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The Music Production News Feed

Mix Deconstruction w/ JC Concato (FFL!)

There are a lot of variables that go into a mix. The plugins or hardware chosen on each element, their settings and the overall tricks and techniques applied to the mix all go towards giving it its sound. In today’s Friday Forum Live!, PB instructor JC Concato breaks down a recent mix looking at everything from EQ and reverb to compression, automation and more. Join us live at 1pm to get your questions in for JC and make sure you subscribe to our channel for more tutorials and live events.

JC-Concato_croppedPB Creative Director JC Concato looks at the anatomy of a mix in today’s FFL!

If you want to learn more Logic techniques, our online Music Production Master Diploma course dives much deeper into Apple’s popular software. Taken for up to 64 weeks and from anywhere in the world, the diploma covers everything from mixing, mastering and sound design to music business and composition. Find out more about this course here.

Register to Access Free Courses, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, 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 Mix Deconstruction w/ JC Concato (FFL!) appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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NI Maschine Tutorial: Using Transient Master for Mixing w/ Matt Cellitti

Native Instruments product specialist Matt Cellitti demonstrates how to use Maschine’s uniquely powerful Transient Master effect to tighten up mixes and various musical elements.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Maschine’s Transient Master effect is a very powerful tool for mixing that can be used to bring sounds from the back of the mix to the front, enhance attack on drums and percussion, fix muddy recordings, reduce reverb, and much more. In this tutorial, Matt Cellitti introduces Maschine’s built-in Transient Master effect and shows us how to tighten up your mixes by applying it to various musical elements.

How it Works

Transient Master

Transients are non-tonal material that occurs at the onset of a sound. The Transient Master provides an Attack control used to emphasize or de-emphasizes transients, which will make a sound more or less lively without affecting the overall level while the Sustain control cuts or lengthens the sustain part of a sound. This extremely useful dynamic effect effectively reshapes the envelope allowing you to control the sound at its source.


About Matt Cellitti

Matt Cellitti began his music career recording in four tracks with his college roommate’s borrowed gear. He now tours the world doing advanced clinics and workshops using hi-end, state-of-the-art gear and software created by Native Instruments. During Matt’s international musical journey he discovered that teaching and helping musicians is his life’s true passion.


Maschine Program

The future of production is here. Native Instruments’ Maschine redefines the intersection of hardware and software, performance and production. With Dubspot’s Maschine program for producers and performers, you’ll go from shaking hands with this cutting-edge music platform to making full tracks and performing your music live.

Click here to view the embedded video.

About This Program

At Dubspot, you’ll learn to produce and perform music with Maschine by becoming familiar with its hardware and software simultaneously. Maschine’s tactile controls map seamlessly to their software counterparts, unlocking an advanced production environment. The first level takes you step-by-step through producing an entire track, covering the essentials of sequencing, synthesis, and mixing along the way. We start making music from the beginning–even if you’re completely new to Maschine, you’ll be making your own beats and grooves within days.

You’ll learn sampling and recording techniques to add original material into your productions, use advanced automation features and cutting-edge effects for sound design, and explore Massive, a powerful synthesizer that’s included with Maschine. You’ll also discover how plug-in instruments and effects can expand your creative workflow, and how additional hardware instruments and controllers can be integrated into your setup. Finally, you will also learn how to integrate Maschine into a DAW as a plug-in effect or MIDI controller, with examples shown in Ableton Live and Logic Pro.

What’s Included

  • Maschine Level 1: Production Essentials
  • Maschine Level 2: Sampling, Recording, and Effects
  • Maschine Level 3: Advanced Techniques and DAW Integration

Additional Information

Visit the Maschine course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.


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Studio Knowledge: Self-Similarity w/ Matt Shadetek

Logic expert and Dutty Artz label owner Matt Shadetek introduces the concept of self-similarity and discusses how it can help you define your own sound.

Matt Shadetek

Introducing Self-Similarity

In this article, I’d like to introduce a concept called self-similarity which deals more with the artistic component of making music. Basically, the concept focuses on how to develop your own ‘sound’ that people can easily identify just by hearing the style and sonics of your music.

