How To Use A Slipmat: A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you new to the vinyl world and wondering what a slipmat is and how to use it?

Look no further!

Slipmats are a crucial tool for DJs and turntablists, allowing for precise cueing and scratching of vinyl records.

But even if you’re not a DJ, a slipmat can still enhance your listening experience by reducing vibrations and improving sound quality.

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of slipmats, how to use them, and why they’re important.

So grab your favorite vinyl record and let’s dive in!

How To Use A Slipmat

Using a slipmat is simple and straightforward. First, remove any existing mat or cover from your turntable platter. Then, place the slipmat on top of the platter.

Next, place your vinyl record on top of the slipmat. The slipmat will allow the record to spin freely while remaining in place, allowing for precise cueing and scratching.

If you’re a DJ or turntablist, you may want to consider using the “record stacking” technique. This involves placing a slipmat between two records, allowing for quick access to the next track.

It’s important to note that slipmats are not necessary for regular listening. Most turntables come with a rubber mat that provides sufficient grip and vibration dampening for everyday use.

However, if you’re looking to enhance your listening experience or get into DJing, a slipmat can make a big difference.

What Is A Slipmat?

A slipmat is a circular piece of material that is placed on top of the turntable platter. Its primary purpose is to allow the vinyl record to spin freely while remaining in place, allowing for precise cueing and scratching. Unlike a traditional 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 for greater freedom of movement.

Slipmats were originally invented by Grandmaster Flash, a hip-hop pioneer, to improve sound quality and reduce friction when moving vinyl counterclockwise. Today, they are commonly used by DJs and turntablists for beatmatching, mixing, and scratching. Slipmats can also be used as decoration for turntables when records are not in use.

Slipmats come in a variety of materials, including felt and synthetic materials. Thinner felt slipmats are preferred by many DJs because they allow for less stoppage when scratching or mixing and have less impact on sound quality compared to thicker plastic slipmats.

While slipmats are not necessary for regular listening, they can enhance the listening experience and are essential for DJs and turntablists. To use a slipmat, simply place it on top of the turntable platter and place your vinyl record on top.

Types Of Slipmats

There are several types of slipmats available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

1. Felt Slipmats: Felt slipmats are the most commonly used slipmats for DJs. They are designed to reduce friction and allow for smoother scratching and mixing. They are also relatively inexpensive and lightweight, making them easy to transport. However, felt slipmats tend to attract dust and hair, which can affect sound quality and require frequent cleaning.

2. Rubber Slipmats: Rubber slipmats offer better grip than felt slipmats, which can be useful for DJs who need more control over their records. They also tend to be more durable than felt slipmats and are less likely to attract dust and hair. However, rubber slipmats may not provide as smooth a surface for scratching and mixing as felt slipmats.

3. Cork Slipmats: Cork slipmats are a popular choice for audiophiles who prioritize sound quality over DJ functionality. Cork is a natural material that is known for its excellent vibration dampening properties, which can help reduce unwanted resonance and improve sound clarity. However, cork slipmats tend to be more expensive than other types of slipmats and may not be suitable for DJs who need a smooth surface for scratching and mixing.

4. Acrylic Slipmats: Acrylic slipmats are a relatively new addition to the market and are designed to provide the best of both worlds – excellent sound quality and smooth surface for scratching and mixing. Acrylic is a material that is similar to vinyl records, which can help reduce resonance and improve sound clarity. Additionally, acrylic slipmats tend to be more durable than other types of slipmats and are less likely to attract dust and hair. However, acrylic slipmats tend to be more expensive than other types of slipmats.

Ultimately, the type of slipmat you choose will depend on your individual needs and preferences. DJs may prefer felt or rubber slipmats, while audiophiles may prefer cork or acrylic slipmats. It’s important to consider factors such as cost, durability, sound quality, and DJ functionality when choosing a slipmat for your turntable.

Benefits Of Using A Slipmat

Using a slipmat provides several benefits, especially for DJs and turntablists. One of the primary benefits is that it allows for precise cueing and scratching. The slipmat keeps the record in place while the platter continues to spin, making it easier to back-cue a record to the precise spot where you want to start a cut or transition from one track to another.

In addition to improving your performance, using a slipmat can also help reduce vibrations and protect your vinyl record from scratches. Slipmats are designed to grip the record and prevent slipping, which can be especially helpful when you’re scratching or manipulating the record.

Slipmats also come in different materials, such as felt or cork, which can enhance sound quality and reduce static or unwanted noise. Felt slipmats, in particular, are known for their anti-static properties and ability to dampen vibrations.

Maintaining Your Slipmat

To keep your slipmat in good condition, it’s important to clean it regularly. Felt slipmats are particularly prone to attracting dust and debris, which can affect the sound quality and even cause skipping.

To clean your slipmat, simply remove it from the turntable and gently brush off any loose dust or dirt with a soft-bristled brush. You can also use a microfiber cloth or a lint roller to remove any remaining debris.

For more stubborn stains or dirt buildup, you can use a mild cleaning solution and a soft cloth to gently wipe the surface of the slipmat. Be sure to avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as these can damage the material of the slipmat.

It’s also important to store your slipmat properly when not in use. Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. You can also store it in a protective sleeve or cover to prevent dust and debris from settling on the surface.

By taking care of your slipmat, you can ensure that it lasts for many years and provides optimal performance for all your DJing or listening needs.