Loops.Directory

Unique and creative underground electronic music loops and samples for modern producers.

Student Opportunity: Bandcamp

Point Blank always keeps current students and graduates in the loop with all of the best music industry opportunities, so with that said here’s our latest student opportunity round-up. Student opportunities come exclusively via PB using our extensive network of contacts, so get stuck in! NB: this opportunity is for Point Blank students and graduates only. Want loads more opportunities like this? Find out all about our courses right here!

Bandcamp

Any budding musician or producer (or established ones for that matter) should know that Bandcamp are the good guys, giving artists and labels full control of their output and earnings. This is a great opportunity to work with a company that is affecting the industry as a force for good, not to mention a hub of incredible music and proper music people. Full job description here.

Please note: We are happy to advertise roles and work experience which help students obtain the sort of experience you may need to gain a job in the music industry or to further your career in the music industry.  We interpret this broadly. However, we are not an employment agency and we take no responsibility for the terms upon which positions are advertised, nor the conditions which apply to any such positions or opportunity.  As such you should satisfy yourself that the terms offered are acceptable when considering any role advertised.

Register to Access Free Courses, Plugins, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples, access to our social network Plugged In and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

LONDON W OUTLINE

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We Talk to PB Music’s Latest Artist Stee-V-Lee on the Release of Low Fidelity

The latest EP out on Point Blank Music is by Stee-V-Lee (real name Steve Reightler), a producer from Bel Air, Maryland. Low Fidelity is his first release with us, and is the culmination of his personal exploration into the lo-fi house sound pioneered in the late 80s and more recently championed by the likes of Ross From Friends and DJ Boring. ‘Thank You’ is a classic example of the crunchy building blocks that define the sound, while ‘Base Line’ is a 303-led acid stomper. If you’d like to learn how to produce, check out our complete production course online here.

Low Fidelity is out now and available for purchase on iTunes and Beatport, and can be streamed on all major platforms including Spotify. We caught up with Steven for a little chat about his musical development.

Hi Steven, to start us off can you give me a little background? How did you get into music in the first place?

I started playing drums back in primary school but picked up the guitar in my teen years. I was into 70’s rock and I played rhythm guitar in a garage band with some friends. As more bands started incorporating synths into their music I decided to have a go at that, especially when midi became available. Computers and electronic music fascinated me. I bought a used Casio CX-101 from a friend, then added a Yamaha DX-100 and RX-21 to the mix. Later, the mighty Korg M1 joined the fleet. My musical interests began to be more “New Age” (although I wasn’t into that philosophy) and experimental. After a number of years, life’s busyness got in the way and I wound up selling most of my gear. About 7 or 8 years ago I was re-introduced to electronic music by my daughter. She was into Trance, Dubstep, and D&B. I thought to myself it’s time to have another go. So I downloaded Ableton Lite and began mucking about with the different plugins and free VSTs that I found on the internet. Eventually, I bought a microKorg and Korg Legacy M1 VST. I don’t currently have a proper studio. Most of my production is on my laptop with headphones.

What sort of music are you into, what are some of your biggest inspirations?

My current musical interests include jazz, swing, classic rock, and Underground House. I don’t have any specific inspirations but I always admired musicians that weren’t afraid to try something new … go beyond the status quo in other words.

Tell me about the EP, what went into making it?

For the past year or two, I’ve been experimenting with what has been dubbed “Lo-Fi” House music. I was looking to recreate some of the low fidelity sounds of the late 80s early 90s by using lower bit rates on samples and minimal production. But I also wanted to add my own “sauce” to the mix. That is the inspiration behind the EP, ‘Low Fidelity.’ Both of the tracks on this EP have an Acid House vibe going on but I’ve added kind of a chill melodic layer on top of that. But don’t worry, there is plenty of 303 action going on there. I especially like in “Base Line” where I used two 303 parts.

What have you got in store this year? Any gigs lined up or goals your working toward?

I’m not sure what 2018 has in store. I’ve taken a little break from my music to pursue a couple of other interests, one of those is writing a book. As far as the music goes, I’m sure I’ll be back at it before too long. I’m thinking about writing my own lyrics and adding my own vocals to some of my future projects. We’ll see. The past year was a very productive year as far as the number of tracks produced but also in the new things I learned about production. I hope to continue that trend this year.

