Many years ago in the heyday of the skratchlounge forum, I postulated the idea that small jog wheels weren’t the best vehicle for clean scratching, and looked for an alternative. It’s clear that rather than trying to achieve smooth motion with a tight rotational movement, linear motion is a much better solution, and proposed a conveyor belt device, one that would allow for spin backs and to mimic the basics of vinyl play but in a more compact linear controller format.
Like most ideas I’ve come up with, it progressed no further than a single forum post now archived somewhere on a drive. But it makes me so happy to see someone else with the same basic idea actually do something with it. And Fong Fong has finally taken his SliderKut idea seen online last year, honed it, and put it on Kickstarter to help make it a reality.
This video gives a more complete idea of the potential. One thing I’m not too clear on is the use of timecode. In the top video, the SliderKut isn’t acting like a turntable — it’s a slider of a fixed length and isn’t playing audio constantly i.e. the wheel display in Serato isn’t rotating. In this respect, it appears to be very much like the ScrubBoard, but obviously much slicker.
Now if this could operate like a touch sensitive static jog wheel via HID, with a start/stop button and taking control of playback when touched, then this has potential to be a real alternative to jog wheels. Perhaps not at 400mm long, but something smaller with all the controls at one side. Imagine the slider as a waveform controller and it makes more sense. I can even picture a mobile phone powered controller running from an app and incorporating a fader.
Either way, it’s great to see left field thinking happening, and equally having crowdfunding platforms to potentially make them into a reality. Good luck Fong Fong!