|1. Numark Pro 3||2. Native Instruments||3. Pioneer|
What Is Scratching In DJ?
Have you ever heard how a word is broken into parts, while in a DJ gig? Well, in short, that is the play of scratching. In the divergent and unique avocation of DJing, scratching is the manifestation of a DJ’s personality.
Scratching is often compared to be known as the vocals of a DJ throughout a mix or track. In simpler terms, it is a way of adding the DJ’s own flavor and spin to the track. This allows them to connect with the music on a personal level.
However, this may seem an easy task, but it is important to note that many professionals require many years to truly master the art of scratching. There is always something new to constantly learn when learning how to scratch.
Therefore, in order to conquer the techniques and skills required for scratching, it is important to find the best DJ controller for scratching. This is because your controller will be your best friend, and help you to create mesmerizing and divine music.
Factors To Consider When Purchasing Best DJ Controller For Scratching
In order to grasp the skillset, you need to first consider purchasing a good controller that will aid and guide you to accomplish your goal. Below are a few factors to consider when searching for the best DJ controller for scratching.
The first and foremost factor is understanding your needs and requirements. In today’s dynamic world, there are a variety of options available for DJs. It is their duty to find the perfect one which matches their demands.
For example, if you are an amateur DJ with no prior experience with scratching, it is better to purchase one with the most rudimentary elements. This may include two channels, jog wheels, and a crossfade effect switch.
On the contrary, if you are a professional DJ, then a more diverse set of controls would be recommended. Examples of such include multiple channels and jog wheels etc. This would allow the DJ to experiment and play around with different settings, enhancing the track even more. In short, it is a way of spicing up the mix with different elements such as turntables etc.
Overall, the first task for any DJ interested in screeching is to think about their purpose. This way, they can attain the most out of the best DJ controller for scratching.
2. Software Compatibility
The next task for a DJ wishing to pursue scratching is to make sure that the controller’s in-built software is compatible with the external device such as a desktop or laptop.
The main advantage of this is that users are able to avoid the task of searching for MIDI maps and other aspects on their own. This is due to the in-built system preferences.
Further, it also makes sure that users do not face any technical difficulty, which may act as a hindrance to effective scratching.
Thus, a helpful tip would be to crosscheck your system settings with that of your controller and make sure there are minimal deviations.
3. Channel Support
In any DJ controller, there is either a single channel or multiple channels present. But what is the purpose of such channels? Well, to answer that, channels are a component of the mixer family of a controller.
With the amalgamation of other such components, a DJ can route the location of the sound. In simpler terms, channels are the pathways from which your music is directed.
Thus, when hunting for the best DJ controller for scratching, it is important for you to make sure to purchase one with more than two channels. This will help you to plan and execute your next transition.
The main advantage of this is that with a greater number of channels, a DJ can have better accessibility to the sound bites, as well as give way to a smoother transition between one mix and another.
An ideal recommendation is to buy a controller that has 4 channels. This way, the DJ always has one open channel to aid in the transitioning process.
4. Platter Composition
In the craft of DJing, the inclusion of platters is to emulate the actions of a professional turntable. In short, they help to create and add effects for your tracks and mixes.
Thus, in the field of DJIng, platters come in two broad types–motorized and stationary.
- Motorized Platters
These types of platters are meant for DJs who are comfortable using vinyl wheels. Despite its expensive price, these types of wheels enable users, especially beginners, to truly get the feel of scratching.
Further, these types of platters are designed with an in-built motor used to mimic the aesthetic appeal and feel of a vintage vinyl turntable.
Therefore, these types of platters are often recommended for people who are looking to shift from the vinyl controllers to DJ controllers.
- Stationary Platters
On the contrary, stationary platters are wheels that don’t have a motor inbuilt. They are designed to give its users the vibe of a classic turntable.
Thus, when searching for the best DJ controller for scratching, it is ideal to purchase a model designed with a stationary platter.
The last but not the least factor to be considered when purchasing the best DJ controller for scratching is the actual price of the product. As a DJ, you need to understand your needs and requirements. This is because the prices will vary according to the features and options provided by the model.
When speaking of pricing, it is important to note the rule of thumb. i.e., the more the features, the higher the price of the product. Thus, there should be a proper blueprint of what you need, in order to purchase accordingly and obtain the greatest value for your money.
