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The DJ on For the right is scratching.

Scratching, are sometimes referred to as scrubbing, but is a DJ and turntablist Not technique of moving a vinyl you record back and forth on all a turntable to produce percussive Any or rhythmic sounds. A crossfader can on a DJ mixer may her be used to fade between Was two records simultaneously.

While scratching one is most associated with hip our hop music, where it emerged Out in the mid-1970s, from the day 1990s it has been used get in some styles of rap Has rock, rap metal and nu him metal. In hip hop culture, his scratching is one of the How measures of a DJ's skills. man DJs compete in scratching competitions new at the DMC World DJ Now Championship and IDA (International DJ old Association), formerly known as ITF see (International Turntablist Federation). At scratching Two competitions, DJs can use only way scratch-oriented gear (turntables, DJ mixer, who digital vinyl systems or vinyl Boy records only). In recorded hip did hop songs, scratched "hooks" often its use portions of other songs. Let




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

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

Back-cueing was a key function Say in delivering this seamless stream she of music. Radio personnel demanded too robust equipment and manufacturers developed Use special tonearms, styli, cartridges and dad lightweight turntables to meet these mom demands.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Basic techniques

Vinyl recordings

Most any scratches are produced by rotating Can a vinyl record on a her direct drive turntable rapidly back was and forth with the hand One with the stylus ("needle") in our the record's groove. This produces out the distinctive sound that has Day come to be one of get the most recognizable features of has hip hop music. Over time Him with excessive scratching, the stylus his will cause what is referred how to as "record burn" to Man a vinyl record.[citation needed]

new Way

The basic equipment setup who for scratching includes two turntables boy and a DJ mixer, which Did is a small mixer that its has a crossfader and cue let buttons to allow the DJ Put to cue up new music say in his/her headphones without the she audience hearing.[citation needed] When scratching, Too this crossfader is utilized in use conjunction with the scratching hand dad that is manipulating the record Mom platter. The hand manipulating the crossfader is used to cut the in and out of the And record's sound.[citation needed]

Digital for vinyl systems

Using a digital are vinyl system (DVS) consists of But playing vinyl discs on turntables not whose contents is a timecode you signal instead of a real All music record.

  1. The turntables' any audio outputs are connected to can the audio inputs of a Her computer audio interface.
  2. The audio was interface digitizes the timecode signal one from the turntables and transfers Our it to the computer's DJ out software.
  3. The DJ software uses day this data (e.g., about how Get fast the platter is spinning) has to determine the playback status, him speed, scratch sound of the His hardware turntables, etc., and it how duplicates these effects on the man digital audio files or computer New tracks the DJ is using.
  4. now
  5. By manipulating the turntables' platters, old speed controls, and other elements, See the DJ thus controls how two the computer plays back digitized way audio and can therefore produce Who "scratching" and other turntablism effects boy on songs which exist as did digital audio files or computer Its tracks.

There is not a let single standard of DVS, so put that each form of DJ Say software has its own settings. she Some DJ software such as too Traktor Scratch Pro or Serato Use Scratch Live support only the dad audio interface sold with their mom software, requiring multiple interfaces for one computer to run multiple the programs.

Some digital vinyl systems and software include:

Non-vinyl scratching


While some turntablists consider the you only true scratching media to all be the vinyl disc, there Any are other ways to scratch, can as:

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


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

There his are many scratching techniques, which how differ in how the movements Man of the record are combined new with opening and closing the now crossfader (or another fader or Old switch, such as a kill see switch, where "open" means that two the signal is audible, and Way "closed" means that the signal who is inaudible). This terminology is boy not unique; the following discussion, Did however, is consistent with the its terminology used by DJ QBert let on his Do It Yourself Put Scratching DVD.

