We’ve been following the progress of the 7 Portable Scratcher (henceforth known as 7PS) for a few years. We’ve posted a number of stories along the way, but now it’s time for an update, one that will answer many questions for people, and give you some idea of what’s happening next.
HOW WE’RE INVOLVED
Firstly, full disclosure… well more like clarification really. I’ve been helping with certain aspects of the development of the 7PS. DJWORX is perfectly placed to offer solid advice in a number of areas, and to open a few doors from a business perspective. And certainly coming up to NAMM, my friends in the US has been pitching in with industry knowledge to give the 7PS the very best chance of being made.
The important thing to be clear about is that we’ve all been doing it for free. None of us have any financial gain from this — we all just love the project and want to do our very best to help the 7PS become a real product. Just like the first days of skratchworx, we’re here to help the DJ industry make better DJ gear.
A QUICK RECAP
Start here, and then read this. Cutting a long story short — emails and posts in a private 7PS Facebook group allowed me to advise on a few aspects in the development of the 7PS. Having made a number of prototype parts, and finally a fully rendered shell, Lauris sent this to Andy “Rasteri” Tait, who shoehorned a heap of electronics into it, and thus the first fully working 7PS was born.
A TRIP TO THE WORXLAB
Lauris wanted to pay a visit to the Worxlab, a location that is ideally suited to bring Andy “Rasteri” Tait and Lauris together for the first time after working remotely for many months.
It was a bit of a nerdfest for a few hours, as Lauris and Andy poured over the fully assembled prototype, checking, fixing, and tweaking the unit to iron out a few issues as well as make it that little bit better. But after a period of playing by a few gathered guests, Lauris and Andy did a Facebook Live scratch session, and then hosted a live Q&A.
This proved to be a most successful weekend, and proved that the 7PS was not only ready for primetime, but importantly that people want to buy it.
SAMPLE MUSIC FESTIVAL
While the Worxlab does surprisingly have a few world-class scratch DJs living nearby, the chances of finding hordes of them is more likely in Berlin than rural West Yorkshire. Thus Lauris and Andy decided on a market research trip to the Sample Music festival, in a bid to put the 7PS in the hands of a great many more portablists and scratch DJs.
The response couldn’t have been better. Everyone who touched the 7PS loved it and wanted to buy one. Thus Lauris and Andy had to answer the same questions that they’ve fielding for months, some of which are answered further down the page.
Coinciding with the DMC world finals, a huge gathering of international portablists was happening. So it seemed like another ideal opportunity to get the 7PS into even more hands than before.
And just like SMF, it was a ridiculous success. There’s no doubt that the 7PS is a product that a great many people want to buy. Time to build.
THE NAMM SHOW 2019
If there’s one place on the planet where the 7PS will get the best possible feedback and importantly exposure to the industry, it’s the Winter NAMM. It’s populated by the vast majority of VIP scratch DJs for validation and PR purposes, and by retailers and manufacturers who are looking at trends and for ideas.
Thus Lauris had heeded out to LA with 7PS in hand, and has already hooked up with some of my friends who are helping him hone the product to a point where it’s a professional level pitch, complete with market research and important numbers, ones that should hopefully allow the 7PS to be picked up by the industry in some way and eventually delivered to your door.
I know you have many questions, and they’re probably much the same ones. So what follows are probably the top three that Lauris has had to answer over and over and over…
WHEN CAN I BUY THE 7PS AND HOW MUCH IS IT?
Ah the big questions that are always being asked. And the short answers are you can’t, and no idea at the moment.
These are questions that being at NAMM may well give greater clarity to. Right now, there is one handmade but fully functional prototype that resides with Lauris in France. The aim at NAMM is to show it to people with the supporting media and presentation in a bid to get it made.
DOES IT HAVE A DIRECT DRIVE PLATTER?
No, and frankly it doesn’t need one for a number of reasons.
Have you felt the torque on the Handy Trax and PT01s? There’s more than enough torque with a belt drive on these decks, and it’ll be just fine for the 7PS too.
Adding a whole motor adds bulk, weight, cost, and reduces battery life. All manner of compromises would have to be made to add a feature that isn’t necessary to make the unit bigger, heavier, more expensive, and less portable.
Aren’t point 1 and 2 enough?
WHY DON’T YOU CROWDFUND IT?
A few of reasons. Firstly, there’s absolutely no guarantee of success. On Kickstarter, it would qualify as a tech project, and the successful funding rate is currently at 20.2%, a number that doesn’t allude to successful completion. Experience also shows that DJ related projects fair even worse than that. I’m not sure that we’ve featured a project that has ever been funded.
Secondly, launching and running a campaign is a tough enough task. But imagine if it’s successful, and suddenly you’re neck-deep in money and expectation, but then realise that you’re really without the resources to make it happen. It happens so many times in crowdfunding — an idea isn’t enough. You must be able to deliver.
There is however one overriding factor at play here. Lauris is about to become a father for the first time in a matter of weeks, and has recently moved house too. So of course it makes perfect sense to mix delivering a crowdfunding project at the same time of two of life’s most stressful events. No — Lauris wants to sell the project and focus on the more important things in life.
Ultimately, selling the project to an established manufacturer ensures that experience and skills will deliver a quality product in a timely manner, with a full retail distribution and support mechanism in place. Trust me — it’s the best way to go.
THE UNSUNG HERO
Throughout this project, I’ve always talked about Lauris and Andy. But there is a third person who deserves just as much credit as anyone else. And that’s Lauris’s very wonderful better half Jooree. Without her unending belief and support, Lauris would have thrown in several towels a long time ago.
Through all the frustration and self doubt that a typical creative works through on a daily basis, she was there steadying the good ship 7PS. You catch glimpses of her from time to time, but she’s always around, organising things in the background, and making sure that Lauris understands (he is French and she is Korean American) and importantly is understood too.
If nothing else happens, I’m just happy to have made some new friends.
Given the amount of coverage we’d given it, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the 7PS is a product that you can buy. Fingers crossed that Lauris’s trip to NAMM allows that to become a reality.
If you want to help, please like, share, and generally tell everyone about this post, the videos contained herein, and the 7PS in general. It needs all the positive support you can offer, and getting behind a couple of guys with a dream is a jolly nice thing to do.
If any industry types reading this want to grab Lauris for a business chat at NAMM (please don’t waste his time), you can grab him at email@example.com, or failing that you know how to get hold of me and I’ll organise things.
And good luck Lauris!
FINALLY, SOME SCRATCHING
Once again, the good people at Boom City TV stepped up and produced another cracking video, this time without people spoiling it by talking. Enjoy!