Video: They Say You Can’t Scratch On DJ Controllers… Are They Right?

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
Pro scratching Scratching myths Scratching on controllers
Last updated 21 June, 2018



DJing with turntables is awesome. Especially so scratching. But it’s also elitist, expensive to get into, and impractical. No wonder that most DJs in today’s world are using DJ controllers instead of turntables. DJ controllers have helped create a whole new and huge generation of DJs – and that’s a great thing.

But what when it comes to scratching? Can you really scratch well enough on DJ controllers to be able to kiss turntables goodbye? (Or never say “hello” to them in the first place…) What are the limits? Are there even any? In the above video, we look at seven myths about scratching on DJ controllers – and attempt to “bust” them all.

So if you are a controller DJ and you want to learn to scratch, but you think your gear is holding you back – this is for you. Have faith. You can do it. And we’re right behind you.

The videos in full

Here are the full videos we extracted the short clips above from. Thanks and respect to our tutors DJ Angelo and DJ Carlo Atendido, as well as DJ TLM, D-Styles, DJ Cyberia, DJ Philly, DJ Wreckdown, Terrence Parker and The Abbott.

Myth #1: “Scratching on a controller doesn’t sound the same as on vinyl”

In this clip, on the left, software and a controller, and on the right… “real” vinyl. Can you tell the difference?

Myth #2: “Latency means you can’t do really fast scratching”

Check out these scratch DJs from San Diego putting the S4 through its paces and ask yourself if you still believe this myth…

Myth #3: “You can’t scratch on cheap gear and/or small jogwheels”

Check out DJ TLM putting the $200 Pioneer DDJ-SB controller through its paces…

Myth #4: “You can’t “beatjuggle” without spinning visual cues”

DJ Wreckdown using the tiny Denon MC2000 to juggle like a demon…

Myth #5: “Scratching on a controller is not the same as ‘performing’ on turntables”

Our scratch tutor DJ Angelo dominates this Reloop controller for an impressive performance routine.

Myth #6: “You can’t scratch with modern house or trance music, it’s only for hip hop”

Techno legend Terrence Parker scratching house acapellas – no hip hop or turntables here!

Myth #7: “You’ll never be respected scratching on digital gear”

Even the DMC World DJ championship is now getting respected entries from DJs using controllers – check out The Abbot from New Zealand on his controller.


If you want to take this further, we have a fantastic course that can help you master this stuff on any gear, including whatever controller it is you happen to own – guaranteed. Click here to find out more about it.

Also, we’d love to know what you think. Do you think it is possible to scratch as well on controllers as on vinyl? Have you tried both? Are you a scratch DJ who’s never used vinyl at all? A turntable DJ who’s not gonna give it up for controller DJing? Let us know! in the comments below…

Mixing For Mobile & Wedding DJs