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Scratch Markup Language can record your turntable exploits

Scratch Markup Language can record your turntable exploits


ScratchML is a new file format released at this year's Art Hack, designed to allow detailed analysis of turntablism-style DJ performances.

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If you've been looking for a way to immortalize your turntablism performances, then F.A.T's entry into this year's Art Hack in Brooklyn might just be the solution. Dubbed Scratch Markup Language (or ScratchML), it's a new file format that records the position of the decks and crossfader over time, allowing them to be replayed in future. To gather the data, the team used an Arduino to monitor the position of the crossfader, which was paired with a timecode vinyl (used as an input by digital DJing systems like Torq, Serato, and Traktor) to keep track of how the decks were manipulated.

Ultimately, the team expects that this data will be able to be used for transcription and analysis of the performance, though they also envision that it could be fed back to a robotic arm, creating the player piano of the DJ world. During Art Hack, the data was also being converted to the open OSC format, which allowed other participants to create visualizations that reacted to the DJ's performance. It just remains to be seen whether any of the vast range of DJ software available embraces the new format — or whether you might be able to download the performances from this year's DMC World Championship.