An example of someone who has utilized this concept throughout their career is the massively prolific grime MC and producer, Wiley. He’s one of my favorite artists from the grime scene, both behind the mic and on the buttons. His productions are bold and unique, and so is his MC personality. He is an artist with an outsized persona who also has a great deal of both personal and stylistic courage. I have no idea how many beats and songs he has released, but it’s definitely in the hundreds in the past decade. One way he accomplishes this is by re-using a lot of the same sounds and samples. For example, he can finish a riddim, save the project as a new copy, delete the MIDI data, and then start again using the same sounds. Wiley has also used this method to develop a very recognizable sonic signature by using his signature wood-blocky massively compressed snare on so many different tracks.

Concept in Practice

Finish a track, save the project with a new name and then delete all the notes, patterns, and melodic phrases. Be careful not to hit save and overwrite your previous song without changing the name. Now, write a new song in a new key signature, maybe a new tempo, and re-use the same sounds. You’ve already spent a lot of time gathering and making these sounds, so they’re probably pretty good. Next, focus on creating melodies, beat patterns, and musical ideas rather than sound design. Obviously, in the course of the track, you may end up adding some new sounds, changing existing sounds, etc. but the point is you will have a nice palette to start with.

The second strength of self-similar production is that by doing this a few times and releasing the results, people will start to hear similarities between your tracks. In return, if they like them, they will often be happy to hear more of the same. Another use of this technique is to make several songs using a good sound palette, and then choose the best one or two to release. For example, choose two that sound similar but are different enough to stand apart. There is a fine line here between creating a sound for yourself and being repetitive, and this is where the controversy may arise. Obviously, many people, especially people who are into sounds more than songs, may complain. It’s up to you, in this case, to find an artistic balance here between similarity and variation.

Advantages of Self-Similarity

Maintaining a certain self-similarity in your own output can help people, both listeners and DJs to understand your work. Having a defined and somewhat consistent sound and vibe throughout will draw fans in when they are looking for that particular sound. For example, if I am in a record-shop looking for a specific type of sound such as interesting, weird hype grime, I will definitely check out Wiley’s new releases because I’m familiar with his sound and know he may have what I’m seeking.

Another example of someone who uses this concept in both production and songwriting is Terius Nash, aka ‘The-Dream.’ He is another artist I find very inspiring. As a producer/songwriter his shiny, heavily processed, cotton candy R+B is immediately recognizable. Again, in this case, it can be both a strength and weakness. However, someone like The-Dream, who made his initial mark as a behind-the-scenes artist, can guarantee that when his clients shop for a single at his company Radio Killa, they can be confident knowing that they would get a certain type of track that will probably set the charts on fire.


About Matt Shadetek

Matt Shadetek is one of New York City’s most exciting producers. His live sets encompass contemporary Dancehall, UK Funky, and Dubstep, all delivered with Shadetek’s unique production voice which bridges the underground-mainstream divide. He’s one of the rare DJs who can rock a crowd with sets composed solely of his own dancefloor bangers and remixes.

Matt’s early love for Hip Hop and Dancehall along with edgy electronic sounds led to his Warp Records debut album Burnerism as part of the duo Team Shadetek. While Matt was living in Berlin and touring Europe, the followup LP Pale Fire was released, featuring the underground hit “Brooklyn Anthem”. The hit song kick-started a dance craze in the Brooklyn reggae scene (leading to over 100 fan videos of kids dancing to it).

Returning to NYC, Matt founded the Dutty Artz label/production crew with DJ /Rupture. Shadetek produced Jahdan Blakkamoore’s debut album, Buzzrock Warrior (!K7), pioneering its signature Reggae-Dubstep-Rap sound. In 2009 he also teamed up with Rupture to release the mix album Solar Life Raft (The Agriculture). His latest release, on Dutty Artz, is Flowers, an effervescent solo instrumental effort that references dubstep, UK Funky and Garage. He has toured internationally both solo and accompanied by Jahdan as vocalist.

