Scratch Track 3.0: MIDI Controller Support, Automation Recording

Aaron Leese has done some amazing work as the developer behind his own Stagecraft Software company – and one of the most fascinating tools he’s created is the Scratch Track plugin, which allows turntable sample manipulation within DAWs. In the new Scratch Track 3.0, Aaron has made major updates that open up the software to way more potential users, with the most prominent change coming in the form of MIDI controller support. Bust out your jogwheel controllers and start cutting in Ableton!

Scratch Track 3.0 Overview

Aaron does a great job of giving a complete overview of the Scratch Track update in his video below – or keep reading for our summary:

  • Software: Scratch Track 3.0
  • Developer: Stagecraft Software
  • Price: $45 (free 30-day trial)

MIDI Control For Jogwheel Controllers

MIDI Mapping in Scratch Track 3.0

In the new version of Scratch Track, there’s now quick MIDI-learning in the MIDI setup panel of the plugin. Instead of just being a plugin for DJs who own a DVS setup, this allows almost any jogwheel controller to manipulate the platter.

There’s friction (how quickly and how long the platter spins) and sensitivity adjustment in the setup as well – for an “authentic” experience you can make the response of the physical hardware match the software’s reactions – or adjust it to something more unique.

FX Chain + Deck Controls

Scratch Track 3.0 FX

There’s now a set of included effects with Scratch Track, all specifically designed for turntablism use, and all of which have syncing (to quantize the tempo of the effect itself, just like Pioneer’s Beat FX).

Scratch Track 3.0 Controls

There’s also a new controls section in Scratch Track – allowing quick manipulation (and mapping) of the deck, loop rolls, effects, cues, etc. These are all fairly standard controls for DJ software, but Scratch Track continues to be the first and only plugin to offer these style of features in a DAW environment.

Automation Recording

Scratch Track Automation

This must have been one of the most-requested features for the Scratch Track plugin since users are mostly using DAWs in production settings. In the new 3.0 version, there are automation parameters recorded for both the actual scratching and for the crossfader movement. This allows a producer to go back and clean up a scratch session or quickly duplicate it without having to re-record, which is incredibly handy for a producer workflow.

Aaron notes that he’s hoping that DJs with MIDI controllers will test the plugin and see how it works – so download the 30-day free trial and send him some feedback, or reply in the comments below with your experiences! 

  • GhettoBlaster

    This would be great if I could use the pads on my controller to instantly cut the fader left to right. Would save me having to set up my mixer. From the website it kind of lead me to believe it could do that by saying the cross fader is midi assignable but it’s only assignable to a midi capable mixer. For me it would go from an ok maybe purchase to a must have with that feature, surprised it wasn’t in the recent update.

  • Aaron Leese

    Glad to see some people trying it out. We’ve ironed out a few issues lately, and it’s looking better than ever at version 3.33. Thanks for all the downloads!

  • DJ TeeOh “The Official”

    I’m not seeing it, what is the point? What purpose does having a VST serve? If you can’t scratch, you can’t scratch. So why not just set up a line into your sound card, start a recording a channel, record your scratches, edit if necessary, and mix the track. If you need effects, they are built into the DJ program and if not you can add them in post production.

    This really seems like a completely unnecessary step.

    • prettysimpledoe

      DVS in Ableton

      • DJ TeeOh “The Official”

        Which makes no sense. Anyone that knows how to scratch already has a turntable, record, and mixer….so why not just plug a line from the mixer into a channel inside Ableton and hit record? Still the same sound, if not better, and less latency.

        • Aaron Leese

          Several reasons –
          1 – you can scratch live sound created by ableton
          2 – you can go back and alter the scratches and crossfade after the fact
          3 – you can add real time effects, and change those after the fact
          4 – you can record the timecode signal and then copy/paste that to create interesting new scratches

          Also – just a note – this is a real time plugin (no latency, everything is processed in the live buffer).

          • DJ TeeOh “The Official”

            Serato has “The Bridge” and it works the same way. And the timecode conversion is just like taking a sound and exporting the beat or harmony of it. The Bridge records fader movements, allows post-editing, real time effects, etc. That’s why I asked what’s the point of this. But I guess for those who don’t know about “The Bridge” or Serato, this would be a viable option.

  • Schallweller

    Well…tried it by loading a track into the deck. Ableton crashed after a few minutes. I was skipping through the track. CPU load is very high in my opinion. Just playing the track in one single deck leads to 15-20% CPU load and enabling a delay effect raises it to 50% for a short moment and will for sure create latencies when using more than one deck at a time. I like the idea. If it would work stable and use the resources properly I would uninstall my DJ Software and never look back. But here – sorry – this is just short before beta. I don’t know if it’s clever that there is a “Buy” Button on the page for a piece of software that is just close to a beta state. There are bugs that occur while doing a few clicks and that seems to me that nothing is finished here. Version 3.0 – well. I would call it 0.5 – but 3.0 stands for a finished piece of work what it is not. 45$ for something that is “alpha” is a joke and might lead to a bad image for the developer. And it would be very sad because it demotivates the programmer to keep on with that fantastic work. It’s really great and needs to be continued because “the world might need it”.

    (Example for something: Load a Track into the deck. Then click on “Control” and choose for example “Loop Roll”. But how do you go back here if you want to change it from “Loop Roll” to for example “Mixing” . It works if you click on the big waveform – sometimes. And sometimes it resets itself by magic. That’s alpha state for me unless I have overseen something here completely. Then you may all throw eggs and tomatoes on me)

    • Aaron Leese

      Hey Schallweller – This might have been an issue we addressed recently, so you may want to check again. Also, generally, if the buffer size is very small (say, 64 samples), this can end up taking a lot of CPU power. You may want to try a larger buffer size – everything is processed live, so you don’t need to worry about latency.

  • deejae snafu

    IM guessing this is a max for live device? if so its unfortunate because MFL is has been broken for OS yosemite and above for quite a while. without retro grading java all the way back to version 6… MFL will not work. i cant understand how they would let a bug like this go so long….

    • stevesweets

      Wait, what? MFL working for me on el capitan… before that on yosemite, too…

    • Schallweller

      it’s a VST Plugin dll.

  • ?The Other Denzel?

    Incredible

  • killmedj

    This is a whole lotta fun!

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