Within hip hop culture, scratching is one of the measures of a DJs skills. In the 2010s, both scratching and scrubbing can be done on digital audio workstations which are equipped for these techniques, christian Marclay was one of the earliest musicians to scratch outside of hip hop. In the mid-1970s, Marclay used gramophone records and turntables as musical instruments to create sound collages and he developed his turntable sounds independently of hip hop DJs. Although he is little-known to mainstream audiences, Marclay has been described as the most influential turntable figure outside hip hop, in 1981 Grandmaster Flash released the song The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel which is notable for its use of many DJ scratching techniques. It was the first commercial recording produced entirely using turntables, in 1982, Malcolm McLaren & the Worlds Famous Supreme Team released a single Buffalo Gals, juxtaposing extensive scratching with calls from square dancing, and, in 1983, the EP, Dya Like Scratchin. Which is entirely focused on scratching, another 1983 release to prominently feature scratching is Herbie Hancocks Grammy Award-winning single Rockit. This song was performed live at the 1984 Grammy Awards, and in the documentary film Scratch. The Street Sounds Electro compilation series which started in 1983 is also notable for early examples of scratching, at the same time as the DJ is moving the record back and forth, the DJ manipulates the crossfader of a DJ mixer. This creates a rhythmic sound that has come to be one of the most recognizable features of hip hop music. Over time with excessive scratching, the stylus will cause what is referred to as record burn to a vinyl record, when scratching, this crossfader is utilized in conjunction with the scratching hand that is manipulating the record platter. The hand manipulating the crossfader is used to cut in and out of the records sound, using a digital vinyl system consists of playing vinyl discs on turntables whose contents is a timecode signal instead of a real music record. The turntables audio outputs are connected to the inputs of a computer audio interface. The audio interface digitizes the timecode signal from the turntables and transfers it to the computers DJ software, there is not a single standard of DVS, so that each form of DJ software has its own settings. Some DJ software such as Traktor Scratch Pro or Serato Scratch Live support only the audio interface sold with their software, Vinyl emulation software allows a DJ to manipulate the playback of digital music files on a computer via a DJ control surface. DJs can scratch, beatmatch, and perform other turntablist operations that cannot be done with a conventional keyboard, DJ software performing computer scratch operations include Traktor Pro, Mixxx, Serato Scratch Live & Itch, Virtual DJ, M-Audio Torq, DJay, Deckadance, Cross. DJs have also used tape, such as cassette or reel to reel to both mix and scratch. Tape DJing is rare, but Ruthless Ramsey in the US, Tj Scratchavite in Italy, Sounds that are frequently scratched include but are not limited to drum beats, horn stabs, spoken word samples, and vocals/lyrics from other songs. Some DJs and anonymous collectors release 12-inch singles called battle records that include trademark, the most recognizable samples used for scratching are the Ahh and Fresh samples, which originate from the song Change the Beat by Fab 5 Freddy
In the early 1970s in the South Bronx, a young teen DJ named "Grand Wizzard Theodore" (right) invented the "DJ scratch" technique. Other DJs, like Grandmaster Flash, took the technique to higher levels.