Connect with Matt on Twitter | SoundCloud | Website


Logic Pro Producer Certificate Program

Master Logic Pro X with our complete program. You’ll get a comprehensive overview of the composition process in Logic and create a portfolio that includes a collection of original tracks, a remix entered in an active remix contest, a re-scored scene from a film, and sound effects and music for a video game.

Click here to view the embedded video.

About This Program

In this program, you will develop the technical and creative skills needed to write and arrange music in Logic Pro X. You’ll create unique sounds using synthesizers and samplers, and learn how to mix and process those sounds with Logic’s vast array of effects. You’ll begin by creating a series of short sketches which are then developed into a portfolio of arranged and mixed tracks over the course of six levels. You’ll also create a remix, enter an active remix competition, score a scene from a feature film, and add music and sound effects to a video game. This program will help you develop and express your creative voice as an artist while teaching you the skills necessary to create the music you imagine.

What’s Included

  • Logic Pro Level 1: Shake Hands with Logic
  • Logic Pro Level 2: Completing Your First Track
  • Logic Pro Level 3: Mixing Essentials
  • Logic Pro Level 4: Sound Design & Instrumentation
  • Logic Pro Level 5: Advanced Composition & Production
  • Logic Pro Level 6: Taking Your EP Global

Additional Information

Visit the Logic Pro course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.


The post Studio Knowledge: Self-Similarity w/ Matt Shadetek appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Subscribe to Point Blank Music by 31st December to Win a Novation Producer Pack!

In 2011 we launched our own in-house label, Point Blank Music, as a way to showcase the incredible talent of Point Blank students and alumni. We’ve since embarked on phase two, launching the Point Blank Music YouTube channel as a platform to push the music even further and – along with label partners including Axtone, Defected, Toolroom, Cr2 and more – give the artists we believe in a chance to be discovered by music fans across the globe. To help get word out, we’re once again offering subscribers the chance to win a Novation producer bundle worth over £1,300 – all you have to do is head to PB Music to confirm your channel subscription. Plus, you’ll be the first to hear fresh new music from up-and-coming artists like Fake Bear, MANTi, Badoos, Jorge Ruby and Sub One. The competition closes on  31st December.


But what do you win exactly? If you’re picked at random from our list of subscribers, you will receive a Novation Producer Pack worth over £1,300, including a Novation Launchkey 25 MKII, a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface, and a pair of KRK Rokit 5″ studio monitors. To make the prize haul even more exciting, we’re also offering a Point Blank online course of your choice. Who knows, perhaps you’ll be the next break out star of Point Blank Music.

Getting your music signed, released, and earning money from it through our own in-house label Point Blank Music is just one of the many reasons to study with us. Our Online Music Production Master Diploma is not only the most comprehensive course available online, but it offers 1-2-1 tutorials between you and your instructor every two weeks, alongside live masterclasses and the opportunity to receive customised feedback for your work as you progress.

Register to Access Free Courses, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, 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!

ONLINE w outline

The post Subscribe to Point Blank Music by 31st December to Win a Novation Producer Pack! appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Dubspot Top Picks: 5 Choice Turntable Cartridges for DJs

In this Dubspot Top Picks guide, we look at a selection of our favorite turntable cartridges that deliver high accuracy audio reproduction, impressive trackability, and durable designs.

Turntable Cartridges

Choosing the Correct Cartridge

Choosing the right cartridge for your needs may be a daunting task at times. There are many things to consider before selecting the right tool for the job. Ultimately, the performance potential of any turntable is defined by the capabilities of the phono cartridge you use for different purposes. Things to consider are audio clarity, response range, trackability, stereo separation and imaging, elimination of noise and distortion, stylus type, weight, output voltage, and tonal balance. Whether you are a mix DJ or a scratch DJ, the cartridge you choose can also affect the life of your records. To help narrow the many options, we rounded up a selection of professional DJ cartridges suited for both mixing and scratch DJs.