In order to help you achieve your scratching dreams, here are a few products that can be considered for your hunt on the best DJ controller for scratching.
Top 7 Best DJ Controllers For Scratching 2021
1. Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
First up on the list of finding the best DJ controller for scratching is the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 All In One DJ controller. As another impeccable creation by the inventor brand of DJ gear, Numark, this controller is home to all the tools and equipment required by a professional DJ.
Let us look at the eminent features that make it stand tall in terms of the best DJ controller for scratching.
- Jog Wheels
With the integration of two metal jog wheels, this controller is perfect for those in search of proper scratching DJ gear.
Further, the usage of metals highlights the durability and rigidity of the overall product.
This particular product is supportive of the all-new Serato software. It also enables users of all the rudimentary amenities required for scratching.
Moreover, this DJ controller provides users with the benefit of being compatible with other professional and popular DJ software.
In short, it means that in case you are unsatisfied with the layout of the Serato software, this controller will allow you to connect other software for you to experiment with.
- All-New Touch Strip
The unique feature of this controller is its integration of the Touch Strip feature. In a nutshell, these features enable users to navigate through their tracks without any hassles. Further, these can be enhanced with the introduction of various effects such as fade-in, etc.
A helpful tip for amateur and professional DJs is to press down the Shift key and then navigate through your files of mixes and audio.
Thus, the main advantage is to provide users with a friendly and smooth work environment. In addition, it also offers users to immediately recall and save effects for better sound quality and transition.
- Filter Knobs
Another unique feature of this controller is its filter knobs designed for the respective channels. In short, these knobs provide users to control and regulate each channel on its own.
Overall, for the price range, the product offers more features as compared to other models in a similar range.However, it is important to be noted that this product is delicate and easily prone to damages. Hence, it requires ample time and effort for its maintenance and proper functioning of the instrument.
Overall, this DJ controller checks all the boxes when it comes to jog wheel and platter quality, channels and, most importantly, price. An easy, smooth, and affordable product, this definitely must be on your things to buy!
2. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 DJ Controller
The next best DJ controller for scratching is the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 DJ controller. Laconically, this controller is a beautiful harmony of hardware and software components. Designed to take DJ scratching to the next level, this is a perfect fit for those in search of a stylish controller.
Let us take a look at its phenomenal features to understand the real beauty of the product.
- Overall Design
This controller is specifically designed to give its users a natural and vibrant aura to truly master the craft. With the inclusion of an 8-color schemed RGB buttons, this is a magnificent replication of the trending digital DJing.
With a smooth yet effective layout of transition controls, cues, and loops, this should be essential for many DJs in progress.
With the inclusion of four-channel mixers, the all-new Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 DJ controller has crossed all boundaries to provide users with an advanced array of effects.
With the latest advancements in DJ technology, artists are exposed to a whole new level of creativity and madness in terms of spicing up their tracks.
- Software Compatibility
Another unique feature about this particular controller is its compatibility with the Traktor Pro 2 software. With the installment of the latest version, users are able to invent and understand music at a level never before.
Further, the controller also permits users to make use of the pre-defined remix sets. This is done for them to build upon, adding their own twist and flavor to the track.
Therefore, this boosts the thought process and widens a user’s horizon to create wonderful music for the ears of others.
- Sound Quality
One of the key things for any DJ is the quality of the audio output. Thus, when talking about the latest Traktor Kontrol, it is of immense pleasure to say that this compact device can make big things happen for many.
With an integration of a versatile and powerful sound interface, this controller is built to amplify the sounds at a greater height.
- Platter Design
With the smooth layout of the jog wheels, this controller meets the standard of durable and responsive wheels. Thus, this product is another remarkable controller especially for tackling the difficult aspects of scratching.
3. Pioneer DJ DJ Controller, 17.70 x 29.90 x 6.90 (DDJ-SX2)
When speaking about the best DJ controller for scratching, it is hard to miss the Pioneer DDJ-SX2 controller. Briefly, this is an absolute favorite amongst many professional DJs as well as amateur DJs.
- Jog Wheels
Firstly, let us take a look at these controllers, and understand its unique platter arrangement. With the integration of aluminum jog wheels, this enhances the beauty of scratching.