Low Fidelity is out now and available for purchase on iTunes and Beatport, and can be streamed on all major platforms including Spotify. Check out the rest of the releases on Point Blank Music’s YouTube channel, and study with us to build your skills and have a chance of releasing with us. Check out production courses in London here, or if you live elsewhere, take a look at the online courses we offer. For more info head to our contact page and get in touch!

Register to Access Free Courses, Plugins, Projects, Samples & More

If you register with Point Blank, you can access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

The post We Talk to PB Music’s Latest Artist Stee-V-Lee on the Release of Low Fidelity appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Influence or Plagiarism? Legal Battles in Music (w/ Radiohead, Marvin Gaye, Zomby + more)

This week we learned that the experimental rock band Radiohead are suing Lana del Rey over similarities between her track ‘Get Free’ on her 2017 album ‘Lust For Life’ and their 1992 debut single ‘Creep’. People’s reactions have been mixed on the matter, with die-hard fans of both artists rushing to their defence. Western music is essentially based on 12 notes, so among the countless variations, there have been a good many similar tracks – Radiohead themselves had to credit The Hollies as writers of Creep, due to the similarity of their 1974 track ‘The Air That I Breathe’. In any case, we thought it a good time to have a look through famous instances of legal disputes and accusations of plagiarism in music. Read on for a rundown of some of the most notable cases.

The legal side of music is a convoluted business – if you’d like to get a proper grasp on it, as well as the many other intricacies of the industry, take a look at our Music Industry courses.

Radiohead vs Lana Del Rey

The most recent high-profile case of accused plagiarism (Ed Sheeran’s ongoing disputes over many songs notwithstanding). Radiohead are reportedly suing Lana Del Rey over the similarities between ‘Get Free’ and ‘Creep’. The songs share the same chord progression and, crucially, similarities in melody. Many commentators take issue with the fact the band are (again reportedly) asking for 100% of the publishing rights. Radiohead themselves were forced to add Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood of The Hollies as co-writers, and the pair own a percentage of the publishing rights to ‘Creep’.

Both artists have famously loyal sets of fans, which is a large part of the level of attention. Listen to Consequence of Sound’s comparison below to see what you make of the similarities.

Boddika & Joy O vs Hannah Wants

A big story in 2016 was the alleged similarity between Boddika’s VIP of his own track with joy Orbison ‘Mercy’ and Hannah Wants’ ‘Found The Ground’ from her then-forthcoming Rinse release and FabricLive Mix. The dispute took on another dimension when a number of notable artists (Eclair Fifi and The Black Madonna among them) argued that the accusations were indicative of an inherent sexism in dance music – a concern that continues to bubble to this day. This piece on Thump delved into this angle in detail.

‘Found The Ground’ has largely been removed from streaming services but you can listen to ‘Mercy VIP’ below.

Marvin Gaye’s Estate vs Robin Thicke and Pharrell

The most high-profile case in recent years, until the current Radiohead and Lana Del Ray dispute, was when the estate of the late, great Marvin Gaye sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over the similarities between their massive hit ‘Blurred Lines’ and Gaye’s 1977 track ‘Got To Give It Up’. The bassline and beat feel similar but ‘Blurred Lines’ actually followed a distinct melody. This was a landmark case though as the courts ruled in Gaye’s favour based on studio arrangement, which hitherto had not been possible. listen to the tracks’ intros below to hear for yourself.

Reark vs Zomby

In 2012 a relatively unknown producer called Reark uploaded a loop of a track called ‘Natalia’s Song’ to Soundcloud, claiming that he had written it in 2007. Minus a few changes, it is the same track as Zomby’s 2011 single of the same name. The story goes that Reark had been communicating with Zomby over Myspace, and the two agreed to collaborate on finishing the track. Zomby then took over on his own and ended up releasing it solo on 4AD. Zomby’s argument is that Reark was essentially only responsible for the vocal samples and that his changes had edited it sufficiently for him to fairly claim sole authorship.

