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Final Scratch

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by Mr_Furious, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. Mr_Furious

    Mr_Furious TRIBE Member

    my friend told me about this the other day and I was wondering how it works.......
    Apparently, its a record that uses different media pheripherals like MP3's or CD's. I was told that it was an actual record that spins on your turntable like a normal record but it uses MP3's or something else as its music source. Can someone fill me in? and also...how much does it cost?
  2. matty

    matty TRIBE Member

  3. Adam Duke

    Adam Duke TRIBE Member


    i want one. Very usefull tool!

    dlerium88 has played on it once even...damn her and her London hookups!

  4. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    The Canadian release of the product is coming in a month I believe.

    I used FS in Amsterdam at the music conference and I tell you it is exactly like records. No latency. Just like records. I can't wait for my copy.
  5. Mr_Furious

    Mr_Furious TRIBE Member

    ok...the video clips didn't work on the webpage.....so how much does it cost? and you can only hook it up to your computer?
  6. Adam Duke

    Adam Duke TRIBE Member

    you can hook it up to your computer......but a laptop would be way more convenient for travelling. i think alexd should get one as the next Tribe Contest Prize! (*hint hint*!)

    as far as cost, i beleive it was going for $800 US without the laptop(records + software + hardware connections) and just over $2000 US with it. (it's a sony VAIO, i believe)

  7. eco.R1

    eco.R1 TRIBE Member

    be weary of the "professional version" versus the "retail version."

    i don't know if there's any truth to this, but i've been chatting with a few long & mcquades (i'm sure i spelt that wrong) reps and they've all made mention that the retail version may be less perfect than the prototypes. hopefully this is not true.
  8. Silverback

    Silverback TRIBE Member

    There was a show on CityTV sunday night. Part of it covered Final Scratch with Interview's with Richie Hawtin and John Acquaviva.
  9. Jeremy Jive

    Jeremy Jive TRIBE Member

    Final scratch works like this. The record is blank and has no sound. There is time code information laid into the grooves of the record. Essentially its a series of numbers going from one to infinity. The needle picks up that signal and sends that through the turntable into the control module. That signal is sent to the laptop where the timecode signal is matched to the information in the sound file or mp3 of the song you want to be playing. The laptop then sends the audio signal of the track to the mixer. From there its the usual standard audio workings.

    The pitch control is controlled by the turntable. You still use the pitch as you always would. The speed and rate in which the time code is picked up by the needle and received determines the speed at which the laptop sends the signal for the audio. If the turntable is at 33 the speed in which the time code passes the needle is X. That means the needle is reading the code 1 2 3 4 5 6 and the laptop reads the rate in which its receiving the time code numbers and says ok that means I'm playing this track at X speed. If you increase the pitch the laptop receives the time code numbers faster and it knows to play the track at the speed of X+1.2 or whatever.

    Working in rewind or scratching is the same. The computer now receives the time code numbers in reverse so it knows to play the audio signal in reverse at the speed of x+3 or whatever.

    You can save the whole set as one small instruction file. Instead of saving the set as a long mixed audio file you save it as a simple text instruction file that final scratch uses. The instruction file is just information for the program to read in how to play each track at what time and what speed and with what adjustments to perfectly recreate the entire set. Essentially by loading the instruction file the program can replay your entire live set without you having to do anything.

    The blank records are just an interface for you to use to manipulate, cue and play the files that are on the computer. The computer is just playing the songs of its hard drives and using your manipulations of the records and their time codes to know how you want them played. The mixer is used just the way it is now.

    I hope that makes some sense. I can explain further.

    jeremy -pheww that took forever- jive
  10. D-Monic

    D-Monic TRIBE Member

    Pro: Cool concept.

    Con: Contributes to music piracy.

    Why buy a record when you can download it for free?
  11. Jeremy Jive

    Jeremy Jive TRIBE Member

    Pro: Cause it would make lazy people like you go get a job

    Con: You could end up working with me.

    jeremy -smartass- jive
  12. dlerium88

    dlerium88 TRIBE Member

    Yeah I got to use it a couple weeks ago. It's very very cool. Works just like you think it would.

    Although it would contribute to piracy, I also think that it wouldnt necessarily be as easy to get all the records you want. There are tons of mp3's that I try to download now that I can't get just the track,and you can only get them as part of a mix that some other dj has already done. This means that you can't really mix it...unless its a super popular track then its different.

    Also I believe their doing something involving record labels, asking them to sell them like 1000 mp3s for $500 or something. It costs much less for them to sell an mp3 than vinyl anyway.

    As far as I know, the cost right now is $3000 US, which includes the labtop. When it comes out for retail the price is supposed to drop to $500 US. I think this is supposed to happen within the next couple months.

    The Sony VIAO is the only labtop that has the proper port for it or something..that along with MAC labtops.

    *sigh* I want one...
  13. TheLiquidFairy

    TheLiquidFairy TRIBE Member

    From talking to my bud Jon Coe here in London, he's told me that there are many record labels that are hooking up with this Final Scratch dealie and are willing to sell their tracks etc in MP3 format between 1 an 4 bucks a piece. It's better for them to do that because it saves cost on pressing records, and in turn thousands of songs can be distributed at a reasonable cost to DJs.

    Jon Coe has Final Scratch [the apparent London hookup of Ritika and mine lol;)]
    I've seen him in action, and for those who make it down to London on Friday's you may be able to catch him in action with it at Bacchus Lounge with Andy Capp [though Ady doesn't like to use it :p] as he sometimes brings it out to use there.
    I still have yet to use it [but that depends on whether or not I want to torture him with my mixing skills :p].

    Last edited: Feb 27, 2002
  14. C-NiCE

    C-NiCE TRIBE Promoter

    This thing looks really cool. I really like the visual output you get of the track as its playing, seeing the breaks etc. But the only thing that scares me a bit is the reliance on the computer. What if it crashes, shuts down, runs out of juice, gets a virus, has a drink spilled on it or any of the hundreds of problems people have with their comps? Vinyl is tried, true and reliable. Doesn't mean I don't want one though.

  15. pr0nstar

    pr0nstar TRIBE Member

    If only people ripped Hard House to mp3 :D

  16. bucky

    bucky TRIBE Member

    But then what would stop someone from buying the track and then putting it up on servers for everyone to download? The instant someone buys an mp3 of a track its going to get distributed to friends, then friends of friends, then they put it on kazaa and audiogalaxy, etc....
  17. JEMZ

    JEMZ TRIBE Member

    Well I know John (Acquaviva) has kissed the old record crate goodbye when he travels and now only uses Final Scratch, so the day o the DJ not getting their records when they get off the plane can be alleviated.

    Also, he transfers all his old vinyl to MP3 and now his records have a shelf-life of infinity.

    I think any respectable DJ who would use this tool would but the material then transfer it over. Besides, we're not talking about MP3 downloaded off audiogalaxy, this is top of the line pressing the majority of DJ's will require.

    I think it is a great product.
  18. orange richie

    orange richie TRIBE Member

    I think it's a great product but:

    Don't think for a second that when labels sell tracks in MP3 format to consumers that they won't be traded and soon enough the track that otherwise would have been played by select DJ's is being played by every DJ (depending on taste in music of course). The whole idea of 'finding' a track you want to spin on vinyl and the availability of it will be old news.
    So those gems you hear once in a blue moon won't be gems no more.
    This could have it's ups and downs for artists, labels, DJ's and partiers. It may very well be a turning point in the electronic music scene.

    Rickardo Belmiro de la Cruz...
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2002
  19. mutslaster

    mutslaster TRIBE Member


    i am writing a paper for grad school about final scratch and its potential diffusion as a technology within the music industry...
    if anyone knows of good research sources, like music tech journals or magazines, or any other media that have featured final scratch or talk about the issues it raises (many of them mentioned here), i would be ever so grateful if you could post them or email me at


  20. D-Monic

    D-Monic TRIBE Member

    True. Then the problem of "you lose that laptop, you've lost your whole record collection" arises. Not to mention the above mentioned crashing/freezing problem.

    Which brings the question: Do any of us have that much time on our hands? I have thousands of records. Let's say that I were to encode 3000 of my records at an average length of 6 min... that's 300 hours! Why don't I just stick to playing the vinyl I bought?

    Exactly. You can duplicate and distribute CD's for next to no cost. You can duplicate and distribute MP3's for next to no cost. You can't duplicate vinyl.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's a cool product, and a cool idea... you just won't see me using it anytime soon.
  21. Adam Duke

    Adam Duke TRIBE Member

    anyone have any idea how easy it is to transfer from a final scratch mp3 to a real peice of vinyl on the fly? or do you have to unhook everything and re-hook it up? It takes a lot of time to record & convert all your vinyl.....

  22. dlerium88

    dlerium88 TRIBE Member

    You can switch it up whenever you want.

    My friend has who's used this at Bacchus Lounge switches back and forth easily...so he can bring half vinyl and the rest on the labtop if he wants...

    Apparently guys like Ritchie have actually hired people to do their converting...how sweet would that be...gettin paid to listen to music all day!!
  23. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    You don't unhook anything. what you do is create MP3s from all your favorite vinyl (or CDs). Store these on your hard disk (or on a CD which you can dump onto your hard drive whenever you want).

    Finalscratch draws them from your hard drive and overlays the tracks you select onto the timecode vinyl 12"'s which you mix like regular records.
  24. JEMZ

    JEMZ TRIBE Member

    -That would suck the fat one :)

    Well, in the case of a guy like Mr. Acquaviva, he can prolly afford to pay someone to do it for him, which is what a lot of rich people do with their more tedious duties in life.

    As a side my my buddy (Jon Coe) www.joncoe.com is not only a strong advocate of the program, but also their tech-support dude. He says that in time saved (not having to search through record case), he could probably play 3-4 extra songs per hour set. You talk a guy like Denny Tenaglia then, that is a helluva lot more music, more mixing, more programming, more bang-for-your-buck.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2002
  25. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Well I don't know many DJs who would want to travel with 3000 vinyl records, and imagine if the airline lost them en route eh d-monic?

    The idea is if you lose laptop or your hard disk gives out you still have backups, and if those fail for some reason you can create more MP3s from your vinyl.

    The real beauty of Finalscratch: create your own tracks in the afternoon, save them as MP3s and then play them like vinyl on 1200's the same night. You totally skip the acetate step and yet still have playable vinyl.

    As for hanging or hard disk crashes, I have heard John and Richie play many sets with FS and nothing like that has happened. I heard John play about an 8 hour set at the Gold Club launch at the Courthouse entirely with Final Scratch the only people who knew it wasn't records were the ones who climbed up the scaffolding to see that FS was in use.

    As for the Long & McWade guy who keeps saying there are different versions of it (pro & consumer), I don't think he has a clue about it. I have been speaking with the distributor and the manufacturer for months and they have not said anything about different versions.

    I loved using it in Amsterdam and can't wait to get my copy as soon as it becomes available. For me, I could burn all my disco as MP3s and then put the actual records away for safekeeping.

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