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DJ Fong Fong’s SliderKut Scratching Tool Heads To Kickstarter

About a year ago we first saw a prototype of an incredibly unique bit of turntablism kit that removes the turntable altogether: the SliderKut. First imagined and championed by 2012 DMC Online World Champion DJ Fong Fong, the SliderKut is “linear timecode” – signal sent to a DVS system via a straight line control surface instead of a round vinyl record. Keep reading for details, and to find out how the Kickstarter hopes to turn a one-off prototype into a ready-for-purchase, portable, DJ scratch tool.

SliderKut

The SliderKut prototype was first teased in late February 2016 with this performance video from DJ Fong Fong:

In the last year, the prototype has undergone some clear revisions to make it a more complete product – with a new case construction, Interestingly, there isn’t a new video yet of the second design pass – we suspect this version is still being finalized. Fong Fong did just put up a video on his Facebook page of a new session on the SliderKut – a whole hour of performance: (Editor’s Note: this has since been taken down?)

A Portablist’s Feature Set?

So how does the actual unit work? There aren’t specific specs released yet on the SliderKut, but clearly there is some kind of timecode on a straight line inside of the unit, which is read by the “Scratchpad” which slides overtop of the code on ball bearings. From the Kickstarter description:

“We have implemented an analogue TIMECODE , which is read by our gadgetry inside our slide carriage allowing you to simply connect it to a DVS interface for SCRATCHING, JUGGLING, MIXING and much more. The linear design offers ultra low latency allowing super tight control with direct response. Solidly perform the most advanced scratching techniques with confidence. Forget about jumping cartridges, calibrating your decks and worn out needles.”

The unit doesn’t require batteries or a power supply, and is portable – coming in at around 16″ long and 3″ wide. Here’s the rest of the feature set mentioned on the Kickstarter:

  • Built in timecode technology with analogue accuracy
  • Ultra smooth gliding scratch pad for tactile controls
  • Low latency through linear design allows tight ‘vinyl’ interaction and precision
  • Simply connect the sliderkut to your DVS-enabled mixer
  • Rugged yet sleek construction, built to last
  • Mega portable. Easily fits in your bag to take anywhere

How Will SliderKut Be Received?


So far, the project has raised just $652 out of a goal of $48,529 – meaning it could be a bit of an uphill battle if the rate of support doesn’t increase in the next few days. I suspect the portablism community could latch onto this technology if they wanted to as it seems to allow precision turntablism without a lot of the restrictions of a moving platter – but record-based traditions can be hard to shake.

The turntablism world can be very fickle, and vocal online commenters often frame unique takes on DJ technology as a threat. A few anonimized examples of comments when we first shared the SliderKut prototype:

  • “HORRIBLE! THIS IS NOT DJING ANYMORE … just stupid stuff that makes weird noise”
  • “Unless it can do something a turntable (with DVS if needed) can’t do, I don’t see the point in this.”
  • “this is not real ..scratching is with a vinyl record and turntable..”

The SliderKut Kickstarter is live now – with pre-order early units starting at about $193 and moving up to $310 after that. Have thoughts or comments on this concept? Share in the comments below. 

  • Sliderkut Scratchtool

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86c245a232dd3931708a320c03fd24f7a13ac4b19d8156d96d99fe8829ee0aac.jpg Hi all
    just finished the new prototype and am uploading pics and video today. I am Not a dj! So no sarky comments about style ok.
    DJ Fong Fong is doing a live set at 11 pm European time on his face book and kickstarter live. I think he may also have some help….

    • Redlight

      Looks great. Nice work!

  • partofthepuzzle

    I think that Sliderkut looks a tremendously innovative controller. I sincerely hope that it can find the backing it needs to be a commercially available product. If the Kickstarter campaign doesn’t make, please don’t give up!

  • Those comments are the worst!!! This dudes a WORLD CHAMPION with HIS OWN advancement in the technology and culture. He don’t gotta answer to none of these clowns. I think it’s mega dope and would love to get my hands on one. Shines to him.

  • This is a great project Fong, I hope it will see commercial daylight!
    Here’s a thought: How about an additional version with a semilunar/crescent shaped rail that has the same arc than a vinyl? Just above the middle of the radius of a 12″where most DJs put their hand, maybe around 8-9 inch.
    That way when you practise with it, you actually would get better on a TT as well, as it’s the same hand motion.

    • Redlight

      Great idea.

  • benjamin funklin

    a new take on vinyl vs cd for 2017, just what we all need and want! nothing gets 40 year old DJs in a fizz more than some new technology that makes them feel threatened. “it’s not scratching if there’s no vinyl” they said when cdjs came and so on and so on. they are still arguing about it today as they carry 88lb crates of records around.

    hats off to this guy for seeing through his idea, it can’t have been easy. it’s not for me, but good luck.

  • locodog

    I like idea’s but I don’t think this is a winner, If you want to avoid needle skip look at contactless pickups on a TT, we don’t have to send audio, not for TC just a high res encoder signal.
    I can imagine a vinyl disc that is doped with nano pn junctions, the voltage from these nanodiodes inducts into a coil in a pickup

    good luck anyway

  • zendoo

    How do I move the device back to baseline without engaging it to scratch, when I stop scratching and resume playback? Where is “center” on it? –At an edge, or in the physical center? How do I skip around on a record to find different sounds to scratch?

    I think I would want it to spring back to center when I’m not touching it, and also not affect playback if I’m not touching it. IDK how you would have it spring back to center without using actual springs… electromagnets that energize in a sequence? If it doesn’t auto-center, I can’t see how it would replace a jog wheel.

  • Sliderkut Scratchtool

    Sorry guys we lost the live vid but we are hoping to do another one next week with some guests

    • Redlight

      I’ve already backed the campaign but I am patiently waiting to see the new video. Are you on track to post another video this week?

      • Sliderkut Scratchtool

        Coming very soon

        • Redlight

          Awesome. Thanks.

  • guest100

    So what’s the advantage of this rail system in comparison to a jog wheel?

    • Duff Champ

      Exactly. It seems daft. Lacks the movement that turntables bring. Pro is that it is smaller

  • jm2c

    I see this as a perfect substitute for jog wheels. Bravo! I wish you the best of luck with the product.

    • Sliderkut Scratchtool

      Thanks

  • Redlight

    Very interesting. Which DVS systems is it compatible with?

    • The Kickstarter mentions Traktor and Serato…

      • Redlight

        Not sure how I skipped over that. Thanks. Decided to back the project. Hopefully it hits the goal.

  • Sliderkut Scratchtool

    We tried using space age ‘dry slide’ plastic bearings tested to over 500,00 ‘slides’ but it just wasn’t smooth enough (they are in the new prototype) thats why we use the original prototype in the vids

  • Sliderkut Scratchtool

    We are hoping to add blue tooth and a touch sensitive pad to make this a turntable alternative, with cue pads and so-on, so not a simple as it looks, oh and you could probably fit it in your laptop bag. or your back pocket!

    • As much as I love turntables, I have to say bravo.. This is the only thing besides an analogue turntable that has sounded as much like “real” scratching to my ears as an analogue turntable with DVS. (CDJ scratching sounds inauthentic to my ears.)

    • Teo Tormo

      The idea is great, but I honestly think that if you want to get the funds you should show the finished product with the all that functions in the video, and not the unfinished one.

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  • Drew Long

    It’s not scratching, it’s scrubbing. Dope idea non the less

    • It’s debatable.. It was called scrubbing because the magnetic head “scrubbed” the tape media.. They called it scratching because it was a needle on a physical media.. Since this makes a scratching sound and emulates a DVS system I think the name is appropriate.