5 Steps to Learn any Scratch Using iMovie

August 2, 2016

If you’re like most DJs, you like watching DJ videos. Specifically, real DJ videos like Thre3style competitions, DMC battles, and mixshows. Sometimes, while watching another DJ murder the turntables, you might see them bust a scratch or juggle that leaves you thinking, “whoa, what was that”?! DJ videos are a great way to get ideas for new scratch combos and juggles, but most of the time, everything move so quickly, it’s extremely difficult for our minds to break it all down. Luckily, with some internet magic and some iMovie tricks, you can break down any scratch to make it easier to replicate and learn!

Step 1: Locate the Video Containing The Scratch you Want to Learn

In this example, we’ll use one of Chris Villa’s DJCity Trends videos. Chris is a beast on the turntables and his cuts are nothing short of spectacular. But they are fast…..very fast. Is he chirp-flaring, is he transforming, or is he boomeranging? If you think you know, but aren’t sure, grab the video URL and head on to step 2.

Step 2: Save the Video as an MP4 to Your Computer

To break down the video, you’re going to need to save a copy to your computer so that you can manipulate the file. Go to keepvid.com and paste the url into the text area of the “download” box. The website will allow you to locally save any online video as a file. Choose the download option that has the highest resolution (720p, 1080p, etc) so that you can zoom in if necessary.

Step 3: Import into iMovie

If you’re a Mac user, you probably have iMovie installed on your computer. Once the video has finished downloading as an MP4, open up iMovie and create a new project. Then, it’s time to import the video file. To do this, simply click on the “Import” down arrow in the upper left-hand portion of the screen and select the video file from the browser.

Step 4: Select the Part of the Video You Want to Break Down

After importing the video, scrub through it in the iMovie media library section until you find the part that you want to learn or break down. Click and drag to make your selection and drag it down below into the project timeline. You may want to make a copy of the clip in the timeline so that you can manipulate a version while still having the original version for reference. It’s also helpful to rotate the videos to see things from the first person perspective. To do this, click on the “crop” icon above the video preview window and choose the “rotate” button.

Step 5: Slow it Down

Right click on the copy of the clip and select “Show Speed Editor”. After making this selection, just click and drag the circle in the upper right-hand corner of the clip. This will allow you to speed up or slow down the clip while keeping the audio intact for playback.

Now, slow down the clip as much as needed to actually see what is happening in terms of record hand movement and crossfader movement. Sometimes, it helps to make multiple copies of the clip in the timeline and edit them to play back at progressively slower speeds so that you can get a better idea of the rhythm and flow.

That’s it! Now you can use this technique along with your basic scratch vocabulary to break down and learn almost any scratch. Now, go practice!

JammText interactive software

Learn More Get JammText Today

JammText interactive software

Learn More Get JammText Today

About Mixcity Inc

Mixcity Inc was founded in 2008 with the mission of creating innovative software solutions and engagement tools for the working DJ. The team's first DJ product, KueIt, was groundbreaking when it was introduced years ago, and still remains an industry standard software solution to this day. Mixcity's latest innovation, JammText, is a revolutionary text to screen software solution that allows DJs to reach exciting new levels of crowd interaction and audience engagement.