The Rolling Stones vs The Verve

Perhaps the most famous of publishing disputes was when The Rolling Stones claimed 100% of the publishing rights to The Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’. The track is unarguably the band’s biggest and has gone on to be one of the most recognisable of the last three decades. The track samples an orchestral cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘The Last Time’ by the Andrew Oldham Orchestra. Richard Ashcroft et al had actually cleared the sample with The Rolling Stones prior to the release, but the older band claimed that when it was released, they had used a much bigger chunk of the track than agreed. Whatever the case, giving up 100% of publishing for a sample of a cover, that sounds very little like the original song, seems quite severe. A good lesson for any artist that uses sampling to be aware of the law.

Listen to the two tracks below to see how similar they sound to your ears.

The Turtles vs De La Soul

No list looking at disputes over plagiarism can be complete without a case of straight-up sampling, especially from a time when Hip Hop was much younger and the now outdated view that sampling is devoid of creativity held greater sway. De La Soul are perhaps the best example to use as their early albums spent over a decade unavailable to buy or stream digitally. This led to them giving away their first six albums for free in 2014.

This particular example involves the sample of ‘You Showed Me’ by The Turtles on ‘Transmitting from Mars’ by De La Soul. It was just one of many samples used on all of De La Soul’s early albums that led to their digital obscurity. The Turtles were one of the strongest critics of the use of sampling however, calling it “a longer term for theft”. Listen to the skit containing the sample below.

Chuck Berry vs The Beach Boys

One of the classic examples in Rock N Roll, which as a genre is rife with derivatives of blues. the Beach Boys’ ‘Surfin USA’ bears a lot of similarity to Chuck Berry’s ‘Sweet Sixteen’. Berry was eventually credited on ‘Surfin USA’ and himself once told Brian Wilson that he loved the Beach Boys track, proof that it can sometimes end amicably.

The one thing all of these examples have in common, is that the tracks are great, demonstrating that, regardless of influence, good songwriting will always win out. If thats something you’d like to learn, check out our Songwriting course in London, or even a combined Singing and Songwriting course. For more info on this or any of our courses, don’t hesitate to contact us via email or call us on +44 20 7729 4884.

Register to Access Free Courses, Plugins, Projects, Samples & More

If you register with Point Blank, you can access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

The post Influence or Plagiarism? Legal Battles in Music (w/ Radiohead, Marvin Gaye, Zomby + more) appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Sample our Brand New BA (Hons) Online Degree Programme | Week 4: The Art of Mixing

If you’re looking to get a taste of what it’s like to learn on our innovative online platform, here’s your chance! We’ve now updated our sample courses to include a taster of our new Online BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering degree course. The course consists of eight modules included in the full online degree programme, designed to give you a taste of what you can expect when you study online with us. This is the fourth week of eight in which we’ll be giving you a taste of what each module entails, as well as showing you one of the videos from the corresponding module’s course materials. Don’t forget, we also have a host of online courses besides our BA (Hons) degree programme covering music production, sound design and much more – head here for our full range of online courses.

In week four we take a look at one of the most important aspects of making music of any kind: the mix. At the end of the module, students will gain knowledge of balancing, panning, EQ, aural perception, compression, limiting, gates and effects, plus a myriad of tricks and hints from working industry professionals. For the free sample course, you can take a look at three pages from the module using both Ableton & Logic. The first looks at corrective compression, which smooths peaks in volume leaving a much smoother sound. The second looks at convolution reverb – essentially sampling real or virtual spaces, for a more roomy reverberation. The third looks at using a high-pass filter: cutting the low end from instruments and components that pick up baggage from the room or effect manipulation. Take a look at the video above for a video introduction to the high-pass filter in Logic Pro.

To take the sample course yourself, head here, and get a flavour of the quality, style and content you can expect when studying online with Point Blank. Remember though, this is only a taster – to get the full experience complete with live interaction with tutors, forum interaction with fellow students and assignment feedback, you’ll have to enrol on a live course!

Register to Access Free Courses, Plugins, Projects, Samples & More

If you register with Point Blank, you can access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

The post Sample our Brand New BA (Hons) Online Degree Programme | Week 4: The Art of Mixing appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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PB Recommends #47: Heavy Lungs, Hudson Mohawke, Mor Elian and More

Point Blank Recommends is our regular round-up of the tunes being played around the office. PB Recommends 47 casts the net a little wider, given that the release schedule tends to slow around the end of the year. One of our favourite releases was the big advent drop from Lucky Me, which included a long-awaited cut from Hudson Mohawke – this one’s been knocking around in live sets since 2010 but it was well worth the wait. Learn how to join these dots and more with a DJ course with Point Blank.

