Shoehorning Serato DJ inside the portablist PT01 Scratch

“Oh no, not another bloody portablist story” I hear you cry. Indeed yes, for while the rest of the DJ industry contracts and makes less new gear, portablists are busting out their Dremels and modding Numark’s PT01 Scratch into something more to satisfy their portable scratching and doubtless cutting-holes-in-stuff needs.

Now the idea of putting Serato interfaces in things isn’t new. Some 12 years ago, MF Doom’s DJ Akiem shoehorned an SL box into a Rane 56. Not exactly an easy mod for anyone, but thankfully the PT01 is a modder’s dream.

The above video shows (albeit very quickly) the modding work undertaken by DJ Underkut to shoehorn Denon DJ’s diminutive DS1 interface inside the PT01 Scratch.

Obviously space is at a premium inside the PT01 Scratch, so using just the guts of the tiny Denon DS1 interface is a good start, followed by some internal case mods and reconfiguring of the innards to accommodate the additional circuitry. Because a switch is needed to operate between normal vinyl and Serato DJ, it looks like additional wiring is added to the original PT01 circuit, something that many of you won’t wish to attempt.

With instructions, this looks like a relatively straightforward mod. But watching the relative ease with which this was done did as ever set my mind off on what ifs.

Time for a PT01 Pro?

Numark makes the PT01 Scratch, and brand stablemate Denon DJ has the interface. So it’s not much of a stretch to imagine an upgraded model with a little more going on, like a better tone arm, and a fader instead of a switch.

But I’m not convinced that such a thing will ever happen. The portablist scene has proved itself to be unique in that much of the ethos is to see what can be done to the portable decks. This has generated a cottage industry around making DIY spares and a community that looks forward to mods. The Dremels positively twitch with delight when a new mod comes out. It’s not all plain sailing for those of a less technical disposition of course, but when the worst case scenario is dropping £110 or so on an all new PT01 Scratch, the scope for dicking around with a soldering iron inside a cheap plastic turntable is tempting, especially when there’s a heap of experienced portablists ready to help out via Facebook.

Good work Underkut. Please post some detailed instructions if you’d be so kind.

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