In this blog we’re looking at slipmats, what their function is, do you need one, and the different types, and affects on sound.
What Is A Slipmat?
Simply put a slipmat is a circular piece of cloth or synthetic material which is placed on a record player platter instead of a traditional rubber mat that comes with most record players.
Slipmats are used by DJs to allow the record to spin freely and allow the DJ to skip back to a precise spot where they want the cut to begin.
The traditional rubber mats are made for grip so when a record is played it doesn’t slip around preventing skipping and jumping.
What Does a Slipmat Do?
The name may sound confusing as we always want to put ‘anti’ in front of it as a way of stopping slipping. But the slipmat allows the record to move freely.
It’s usually made of cloth of synthetic material as the static helps it stick to the record, so when you move the record on the platter the slipmat and record move freely back to the part of the record.
How Do You Use a Slipmat on a Record Player?
Simply place the slipmat on top of the platter when you don’t have a record on it. Then place the record you wish to play on top.
Record stacking is the technique where a slipmat is placed on top of a record with another record placed on top, allowing for quick changes between songs.
Slipmat can be used on any record player, but is primarily designed for DJs who scratch or mix allowing them to manipulate the record quickly.
The industry continues to come up with better materials that allow for better slip and less stoppage when a DJ manipulates the track.
Do You Need a Slipmat for an Acrylic Platter?
More expensive acrylic platters don’t need a slipmat to get the same effect, you would however need a weight or clamp to keep the vinyl record in contact with the platter.
Acrylic platters are smooth so you don’t have to worry about scratching the underside of the record if using one. If you do however want to stay on the safe side then a slipmat can be used on an acrylic platter without the sound being affected.
Do Slipmats Affect Sound?
If you’re using them for the intended use then yes, a slipmat can affect the sound of the record. They come in felt, plastic, and even leather, it’s best to try out the fabrics until you find the one you are looking for.
There is no ‘best’ when looking for a material for a slipmat this is all down to preference. The most common is felt.
Types Of Turntable Mat
Below we’ve outlined the types of turntable mats and the pros and cons of each of them.
Felt Slip Mats
These are the slipmats talked about above. They come in a variety of designs that can easily be found online. If you are getting into DJing and mixing then these are your best bet to start out with.
- Best for DJing and scratching
- Attracts dust and can increase static
These are designed for the opposite of the above, these create further grip to stop record slipping. They can also help to reduce vibrations as well as protect the vinyl record from scratches.
Pros: Strong grip on the record, reduces vibrations on the record
Cons: Attracts dust, can stick to the record, can over-isolate a record, and increase static
These are a bit in between as well as being an eco-friendly option that is less prone to static
Pros: Reduces resonance, and static and looks great
Cons: Not as durable, can start to fall apart over time
Summary of slipmats and their use on record players
They are not essential to all record players. If you are looking to get into DJing, mixing, or scratching using vinyl then it’s worth looking into further. Start with a felt slipmat before looking into other options.
If you are a traditional collector who wants to enjoy the listening experience of the records and protect them over a long period of time then our best advice is to ensure you’re using the mat provided i.e. not putting your records on the platter directly. It also works to ensure this remains dust free, or with the lid down to prevent a build-up of dust.