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ScratchML, like GML, is an XML-based format for storing information about the position of the record and crossfader during a scratch performance.
This is a “beta” release of the .SML file format, with sample data for 1 turntable and 1 crossfader. The format is designed to accomodate multiple turntables and crossfaders and a wide variety of data capture techniques, but we’ve only field-tested it against the basic 1 deck + 1 mixer scratch setup, which is what we were working with this weekend.
The two most important fields are:
Sample data produced by LM4K, mostly baby scratches and flares: XML / JSON
Spec + commentary:
ScratchML r6 beta spec:
During Art Hack Day we converted SML to OSC and broadcast it over the wifi for realtime visualizations — more info to come about that.
SML (Scratch Markup Language) is a new file format for recording and replaying turntablism. We’ve developed open-source tools for accurately capturing the record and crossfader movements of a scratch DJ, allowing us to analyze, transcribe, and recreate scratch performances.
We want to do for turntablism what Graffiti Markup Language has done for tagging — especially teaching giant robot arms how to scratch.
At Art Hack Day we collaborated with other artists and programmers to develop the first prototypes of ScratchML. We used timecode vinyl to capture record movements ($10) and a hacked VCA fader + Arduino to record the crossfader ($30).
Scratch data was saved to disk as .sml and broadcast as OSC, which allowed other Art Hack Day participants to build visualizations based on what the DJ was scratching during the exhibition. The apps ranged from spinning-vinyl animations and TTM transcriptions to insane exploding 3D pizzas and a side-scrolling videogame shooter controlled by scratches.
Our goal is to make capturing, replaying, and sharing a scratch performance accurate and easy. SML files can be freely uploaded and downloaded from the ScratchML.com database. We’re particularly looking forward to improving the experience of learning how to scratch — e.g. by building apps that show you just how accurate your autobahn scratches actually are.
Throughout the week here on FAT we’ll be publishing ScratchML projects created during Art Hack Day, data specs, source code, hardware modification details and more.
Want to get involved? Join the ScratchML mailing list, follow us on GitHub, or email me with any questions. More info to come at scratchML.com
Kyle McDonald and I will be developing a new project at the upcoming Art Hack Day in Brooklyn, which culminates in a public art exhibition at 319 Scholes on Saturday, 1/28 at 7pm.
Internet, you are invited to attend. There will be art, technology,
free beer (as in beer) and free source code (as in speech). and $3 beers. The source code remains free.
Over the next few days Kyle and I will be working on the first prototypes of Scratch Markup Language, an open-source system for capturing, describing and digitizing turntablism.
Want to get involved? Sign up for the ScratchML mailing list, follow @scratchML on GitHub or join #fatlab IRC and ping @jamiew
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