Wheels of Steel

Wednesday, March 29 by Brian Pan

Turntabling (or DJing) has evolved a long way since the mid-1970s and the birth of hip hop. What started as serving up dance hits to a disco crowd has become a performance itself. It transformed a few pieces of equipment into an instrument that is one of the building blocks of hip hop music.

The basic instrument is 2 turntables and a mixer. The mixer has two vertical faders to control the volume (one for each deck) and a horizontal crossfader to switch between the two. Add scratching and you have all you need to start creating music.

The cross fader is used to create different scratches by cutting or breaking up the sound of the scratch. Some DJ's have created a notation for scratching to help learn and document scratches.

Check out the transcriptions especially in the Advanced Scratches section:
TT Method

Here's a video of DJ Tyra from Saigon and DJ Annalyze practicing scratches:
Practice sessions

And to top it off a sick, sick video of DJ Troubl doing some juggling of Prefuse 73 (CORRECTED: This Troubl, not Scott Herren, aka, Prefuse 73):
Bedroom DJ

I really love the Prefuse 73 blend of electronic and hip hop but I love it so much more seeing how it's created. Actually, after watching the video, I'm amazed that he can turn such a strange style and blend of music into album after album of tracks that are not at all hindered by the form or the instruments, but that are instead so enjoyable to just sit and listen to. Wow.

Edit from Dan (1 April 2006): sorry, just gotta stick this link in: DJ Kentaro


Blogger ernie said...

thats so hot. i love watching turntable masters go at it. its truly an art form.

3/29/2006 8:40 PM


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