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Analysis of the Acoustics and Playing Strategies of Turntable Scratching

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Scratching performed by a DJ (disk jockey) is a skillful style of playing the turntable with complex musical output. This study focuses on the description of some of the acoustical parameters and playing strategies of typical scratch improvisations, and how these parameters typically are used for expressive performance. Three professional DJs were instructed to express different emotions through improvisations, and both audio and gestural data were recorded. Feature extraction and analysis of the recordings are based on a combination of audio and gestural data, instrument characteristics, and playing techniques. The acoustical and performance parameters extracted from the recordings give a first approximation on the functional ranges within which DJs normally play. Results from the analysis show that parameters which are important for other solo instrument performances, such as pitch, have less influence in scratching. Both differences and commonalities between the DJs' playing styles were found. Impact that the findings of this work may have on constructing models for scratch performances are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2011

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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