We’re big fans of turntablism and the art of scratching here at On The Rise DJ Academy, we’ve beginner lessons with our tutor Terry Ryan and for those looking for advanced turntablism routine and battle techniques with 2013 online DMC World Champion Jon1st.
One of the most common questions we get asked in our lessons is “where can I get digital audio scratch tools from?” Armed with this regular request we’ve created our own free scratch battle tool that we’re giving away FOR FREE! All you need to do is sign up to our mailing list and you’ll get the link to download!
If you want to see the tool in action check out this great video from our Spanish Breakbeat mate Jose Rodríguez who recorded us an amazing routine!
Jose Rodríguez Interview
Terry also caught up with Jose to find out a little more on his tech set up and advice for DJs
1. Hey Jose Rodríguez, can you tell us who you are, what you do and where you’re from?
I’m a DJ/turntablist from Málaga (Spain). I mix breakbeat, which is the music genre that made me want to DJ. I have participated in several DJ competitions such as Marbella World Dance in 2005 (were I won 1st place), Pepsi DJ Competition House Edition 2007 (1st place), scratch battles such as Suck My Routine 2009 (4th place), Los Ángeles Invitational Battle 2017 (2nd place), and online battles such as IDA World Scratch Battle 2015 (4th place) and Wild Cuts World Online Portable Battle 2015 (2nd place). I’m also representing BPM Supreme as a brand ambassador in Spain and affiliated with Ortofon DJ.
2. What got you into DJ’ing and who are your biggest influences?
It all started when I went to a friend’s house long ago, he had a pair of turntables and explained to me that the concept was mixing two tracks putting them on the same speed to blend them, I found it entertaining so I bought a couple of Gemini PT-2100 turntables.
When I started, my biggest influence in the DJ world was Jordi Slate, in both Breakbeat and House music. I got introduced to the scratch world by Atomic Hooligan and DJ Memo. Not long after that I watched a documentary called “Scratch” by Doug Pray (which I recommend to everybody who is into scratching). That was what made me dive into the scratch world. Right now, my favourite turntablists are Dj IQ, R-Ash, D-Styles, Dj Rafik and Dj Netik.
3. What was your first mixer?
My first mixer was the cheapest one in the store, a Fonestar SM-1150. After that, I had an Ecler Concept 2, Pioneer DJM-300, Vestax 06 Pro-D, Pioneer DJM-600, Vestax PCM 07-Pro, Technics SH-DX1200, Rane TTM56 and a Rane Sixty-Two.
4. What is your set up now?
My setup is composed by 2 Technics M5G turntables, a Pioneer S9 mixer and a twin Ortofon Concorde Qbert needles. Sometimes I bring my Vestax QFO when I play in clubs. I also have a Vestax Handy Trax modified with a Mini Innofader.
5. What would you say are the most important things to do when you’re learning to scratch?
There are a lot of things but to learn to count bars so you know when to come in and out of the beat is important. Also it good to know how to calibrate a turntable and prepare a record to avoid skipping. I also suggest watching the Cut Class video series on BPM Supreme’s YouTube channel by Dj Angelo.
6. What do you think of the On The Rise Academy Digital Scratch Tool?
The scratch tool is great, there is plenty of classic beats and samples… you never get tired of those, and most DJs have learned to scratch using them.
7. If you could give 3 bits of advice to new DJ’s what would they be?
- I would strongly recommend up and coming DJs to learn to DJ on all kinds of setups, turntables, CDJs, timecode, controllers, etc. Each one of them has its capabilities, and all of them contribute to the DJs’ skills.
- Learn Harmonic mixing.
- Try to DJ for others not just yourself. Try to look at the crowd, you are playing for them. DJs have to read the crowd and adapt the set according to the crowd’s state of mind.
8. Lastly, if you could put on a festival, who would be in your dream line-up and why?
It would be a Scratch/breakbeat party here in Andalucía featuring Atomic Hooligan, Dj Memo, Kajhy, Kevin R, Ale Baquero, WDJ…
It would be a party where everybody would enjoy not just the music, but also experienced DJs expressing their emotions. It would be a great night for everybody.