Scratching with Acapellas

Scratching words of a phrase

In this technique we will be taking a phrase from the acapella and breaking it down into individual words. It’s important to keep an eye on the timing of your acapella as not every singer will start their phase on beat 1 of a bar. If this is the case and the timing is slightly off, it’s a good tip to add a hot cue on what would be beat one.  Following on from that initial first hot cue, try to add hot cues on key sound in the phrase of the acapella. Try individual words or the start of a memorable sentence.

With hot cues set on individual words, we can create a clever effect by scratching each word separately. Baby scratch the first word, release it to play and then catch the next word before repeating the process. The timing is key here and you may need to practice to catch each word at the right point. You can take this effect to the next level by applying effects such as echo or reverb to the acapella whilst you scratch. Finally when you are confident, try to match your scratching phrases in the track. Applying the effect when there are big build ups or on the drops.

Key Tips

  1. Make sure the timing is right of the acapella and add a hot cue to the first beat
  2. Set further hot cues on certain words and key timings
  3. Practice with scratch drops and baby scratching
  4. Add more complicated scratch routines and crossfader cuts if you can
  5. Experiment with adding effects such as reverb and echo
  6. Try to follow the track, adding scratches on build up and drops

Video Tutorial

Published: 22nd August 2019

In this free tutorial Jamie Hartley breaks down different ways to combine scratching with the use of a cappella’s to take your sets to the next level.

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