Author Topic: Final Scratch - Scratchamp - Vinyl DJ  (Read 232 times)

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Offline roosmcd

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Final Scratch - Scratchamp - Vinyl DJ
« on: March 14, 2021, 01:20:58 pm »
 So while cleaning out the house I found two ScratchAmps from 20+ years ago, so I thought I would post some pictures of this gadget! A long time ago MP3 was really popular, but with DJ-ing you couldn't use all the same tricks the DJ could do with real vinyl. At a hackercamp some people got an idea to work around this by using timecodes on vinyl and so the Final Scratch system was born. Wikipedia has some more information on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Scratch and you can also check the patent at Google: https://patents.google.com/patent/US9218844B2/

At the time I was working (intern) at an electronics company and we were asked to develop the crude prototype into an actual product for which I designed the PCB. The entire thing was produced in NL, this is the BeOS version which is mentioned in Wikipedia as pre-release and of which there were a couple of hundred produced. Later on a larger series was produced (and they switched to Linux) which was produced somehwhere else (China?). The machined aluminium case gives it a nice solid feel and this was sold as a complete package with a Sony Vaio laptop for 5000 (that was probably still guilders). Pretty expensive at the time so I couldn't afford one but after time I found one of the production run and a testing sample. This was at the beginning of the USB standard, it was the first product we made that had USB inside. Also the first blue led we used, those were still expensive at the time  :) .

 Is there anybody familiar with this or maybe used it or still using it? I hope not you're still using it because there were a couple of bugs in the USB audio chips IIRC. I've got almost a complete set but am missing the BeOS drivers.


Two units and a design mockup



Nicely machined aluminium


Top and bottom part


The two PCB's are straight-forwards, USB hub, USB audio, phono amplifier and power


Closer view top PCB


Bottom PCB


The expensive blue led


Pre-production version number  :)


This seems to have been done on purpose, not sure why anymore


The main part of the PCB, an USB hub with two USB audio chips

 
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Offline cdev

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Re: Final Scratch - Scratchamp - Vinyl DJ
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2021, 09:55:49 pm »
Thank you, I remember hearing about this back in the day.

How is the time shifting aspect handled digitally? ( thanks for the patent, reading it now)

Are any beats lost ?

:)


During that era there were cd "decks' made for scratching with CDs.. I don't remember how well they worked or were received.. I think they were definitely used..

pictured here is an example of what I mean.. this is a beautiful ambient set.. no use of the finger friendly (Pioneer?) CD deck, shown so far that I can see though.



It would seem hard to capture he time shifting aspect digitally.. but essential to capture the essence of DJ turntable artistry..

 I have no idea what equipment is used now  besides what one sees on sites like boilerroom.tv. (which is a good resource) It seems the basics are still much the same.

Recently Ive heard about people using those kinds of DJ controllers to tune SDRs. Which seems like it would be great because tuning a big knob is definitely an enhancement for tuning an SDR. I'd love to be able to do that. Making the not so tactile hobby more tactile..
« Last Edit: March 27, 2021, 12:03:32 am by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline roosmcd

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Re: Final Scratch - Scratchamp - Vinyl DJ
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2021, 11:38:55 am »
 Appearantly it's a feature of the MP3 playback software used:

"Included with FinalScratch is SoundPlay, a popular MP3 audio player for the BeOS. The combination of FinalScratch and SoundPlay allows DJ's to instantly mix music stored in the MP3 format, using the intuitive interface that vinyl records provide."
https://www.harmonycentral.com/news/live-sound/digital-audio-dj-mixing-software-for-beos-r28829/

"has full pitchcontrol from -400% to 400% (SoundPlay was the first player worldwide, and is still the only player on BeOS, that can play mpeg backwards)."
https://web.archive.org/web/20011112115104/http://www.xs4all.nl/~marcone/soundplay.html

 


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