Input Transform: Throwback Thursday DJ Technique

One of the oldest tricks in the DJ world is to use any and all of the controls on a DJ mixer to gate or transform one of the playing decks. There’s plenty of ways to do it – so in today’s Throwback Thursday DJ  technique, Ean explains how and why you might want to swipe the input selector in time with the beat. Watch inside:

Input transform is a classic DJ effect – but as with all of our Throwback Thursday techniques, every DJ can use it in a modern context.

We’ve had a great time identifying some of the most interesting and useful DJ tips from back in the day – and there are a bunch more tutorials cued up for the next few weeks. That being said, if you’ve got a unique or interesting throwback tip that you think we should do, or that you want to do yourself for DJTT, please let us know in the comments!

(Editor’s note: yes, the levels are distorting on the mixer slightly. This is due to a technical issue in the studio causing our monitors to play too quietly – but some of these Throwback videos have overblown audio as a result.)

Interested in the Rane TTM57MK2 mixer? It’s available in the DJTT store

ean goldeneffectsgateinput switchraneRane TTM57mkiitechnics 1200sThrowback Thursdaytransformturntables
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  • notectrl

    not being a scratch guy, had no idea about this bit of techniques history, and honestly thought nobody else was using the line selector as killswitch. Nice to hear, read and learn everyday. Cheers !

  • calkutta

    : To all you younger DJ’s.This technique is very good,yet very old..and on 98% of most mixers,after about one month of doing this,it will damage the toggle and you will hear a hiss,click type sound…Early Skratch DJ’s used this for kutting while skratching…and while making certain skratchs a lot easier…it WILL Break that part of your mixer…making you switch to the ‘Other’ Line/Phono’ toggle..till that one breaks…The reason this was good for skratching was because of the short ‘Throw’ could ‘Mimic’ the quick movements of the Fader…However,Real Turntablist caught on very early to this as a Gimmick,or sign of a Beginner or ‘Civilian’ tablist…DJ Flare,inventor of the ‘Flare Skratch’ actually had a crew called N.C.A’ ,which stood for ‘NO Clickers Allowed’…Only years later did DJ/Inventor/Pioneer DJ Focus of ‘The Focus Fader’ Fame made his signature mixer as well as the Craze Signature Mixer with very small actual ‘Faders’ in the Toggles for Line/Phono…hence giving years of life to this technique….Many are on the Fence with this Style of Transforming and some even have called it ‘Cheating’…However,I have seen A-list DJ’s still do it,like MixMaster Mike and the Scratch Perverts….The bottom line is How you use it in the Over-all set,and if its dope,…well.than its dope…Just a bit of History in case you stumble upon a session full of Purist and you get called out- Most Tablist are Gentleman and will just smile and then Destroy you with Fader combinations that CANNOT be done with thee ‘Clicker’,such as Crabs or a fast Twiddle…letting the DJ use all his Fingers.But Again,if used Properly,and with restraint,this can be a good effect….But no substitute for actual practice on the real Cross Fader….Now you Tell Someone Else something cool.
    Rasp Haunt aka

  • Mac

    Hey Ean how about mapping a knob on a controller that controls the key to a deck. And also abutting that turns it back to the normal default setting. That would be cool and would have cool variations in sets on the fly.

  • Black_Rag

    fun fact 😀 this stuff is doable with a button on a controller too, just so long as you map it right.

  • DJ Riddim

    I never understood why djs did/do that instead of using the crossfader.

    • Mark Settle

      Crossfader curves weren’t aways sharp. The transformer scratch was invented for this reason.

      • calkutta

        Exactly….Hey Mark…Nice to see your site is back up,..wink wink’-

        • calkutta

          by the way Mark…Why Settle?…..your site?….seriously?….

  • Spencer "Thunderball" Thayer

    For a DJM900 you can use the channel-cross-fader-assign-switch to do this too; as long as the cross fader is on the appropriate side. It would be sick if someone figured out how to mod that switch with a joy stick.

  • PaulHolland DoubleDutchdj

    Bah! As much as I despise this technique I’ll happily admit this was my gateway drug to scratching and in turn taught me how to transform with the xfader some 15+ years ago. 100% worth experimenting with line switchs but I hope it ultimately encourages peeps to try this on the faders to 🙂

    • superfly

      Yeah, Joe Cooley was the first I ever saw use the line switch, and it certainly wasn’t for cutting tracks in…

    • Eduardo

      Thats funny i thought i was the only one

  • Rob Ticho,Club mU

    I think you should do the old “headphones as your mic” trick for throwback thursday. So many new DJs freak out when I show them that.

    • Chris Wunder

      oh yea people poop their pants when they see it lol.

  • Martin Wilson

    Oh man… Haven’t done that in years! Guess that means the series is working.

  • Chris Alker

    Nice one. I definitely remember those toggles.