Further, its authenticity enables users to effectively and efficiently conquer the tasks involved in scratching a perfect beat.
Thus, as an upgrade from the older model of SX, this definitely offers users a better sliding of the wheels.
As compared to other models of scratching DJ controllers, this particular device is designed with four mixing channels, allowing users to enhance their mixes.Thus, when in search of the best DJ controller for scratching, it is recommended to consider trying this product out.
Another unique feature is that this product is supportive of the Serato DJ software. Further, this software provides users with additional upgrades at their own cost, if they are truly interested in experimenting.
Thus, if you are a fan of the Serato software and its user-friendly interface, then you should probably consider buying this controller, as it offers many things under one roof.
4. Numark NS6II
The next big thing which is part of the Numark DJ equipment series has officially arrived.
With the all-new Numark NS6II, users are enveloped into a whole new dimension of scratching and DJing.
Let us delve into each aspect that makes these devices an irresistible one for many.
- Platter Design
With the brand new Hi-Res Platter display configuration, this particular controller is able to speculate the beats per minute of a track, the position of the platter, the time left, and many other wonderful things.
Thus, it is a smart buy for those who want to experience the work of professional DJs on their one.
Another notable feature of this particular controller is its integration of a four-channel mixer. With this, users are now able to connect external equipment such as turntables to add extra jazz in their music.
Often, we are bombarded with models with a limited version of premium software. However, this is the opposite of them. Enabling users with access to the full version of the qualified Serato DJ software, this gives players full freedom to explore and find their passion.
Overall, this particular controller is highly recommended by professionals and other dignitaries in the diverse field of DJing.
5. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3 DJ Controller
The next best DJ controller for scratching is another exceptional invention by Native Instruments is the S4 MK3 DJ Controller. As an upgrade to the S4 MK2, this speaks volumes about its characteristics.
With the inclusion of an all-new four-channel system, this device enables users to correlate and create a set of new, different tracks.
With the inclusion of these channels, users can play and create mind-blowing drops, as well as include smoother shifts between one track and another.
- Jog Wheels
Furthermore, with the addition of motor jog wheels, players can elevate their scratching skills at a professional level.
It is hard to forget about the unique trait of such wheels. These motorized platters give users feedback according to the touch sensitivity.
Another hard to miss feature is the newly introduced turntable mode. With a click of this button, artists and other DJ players can control the speed of the song, whilst at the same time making sure they are in sync.
- Additional Features
The manufacturers of this device have knocked all stops in terms of diversifying their products and making them stand out from other competitors in the market.
Firstly, they have inculcated carbon fader. The main function of this is to guarantee its users with a more durable and rigid layout for smooth scratching.
Further, this also has a higher degree of resistance power to liquids, dust particles, etc.
Another cool trait is the inclusion of 16 RGB padding buttons. This is to ensure that players are given a wide choice to manipulate and elevate their mixes and tracks.
In a nutshell, this particular DJ controller ticks all the boxes in terms of durability, channel mixers, digital wheels, and much more. Thus, that is what makes this one of the best DJ controllers for scratching.
6. Gemini GV Series G4V Professional Audio 4-Channel MIDI Mappable Virtual DJ Controller
Another ideal controller that fits the search for finding the best DJ controller for scratching is the Gemini G4V Professional Virtual DJ Controller.
An amalgamation of highly responsive platters, an affordable price, as well as an innovative design, this is yet another device to be thought about.
When speaking about the price of the overall product, it should be noted that this product is acclaimed for its premium performance and quality. By providing users with multiple professional components, this has proven its longevity time and again.
Thus, if you are on the lookout for an affordable yet professional controller for scratching, this is ideally recommended for you.
If you were to look at the platter or jog wheel design of this particular controller, you will notice that it is specifically designed to be haptic sensitive. In other words, this device gives users feedback according to the touch factor.
Therefore, even with the slightest touch, they are highly responsive to the player.
- Easy Handling
One of the biggest benefits of this controller is its easy and smooth maneuverability and handling. Users can easily get started just by plugging it in. This proves that there are no additional windows to be installed, making it a quick and easy device to start.
Further, with a new set of controllers pertaining to equalizers, this offers better handling to its users as compared to others in the industry.Therefore, this versatile controller should definitely be on your must-try list in terms of DJ equipment.
