Portablism Gear Guide – How to make a portable scratch setup

Portablism is a growing trend where DJs modify their portable turntables to use them for scratching. The portablism-culture is rapidly growing and with the release of equipment like the Numark PT-01 Scratch and portable faders like Raiden Fader, it’s safe to say that portablism is here to stay. If you want to learn how to scratch, but don’t have the funds to buy a pair of Technics 1200, a mixer and some speakers, scratching on a portable turntable can be a good start.

 

Why scratch on a portable turntable?

  • It’s fun!
  • Cheaper than a regular scratch setup
  • Improve record control – Scratching on portable turntables requires a softer touch than a normal DJ turntable and is a great way to improve your scratching.
  • It’s small, and you can bring it anywhere. Great for traveling or just relaxing in the sun.
  • Creativity – Take portablism to the next level and show off your style with custom skins, tonearms or knobs. Or turn your portable turntable into a DVS.

 

What Equipment do I need for portablism?

 

Portable Turntable

The first thing you need is a portable turntable. These turntables are belt driven, so the torque is not as strong as a regular DJ turntable, but they still work great for scratching.

 

Numark PT-01

portablism

 

The Numark PT-01 is a favorite among portablists everywhere. It’s also very easy to modify if you want to add features like a start/stop switch or ultrapitch.

  • Size: 12” x 12” x 4” – Built–in carrying handle, and removable dust cover with locking slide latch
  • Headphone output with 1/8” & 1/4” jacks
  • Plays at 33, 45 and 78 RPM speeds
  • ±10% pitch control
  • Tone and gain control
  • On–board monitor speaker
  • Line level output
  • 12v AC transformer included for use without batteries
  • 45 adapter included

Check price on Amazon

 

 

Numark PT-01 Scratch

portablism

The Numark PT-01 Scratch is the first portable turntable design for portablism. It has a built in fader and you can even scratch hamster style if you want to. For sharper cuts the stock fader can be swapped with a mini innofader or a custom PT-01 scratch fader from Jesse Dean Designs 

 

  • 3-speeds (33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM)
  • Built-in fader
  • Built-in speaker, protective case, and integrated carrying handle
  • Wall-powered with included AC adapter or six batteries 
  • 1/8″ aux input with adjustable volume;
  • RCA line outputs;
  • 1/4″ & 1/8″ headphone outs
  • USB-Connection

Check price on Amazon

 

 

Vestax handy trax

portablism

The Vestax Handy Trax is a classic portable turntable. It is a big favorite among DJs, vinyl collectors and cratediggers.

  • Volume control fader
  • Pitch control and tone control dials
  • Line in, line out and headphone out
  • 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Size: 14.6 x 10.2 x 3.8 inches
  • Weight: 4.6 pounds

Check price on Amazon

 

 

Portable fader

The next thing you will need is a portable fader. There are many options to choose from, and some have more features than others.

 

Raiden Fader

portablism

Raiden is a well-known pioneer in the portablism-game. Pictured here is the VVT MK1

  • Compatible with any audio device using 3.5mm stereo cables
  • Durable 300D heathered weave Ecoya eco-dyed poly construction
  • Sharp cut off curve (on/off) for precise cuts
  • AUX IN feature allows for constant audio from a different device/source to be played simultaneously through the fader, and not affected by fader

Check price on amazon

 

Check out DJ Underkut with the RXI-F1:

 

Mixfader

The Mixfader is the worlds first wireless portable faders. It works with the edjing Pro App,  so you can scratch on your iPad if you like. The fader can be assigned to any role, fader, pitch, effects etc. And you can connect up to 7 mixfaders at the same time!

portablism

  • Wireless
  • Can be used with edjing Pro for a portable DVS-setup
  • Compatible with IOS, Android, Windows Mobile, & OSX
  • Adjustable crossfader curve, Cut-in and Role assignment
  • Hamster (reverse) switch
  • Connect up to 7 Mix faders at one time
  • Bluetooth 4.0 or higher, less than 5ms latency
  • Works with Serato, Traktor and Ableton

