Are you a vinyl enthusiast wondering if you need a slipmat for your record player?
If you’re just listening to music, the answer is no. But if you’re a DJ or looking to get into DJing, a slipmat is an essential tool for scratching, mixing, and beat-matching.
In this article, we’ll explore the purpose of a slipmat, how to use one, and the different materials available.
Whether you’re a seasoned DJ or a beginner, read on to find out if a slipmat is right for you.
Do I Need A Slipmat For My Record Player
As mentioned earlier, if you’re simply using your record player to listen to music, a slipmat is not necessary. However, if you’re a DJ or looking to become one, a slipmat is a must-have tool.
The purpose of a slipmat is to allow the record to spin freely while the DJ manipulates it on the turntable. This is crucial for beat-matching, record cueing, and scratching. Slipmats are primarily designed for DJs who need to manipulate the record quickly and easily.
To use a slipmat on your record player, simply place it on an empty turntable platter and put a record over it. Some DJs also use a technique called “record stacking,” which involves placing a slipmat on a record and then placing another record on top of it.
Slipmats come in different materials, such as felt or plastic-like material. Felt slipmats are preferred by many DJs because they allow for the most freedom of movement, both back and forth on the platter. Plastic slipmats are also popular because they offer better slip and less stoppage when manipulating the track.
It’s important to note that slipmats are not necessary for all record players. Most record players come with a rubber mat that is perfectly suitable for preventing damage to your records. However, if you’re serious about DJing and want to take your skills to the next level, investing in a slipmat is highly recommended.
What Is A Slipmat And Why Do DJs Need Them?
A slipmat is a circular piece of cloth or synthetic material that DJs place on the turntable platter instead of the traditional rubber mat. Unlike the rubber mat, which is designed to hold the record firmly in sync with the rotating platter, slipmats are designed to slip on the platter, allowing the DJ to manipulate a record on a turntable while the platter continues to rotate underneath.
The true reason for using a slipmat is to allow the record to spin freely, so that a DJ can back cue a record to the precise spot they want a cut to begin. This is crucial when transitioning from track to track and is also useful for making minute adjustments during beatmatching and mixing and pulling the record back and forth for scratching.
Slipmats are primarily designed for DJs who scratch or mix; it essentially allows the DJ to manipulate the record quickly. They come in different materials, such as felt or plastic-like material. Felt slipmats are preferred by many DJs because they allow for the most freedom of movement, both back and forth on the platter. Plastic slipmats are also popular because they offer better slip and less stoppage when manipulating the track.
Using a slipmat is not necessary for all record players. Most record players come with a rubber mat that is perfectly suitable for preventing damage to your records. However, if you’re serious about DJing and want to take your skills to the next level, investing in a slipmat is highly recommended. Slipmats not only improve your performance but also add style and personality to your turntable with various designs including your favorite band logos and artwork.
How To Use A Slipmat For Scratching And Mixing
If you’re a DJ who wants to scratch and mix records, using a slipmat is essential. Here’s how to use a slipmat for scratching and mixing:
1. First, place the slipmat on the platter of your turntable. Make sure it is centered and flat.
2. Next, place the record you want to scratch or mix on top of the slipmat.
3. Start the turntable and cue up the track you want to scratch or mix.
4. Use your fingers to manipulate the record back and forth on the slipmat while the platter continues to rotate underneath. This will allow you to scratch and mix with precision and control.
5. When you’re finished, stop the turntable and remove the record from the slipmat.
It’s important to note that not all slipmats are created equal. Look for a slipmat that is thin and slippy, like Butter Rugs or D-Styles Table Cloths. These types of slipmats will give you the most control over scratching, back-cueing, and mixing without slowing down the beat.
Types Of Slipmat Materials And Which One To Choose
When it comes to slipmat materials, there are a few options to choose from. Felt, plastic, cork, and rubber are the most common materials used for slipmats.
Felt slipmats are the most popular choice among DJs because they provide the most freedom of movement for manipulating tracks. They are also lightweight and easily adjustable. Felt slipmats are also aesthetically pleasing and can feature colorful designs and graphics that can make your turntable more personal. However, felt mats are notorious for attracting static, dust, and hair that can affect the sound quality.
Plastic slipmats are another popular option because they offer better slip and less stoppage when manipulating tracks. They are also easier to clean than felt mats, making them a great choice for DJs who need to switch between records quickly. However, plastic mats can sometimes make wind-like sounds that can affect the sound quality.
Cork slipmats are a great option for those who want a more natural material. Cork is known for its anti-static properties, which means it attracts less dust and debris than other materials. Cork mats also provide a good grip for records and reduce vibrations that can affect sound quality. However, cork mats may not allow for as much freedom of movement as felt or plastic mats.
Rubber slipmats are a good choice for those who want a slipmat that is durable and long-lasting. Rubber mats provide good grip for records and reduce vibrations that can affect sound quality. However, rubber mats may not allow for as much freedom of movement as felt or plastic mats.
When choosing a slipmat material, it’s important to consider what you will be using your record player for. If you’re a DJ who needs to manipulate tracks quickly and easily, then a felt or plastic slipmat may be the best choice. If you’re looking for a more natural material that reduces vibrations and attracts less dust, then a cork or rubber mat may be the best choice. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what works best for your specific needs.
Do You Need A Slipmat For Casual Listening?
If you’re using your record player for casual listening, a slipmat is not necessary. The rubber mat that comes with most record players is perfectly suitable for preventing damage to your records. In fact, using a slipmat may not improve the sound quality for casual listening.
However, if you’re interested in experimenting with different materials and thicknesses of slipmats, you may find that it affects the sound quality to your liking. It’s important to note that if you do decide to switch to a different mat, you will need to reset your turntable’s VTA (vertical tracking angle) as the thickness of the mat will affect the height of the tonearm.
Tips For Maintaining And Cleaning Your Slipmat
Once you’ve invested in a slipmat for your record player, it’s important to keep it clean and well-maintained. Here are some tips for maintaining and cleaning your slipmat:
1. Remove dust and debris regularly: Slipmats are prone to attracting dust and debris, which can affect the sound quality of your records. To prevent this, use a soft-bristled brush to remove any dust or debris from the surface of the slipmat before each use.
2. Clean with a record cleaning solution: If your slipmat becomes dirty or stained, you can clean it with a record cleaning solution. Simply apply the solution to a soft cloth and gently wipe the surface of the slipmat. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
3. Avoid using harsh chemicals: Harsh chemicals can damage the surface of your slipmat, so it’s best to avoid using them. Stick to gentle cleaning solutions specifically designed for use on record player accessories.
4. Store your slipmat properly: When not in use, store your slipmat in a protective sleeve or cover to prevent dust and debris from accumulating on its surface.
5. Replace your slipmat when necessary: Over time, slipmats can become worn or damaged, which can affect their performance. If you notice any signs of wear or damage, it’s time to replace your slipmat with a new one.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your slipmat remains in good condition and continues to provide optimal performance for all of your DJing needs.