What to Consider When Buying Turntable Slip Mats

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What to Consider When Buying Turntable Slip Mats

Slip mats are, for DJs, wonderful inventions that allow for spontaneous scratching and for making minuscule changes in beatmatching, and more. Slip mats are designed to allow a disc jockey to manipulate a record without damaging it, while still letting the platter revolve underneath, which keeps the sound flowing. Additionally, slip mats serve as good decorations to sit on top of a turntable platter, whether there is a record on it or not. If the shopper just wants a slip mat for decoration, he or she has many design options available. Plus, because the slip mat is for aesthetic purposes only, the shopper need not be overly concerned with the material or quality of the slip mat.

If the shopper needs a slip mat for DJing purposes, he or she should be informed on the proper way to use a slip mat, both for general purposes and for specific DJ techniques, as well as what kind of slip mat to look for. After learning thoroughly about slip mats, the shopper may turn to eBay, which offers millions of products, including slip mats, from thousands of sellers. With the eBay shopping platform, the shopper can find what he or she wants easily and at a reasonable price.

What to Look for in Slip Mats

The material from which slip mats are made tends to vary from vendor to vendor, but there are some signs that tell the shopper whether it is a good slip mat to use. For example, it is never advised to buy a slip mat made of velvet; these tend to get dusty very fast, and are difficult to clean. The dust that settles into the velvet grooves also reduces the quality of the sound that it should be helping to produce. One should also avoid rubber slip mats. The best slip mat one can buy is of medium thickness (thin, but not too thin), soft; it should also be just slippery enough to allow the mat to slip over the record, but not so slippery that it cannot grip the vinyl at all.

Shoppers may want to look at the bottom of slip mats; some include glazed bottoms that allow for slick, precise slip-cueing and scratching. A good quality slip mat should not need any help from wax paper or any other additions. Only if one plans to do a lot of scratching is paper advised as a means to reduce friction. Slip mats are typically 0.32 cm (1/8 inches) wide, and range from 17.8-22.9 cm in diameter.

Uses for Slip Mats for DJs

How much money the shopper is willing to spend on a turntable accessory like a slip mat depends on what he or she is intending to use it for. Typically, slip mats are used in DJing for three main purposes: slip-cueing, scratching, and beatmatching. The importance of having a high-quality slip mat is pointed out in each section, as well as how to perform each action.

Slip-Cueing

Slip-cueing is a DJ technique where the DJ holds the record still while the platter is rotating underneath it; this results in the record accelerating to the right speed very quickly. Here, the slip mat is important as a buffer between the platter and the record, so the platter can rotate continuously, but the DJ can still control the record. The purpose of slip-cueing is to keep a steady flow of music for club scenes, and erase long pauses between songs.

Scratching

Scratching is another DJ technique which involves the DJ moving a record back and forth on a turntable, sometimes while simultaneously manipulating a crossfader. The needle is always moved within a groove, and not horizontally across the surface, otherwise the record is damaged. Scratching is impossible without owning a slip mat, because it helps reduce friction between the record and the turntable platter and allows the platter to continue spinning as the DJ is scratching. As scratching is a staple amongst DJ techniques, slip mats are important in allowing DJs to scratch records to add to his or her sound.

Beatmatching

Beatmatching, much like slip-cueing, is a technique designed to keep the music flowing and the beat going between songs. To do this, the user beatmatches a new record to an already-playing record, and, at the right moment, restarts and slip-cues the new record in to have a steady flow of music. Also like with slip-cueing, the slip mat has the purpose of reducing the friction between the turntable platter and the record itself. The slip mat also allows the DJ to speed up, slow down, or search through a record.

How to Use a Slip Mat

Using a slip mat is simple. For non-DJs, one must simply put the slip mat over the turntable platter when it is not in use (alternately, one can put the slip mat over a record that is on the platter to protect it). For DJs to use the slip mat for DJing techniques, the procedure is to place the slip mat over the turntable platter, then put the record on top of the slip mat. With the help of slip mats, the user can employ a technique called 'record stacking', or stacking multiple records on top of each other and playing the top one, in order to access the next one faster. If the user does stack records, he or she should place a slip mat in between each record so as not to damage the vinyl.

Non-DJ Uses for Slip Mats

Although slip mats are mostly used by DJs to better their techniques, slip mats are useful for non-DJs as well. Essentially, the two non-DJ uses for slip mats are for expression of the shopper's personality (by displaying a coloured or patterned slip mat), or as a way to keep the turntable from being dusty.

Slip mats are readily available in a wide range of colours, as well as different patterns and pictures. The shopper can choose to purchase a slip mat that expresses his or her personality, and then use the slip mat to cover the turntable platter when a record is not being played. By using the slip mat in this way, the shopper can decorate his or her turntable while at the same time keeping dust off the turntable platter. Because of the nature of the material that slip mats are made of, it is easy to wipe dust, pet fur, and other dirt off the surface of the mat.

How to Buy Turntable Slip Mats on eBay

After taking into consideration the uses for slip mats, the material from which they are made, and how to use them, the next step is to find a place to buy one. eBay provides an easy platform to find a large variety of reasonably priced products. And those who are wary of buying from strangers who may or may not deliver the correct product on time, eBay has a system that allows shoppers to ascertain that they are buying the product from a seller who can deliver what they want in a timely fashion. To sellers who have received consistently positive feedback (meaning 4.5 or 5 stars out of a 5-star system) from previous buyers, and who sell a certain amount of merchandise per month and per year, eBay presents with a 'Top-Rated Seller' badge. This badge is displayed on the seller's page as well as the pages of the items that the seller is auctioning.

To start buying off eBay, you must go to the eBay home page, where you can type a query into the search box, such as 'slip mats', to receive a page of products to peruse. From there, you can narrow down the products you want to see by selecting to search by certain brands, price, condition, and more.

Conclusion

For a DJ, a slip mat is an entirely necessary piece of equipment that allows the DJ to create unique sounds, including scratching, beatmatching, and slip-cueing. These techniques help the DJ keep a steady beat and a constant stream of music in clubs. For other users, a slip mat is a way to keep the platter on a turntable clean and dust-free while also presenting a decorative pattern or picture. For all users, a high-quality slip mat is thin and made of slippery material that is still able to grip records.

After learning about the uses for a slip mat, and the qualities to look for in one, the shopper can decide what slip mat he or she wants. To find the ideal slip mat, the shopper can go to eBay, where millions of products are available from thousands of sellers from all over the world. Additionally, products on eBay are often reasonably priced, so as to fit into any user's budget. With all these factors combined, including the important knowledge about slip mats and the availability of these products on eBay, the shopper can easily find the exact slip mat he or she wants.

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