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BitMaestro

Dear Diary; My first scratch in public.

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One of my assessments at uni was to perform 25 - 30 minutes of music of my own artistic interpretation.

I was pretty keen to get my scratching up to... er... scratch, sorry, but my time was put into arranging the actual music.

I know that many musicians are perfectionists, but it's shit when your perfectionism brings you down, as a result my scratching debut to the public was kept to a 16 bar segment replacing a rap. I also decided to cut corners and focus on cutting sounds and drops rather than reverse tears or other faderless techniques.

I promise you all, I don't like trying to skip stuff with instruments. Ever taught a kid guitar and all they want to do is shred or strum chords? That won't work if you can't press your fingers against the fretboard properly.

But i digress.

I discovered some problems when I decided to push for more practise with the crossfader (my mixer is a DXM06).

1. Trying to cut with a Crossfader with no knob makes it difficult for cutting, let alone anything quick.

2. I question weather my fader is actually what is considered 'loose'

I ask a friend if i can use his mixer (DJM 350) and oh wow, my 2nd hand, $40, one fully functional channel mixer really does feel like shit in comparison. I've learnt that I need a new mixer if i wish to advance with my scratching.

I was also falling into the trap of closing the channel with sound as opposed to opening it, perhaps this is a sign that i should try hamster?

Anywhoo,The assessment was at Bar Open where I played to a mostly jazz/funk focused students.

It went well, I was happy with it, scratching was clearly a new instrument to the audience (i think) but it definitely didn't look like I had just hopped on to it the night before, everyone was telling me it sounded great. Teachers couldn't fault my arranging, only the visual aspect of my performance.

One of my teacher's views was to keep working at it, I think I got a tad nervous and might've lost timing (and the teacher's a drummer :oops: ). Not sure about his advice, he suggested scratching with CDJs and using drop sounds? I sort of dismissed the CDJ part of it, but wasn't sure what he meant by drop sounds. Chances are he has dabbled in this with professionals in the 90s and is trying to recall what they did, but i'd like not to underestimate their knowledge.

If I find footage from someone who filmed those 16 little bars, I'll post it.

Otherwise I might record a tad for you guys to critique.

My top tip is that playing with others definitely makes you learn faster, I guess we have the upper hand as channel 2 is our 'other person'.

With a bit more practice, I might get a spot in a friend's band doing some scratching here and there.

And now for a question:

After using a mixer with a LOOSE fader, where should i look for scratch mixers?

The DJM 350 would be nice, could learn mixing along the way with it. but I can't configure for hamster though, I don't know what I prefer yet.

I've seen people say DJM909 i think. Rane is up there of course, but I can't afford that stuff, even second hand.

Bit of guidance would be nice.

The End.

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Nice!

I highly recommend purchasing an innofader, they are butter smooth, cut and curve and stiffness adjustable and only cost about $150 from memory. They can be retrofitted to almost any mixer you choose or can afford.

As for hamster style, go for it, i try to use normal and hamster on both sides with both hands and scratch with left and right hand aswell.

Get your hands on the standard fresh, aaah and oh yeah samples and look for horn stabs etc too. I can link you to heaps of samples if you are using a dvs otherwise just buy a heap of thud rumble battle vinyls.

Keep it up, practice yo cuts and try shit that feels backwards or uncomfortable, thats how i usually stumble onto new paterns and combos.

Wikka wikka!!!!!!

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Hmm, I'll look around for innofaders, my channel 2 is stuck on full volume, so if i can fix that for cheap as well as an innofader, i'd stick with the DXM06.

Yeah I should probably practise my left hand too, so they get better together, thing is, one of my TT is a PDX2000 and the other a Numark TTX. It requires some adjustment in playing them until I can justify to buy a M44G/7 stylus for the TTX.

That night I was using 'Ahhh'.

I'm not using DVS. It was luck that I had found 'Uncle Scratchy's Old Fashioned Cop Porn Breaxxx' at a Dixon's when i first started, but I wouldn't mind getting Superseal one day and perhaps DJ Rectangle battle stuff.

