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Compositional Tips w/ Spitfire Audio’s ‘Chamber Strings’ – Part 2

Welcome back to another series of compositional tips and tricks using instruments by Spitfire Audio, this time ‘Chamber Strings’. We’ve previously looked at the Orchestral Swarm instrument pack, notably used by Hanz Zimmer for the Blue Planet 2 score, as well as the Chamber Evolutions pack, created with famed Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds. Now, our resident compositional wizard Kevin Kerrigan turns his attention to ‘Chamber Strings’. The focus this time is more immediately concerned with teaching ways of composing with tools such as this, as opposed to a tour of a new instrument. Music composition forms an integral part of our music production courses, including our flagship BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering, quality assured by Middlesex University.

In the second part of the series, Kevin turns his attention to adding inversions to a chord sequence. To demonstrate this he invites us to observe a mystery score he’s been working on, built with a large reliance on minor chords. As he’s stressed before, playing these chords in their root forms sounds slightly stunted, so open voicings, adding different mics and adding inverted harmonies are all drawn upon to widen the scope of what’s made here.

As well as the aforementioned degree course in music production and sound engineering, we have also developed a new BA in Music Production and DJ Practice, again quality-assured by Middlesex University, which launches its first term next September. If you’d like to examine some shorter courses in London you can find the full list here. Or, if you’re not based in the UK, why not check out our production courses in Los Angeles or onlineGet in touch if you have any more questions.

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!

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The post Compositional Tips w/ Spitfire Audio’s ‘Chamber Strings’ – Part 2 appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Student Opportunity: Moon Jelly

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

Moon Jelly

Moon Jelly is a brand new website launched in beta. It’s a platform for producers and DJs that offers all the tips, tricks, tools and services they need to do their own online marketing and they are offering a free three-month membership in exchange for some feedback about the service. If you’d like to get involved, please email theo@pointblankmusicschool.com for the access code.

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!

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The post Student Opportunity: Moon Jelly appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Drew Morisey x DJ Ravine: Three Essential Social Media Tips for Artists

In today’s world, social media is absolutely vital to the career of any artist in any discipline. With music it is especially so because, let’s face it, most young people want to be musicians, creating even more of a challenge to stand out. To do this you need to be making music that is fresh and interesting, but that alone isn’t enough – chances are when you’re starting out you don’t have a marketing team behind you, so you need to get yourself out there. Grab a few key tips to get yourself started below and for comprehensive tuition on navigating the music business, check out our Music Industry courses.

For our latest video, we had two people that know a thing or two about social media sit down and discuss tactics. Our own DJ Ravine has built his YouTube following to just under half a million subscribers and his guest, Drew Morisey, has developed his How To Rap Brand to reach over 150k. Between them, you can be sure that by following their advice will certainly give your social media clout a boost.

The main points of discussion in the video are consistency, keywords and engaging fans or followers. Consistency is key so that people begin to expect activity at certain times and your presence becomes a constant feature of their social media browsing. Keywords and trends are a great way of expanding your reach into new areas and gaining followers. Engaging fans is perhaps the most useful when you’re starting out, as it not only keeps you in the minds of your connections but it does wonders for how you pop up within social media websites’ algorithms.

As well as our music industry-specific courses, these lessons form a big part of many of our music courses. For instance, in our BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering degree, as well as our new BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice, you will find modules focused on building your brand and getting what you want from the industry. If the music industry aspect is your biggest passion we have also developed a BA (Hons) in Music Industry Management, launching next year. All of our degrees are quality-assured by Middlesex University. For more info get in touch.

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!

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The post Drew Morisey x DJ Ravine: Three Essential Social Media Tips for Artists appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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How to Make a Drum n Bass Track in Reason

Drum ‘N’ Bass is a dance music subgenres that evolved from the tangled web of the UK’s underground rave scene in the 1980s and ‘90s, with roots in the broader genre of Breakbeat. Drum & Bass combines heavy synthesized bass lines with vocal samples from soul and reggae records to create an bold, energetic, and supremely danceable wall of sound. In this article and accompanying video, artist and producer Protostar will show you how to record a DnB track in Reason 10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXHmuEEd8ZU

The defining element of Drum & Bass is its signature rhythm: it starts with the kick drum on beat 1, a snare hit on beat 2, a syncopated kick just after beat 3 on the “and,” and a final snare on beat 4. This core one-two-and-four pattern forms the heart of the groove and is almost never deviated from. Finally, it needs to be fast—tempos usually range between 160 and 180 BPM.

Load a drum loop into Dr. Octo Rex (anything with “DnB” in the name should suffice) and use the beatmaking tools in Reason 10 to make it your own. Hit the “Copy Loop to Track” button to create a MIDI track from your loop, or create your own pattern in Drum Sequencer—and use it to trigger dance sounds from Umpf Club Drums, one-shot samples from ReDrum, synthesized and acoustic drums from Kong, or all of the above. Attack and decay controls come in handy for fine-tuning stacked kicks and snares: try using just the attack from one sound, the body of another, and the decay tail of a third. Then sprinkle in a variety of loops, extra hits, and dub-like reverb and delay to keep the rhythm interesting.