Shure M44-7

Turntable Cartridges
The Shure M44-7 is arguably one of the best scratch cartridges on the market used by many champion DJ’s worldwide, including The former Invisibl Skratch Piklz, X-ecutioners, and The World Famous Beat Junkies. This legendary battle needle is built to withstand the rigorous punishment of turntablists and scratch DJ’s. The durable M44-7 offers ultra-high skip resistance and the highest output on the market capable of producing a powerful, vibrant sound with an emphasis on detailed bass. It also features a polished spherical gemstone stylus designed to remain faithfully in the record groove without skipping while preserving vinyl during intense cutting and scratching. Read more at Shure


Ortofon Q.Bert

Turntable Cartridges

Turntablists and mix DJs alike will appreciate the Ortofon Q.Bert Cartridge co-designed by the legendary turntablist DJ QBert. This ultimate scratch cartridge comes in two versions, the Concorde or OM Series. The Q.Bert provides unsurpassed handling, high output voltage, and low wear characteristics known for producing accurate sound with a profound bass response. Ortofon also toned down the high end to help minimize surface noise from worn vinyl and accentuated the mid-range to help bring scratching and back-cueing to the front of the sound stage. Read more at Ortofon


Audio-Technica AT95E

Turntable Cartridges

The Audio-Technica AT95E cartridge has long been a favorite amongst serious vinyl enthusiasts. The AT95E features an elliptical diamond designed to track record grooves with high accuracy for superior audio reproduction and a dual magnet design that offers superior clarity and detail. High frequencies cut through the mix with stunning detail, and bass tones are strong and accurate. The AT95E features a half-inch standard mount so it can be used on a wide variety of turntables and an elliptical diamond stylus designed to track record grooves with high accuracy for superior audio reproduction. Read more at Audio-Technica


Shure Whitelabel

Turntable Cartridges

The Shure Whitelabel cartridge is engineered with the modern DJ in mind. It is an optimal choice for Digital DJs, providing superb tracking of time-coded records, and minimal sonic coloration when mixing between digital files and analog records. Tailored for the club environment, Whitelabel features sonic characteristics including solid drop bass, flat mids, and accented highs. With a sleek and ergonomic design, the cartridge additionally delivers higher trackability, lower tone-arm resonance, and better skip resistance which ultimately extends the life of your records. It also includes an adjustable stylus overhang, reliable electrical contact, and improved stylus visibility. Read more at Shure


Stanton Groovemaster.V3 MP4

Turntable Cartridges

The Groovemaster.V3 is Stanton’s high-end club integrated headshell cartridge perfect for club DJs looking for a reliable design that delivers excellent sound with precision. Equipped with an elliptical stylus, the Groovemaster.V3 delivers clean transcription of the record groove while the 4-coil pickup ensures exceptional sound quality. Read more at Stanton


DJ Extensive Program

Immerse yourself in the complete art of DJing: from the fundamentals of beatmatching and mixing to using effects and programming extended club sets. Whether you’re a beginner wanting to learn fundamentals or a seasoned pro looking to take your talent to the next level, our curriculum is designed to accommodate all skill levels and styles of music. This comprehensive DJ program covers everything from basic mixing to advanced digital DJing with both Serato Scratch Live and Traktor Scratch Pro.

Click here to view the embedded video.

About This Program

At Dubspot you’ll be working at personal student workstations equipped with industry standard and cutting-edge technology: Technics SL-1200 / 1210 series turntables, Pioneer CDJs, Pioneer DJM or Rane TTM mixers, Apple iMacs and MacBook Pros, Native Instruments’ Traktor Scratch Pro, Serato Scratch Live, vinyl, CDs, timecode, and MIDI controllers.

Our instructors teach you the necessary techniques and draw on their vast collective experience to give you insight into the mindset, workflow, and art of DJing. Graduates of the DJ Extensive Program will have an opportunity to perform at an event in a New York City venue, organized and promoted by Dubspot together with you and your fellow students. At Dubspot, we want you to do more than just learn. We want you to be great at doing what you love. Let us help you get there!

What’s Included

  • DJ Level 1: Rookie Sessions | Essentials I
  • DJ Level 2: Phrase Mixing | Essentials II
  • DJ Level 3: Beyond The Blend | Intermediate Skills
  • DJ Level 4: Preparation | DJ Psychology
  • DJ Level 5: Classroom to the Club | Advanced Techniques I
  • DJ Level 6: Club to the World | Advanced Techniques II

Additional Information

Visit the DJ course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.


