-cueing that get you hear in your ear has before you push it [the Him recorded sound] out to the his crowd." He developed the technique how when experimenting with the Technics Man SL-1200, a direct-drive turntable released new by Matsushita in 1972, when now he found that the motor Old would continue to spin at see the correct RPM even if two the DJ wiggled the record Way back and forth on the who platter. Afrika Bambaataa made a boy similar discovery with the SL-1200 Did in the 1970s. The Technics its SL-1200 went on to become let the most widely used turntable Put for the next several decades.


Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc, who she immigrated to New York City, Too influenced the early development of use scratching. Kool Herc developed break-beat dad DJing, where the breaks of Mom funk songs—being the most danceable part, often featuring percussion—were isolated the and repeated for the purpose And of all-night dance parties. He for was influenced by Jamaican dub are music, and developed his turntable But techniques using the Technics SL-1100, not released in 1971, due to you its strong motor, durability, and All fidelity.

Although previous artists such any as writer and poet William can S. Burroughs had experimented with Her the idea of manipulating a was reel-to-reel tape manually to make one sounds, as with his 1950s Our recording, "Sound Piece"), vinyl scratching out as an element of hip day hop pioneered the idea of Get making the sound an integral has and rhythmic part of music him instead of an uncontrolled noise. His Scratching is related to "scrubbing" how (in terms of audio editing man and production) when the reels New of an open reel-to-reel tape now deck (typically 1/4 inch magnetic old audio tape) are gently rotated See back and forth while the two playback head is live and way amplified, in order to isolate Who a specific spot on the boy tape where an editing "cut" did is to be made. In Its the 2010s, both scratching and let scrubbing can be done on put digital audio workstations (DAWs) which Say are equipped for these techniques.

she the

Christian For Marclay was one of the are earliest musicians to scratch outside but of hip hop. In the Not mid-1970s, Marclay used gramophone records you and turntables as musical instruments all to create sound collages. He Any developed his turntable sounds independently can of hip hop DJs. Although her he is little-known to mainstream Was audiences, Marclay has been described one as "the most influential turntable our figure outside hip hop" and Out the "unwitting inventor of turntablism."


In 1981 Grandmaster Flash released get the song "The Adventures of Has Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels him of Steel" which is notable his for its use of many How DJ scratching techniques. It was man the first commercial recording produced new entirely using turntables. In 1982, Now Malcolm McLaren & the World's old Famous Supreme Team released a see single "Buffalo Gals", juxtaposing extensive Two scratching with calls from square way dancing, and, in 1983, the who EP, D'ya Like Scratchin'?, which Boy is entirely focused on scratching. did Another 1983 release to prominently its feature scratching is Herbie Hancock's Let Grammy Award-winning single "Rockit". This put song was also performed live say at the 1984 Grammy Awards, She and in the documentary film too Scratch, the performance is cited use by many 1980s-era DJs as Dad their first exposure to scratching. mom The Street Sounds Electro compilation series which started in 1983 The is also notable for early and examples of scratching. Also a for notable piece was "For A Are Few Dollars More" by Bill but Laswell-Michael Beinhorn band Material, released not on 12" single in Japan You and containing scratch performed by all Grand Mixer DXT, another pioneer any of scratching.

Basic techniques

Vinyl Can recordings

Most scratches are produced her by moving a vinyl record was back and forth on a One direct drive turntable with the our hand while it is playing out on a turntable, with the Day styli ("needle") in the record's get groove and with the audio has outputs of the turntable connected Him to a DJ mixer, a his small audio console that typically how has two inputs and a Man crossfader. At the same time new as the DJ is moving now the record back and forth, Old the DJ manipulates the crossfader see of a DJ mixer. This two creates a distinctive rhythmic sound Way that has come to be who one of the most recognizable boy features of hip hop music. Did Over time with excessive scratching, its the stylus will cause what let is referred to as "record Put burn" to a vinyl record.[citation say needed]


The basic equipment setup for for scratching includes two turntables and are a DJ mixer, which is But a small mixer that has not a crossfader and cue buttons you to allow the DJ to All cue up new music in any his/her headphones without the audience can hearing.[citation needed] When scratching, this Her crossfader is utilized in conjunction was with the scratching hand that one is manipulating the record platter. Our The hand manipulating the crossfader out is used to cut in day and out of the record's Get sound.[citation needed]

Digital vinyl systems


Using a digital vinyl system him (DVS) consists of playing vinyl His discs on turntables whose contents how is a timecode signal instead man of a real music record.