The addition of a pounding synth bass serves a melodic role, and is what sets DnB apart from other dance genres. Sine and Triangle waves are great for a nice round bottom, squares and saw waves add edgy harmonics, and the right wavetable or granular patch can really get things sounding nasty. All of this is possible with Europa and Thor’s multiple oscillators, but stacking several synths in a Combinator will create a thick, complex sound. Flip the rack around and experiment with patching various filters and envelopes to the Synchronous Effects Modulator and Pulsar Dual LFO devices to give the bass some movement.

Now it’s time to add some extra flavor with samples. Samples are a staple of DnB (typically vocal phrases lifted from old soul and reggae records), and serve to break up the monotony of a constantly pounding beat. Load samples into Dr. Octo Rex or record your own, then slice them up or stretch the possibilities with the Grain Sample Manipulator. Almost any other sound can be added to the mix to give it character—soft dreamy pads, sampled keyboards, erratic zaps and sweeps, or just plain old noise.

Now that you’ve learned how to make a Drum & Bass track in Reason 10, it’s time to “break” it down for yourself!

Start your free trial of Reason 10 today.

Follow Protostar on Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, Soundcloud.

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Compositional Tips w/ Spitfire Audio’s ‘Chamber Strings’ – Part 1

Welcome back to another series of compositional tips and tricks using instruments by Spitfire Audio, this time ‘Chamber Strings’. We’ve previously looked at the Orchestral Swarm instrument pack, notably used by Hanz Zimmer for the Blue Planet 2 score, as well as the Chamber Evolutions pack, created with famed Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds. Now, our resident compositional wizard Kevin Kerrigan turns his attention to ‘Chamber Strings’. The focus this time is more immediately concerned with teaching ways of composing with tools such as this, as opposed to a tour of a new instrument. Music composition forms an integral part of our music production courses, including our flagship BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering, quality assured by Middlesex University.

For part 1 of this new series, Kevin is interested in getting us started as quickly as possible and so runs through a number of ways he likes to get started on projects. This leads on to the main focus of the video, which are the ways you can choose articulations and vary the voicing of chords to enhance a project’s musicality. We love a lot of what Spitfire Audio have to offer and Chamber Strings is no different. Try following some of these suggestions made in the video and you should hopefully add another couple of strings to your bow (ahem) as composers. Don’t forget to check back for part 2 next week.

As well as the aforementioned degree course in music production and sound engineering, we have also developed a new BA in Music Production and DJ Practice, again quality-assured by Middlesex University, which launches its first term next September. If you’d like to examine some shorter courses in London you can find the full list here. Or, if you’re not based in the UK, why not check out our production courses in Los Angeles or online. Get in touch if you have any more questions.

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

The post Compositional Tips w/ Spitfire Audio’s ‘Chamber Strings’ – Part 1 appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Seekersinternational: Dub Soundsystem Abstractionists

Preferring to keep their exact identities under wraps, what we know for certain about the members of Seekersinternational is that they’re a Filipino-Canadian crew based in Richmond, British Columbia, with strong ties to Metro Manila. Whatever their origins or current location, the music that’s been trickling out under the Seekersinternational…

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Point Blank at IMS Ibiza: Andrea Oliva DJ Masterclass

You may have noticed how much fun we had at the International Music Summit in Ibiza last month, what with our Point Blank x Pioneer DJ Accelerator Programme winner Ambian playing at the Hard Rock in support of Flashmob and Seth Troxler, and DJ Ravine reporting from some of the parties at the event. Well, even that wasn’t the entirety of what we were up to out on the island – we also hosted a DJ masterclass with Swiss superstar Andrea Oliva. Check out the video below and take a look at some of our DJ courses to see how you too could learn some wizardry on the decks.

 

Andrea Oliva is known worldwide today, with past gigs on the biggest stages as diverse as Coachella and Panorama Bar and a whole host of Elrow parties. Everyone starts somewhere, however, and we learn here that he started out with a pair of belt-driven decks and Numark’s extremely basic two-channel mixer (which, let’s face it, is the beginner’s mixer of champions). We also learn some of his first inspirations to take his mixing as far technically as he could, including Erick Morillo and Little Louis Vega, leading him to his affection for four-deck mixing as demonstrated here.

After the show incorporating the four decks, Oliva gets into some of the technical nitty-gritty of his set, beginning with his RMX-1000 from Pioneer DJ. The effects unit can add impact when needed, and spices up looped sections simply. Simplicity isn’t necessarily something Oliva goes for, however, as he favours a “chaotic” approach to playlisting and planning to help allow a more natural creative process. We learn as well the importance of the warm-up set and how experience and risk-taking are the cornerstones of a constantly improving DJ.

IMS Ibiza is a massive event in the dance music calendar, drawing people from all over the globe to the white isle. Delegates in attendance are entitled to a 10% discount on course at Point Blank Ibiza, which is now enrolling for classes this summer. The courses on offer teach the basics of both DJing and Production, suited to your level, and there is another option to focus on DJing and Radio Production. Back in London, our flagship DJ course is the BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice, quality-assured by Middlesex University. For more info don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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 Point Blank at IMS Ibiza: Andrea Oliva DJ Masterclass appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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