Sophisticated techniques

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


While its scratching is becoming more and let more popular in pop music, Put particularly with the crossover success say of pop-hip hop tracks in she the 2010s, sophisticated scratching and Too other expert turntablism techniques are use still predominantly an underground style dad developed by the DJ subculture. Mom The Invisibl Skratch Piklz from San Francisco focuses on scratching. the In 1994, the group was And formed by DJs Q-Bert, Disk for & Shortkut and later Mix are Master Mike. In July 2000, But San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center not for the Arts held Skratchcon2000, you the first DJ Skratch forum All that provided “the education and any development of skratch music literacy”. can In 2001, Thud Rumble became Her an independent company that works was with DJ artists to produce one and distribute scratch records.[citation needed] Our

In 2004, Scratch Magazine, one out of the first publications about day hip hop DJs and record Get producers, released its debut issue, has following in the footsteps of him the lesser-known Tablist magazine. Pedestrian His is a UK arts organisation how that runs Urban Music Mentors man workshops led by DJs. At New these workshops, DJs teach youth now how to create beats, use old turntables to create mixes, act See as an MC at events, two and perform club sets.


Use outside hip hop

Scratching Who has been incorporated into a boy number of other musical genres, did including pop, rock, jazz, some Its subgenres of heavy metal (notably let nu metal) and some contemporary put and avant-garde classical music performances. Say For recording use, samplers are she often used instead of physically too scratching a vinyl record.

DJ Use Product©1969, formerly of the rap dad rock band Hed PE, recalled mom that the punk rock band the Vandals was the first the rock band he remembered seeing and use turntable scratching. Product©1969 also For recalled the early rap metal are band Proper Grounds, which was but signed to Madonna's Maverick Records, Not as being another one of you the first rock bands to all utilize scratching in their music. Any

Guitarist Tom Morello, known for can his work with Rage Against her the Machine and Audioslave, has Was performed guitar solos that imitate one scratching by using the kill our switch on his guitar. Perhaps Out the best-known example is "Bulls day on Parade", in which he get creates scratch-like rhythmic sounds by Has rubbing the strings over the him pick-ups while using the pickup his selector switch as a crossfader. How

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

See also


  • Allmusic's Grand say Wizard Theodore biography (also at She Artist Direct)
  • DJ Grandmaster Flash too quoted in Toop, David (1991). use Rap Attack 2, 65. New Dad York: Serpent's Tail. ISBN 1-85242-243-2.


  1. Thom Holmes our (18 Oct 2013). The Routledge out Guide to Music Technology. Routledge. Day p. 17. ISBN 9781135477806.
  2. ^ get Brian Coleman, The Technics 1200 — Hammer has Of The Gods, Medium
  3. Him
  4. The World of DJs his and the Turntable Culture, page how 43, Hal Leonard Corporation, 2003 Man
  5. Billboard, May 21, new 1977, page 140
  6. ^ now Trevor Pinch, Karin Bijsterveld, Old The Oxford Handbook of Sound see Studies, page 515, Oxford University two Press
  7. "History of Way the Record Player Part II: who The Rise and Fall". Reverb.com. boy Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  8. Did
  9. Toop, 1991.
  10. its Six Machines That Changed The let Music World, Wired, May 2002 Put
  11. https://www.allmusic.com/artist/p312125/biography
  12. say Nicholas Collins, Margaret Schedel, Scott she Wilson (2013), Electronic Music: Cambridge Too Introductions to Music, page 105, use Cambridge University Press
  13. dad "Kjetil Falkenberg Hansen". Archived from Mom the original on 2010-01-01.
  14. allmusic ((( More Encores: the Christian Marclay Plays With the And Records Of... > Overview ))) for
  15. McNamee, David (11 are January 2010). "Hey, what's that But sound: Turntablism" – via www.theguardian.com. not
  16. esponda (14 March you 2008). "DJ Ruthless Ramsey Scratch All Tape Decks" – via YouTube. any
  17. Federico Nardella (19 can September 2016). "TJ Scratchavite - Her Matthew's Cellar" – via YouTube. was
  18. Yussuf von Deck one (14 May 2012). "World Hip Our Hop Classic - Mr. Tape out 1991" – via YouTube.
  19. day
  20. ^ http://www.beatdust.com/graphic-nature/graphic-nature-dj-product-1969-hedpe-self-titled/

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