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Final Scratch n/a

Before I begin, I would like to point out that I have not used Final Scratch (yet), but will be updating this article in the future, once I fully review it. Above you can see the general setup of Final Scratch. You need two turntables and a mixer. Nothing new there for DJs. Along with that, you need a computer and the Final Scratch system that plugs into your computer via a USB cable. The Final Scratch system is connected to your mixer's two outputs, in addition the box has two outputs that connect to your amplifier. The actual box is very small! Final Scratch does not have "helper" functions to aid mixing, you still need skill to use it, which I think is good. People do not turn up to clubs to hear a program playing records, they want DJs to do that!

Essentially, you have two special Final Scratch records (and only these work with the system). They are supposed to last quite a long time, but cost very little to replace. When played, they send timecode information to the computer, which get fed into the box and decoded. So when they move, the MP3s being played on the computer also move. When the record is dragged back, so the MP3 also gets dragged back etc. According to Stanton, it reacts within 3ms of the record being moved, which I would have thought is probably fast enough for scratching. The whole point of Final Scratch is that it gives you the control of vinyl, with the convenience of MP3s. All the DJ needs to carry around is his/her laptop, the Final Scratch system. A laptop can store hundreds, if not thousands of tracks, which can be easily backed up! Just imagine a DJ trying to lug around 1000 vinyl records. It also means that you have access to MP3 tracks available downloaded from the internet from new artists. Obviously, you can easily transfer CDs to MP3s, and also vinyl tracks to MP3s, so you could still make use of your traditional collection.

I would expect that Final Scratch will probably become very commonplace in the future, with Final Scratch systems being a standard feature in DJ booths. From personal experience, although there are great virtual MP3 DJ programs like Traktor, nothing beats the hands on control of vinyl, especially when compared to trying to position a record with a mouse! For stability Final Scratch only runs on Linux (not on Windows), although this will take longer to setup Final Scratch, I am sure most DJs would rather spend a few hours installing it, rather than have their laptops crash in the middle of sets.

I hope that in use, Final Scratch will be just as good as it sounds!