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Considering the price of the innofader and the state of my DXM06, I might be better going with a $200 barebones mixer that comes with an innofader:

http://www.thudrumble.com/product/dif-1s.html

I was seriously looking at one of those a while back, everything you need for turntablism, but if your used to having a 3rd channel of fx it might feel a bit limiting, i used a vestax pmc 05 pro 2 for nearly 10 years, and only replaced the fader about a year ago!

Innofader also make replacement up faders that are also fully adjustable so you could easily keep the mixer you're used to, but could be costly.

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Couldn't find anyone with footage of the night, so here's a rough one of today.

The video might also explain my Username, if anyone ever wondered...

I watch and can hear bits where I wasn't keeping good time, @ 0:46 that transform was luck, I'm definitely rolling back practice to faderless techniques to focus on timing more.

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Cheers guys,

I've noticed the break beat side of Cop Porn can be easily rewritten onto Game Boy due to its simplicity, only i'll be able to program variation and transitions when and where I want.

I'll make more 'Skratchy & Bits' as I progress.

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that was pretty cool mate. one thought that comes to mind as the 8 bit music has no percussion.

learn to use the scratch as the beat/ rhythm element. whether it be scratches, or learn the turntablist drumming technique.

a lot of early hip hop tracks had "scratched beats" incorporated into them

if i remember ill find a vid. i know in this roc raida tutorial dvd i have he shows you how to do it

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Great work man! It's awesome to see you posting some stuff up as you're learning. Few things I noticed was you've got your timing relatively good and you're starting to put scratches in to fill up the gaps of the track. Maybe a little too loud over the beat.

Can't wait to see more as you progress along!

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that was pretty cool mate. one thought that comes to mind as the 8 bit music has no percussion.

learn to use the scratch as the beat/ rhythm element. whether it be scratches, or learn the turntablist drumming technique.

a lot of early hip hop tracks had "scratched beats" incorporated into them

if i remember ill find a vid. i know in this roc raida tutorial dvd i have he shows you how to do it

Thanks, yeah the snare and hat I have to make out of the (white)noise channel, but that sounds interesting, hit me up with vids when you find them.

Great work man! It's awesome to see you posting some stuff up as you're learning. Few things I noticed was you've got your timing relatively good and you're starting to put scratches in to fill up the gaps of the track. Maybe a little too loud over the beat.

Can't wait to see more as you progress along!

Cheers BeatLeSS, Yeah, well we all start somewhere, I guess I might as well document it.

The sound wasn't the best. I had my Game Boy going through my amp and speakers which were facing the bed and a small, portable speaker for the TT sitting under the webcam's mic :/

Next time, I'll either record my GB on the computer then record the scratch, or just play live, this time both going through my mixer and amp and use my Zoom mic so I get the acoustics of my room.

Either way the sound and playing should get more polished as i go.

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Hi BitMaestro, I qouted this one "I know that many musicians are perfectionists, but it's shit when your perfectionism brings you down." Your right about perfectionists, they think they can fly high when they perfect the sound that they make. ;)

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he mate sorry took me a while before i finally got in here. i couldnt find on youtube that roc raida tutorial i was looking for but here is a very basic explanation by dj eko (pretty sure this dude knew my brother)

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now if you really want to get into it. this dude has a lot of patterns. the teaching is very dry, but this guy actually also does lessons at QSU, qberts scratch university

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your cop porn record must have a section of drums. a lot of battle records do.

but you can usually find it in a lot of breakdowns. pretty sure that one eko is using is just some old rap record that you see a lot of people use

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at its most basic is a kick with a snare before or after it.

then you can do heaps of kick/ snare patterns.

so two kicks one snare.

you could roll backwards and forwards over the kick, and then hit the snare.

and then just use the fader to avoid hearing the kick on the pull back.

etc

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Oh yeah, the other side haha.

Seems like there's a lot of control in the fingers with such small distances.

I'm keen to give this a go tomorrow, got a uni test tomorrow i'm half studying for..

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pffft who needs uni :teef:

good luck with it.

anyway knowing thud rumble. one side is samples, with more complicated ones later on the record. there could be some drum samples on this side.

and then the other side is some minimal beats or tunes. have a listen through as you may also find something useable on it.

i dont have that one so cant tell you whats on it.

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