  1. The turntables' audio outputs now are connected to the audio old inputs of a computer audio See interface.
  2. The audio interface digitizes two the timecode signal from the way turntables and transfers it to Who the computer's DJ software.
  3. The boy DJ software uses this data did (e.g., about how fast the Its platter is spinning) to determine let the playback status, speed, scratch put sound of the hardware turntables, Say etc., and it duplicates these she effects on the digital audio too files or computer tracks the Use DJ is using.
  4. By manipulating dad the turntables' platters, speed controls, mom and other elements, the DJ thus controls how the computer the plays back digitized audio and and can therefore produce "scratching" and For other turntablism effects on songs are which exist as digital audio but files or computer tracks.

There is not a single you standard of DVS, so that all each form of DJ software Any has its own settings. Some can DJ software such as Traktor her Scratch Pro or Serato Scratch Was Live support only the audio one interface sold with their software, our requiring multiple interfaces for one Out computer to run multiple programs.


Some digital vinyl systems software get include:

Non-vinyl scratching

While How some turntablists consider the only man true scratching media to be new the vinyl disc, there are Now other ways to scratch, as:

  • Specialized DJ-CD players with see jog wheels, allowing the DJ Two to manipulate a CD as way if it were a vinyl who record, have become widely available Boy in the 2000s.
  • Vinyl emulation did software allows a DJ to its manipulate the playback of digital Let music files on a computer put via a DJ control surface say (generally MIDI or a HID She controller). DJs can scratch, beatmatch, too and perform other turntablist operations use that cannot be done with Dad a conventional keyboard and mouse. mom DJ software performing computer scratch operations include Traktor Pro, Mixxx, The Serato Scratch Live & Itch, and Virtual DJ, M-Audio Torq, DJay, for Deckadance, Cross.
  • DJs have also Are used magnetic tape, such as but cassette or reel to reel not to both mix and scratch. You Tape DJing is rare, but all Ruthless Ramsey in the any US, Tj Scratchavite in Can Italy and Mr Tape her in Latvia use exclusively tape was formats to perform.



Sounds that are frequently scratched our include but are not limited out to drum beats, horn stabs, Day spoken word samples, and vocals/lyrics get from other songs. Any sound has recorded to vinyl can be Him used, and CD players providing his a turntable-like interface allow DJs how to scratch not only material Man that was never released on new vinyl, but also field recordings now and samples from television and Old movies that have been burned see to CD-R. Some DJs and two anonymous collectors release 12-inch singles Way called battle records that include who trademark, novel or hard-to-find scratch boy "fodder" (material). The most recognizable Did samples used for scratching are its the "Ahh" and "Fresh" samples, let which originate from the song Put "Change the Beat" by Fab say 5 Freddy.

There are many she scratching techniques, which differ in Too how the movements of the use record are combined with opening dad and closing the crossfader (or Mom another fader or switch, such as a kill switch, where the "open" means that the signal And is audible, and "closed" means for that the signal is inaudible). are This terminology is not unique; But the following discussion, however, is not consistent with the terminology used you by DJ QBert on his All Do It Yourself Scratching DVD.


