What's the idea?

We're creating a format for describing turntablism, as well as tools for recording, analyzing, sharing, and even recreating scratch performances with giant robot arms. We want to do for turntablism what Graffiti Markup Language has done for tagging.


Jan 29: it works! We built a working prototype in under 48 hours during Art Hack Day this weekend. The current implentation uses timecode vinyl and a hacked Vestax VCA fader + Arduino. More info on fffff.at


Data is saved to disk as .sml and can be streamed in realtime using OSC, which other Art Hack Day participants used to build some incredible visualizations -- everything ranging from Serato-style spinning discs and TTM transcription to exploding 3D pizzas and a side-scrolling videogame shooter that's controlled by record movements.

We'll be publishing ScratchML related projects all week on fffff.at, stay tuned.

Developers: check out our mailing list and GitHub.

Jan 26-28: Kyle and Jamie will be participating in the Art Hack Day in NYC, developing and demonstrating ScratchML technology.

Jan 22, 2012: this site is now online.

How does this work?

We've been experimenting with a bunch of techniques for recording performances. From open-source decoding of timecoded vinyl, to camera-based techniques, cross- fader hacking, and even reverse engineering the digital output from high-end mixers. We'll have some optical mouse parts to play with, too.

How can I help?

Our goal for art hack day is to release tools and tutorials for recording data, and have an interface for sharing it on the web. We're going to develop a few different code, or electronics. We'll also need people to play with and document those tools: musicians, artists, and designers.

What are those squiggly lines in the grid?

TTM Example

That's Turntablist Transcription Methodoogy (TTM). Each curve represents the move- ment of vinyl over time, while breaks in the lines represent crossfader movement. It's not exactly what we're going for, but it's a good way to start thinking about the data we're recording, sharing, and analyzing.

Who is involved?

ScratchML is the brainchild of Michael Auger, Jamie Wilkinson and Kyle McDonald. Many thanks to Kirk Moreno, Lee Meredith, and

The idea for ScratchML is as old as GML, but owes a lot of inspiration and credit to other work in the turntable-capture space: TTM, Ms. Pinky and many others.