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?)

  • Brilliant.

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

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

  • 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? ;->

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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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