Hamster-style vs. Normal style

You might ask yourself wtf does a hamster have to do with turntablism?!? Well, hamster-style is a term that has gotten coined for using the X-fader in ‘reverse’.

A ‘normal’ setup has the x-fader working like this:

Normal X-fader curve

Normal X-fader curve

A Hamster-style set-up has it reversed, so the channels will act like this:

Hamster style X-fader curve

Hamster style X-fader curve

Evolution of the hamster

Mr. Hamster

You didn’t really think I would write some Darwinian story here did you ­čśë – Hamster-style has gotten famous by a scratch crew called the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters. They were amongst the first ones incorporating this mixer-technique.

Back then also the line faders were ‘hamstered’ as the way to achieve the reversing of the x-fader ghetto-style is to ┬áconnect the right turntable to the left phono input on your mixer and vice versa. Nowadays most battle mixers have a x-fader reverse switch (or even a hamster-switch!) that only affects the x-fader.

What’s the difference?

It’s not so much the direction the x-fader has to travel in that is an essential difference in Hamster-style, rather the position of your thumb and fingers. To clarify let me say first that there is no wrong or right in this. It’s mostly personal preference, or even force of habit.

One could say that the benefits of Hamster-style are that you can utilize your fingers in closing the x-fader rapidly, even using the fader-slot to let the fader bounce-back open again. This works very nice with e.g. flares. Personally I would argue here that normal style is possibly easier when doing e.g. transform like scratches.

More possibilities

The Hamster Pwned you!

The Hamster Pwned you!

Some interesting possibilities arise when you have your x-fader reversed though. For instance, as your fader-hand is closer to the record that you’re using, you can tap or rub the record during scratches with your fader hand.

Depending on your mixer and up-fader settings you can also drop some Euroscratch technique easier as you can reach the upfader and x-fader at the same time (again, you can do this ghetto style as well, or maybe your mixer even has a fader reverse switch like mine, but you get the idea).

Euroscratch example

The last bit of this video shows some Euroscratch techniques:

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