The post Dubspot Top Picks: 5 Choice Turntable Cartridges for DJs appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Playing By The Rules: Creativity through constraints

At his 2015 Loop talk, Matthew Herbert presented his manifesto for making music. As he explained, the set of rules – including the prohibition of synths, drum machines, presets, and sampling other music, for example – have guided his practice since 2005, serving to upend assumptions and help him avoid…

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Club Recommendations: June 2016 (DJ Harvey, Classical Trax, Field Day + more)

Welcome to Point Blank’s monthly club recommendations column, where we trawl the listings to bring you the essential events taking place in London and Los Angeles. As the summer schedules well and truly kick in expect the odd outdoor party and plenty of crowd-pleasing vibes from hereon in. Making the Stateside cut this month is Guy Gerber’s Rumors Block Party over in LA’s Chinatown, while Trauma Live present a very different vibe, courtesy of the outsider dancehall and bass stylings of Lady Chann, 6blocc and Rizzla. In London we’ve highlighted the Classical Trax Summer Slam at Peckham’s Rye Wax, the mutant, boundary-breaking sounds of Gaika come correct Stoke Newington’s The Waiting Room, while we couldn’t leave out Field Day. The annual bash will once again descend on Victoria Park for another year of killer line-ups aimed at the capital’s clued-in music fans. See you down the front.

For those of you dreaming of seeing yourself included here, heading up the next big summer festival or slaying clubs around the world, you can find out about our range of DJ courses in London, LA and online to kickstart your journey there. Don’t forget, you can attend our Open House events to get a feel of what it’s like studying with us – register for June Open Houses in London and LA by following the links.

Classical Trax Summer Slam w/ Mungo B2B DJ Sagepay, Boko! Boko! (MINA & Tash LC), Insert – Rye Wax [London] – Thursday 9th June


Classical Trax are an online collective of producers and label owners who share and nurture club music from across the world. Heralded for their community driven, egalitarian approach, their summer slam in Peckham, in the Bussey Building record store Rye Wax, will be an excellent chance to peep some serious, yet-to-be-hyped talent IRL. More info here.

Tropical Waste x Grey w/ Gaika, False Witness, Nkisi, Hipsters Don’t Dance, Iydes b2b Seb – The Waiting Room [London] – Friday 10th June


Monthly party Tropical Waste have built a rep for showcasing fast-rising names from the dance music underground. The June edition bears this out, with a live performance from recent Wire cover star and Brixton-born boundary-tester Gaika. His future-primed productions – an alien splicing of grime, dance hall, garage, hip hop and R&B – mark him out as an agitator as much as an innovator. Catch him before he blows up. More info here.

Field Day w/ James Blake, Optimo, Bicep, DJ Koze, Plastician, Holly Herndon + loads more – Victoria Park [London] – Saturday 11th June


Field Day has come into its own since its inaugural edition back in 2007. Now something of a festival calendar highlight, this year’s line-up demonstrates why it’s so popular. With a typically massive and diverse roll call of artists spread over nine stages and two days, you’d better start planning your schedule. The Resident Advisor Stage alone will be hosting the likes of Bicep, DJ Koze, Floating Points and Holly Herndon while headliners include James Blake and PJ Harvey. Unmissable. More info here.

Rumors Chinatown Block Party w/ Guy Gerber, DJ Harvey – Gin Ling Way, Chinatown [Los Angeles] – Saturday 11th June


Guy Gerber’s Rumors party has transcended its Ibizan origins to become a truly international presence. Following excursions to Art Basel Miami and London, this outdoors Chinatown takeover is the first time Rumors has come to LA – so expect it to go off. Gerber has not only taken over a whole block, but he’s also recruited DJ Harvey for an extended set to do it. Dressing up is encouraged, so don’t be caught out. More info here.

