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DJ QBert and his iPod

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If you don't get The Screensavers on cable (or, like the four of us here, you don't have a television), you can watch DJ QBert's interview from a week ago here.

Oh man do I love this guy! Be sure to watch both videos--the interview, and the one of him scratching (you'll see his iPod there too). He was in town here a few weeks ago, and there's a video from his earlier show in Boulder here. That last video (pick the largest one if you can) isn't the best visual quality, but the sound is amazing. He's basically scratching beats, remixing drums. It's spectacular.

He's one of the key players responsible for pushing scratching all the way into the world of musical instruments, as opposed to being largely for mixing. So they've gone from being a backup for an MC, to DJ remixing, and now to full-fledged musical instrument.

Envious of how the guys with guitars and bongo drums could play out on the beach, he finally invented a portable system (which he uses in these videos) that's a standalone single turntable with the mixer/fader controls built-in, so he can just take it out and play. He uses it with his iPod, by running the iPod through the line-in, then he scratches along with whatever's on his iPod. So he might use the iPod for beats, then scratch something like guitar sounds to improvise a melody along with it.

Yet another device to lust after.

For the unconvinced, there are other examples of how scratching-as-instrument is becoming mainstream: Boston's famous Berklee College of Music has added the study of turntablism to its curriculum, and turntables outsell guitars now in the UK, other parts of Europe, and apparently Japan as well.

If you haven't seen the movie Scratch, I strongly recommend it--even if you don't like hip-hop. (Here's what they're saying on Amazon about it.)

I just realized the theme of ETech this year is "Remix". : )

Posted by Kathy on February 5, 2005 | Permalink

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Comments

Scratchophone ?

Hi guys,

I've got a nice prototype video to show u

have a look:))

www.scratchophonic.com

Posted by: rithie | Mar 9, 2005 5:31:26 AM

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