Check price on amazon

 

See it in action:

 

 

Stokyo KUTTER

portablism

  • Hamster switch
  • Cuts on both sides
  • Can be used for mixing with 2 turntables
  • two stereo inputs, one output + thru assignments
  • made + designed in Japan by STOKYO

Check price on amazon

 

JDDX2R by Jesse Dean Design

portablism

Jesse Dean Designs is a popular name in the portablist-community. The JDDX2R is their take on the portable fader. It’s currently out of stock on their site, but they are available at TurntableTrainingWax.

Be sure to check out Jesse Dean Designs Instagram page for cool portablist-mods and more good stuff.

 

 

Frisk Fader

 

portablism

The Frisk Fader was the first portable fader on the market. It is a simple fader with a sharp cut. If you want to play beats while scratching you will need a splitter.

 

  • Cord and carabiner for attachment to lanyard
  • Works with Algoriddim Djay
  • 3.5 mm stereo plug
  • 3.5 mm Stereo jack input

Check price on amazon

 

7 inch Slipmat

For smooth cutting, a good slipmat is essential. You can make your own or choose from one of the options shown here.

Thudrumble

Baby butter rugs

This is a 7 inch version of the classic butter rugs by Thudrumble. The original butter rugs are a classic tool used by turntablists worldwide.

portablismportablism

Check price on Amazon: Black / White

 

7″ Short rugs (Special Edition)

portablism

Check price on Amazon

Raiden

Raiden makes some really cool slipmats for portablism. They are good quality and have great designs.

 

portablismportablismportablismportablism

Check price on Amazon

 

Stokyo Dr. Suzuki x Technics

Stokyo has a long history of crafting good slipmats. This is their 7 inch version featuring the Technics logo.

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

SIC

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

7 inch scratch records

As portablism is evolving, more and more portablist scratch records are available. The 7 inch records are usually limited releases so you better be quick if you want a copy.

Here are some options to get you started:

 

Ritchie Ruftone // Practice Yo! Cuts

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

Thud Rumble

QBert Super Seal 7″

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

Super Seal Giant Robo V.1 (White Vinyl) 7″

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

Superjock Records

Nola Bounce Breaks

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

Skratcher/Lost Tone Pros

Bubonic Breaks

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

DJ Brace

Close Cuts 7″

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

Cut & Paste Records

Just Stay Funky Like That

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

Texas Scratch League

Sure Shot

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

Chicken Scratch

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

If you want to keep your scratch records safe, you can store them in a limited edition 7 inch record crate by Jesse Dean Designs.

jesse dean design 7 inch crate

Portable speaker

Minirig Bluetooth Speaker

portablism

  • Great sound
  • 50 hours battery life – You can even charge your phone

Check price on amazon

 

Skull Candy Air Raid

portablism

  • Loud, quality sound
  • Rugged Design
  • 10 hour battery life
  • Water resistant,

Check price on Amazon

 

JBL Flip 3

 

  • Great sound quality
  • 10 hour battery life
  • Splashproof
  • Bluetooth

Check price on Amazon

Music source

Tablebeats looper app

Tablebeats is a looper app with more than 1500 beats for you to scratch over. You can choose from beats made by producers like Ritchie Ruftone, Gold Voltron, Paul Skratch, Emma Short-E, DJ A1, DJ Hypnotize, DJ Odilon & DJ Claim.

 

Extras

3.5 mm cable

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

 

Fader Crib

If you want your portable fader to feel more like a regular mixer you can put it in a fader crib by 1200plates

portablism

 

Skins

For added style points, try a custom skin for the PT-01 Skratch.

portablism

 

Backpack

Keep your portable scratch setup safe in a Magma DJ Riot Backpack.

portablism

Check price on Amazon

 

 

 

What does your setup look like? Write a comment or post a picture on instagram with the hashtag #djlabsetup! 

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