Trauma Live presents: Lady Chann, Rizzla, 6blocc & Special Guest – The Globe Theater [Los Angeles] – Thursday 23rd June


Trauma Live’s BASS series promises to explore the outer reaches of all things low-end with this future-focused line-up. London dancehall queen and Suncycle crew member Lady Chann is joined by Fade To Mind’s Rizzla, an artist who delights in deconstructing the status quo with his politicised productions. The line-up’s completed with LA’s own 6blocc. Dress to sweat. More info here.

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

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of plugins, free sounds, 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 Club Recommendations: June 2016 (DJ Harvey, Classical Trax, Field Day + more) appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Point Blank on Pioneer DJ Radio: ElPeche

One of the many reasons to learn the craft of DJing at Point Blank is that you get the chance to have your mixes played exclusively on Pioneer DJ Radio alongside the likes of top artists like Slam, Sante and Eats Everything. We get a real kick out of showcasing our students’ talent and seeing it reach an audience of thousands each week. What’s more, because PDJR also features shows from some of the biggest and best labels out there including Cadenza, Get Physical and Defected, you never know who might be listening.

PB DJPoint Blank’s brand new DJ Studio in our second London facility is sponsored by Pioneer DJ and features all of the latest top-of-the-range kit – including CDJ2000nxs, DJM2000nxs and the DDJ-SX controller

This week it was the turn of Arthur Carneiro, better known to discerning London and São Paulo partygoers as ElPeche. Part of the Sonido Trópico collective, ElPeche has been cultivating a thriving underground scene away from the commercial dance clubs in Brazil’s sprawling metropolis for the past two years. It’s a scene that returns to Brazil’s musical heritage in a bid to break with the homogeneity of the global mainstream – as you can hear in his Pioneer DJ Radio mix. Think slow BPMs, Latin flourishes and humid psychedelia. A rising artist and DJ in the UK and Brazil, Caneiro originally studied the advanced DJ course, and is currently studying Sound Engineering, Audio Mastering and Sound Design – all part of our comprehensive Music Production & Sound Engineering Complete Master Diploma – right here in London.


Speaking about the DJ course, which remained a crucial stepping stone for the artist, he says: “I learnt all the really important things like mixing, beat juggling, live bootlegging and lots more! It was also really important to start on vinyl as it teaches you to use your ears instead of your eyes, even if nowadays I have migrated to the digital world of controllers, I still feel the benefits of having learnt the harder way, as it makes your sensitivity much higher.”

Like what you hear? You can find ElPeche on Soundcloud and Facebook, along with the Sonido Trópico family. If, however, you’re looking to get out there and start creating music yourself then come and join us. You can find out more about our DJ courses in London here, or, alternatively, you can speak to a course advisor or give us a call on 0207 729 4884. If you’re calling from outside of the UK, call +44 20 7729 4884. And remember, If you’re studying with us and want to join ElPeche in getting your DJ mix played on Point Blank’s show on Pioneer DJ Radio, get in touch with Louise at Point Blank.

Register to Access Free Courses, Plug-ins, 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 on Pioneer DJ Radio: ElPeche appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Free TMA 2 Studio Headphones, Adobe Audition + Tascam Digital Recorder for Radio Students!

It’s no secret that a massive percentage – around 100% of a class – of Point Blank radio course students go on to achieve success in the industry after completing their study. Why? Because we believe in giving our students the very best practical foundation for their career – including all the kit needed to get a head start. On top of unlimited practice time in the Radio Practice studio, students on our Radio Broadcasting Diploma each receive a pair of Aiaiai TMA 2 professional studio headphones, a copy of professional editing software Adobe Audition and a Tascam digital recorder, all for FREE. To buy all this gear in the shops would cost £500, so that’s some serious saving. What’s more, we’re currently offering 10% off all diploma courses, including the Radio Broadcasting Diploma so you can save even more money. To get your discount, just go to the enrolment page and enter PB10 before 30th June.