Everyone here at Point Blank HQ has just about calmed down after the midwinter festivities, dry januay promises have started breaking, and everything feels like its getting back to normal. The downside of course is that, if your in the UK at least, all that’s left to look forward to for a little while is the long, cold, winter slog toward summer’s welcome return. As such, we’ve gathered this handsome list of heaters to warm those cockles. Some choice cuts include the deliciously deep and dubby Ron Trent remix of Nightmares on Wax’s Citizen Kane, an eighties indebted gem from Nabihah Iqbal (formerly Throwing Shade), a bonus Nicolas Jaar track from last year’s Sirens sessions, mad hype from Faze Miyake and a superb, wiggy roller from Mor Elian.

For more music and tutorials including our recent beginner’s guide to making a track in Ableton, head to the Point Blank YouTube channel. We hope these sounds inspire you to take the next step in your music making, and whatever that means to you, we can provide the guidance you need at Point Blank. Our most comprehensive course in production is our three-year degree programme in London: BA (Hons) in Music Production & Sound Engineering, and we also offer an online alternative. Perhaps making tracks isn’t your thing, in which case have a look at our radio and DJ courses to focus on selection. If you’d like to know more, you can find all the ways to contact us here.

Register to Access Free Courses, Plugins, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples, access to our social network Plugged In and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

The post PB Recommends #47: Heavy Lungs, Hudson Mohawke, Mor Elian and More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Samplethon 2017 at Point Blank London: Watch the Judges and Winner Give Their Verdict

We bring you a roundup of last year’s Samplethon competition produced in association with WhoSampled, KPM and Ableton. Watch the video below to hear what the esteemed judges had to say about the standard of entries in this edition of the sampling competition, and hear from the winning producer himself. You can also listen to the winning entry from Shatter Hands in full below. If you’re as inspired by this as we are, why not have a go at learning yourself? Almost all of our production courses have some focus on sampling, so check the full range and see which course is right for you.

For those unfamiliar with the competition, Samplethon in 2017 consisted of 20 competitors (selected from hundreds of applicants) who were presented with a set of samples from KPM’s library and then went head-to-head over seven hours to see who could make the most accomplished piece within the timeframe. So, from scratch, the contestants had to build, arrange and mix a track using a bank of samples they may never have used or even heard before. The panel consisted of Jonny Cuba (Soundsci), Shawn Lee, JD Reid, Ollie Teeba (The Herbaliser), Joseph Joyce (Ableton), Paul Sandell (KPM), Chris Read (WhoSampled) and our very own Ski Oakenfull. As expected, the standard was extremely high, as the judges attest in our video above, but the winner and runners-up were as follows:

1st Place: Shatter Hands
2nd Place: Daniel El Campeon
3rd Place: Asa Greenwood

Plus there was a further prize for Most Creative Use of a Sample, won by Tzu Jan

Shatter Hands flew in all the way from Norway and built his track around a harp sound, switching up the feel for an intense peak and threading the track throughout with shimmering augmentations. For his efforts, he was flown out to Berlin by Ableton to have his track mastered, and received a 10″ dubplate of his cut at the end of the session. Point Blank also provided a free online course and masterclasses. For more entries, check out the playlist below from WhoSampled.

Sampling is a brilliant way to unlock your creativity and can be the best way to take your first steps as a producer. We offer an Intro to Music Production course that makes use of the principles of sampling to get you started. The possibilities are endless, and as these producers have shown in Samplethon 2017, there’s plenty of reasons seasoned producers are always on the lookout for the perfect sample. If you have some experience of production but would like to take a step further, have a look at our BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering, or our shorter Music Production Certificate .

Register to Access Free Courses, Plugins, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples, access to our social network Plugged In and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

The post Samplethon 2017 at Point Blank London: Watch the Judges and Winner Give Their Verdict appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Monthly Roundup December 2017: Look Mum No Computer, Sweatson Klank & More

As we ease into the new year, bleary-eyed from the near-hibernation of the festive period, we thought it a good time for a reminder of our favourite content from last year’s final month. This is no exercise in buying time until the cobwebs are shaken though – before our annual retrospective we produced some of our favourite content of the year in December, including as always the educational, the interesting and the informative. Check out our Monthly Roundup December 2017 below. As always, our content is designed to help students and curious readers alike to gain insight and expertise in all facets of the music industry. To take this to the next level, head to our pages for schools in London, LA, Ibiza, Mumbai and Online.

