For all the emphasis on learning how to use creative tools the proper way, it’s often when you misuse a feature that it really becomes a powerful tool. So, in the spirit of some of the “mistutorials” from Ableton’s own Dennis DeSantis, here’s our friend Michael Hatsis of New York’s Track Team Audio / Warper Party / Dubspot with a really unusual way to achieve scratching effects.

You know the Ping Pong effect for its clichéd, stereo-panning echo effects. But here, it goes an entirely different direction: now that Live 8 has added new delay modes, you can create some special effects that don’t sound like the typical effect. Mike manages to warp and bend Ping Pong into something that sounds a lot like scratching. He warns that “this is not meant to replace vinyl nor will it produce a totally authentic sounding scratch sound.” On the other hand, you start to get some sounds that are reminiscent of scratching but sound unique, which I think is a Very Good Thing.

Live 8 users, download the template:

There’s also some nice discussion happening over on the Ableton blog. (Main request: automation / dummy clips for more sound-warping power.)

Video: Total misuse of a ping pong delay – scratch effects

(And those of you Pd/Max/SuperCollider/Chuck/Reaktor users out there, maybe this will inspire some DIY effects along similar lines.)


Ableton Live 8 Creative Tutorial Videos: Using and Misusing Groove Extraction

Ableton Live 8 Creative Tutorial Videos: Misusing Frequency Shifter

(and, yes, much as I love Live 8, I welcome other tools, too – anyone interested in tutorials to request / tutorials you want to make?)

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  • Dennis DeSantis


    This is an excellent tutorial, and exactly the kind of thing that I love when people uncover.

  • (noou)

    yeah, i agree.
    you should get to know him.

  • regend

    i'm anxious for the Serato/Ableton thing…it'll bring real turntablism into Live

  • NO way

    dude that is the WORST school

  • eisnein

    that sounds effing great! keep up the good work Mike!

  • dyscode

    “this is not meant to replace vinyl nor will it produce a totally authentic sounding scratch sound.”

    Can someone please explain to me why this line is there?

    I mean:
    Is Hatsis apologizing for creatiting a unique scratch flavor by thinking creatively outside the box or are DJs so stupid these days? ;->

  • Peter Kirn

    I expect Mike is trying to head off comments by vinyl purists — especially on YouTube. 😉

  • ABFS

    I cannot describe how glad I am that this gentleman took time out from kidnapping Socrates for his final project and hanging out at the Circle K to share this with us.


    Thanks Peter, That was the idea. Youtube is a great resource, but unfortunately there are lots of comments that are not very constructive. Just wanted to preemptively sort this out.



    Thanks for the comments and glad your enjoying. This was a fun one to make. I'll be making more of these for dubspot so If you have any suggestions please let me know – mhatsysATgmail

  • al

    yeah pretty good
    id been making a vst plugin thats pretty much
    the same idea
    live realtime scratching type sounds
    not a vinyl replacement just a weird but cool effect

    while making this made a live timestretcher
    gives u about 3 octaves of pitch manipulation
    but tempo stays the same

    will be online soon for download
    but due to family bereivment aint been able to get them finished

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  • Bjorn Vayner

    We can thank Claes Johanson for these improved delays. Its one of the last things he did at Ableton before he left with 3 other Abe's to form a new music company and win a 25k startup grant. Before all that he was part of the Swedish Vember Audio.

    Claes Rocks!
    Its amazing what you can get a developer to do for a few Belgian Beers.
    Can't wait to see which audio application they came up with. Apparently its some kind of car or a sequencer?

  • Deaq

    You can do similar thing with Reason 3-4 I've done a combinator patch that does this. Its pretty cool, but clipping can occour.

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  • Chris G

    OMG AMAZING! Know where i can find the scrath scratch samples

  • http://www.myspace/djchinkial al

    hey peter and all
    finally managed to get a near finished version of my scratch vst running in flstudio

    as ive been having driver problems with live
    and my bcd3000

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