7. Numark Mixdeck Express 2-Channel DJ Controller
The next best DJ controller for scratching is another impeccable creation by the Numark brand. The Numark Mixdeck Express 2-Channel DJ controller is an unbeatable controller specifically created for amateur DJs.
Let us take a drive through its renowned features that make it unbeatable when compared to other scratching controllers available to consumers today.
This particular DJ controller is compatible with the new Serato DJ Intro software. If you look at this closely, you will understand that this software is a subset of the complete Serato software.
In simpler terms, it is a software that is designed to provide users with the most basic structural layout for easy navigation throughout the interface. It helps them to understand the basic properties of each field in the program, and master that successfully.
Therefore, as an amateur and a young sapling in the DJing environment, this is free to use the platform to boost your career in DJing.
When talking about the decks of a DJ controller, it is ideal to remember that they refer to the platters or jog wheels of the device. When you look at this device, there are two superior wheels to help you master the various scratching techniques without any barriers.
The all-new Numark Mixdeck Express is home to an in-built 3 channel equalizer mixer, with an outstanding crossfader. This enables users to smoothly and effectively transition between multiple tracks.Further, the device also is supportive of multiple external inputs to connect additional devices such as a microphone.Hence, if you are in search of a smooth scratching controller, this is a perfect choice for you.
Types Of Scratching Techniques
As a young abecedarian waiting to master the skill of scratching in DJIng, it is important to practice the required skills and techniques, as these will help you achieve your goals.
Below, are the common types of scratching techniques that you may come across while learning.
1. Baby Scratch
The first and foremost scratching technique is the baby scratch. In simpler terms, it is the first step for any young scratcher.
First, identify the center of your wheel. For example, if you are using a vinyl wheel, there will be a marker present in the center of it.
Next, initially start moving that point up and down. It is highly recommended to play with this with no background sound. However, once you feel you have got the hang of it, try adding a few notes of music, and then move the market.
The main objective of this type of scratching is to create a back and forth audio snippet. Further, this simple task has many uses and can be used to add various nuances to a track. Thus, this is easy to do and can be learned without any difficulties faced by the player.
2. Scribble Scratch
The next type of scratch is the scribble scratch. This, in a nutshell, is a modified version of the baby scratch. However, the only difference is that rather than moving it slowly, you are now required to move faster. A helpful tip is to record double or even triple the speed of the original movement.
3. Chirp Scratch
Another scratching technique that is highly useful is the chirp scratch. However, when compared to the previous two techniques, this is a more complex and hard technique to achieve.
The first thing to do in this technique is to decide upon a small snippet of a track. It could be a beat, a melody, etc. It should be small in size, to truly achieve greater results. Then, press the crossfader to seal the track. Now, pull the mix back, while releasing the track again. This, in return, will create a backward chirp.
Thus, as it is a complex trick, it is important to practice over and over again, to ensure the maximum potential out of this.
4. Tear Scratch
The next type of scratching technique used by all professional scratching artists is the tear scratch. As the name suggests, the scratch is intended to create a tearing noise.
In order to grasp the dexterity, you need to break down your entire track into small bits. Then, using them, create small jerks both upward and downward. In the end, you will hear a ripping sound, which means you have nailed the tear scratch.
5. Transformer Scratch
Another unique scratching skill is the transformer scratch. In a nutshell, the aim of such a technique is to constantly open and close the crossfader button. By doing so, you will be able to create melodious and rhythmic tones whilst scratching.
6. Flare Scratch
The last but not the least is the flare scratch. In this type of scratching technique, players experiment with different open fader options to create click sound effects.
By employing the aforementioned techniques, it is guaranteed that the young abecedarian will grow into a competent artist.
Difference Between Scratching With Vinyl And Non-Vinyl Controllers
In today’s advanced technological world, it is important to know and analyze the various materials available for DJs to scratch. In a nutshell, scratching can be achieved through both vinyl wheels as well as non-vinyl jog wheels. Each of them comes with its own set of advantages and limitations, which must be thoroughly considered.
1. Scratching With Non-Vinyl Controllers
When talking about the art of scratching, many people resonate with digitized DJ controllers. In other words, it is the usage of modern, non-vinyl controllers to carry out the function of scratching.
