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Skratch Lessons: In-Depth Tutorial Part 1

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Hip-Hop Scratch with DJ Qbert. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Skratch Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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All right, what's up everybody?
Today I'm gonna go over the Traktor
software a little bit.
Kinda go over the interface explaining to
you in detail what
each individual function does.
That way you have a better understanding
in the way the flow of the software works.
Now that we got the Audio a DJ hooked up
with the cables and we went through that
and we've got our tracktor scratch control
disks, and we put them down here.
Obviously we're gonna put the needle down
on the record and
we're gonna show you guys a few things
about the software, so
let's move over to the computer for a
And I want you to pay attention on the
Usually, when I like to, to explain the
software to people,
I like to separate the software into three
individual sections.
[COUGH] So, you'll hear me later on in the
video reference to these sections, so
you kind of know what I'm talking about.
The top section of the software is what we
call the global section.
The global section displays various
parameters like our effects processors,
our audio recorders, the master out volume
for, for
the entire system which is right here in
the middle.
That way you're not clipping the software
when you're sending information out.
[COUGH] The second section that we're
gonna talk about is what we call
the deck section.
And the deck section is this entire little
white box over here which is obviously
labeled here in the top right hand corner
of each side.
Deck A as well as deck B on the right hand
So we're gonna talk a little bit about the
deck section in detail in
a second, and then the third section that
we're gonna talk about is gonna be
the browser section.
The browser section is pretty self
explanatory and quite obvious, it's this
entire areas which is the bottom of the
screen here that displays all your tracks,
all your music and all your play lists so
that you can
quickly access any of the tracks that you
wanna play in you set when you're DJing.
So first and foremost the thing that I
want to start off with and
kind of start showing you guys is the deck
section of the software.
The deck section of the software once
again here in the middle of the screen.
I'm gonna start off on the left hand side
which is Deck A.
And Deck A basically you can see here when
I move
the turntable you can see the wave file
moving around a little bit.
This area right here is the section that
you can see the most zoomed in part of the
WAV file, and that's kind of displaying
a small portion of the audio that you're
currently playing at the moment.
And you can see it actually moving around.
Just like that.
And then you can see also in the bottom of
the deck section there's a WAV
file that's displayed from beginning to
the end, and
that's the entire WAV file for the entire
Or, I'm sorry, WAV or MP3 or whatever
digital file that you're playing.
Let me just clarify that from the
beginning to the end.
And you can actually see that when I'm
playing this track here.
You can see on the software right
here there's a red cursor that's going
across the entire track.
And that cursor is actually telling you
where inside that digital
file that you currently are at the moment.
So that's a good point of reference.
Especially if you want to skip around to a
different part of track and
you're not queuing que points.
You can see that if I click in this here,
I'm actually skipping to different parts
of the tracks here.
Just like that.
So that's really important to know.
Now, also I wanna show you below the WAVs
or the digital files display
that we have three individual buttons here
in the top, bottom left hand corner.
These three buttons are obviously a play
which you guys have seen millions of
An image of a record and then an image of
a record with a tone arm on it.
Now these are three different modes that
you're actually playing with in
the software here.
The play button is obviously an internal
play button.
If I hit Play the track's gonna play.
Just like that.
The second one, which is the record by
itself, is what we call relative mode.
And then the one to the right of it with
the tone arm is what we call
absolute mode.
And give me a second, and bare with me for
those who are already familiar with this
I'm going to explain to you guys what the
difference is between relative mode and
absolute time code mode is.
In the relative mode.
[SOUND] You can see that it doesn't matter
if I pick the needle up and
drop it in different parts of the track.
The track is gonna continue to play
exactly where it left off when the needle
was last on the record.
Doesn't matter, it just continues to play.
It doesn't matter where I put the needle
on the record as long as
it's hitting Timecode it's gonna continue
to play.
And the reason why that's useful is a lot
of scratch DJs like to use that a lot
because especially if you're moving the
platter around a lot, and
the needle, the tone arm,
starts jumping around the record, it
doesn't matter where it jumps off from.
You're never gonna lose your place of
where the sample was on the record.
It's always gonna continue to play exactly
where it left off.
So that's, that's somewhat beneficial to
For others who like the exact feeling of
what it's like to play on a turntable,
we have the absolute mode.
The picture with the icon with a record
and a tone arm.
What that thing does, is if I put the
needle down on the record and I move it
around, what it does is it skips through
the tracks into the different positions.
So it's just like a real record,
like you're skipping the needle across the
record, and you actually listen to
different parts of the tracks as you skip
along, just like playing a real record.
So now that we got that it's all a matter
of personal preference, choice which
one you actually wanna use, whether it's
gonna be absolute mode or relative mode.
So now that we got that down I'm gonna
skip on to the next part.
The next part is in the center of the deck
section here.
You can see that there's a series of
numbers here.
We go all the way from 1/32 to 1/16 to 1/8
1/4 1/2 1 2 4 6 8 16 so on and so on.
Now what those are, is what we call on the
fly loops.
Meaning that you could drop a loop into a
track at any given time you want,
it doesn't really matter.
When you drop the track in there it's
gonna be a perfect loop every single time,
so you don't have to actually sit and loop
in point and a loop out point,
it's gonna be perfect every single time.
So, let me demonstrate some loops to you
guys so
you can see how it work a little bit.
All right, so
you can see if I hit the two button here,
I'm gonna get a perfect two beat loop.
if I drop out of it, the track continues
to play exactly the way it was.
I can drop a four beat loop now.
A perfect four beat loop.
Drop it down to a two beat.
You can go down to one beat if you want.
Half beat.
Goes to 1/16.
[SOUND] All the way up to 132.
Just like that.
So, maybe not all the time you're gonna be
using 1/32 of a, of a loop but has
a pretty cool effect for some, some hype
stuff if you wanna get crazy like that.
Also I want you to notice that if we hit
these arrows here,
these arrows can expand different loop
lengths on each side of that thing.
To the right of that, you'll notice that I
have an in button and an out button, and
what the in and out button does,
is it actually allows you to set the
endpoint of a loop and
an outpoint of a loop whenever you want so
that you could just do it on the fly.
For instance, I'm gonna just do it
I'm gonna set my endpoint here at the top
of the beat, and my outpoint right here.
There you go.
So now I got the track looping between
those two points where I set the endpoint
and the outpoint as I was going.
Now if I want to turn that loop off and I
want the track to play, you'll notice
that right here to the right of the In and
Out button, there's an Activate button.
And the Activate button is pretty
What that means is if it's lit up, the
loop is active.
If it's not, the loop is not active.
So I'm gonna de-activate the loop now, and
the track's gonna continue to play exactly
how it left off.
So now that we got that there,
I'm gonna show you guys something else
about the deck section that
that I think you should know about.
You'll notice that below the Active
button, there's a little arrow.
The arrow points down.
If you hit that arrow that points down,
we expand what's called advanced deck
The advanced deck section is a way that
you can get more into the beat and
manipulate stuff and do some crazy stuff
on the fly with it.
If it clutters up your screen too much,
takes up too much space and
it's getting in your way, and you don't
really use it in a live environment,
you could hit the arrow again, it
collapses, so you don't have to see it.