I’m not often lost for words but every now and again a product comes along that leaves me speechless. The Scratchocaster by French DJ Viny Lourde Son is one such product. That’s not intended as an insult, it’s just that it takes a few moments to wrap your head around it. The Scratchocaster is a performance instrument that incorporates a turntable, some pads and controls built into a kind of oversized guitar shape – it’s like the sort of instrument you’d see in a Manga cartoon. This is the second evolution of the product which looks very different to the first and I will try my best to pull out some information on what it’s all doing.
The concept came from the simple idea of combining a turntable with a guitar. The turntable is the obvious wheel bit at the body end with which you scratch the sounds. In order to change the pitch there’s a slide that runs up the neck that also houses a crossfader, so while finding the notes the player can also play with the crossfade in a scratching styli. The pitch slider is essentially changing the speed of the turntable and it’s a fretless, free flowing method of control. On the original Scratchocaster there were lots of knobs for parameter changes and the neck was largely empty, with the MK2 the neck now has a series of pads and what looks like an XY controller. The original also featured a real piece of vinyl being scratched with a tone arm working vertically, which then evolved into being a timecode record running into Traktor. It now appears that the MK2 has dropped the tonearm and is probably fully digital, like the CD scratch controllers you see on DJ gear. You can tell that this isn’t really my field and that solid information is scarce!
So DJ Viny Lourde Son has been touting his instrument around various shows and performing with it at every opportunity. If ever there was a product ripe for Kickstarter investment this could be it. It continues to be quite bonkers and yet somehow fascinating enough to give it a nice chunk of creative potential. Cool or crazy? I’ve no idea, what do you think?
More information: https://www.facebook.com/VinyLourdSon.fanpage/?fref=ts