Turntables and Pitches


Like I mentioned before, when it comes to turntables I am clueless.   However this doesn’t mean I’m not interested in them or don’t respect them.  If any turntablists are reading this, I have a question.  I was curious why not many dj’s use a record with a certain frequency (let’s say 440 hZ (A) for ease of argument) and scratch it to change the pitch and play it like an instrument.  For example, if they were to push the record against the needle the frequency would be sped up and play a higher pitch.  If it was dragged against the needle the pitch would be lower.

Kid Koala kind of does what I am describing in “Drunk Trumpet” but with a musical sample.  I am interested in someone doing this with a frequency though.

While this would take an amazing ear to hit a specific pitch, many musicians play fretless instruments where they must do this.  Excuse my ignorance, but wouldn’t this be possible to do with turntables? 

I remember watching “Scratch” and I believe it was the Dust Brothers who had records made that have a single pitch to them.  Like “A”, “A#”, “B”, etc… so all 12 tones were covered.  They used these records when touring with Beck but I haven’t been able to find examples of this.  I am curious if they did what I previously described.  Can anyone help me out if they know of any songs they did this with?

The idea of slowing down records reminds me of a hilarious bit by Patton Oswalt involving Alvin and the Chipmunks.  Here it is:


2 Responses to Turntables and Pitches

  1. naomi says:

    The Dust Bros. never toured with Beck. Are you sure you don’t mean DJ Swamp?

  2. 82muchf00d says:

    i believe it was the dust brothers. i might be wrong about them touring with beck but i know they worked on his Odelay album.

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