Juggling With Serato ScratchLive
When I first got Serato ScratchLive I had to some time to work out how I was going to use if for juggling because it was obvious that things were going to have to be done a little bit differently. After playing about for a short time however it suddenly became obvious that ScratchLive actually made life much easier when it come to juggling & trick mixing, and with the release of version 1.8 this was improved even more (if you don’t have version 1.8 go to http://www.scratchlive.net/).
Serato offers 2 different modes of to work in absolute and relative. I feel that relative mode is definately the best for the juggler. The reasons being that if the needle skips then it doesn’t matter (relative mode does some correction and carries on as if the skip never happens) and you can set and jump to cue points.
Marking Up Your Control Vinyl
If you decide to use relative mode exclusively then you can just put you mark on each record where ever you want since it holds not real relation to an absolute point in a track. However, if like me you feel that one day you might want juggle in in absolute mode then you need to pay a little bit more attention to putting your mark on each record.
So the way I mark my control vinyl is to put them on the turntables, put both turntables on ScratchLive into absolute mode and load the same track up to both turntables. I then cue up the same point at on both turntables and put my markers in place.
I is also a good idea to remember what tune you used and at what point you placed your marker so when you get new control records you can put the marker in the same place.
Juggling In Absolute Mode
Now that your markers are in the same place on both turntables you are free to start juggling in absolute mode just like you would with a normal record, the only limitation you have is that on a normal record you can place stickers on the grooves to jump quickly get to your cue points. The problem with this however is that every time you placed stickers for a new track/juggle you have to buy another set of control records which would kind of defeat the point, this is where relative mode comes in handy!
Juggling In Relative Mode
With relative mode the is no relationship between the place in the track and the marker on your record. The way I over came this problem is by setting cue points in my track where I wanted to start my juggle, I then turn the record so that the marker is where I want it to be then recall the cue point.
There are 3 different ways you can recall you cue points; the first is with the mouse which is a bit slow & awkward, the second is by using the shortcut keys (keys 1-5 jump cue points 1-5 on the left turntable and keys 6,7,8,9 & 0 jump to cue points 1-5 on the right turntable) which is a bit more accessible and the final way is via the record. To do it via the record you must have version 1.8 or later installed and have the select cue points by record setting switched on, when this mode is enable the first 5 minutes on the control vinyl (first 5 rings) jump to the 5 cue points in the track. This means you can pick up your needle, turn the record so your marker is at 12 o’clock and put the needle down in the 3rd ring to jump to your 3rd cue point.
Once you get used to this process (shouldn’t take long) you’ll find that it is far superior and simpler than to having to stick stickers on the grooves of your records!
A Little Relative Mode Demonstration
Here is a little demo of using relative mode when juggling, sadly I only have a webcam and therefore the detail isn’t very good so it may be hard to follow. What I was trying to illustrate was the ability to pick up the needle, turn the record and replace the needle to one of the first 5 rings to jump to that cue point: