Best way to scratch a sample in 2021?

So, I’m looking for the best way to scratch a sample nowadays.

I know the Octatrack can do a pseudo-scratch thing by assigning playback speed to the crossfader, but the behaviour isn’t the same as a deck / vinyl.

Roland had the DJ-70/mkII yeeeeeaaaaars ago, not sure what it was actually like for scratching a sample though. Also, memory limitations and SCSI would be a drag.

Is there a credible modern method for scratching a sample?

Please tell me there is….

I don’t own one, but have considered getting this:



I do wonder about the built quality. And no warranty.

But interesting…

I am kinda surprised Akai haven’t tackled sample scratching seeing as they’re down with the Hip-Hop producers.


the 2021 answer is to put a random generator on the playback direction and conditional probabilities on the occurrence, using a touchscreen interface with an ‘upload to instagram/youtube/bandcamp and tweet a link to my followers’ button


If you have the budget for it, buy a CDJ.

There’s loads of cheap DJ controllers and the Lite version of all the DJ software is cheap or bundled with them.

This way, you’re actually scratching. Plus you get a small DJ rig, which is really fun.

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You could pay a DJ their hourly fee to do an hour of scratching for you.

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If you don’t mind it being crap, I’ll do it for free, for the practice. I have Serato and a nice controller.

hmm looks interesting but the UI/UX seems horrible…

I’d instantly buy it with (some of) these improvements:

  • bigger or wider / easier to use buttons
  • LED as recording indicator instead of those nasty sounds
  • internal battery
  • 24 bit
  • MIDI scratch
  • USB audio
  • USB disk mode or something for easier sample storage

Looks quite nice though as a “prototype”!


You used to be able to do a reasonable job with the slider on the classic MPCs and the right sample, but they’re sadly missing from the current batch and the touchscreen isn’t configured to support it - though I expect with the macro XYs on the Force you could come up with something similar to the touch strip on the old Yamaha SU10.

Are there any iPad apps offering this kind of thing? You’d think they’d be able to emulate friction, speed and force decently enough, even if there’s no feedback.

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There is a larger model … but I should probably stop posting as I know little about scratching (other than the end result) and I don’t own one of these devices.


hehe yeah just found out as well! This one has MiDi! But is out of stock… I guess I’ll buy the 500 then if there are no better alternatives coming in this thread :grinning:

The most credible solution will always be a turntable and a mixer since it provides the most expression (alot more than controllers with jogwheels but they’re still fine to a certain degree). If you’re scratching a premade record or your own samples with a DVS (Serato/Traktor/etc.) is secondary and the differences are only audible with slow techniques.

You can also modify one of those portable turntables to have some DVS included, a friend of mine does amazing prototypes. He‘s only on FB and occasionally on Insta, check „Scratch Illuminati“. These are the best portable devices I had the pleasure of testing.

Alternatively you can get a „regular“ portable turntable like the Numark or Reloop and add this one. Let’s you scratch samples and beats from your phone or tablet.


I made one myself from rasteris guthub build.

Even fitted battery underneath.

Great thing for practice kuts…


Yeah, depending on how crazy you want to get, even the little Numark DJ2GO2 Touch, which I have for some reason, will work just fine. Behold, here is a poorly shot (Edit: YouTube) video of me using it to scratch a sound I made on the Digitone.

There are all kinds of higher end options and even controllers that work with mobile apps instead of Serato like the little Numark there.

And yeah any of the Pioneer CDJs after like the 800s I want to say will work pretty well I think. And you can get those for like 100 dollars.

If you want to mimick really basic stuff, parameter locking the lfos on the Digitakt or even better the 3 on the Octatrack can take you a long way. You just need to be deliberate about what’s actually happening in the scratch you’re thinking of. Here, I just used it to imitate stabs and simple scratches and things, especially if you skip to the end.

Part of it is actually scratched and part of it is the Digitakt. As long as it’s really simple, I think it’s hard to tell what’s what.


Surprised no one has mentioned the PTO-1 scratch, pretty cheap and moddable.

I think the best bet for an all in one scratch solution for now is the Omni by Headache Sound. High quality faders, tonearm, AND DVS capability. Nothing is touching that right now other than a pair of 1200 style turntables and good DJ mixer.


Love the track in the YT vid. Great work!

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Do you know what drives the turntable? Cos if it’s belt driven it’s no good, even if it is being marketed as a (portable) scratch turntable.

I’ve been tempted by an SC1000 and will probably end up with one at some point. Andy is a mate who doubtless could have made a chunk of money from his invention but opted to make it all available open source instead. He’s also a genius for more reasons than just that one:

I’ve got a Phase these days, which also removes the need for control vinyl (but not some form of turntable/mixer). It’s the first DVS solution I’ve had that I really connected with (the most recent other option being a Photon Fader, which was good, but I wanted to use it with DJ Player Pro on an iPhone and ultimately found the whole setup a bit irritating/temperamental)

It is belt driven, but works fine for cutting. It fosters a lighter hand. I modded a PT-01 Touring because I’m the kind of guy who likes pleather and suitcase/briefcase-esque boxes (or I got it very cheaply and knew I could modify it to work as a portable USB/battery-powered TT). Haven’t used it a load as the Raiden Fader I intended to use with it seems to dislike most of the 3.5" cables I attempt to connect it with. Massively annoying but great fader when it works (internally it’s a mini-Innofader)


Good to know. Thanks

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