In 2014, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance my vision for the "next gen" version of my tape scratcher, "The ScrubBoard Beta." The campaign was unsuccessful, due in large part to the fact that it was wildly over-ambitious and offered little in the way of real deliverables. But something funny happened in the course of the campaign. The "ScrubBoard Alpha," which was originally meant only to demonstrate the basic concept, generated significantly more interest than my vision for the ScrubBoard Beta. A video of me using the handmade device went viral, receiving over 200,000 views within a few weeks. Then the emails started pouring in. I received countless messages from folks who wanted to buy a ScrubBoard Alpha of their own. But the problem was that I simply didn't have the time to handmake models for everyone who wanted one.
Then I got a message from someone suggesting I look into mass-producing a factory version of my handmade ScrubBoard Alpha. It was a great idea. It's so time-consuming to handmake the ScrubBoard because all the measurements have to be so precise in order to keep the playhead aligned with the tape. But it would be very cheap and simple for a machine to make it, as it's a very simple design. So I'm currently looking into doing a short production run of ScrubBoard Alpha kits, and if I make a profit, I'll invest it into getting the ScrubBoard Beta made.
The ScrubBoard Alpha kit will be mostly the same as my handmade version, but with a few improvements. The audio tape will be held in place with clamps, not glue, so you won't have to snip the tape from a cassette to use it, and you can spool it back in when you're done. The playhead sliders won't be tethered to little cassette players; instead, they'll have a standard microphone jack on the other end, which can be connected to a mixer or mic preamp. Also, the rocker will enable users to cut and alternate between two stereo audio signals, so you'll be able to use all four tracks of the audio tape to create a dual-playlist sample setup. (Here's a video of my dual-playlist scratch setup.)