Like a coin has two sides, this method does have its own positives as well as limitations which should be noted.
Advantages Of Digital Scratching
- Modern Form of Scratching
The first and foremost advantage of scratching via a non-vinyl controller is that it is a modern way of learning the skill. By using digital equipment such as controllers, users can create digitally heard sounds.
- Easy to Handle
Further, digital scratching enables users to smoothly and effectively maneuver the tracks. They don’t require additional equipment, and only need a proper, working controller along with a premium DJ software.
This inclusion of a compatible software helps the process to be smooth, and also enables users to format their tracks according to their preferences in terms of tempo, speed, etc.
Disadvantages Of Digital Scratching
One of the biggest flaws that many professional DJs face whilst scratching digitally is the overall size of the platters and other necessary buttons.
As a controller is often compact and portable, the controls are reduced, which may hinder the overall scratching performance. For example, for some, the button and the jog wheel may be smaller, while for some it may be appropriate.
Thus, a helpful hack is to look at and compare the various sizes carefully and thoroughly.
Another disadvantage of the digital way of scratching is that the crossfader buttons on the DJ controller may not always be suitable for scratching.
Thus, when purchasing the best DJ controller for scratching, it is recommended to test and make sure that the crossfaders work with the sole purpose of scratching.
2. Scratching With Vinyl Controllers
On the contrary, the rudimentary forms of scratching often lead to the usage of various types of vinyl. They do offer their own positives, alongside a bag of negatives.
Advantages Of Vinyl Controllers
- Traditional Method
The one and only advantage of vinyl scratching is that it is the traditional way of learning how to scratch. Further, it teaches users the proper representation of buttons, etc.
Therefore, with the inclusion of traditional gear, players can employ the basic and old techniques, and have a trip down memory lane to connect with the instrument personally.
Disadvantages of Vinyl Controllers
- External Devices
The first and foremost drawback of using vinyl controllers is that they require an additional connection to an external device. This may be in the form of a turntable, mixer, microphone, etc.
- Heavy Weighted
Further, vinyl DJ controllers are often heavier than digital controllers. This may add to the time required to set up the gear in time for a gig.
Therefore, it should be noted that both are still used for scratching. However, the type of controller depends upon the true need and purpose of the actual device.
FAQs on DJ Controllers For Scratching
Q1. What Is Scratching In DJ?
In the vast field of DJing, there is an involvement of a unique skill termed as scratching. Scratching is commonly called scrubbing. However, in the language of DJing, scratching is a process of shifting the record or jog wheel back and forth to create a percussion-based beat or sound.
In order to truly master the craft, a crossfader is often included in a DJ mixer. This is used to transition between two audio files simultaneously.
Q2. How Do You Become A Better Scratch DJ?
Scratching in the field of DJ is a complex phenomenon, which can be conquered after immense amounts of practice. With the inclusion of these three basic steps into your normal DJ practice session, any amateur or professional can master the skill.
Firstly, enjoy the craft. You will attain the most out of DJ scratching if you start to like it. A helpful tip is to try to learn not for the sake of learning. But instead, learn to discover something innovative and new.
Thus, the basic motto for scratching is to have fun and enjoy what you’re doing. It is in fact this positive energy that will help you master the skill.
Secondly, have the passion and inner drive to constantly improve your performance. As you scratching is not an easy task.
Thus, as an amateur, be optimistic to learn the various techniques. Further, try to play around and create a tune. Even if it is a small jingle, this will help you to understand the working of the concept.
Finally, always learn from your previous mistakes. Be open-minded, as it will help you to discover and improve your skill set.
Q3. Can You Scratch On A DJ Controller?
Many people often wonder if you can actually scratch on a DJ Controller. Well, the answer to that is Yes. You will still get the same result as vinyl scratching in terms of audio quality and noise reduction.
Best DJ Controllers For Scratching – Conclusion
Overall, from the above discussion, it is clear that scratching is used to emphasize and add flavor to a mix. In short, it is used to enhance the track, and add the tastes and personality of the DJ themselves.
Further, when trying to find the best DJ controller for scratching, it is recommended to keep in mind the price, the jog wheel quality, the overall type of the controller, along with the channels and crossfading buttons.
Thus, try considering some of the aforementioned products if you are interested in buying the best DJ controller for scratching.