Look Mum No Computer – Live at Point Blank

We welcomed him back once again last month, and once again he finds himself at the head of our list of our favourite content for the month. Infectious and inspiring stuff from one of the most enthusiastic performance you’re likely to see at the knobs and keys.

Seven Ways To Make The Perfect Mix

Seven more tricks, this time to help with the mixing process. Pointers like these are commonplace but, having tried these out ourselves, know they are well worth giving a go.

Sweatson Klank on Teaching at PBLA

Sweatson Klank exudes that cool, easy-going demeanour that LA people seem to be born with. Don’t let that fool you though, the producer is an incredibly hard-working professional, and has been with Point Blank LA since it opened its doors. Here he speaks with us from his favourite LA digging spot, High Fidelity, about what teaching and mentoring means to him.

Behind the Scenes at Point Blank: Ricky Vianello

Every now and again we try and catch up with one of our extremely talented team of employees to give you a taste of what everyone is getting up to when they’re not helping to make the school the industry leader it is. This time we caught up with our senior studio assistant Ricky Vianello, also one half of Tapefeed, to find out about his productions and parties.

A Beginners Guide to Making a Track in Abelton

PB Instructor Saytek is joined by DJ Ravine for a very basic guide to making a track in Ableton. Beginners can follow this – all you need is a free trial version of the software and some free sample packs – and begin their own journey in making music.

If you enjoy this content, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. If you’d like to get into music production or take yours to the next level, then consider our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree in which you can learn everything you need to know about music production including mixing, mastering, composition and music business. We also offer an online alternative, our online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree. You can check out our whole range of online courses here.

Register to Access Free Courses, Plugins, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples, access to our social network Plugged In and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

The post Monthly Roundup December 2017: Look Mum No Computer, Sweatson Klank & More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Watch a Grime Track Breakdown & Interview w/ Nat Powers (Run DMC, Pharcyde, Giggs)

With a CV of production spanning legends and newcomers alike from the UK and the US, Nat Powers is deservedly viewed within the top tier of hip-hop producers. Collaborations with the likes of Run DMC, The Pharcyde, D Double E and Giggs tell you everything you need to know about the regard in which he is held. As such, you can imagine how thrilled we were to be able to sit down and have a chat with him. He was warm and generous with his time, and we’re proud to share with you the following video of his recent visit to our studios in London. Check out the full list of courses we offer in London here. For those unable to make it to our London school, we are currently offering a huge 25% off 25% online courses and 30% off LA courses, plus a free copy of Ableton Suite until January 12th, so make sure you enrol soon!

In the video above we get a glimpse into the workings of the self-styled ‘producer, writer and human being’ Nat Powers. He tells us about the old rock n roll bands he grew up listening to and how The Beastie Boys opened his eyes to the world of hip-hop. We focus on the massive ‘Lovely Jubbly’ he made with D Double E: how each of the elements were made in and out of the box, the inspiration of classic video-game sounds and how the crunchy arpeggiated synth led the track’s development. On a broader level, he gives us some insight in the workings of grime, and some choice advice to aspiring producers about how the track’s you don’t think are your best can sometimes be the ones that really capture others’ imagination.

Nat Powers has produced for massive artists on both sides of the Atlantic including Ghostface Killa and Footsie

There are loads more videos with fantastic artists on our Youtube channel, which you can find by clicking through the video above, as well as free demonstrations and sample lessons. To get the most from Point Blank though, taking a course with us is the way to go. We offer a BA (Hons) degree in Music Production and Sound Engineering here in London and Online, which is the most comprehensive course we offer, supplying students with all the tools they need to make a career for themselves in the industry. There are more streamlined courses on offer too, in Production, Composition and Mixing, among others. For more info contact us using this form, or call 020 7729 4884.

Register to Access Free Courses, Plugins, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples, access to our social network Plugged In and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

The post Watch a Grime Track Breakdown & Interview w/ Nat Powers (Run DMC, Pharcyde, Giggs) appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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