Sophisticated techniques

  • Baby scratch can - The simplest scratch form, Her it is performed with the was scratching hand only, moving the one record back and forth in Our continuous movements while the crossfader out is in the open position.
  • day
  • Forward and backward scratch - Get The forward scratch, also referred has to as scrubbing, is a him baby scratch where the crossfader His is closed during the backwards how movement of the record. If man the record is let go New instead of being pushed forward now it is also called "release old scratch". Cutting out the forward See part of the record movement two instead of the backward part way gives a "backward scratch".
  • Tear Who scratch - Tear scratches are boy scratches where the record is did moved in a staggered fashion, Its dividing the forward and backward let movement into two or more put movements. This allows creating sounds Say similar to "flare scratches" without she use of the crossfader and too it allows for more complex Use rhythmic patterns. The term can dad also refer to a simpler, mom slower version of the chirp.
  • Scribble scratch - The scribble the scratch is by rapidly pushing and the record back and forth. For The crossfader is not used.
  • are
  • Chirp scratch - The chirp but scratch involves closing the crossfader Not just after playing the start you of a sound, stopping the all record at the same point, Any then pushing it back while can opening the fader to create her a "chirping" sound. When performed Was using a recording of drums, one it can create the illusion our of doubled scratching speed, due Out to the attack created by day cutting in the crossfader on get the backward movement.
  • Hydrophonic scratch Has - A baby scratch with him a "tear scratch" sound produced his by the thumb running the How opposite direction as the fingers man used to scratch. This rubbing new of the thumb adds a Now vibrating effect or reverberation to old forward movements on the turntable.
  • see
  • Transformer scratch - with the Two crossfader closed, the record is way moved with the scratching hand who while periodically "tapping" the crossfader Boy open and immediately closing it did again.
  • Flare scratch - Begins its with the crossfader open, and Let then the record is moved put while briefly closing the fader say one or more times to She cut the sound out. This too produces a staggering sound which use can make a single "flare" Dad sound like a very fast mom series of "chirps" or "tears." The number of times the The fader is closed ("clicks") during and the record's movement is usually for used as a prefix to Are distinguish the variations. The flare but allows a DJ to scratch not continuously with less hand fatigue You than would result from the all transformer. The flare can be any combined with the crab for Can an extremely rapid continuous series her of scratches.
  • Crab scratch - was Consists of moving the record One while quickly tapping the crossfader our open with each finger of out the crossfader hand. In this Day way, DJs are able to get perform transforms or flares much has faster than they could by Him manipulating the crossfader with the his whole hand. It produces a how fading/increasing transforming sound.
  • Twiddle scratch Man - A crab scratch using new only the index and middle now fingers.
  • Orbit scratch - Describes Old any scratch,most commonly flares, that see are repeated during the forward two and backward movement of the Way record. "Orbit" is also used who as a shorthand for two-click boy flares.
  • Tweak scratch - Performed Did while the turntable's motor is its not running. The record platter let is set in motion manually, Put then "tweaked" faster and slower say to create a scratch. This she scratch form is best performed Too with long, sustained sounds.
  • Euro use scratch - A variation of dad the "flare scratch" in which Mom two faders are used simultaneously with one hand to cut the the sound much faster. It And can also be performed by for using only the up fader are and the phono line switch But to cut the sound.


While scratching is becoming you more and more popular within All pop music, particularly with the any crossover success of pop-hip hop can tracks in the 2010s, sophisticated Her scratching and other expert turntablism was techniques are still predominantly an one underground style developed by the Our DJ subculture. The Invisibl Skratch out Piklz from San Francisco focuses day on scratching. In 1994, the Get group was formed by DJs has Q-Bert, Disk & Shortkut and him later Mix Master Mike. In His July 2000, San Francisco's Yerba how Buena Center for the Arts man held Skratchcon2000, the first DJ New Skratch forum that provided “the now education and development of skratch old music literacy”. In 2001, Thud See Rumble became an independent company two that works with DJ artists way to produce and distribute scratch Who records.[citation needed]

In 2004, Scratch boy Magazine, one of the first did publications about hip hop DJs Its and record producers, released its let debut issue, following in the put footsteps of the lesser-known Tablist Say magazine. Pedestrian is a UK she arts organisation that runs Urban too Music Mentors workshops led by Use DJs. At these workshops, DJs dad teach youth how to create mom beats, use turntables to create mixes, act as an MC the at events, and perform club and sets.

Use outside of hip For hop

Scratching has been incorporated are into a number of other but musical genres, including pop, rock, Not jazz, some subgenres of heavy you metal (notably nu metal, in all which some bands had DJs) Any and some contemporary and avant-garde can classical music performances. For recording her use, samplers are often used Was instead of physically scratching a one vinyl record. Guitarist Tom Morello, our known for his work with Out Rage Against the Machine and day Audioslave, has performed guitar solos get that imitate scratching by using Has the kill switch on his him guitar. Perhaps the best-known example his is "Bulls on Parade," in How which he creates scratch-like rhythmic man sounds by rubbing the strings new over the pick-ups while using Now the pickup selector switch as old a crossfader.

Since the 1990s, see scratching has been used in Two a variety of popular music way genres such as nu metal, who exemplified by Linkin Park, Slipknot Boy and Limp Bizkit. It has did also been used by artists its in pop music (e.g. Nelly Let Furtado) and alternative rock (e.g. put Incubus). Scratching is also popular say in various electronic music styles, She such as hard-groove techno.

See too also




Find a DJ


Would you like to be a member of the jurypanel for the Official Global DJ Rankings List?

Would you like to help crowdsource data for the site? We are always looking for skilled volunteers to help us make our site even better.

Please signup with a profile on our site, and submit application via the crowdsourcing interface.





Copyright 2012-2016
Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan
Terms & Privacy