However, the biggest incentive to study with us is our success rate. We’ve launched the careers of a broad spectrum of talent, from independent trailblazers like Radar Radio‘s Ollie Ashley and S I S T E R co-founder Shan McGinley, BBC radio stars like Monki and Gemma Cairney and groundbreaking producers like Anna Kay. From Beats 1 to 1Xtra, our former students lead the way, and as radio continues to evolve in step with technological advances and changing listening habits, many of our graduates are at the very forefront of these developments. Below is a small snapshot of some of our recent breakout radio talent, but the number is growing all the time. Could you be next?

If you’re thinking about studying radio with us, there’s no better time: in addition to our flagship Radio Broadcasting Diploma we now also offer a whole range of shorter courses which give you the option of drilling down into either the presenting and production aspects of radio.

Gemma Cairney (Radio Production part of the Radio Broadcasting Diploma )

Gemma Cairney

Gemma Cairney is one of the most recognisable of the BBC’s new generation of DJs. She’s hosted a number of Radio 1’s most high profile shows including Weekend Breakfast and the Surgery. A former stylist, she switched up careers after taking a Radio course at Point Blank – a decision that would help her land her first radio job, at Channel 4’s radio strand 4radio. From there she made the leap to 1Xtra and ultimately Radio 1. Also known for her radio documentaries and TV appearances, she’s cemented herself as one of the freshest voices in broadcasting and we’re proud to call her one of ours. Speaking on the role of Point Blank in her career, she says: “Without the intensity and professionalism of the Radio Course I would never have had the skills, knowledge or even guts to approach Channel 4 in the first place.”

Ollie Ashley (Founder of Radar Radio) – Radio Production (part of the Radio Broadcasting Diploma)


Since studying with Point Blank, Ollie Ashley has gone on to make serious waves in the industry. He’s the founder and station manager of Radar Radio, which has already been received support from the likes of Thump and Fact Mag. The online station supports the best upcoming DJ talent, and regularly has shows hosted by the likes of Ikonika, Brackles, Amy Becker and Girl Unit.

Proving that your time at Point Blank is as much about building networks and fostering collaborations as it is completing award-winning courses, Ollie met fellow PB graduate Monki while studying here. After serving his time as an intern at Rinse FM he went on to become the station’s first full-time evening producer before becoming the studio manager at NTS for nine months. With both Rinse FM and NTS Radio on his CV, Ollie is now running his own station Radar Radio which continues to go from strength to strength.

Josh Dowler – Radio Production Certificate


After completing the Radio Production Certificate, Josh Dowler went on to work alongside DJ and producer B. Traits at the record label Digital Soundboy, Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Josh initially met B. Traits when she came in to Point Blank to give a guest lecture for his radio class where she discussed her new role as a Radio 1 presenter as part of their “In New DJ’s We Trust” programming. He says, “after the lecture was over I spoke to her about some electronic artists I thought were showing promise for the forthcoming festival season and about the history of the bass music culture in Britain. We got on really well.” Four months later, Josh was contacted by B. Traits’ manager and asked if he would like to come in for an interview with her for two internships. The first as an intern at Digital Soundboy then secondly as her Radio Assistant on Radio 1 and 1Xtra.

Josh now aspires to produce specialist radio shows for DJ’s and pioneers of new sounds and regards his radio idols as the likes of Giles Peterson, Benji B and David Rodigan. Well embedded within London’s burgeoning radio movement, he broadcasts shows on Ollie Ashley’s Radar Radio and occasionally plays the ‘Open Deck’ slot on NTS Radio. He says “Attending Point Blank was the best thing I could have done to enhance my chances of gaining a foothold in the industry. The combination of learning the technical skills required in radio and hearing first hand the structure of how things work from tutors who not only teach the subject, but also have years of experience at the top, gave me all the confidence I needed to confirm that this was the industry I wanted to work in! The college has great facilities and a wealth of creativity round every corner. It’s a truly inspirational place not only for those passionate about radio, but music as a whole.”

Monki – Radio Course (part of the Radio Certificate)


Both Radio 1 and 1Xtra have form when it comes to accommodating truly taste-making DJs in their schedules, and Monki continues that legacy with her eclectic underground vision. A club DJ at heart, after graduating from the Point Blank Radio Production Certificate course, Monki went on to DJ for Annie Mac’s AMP parties and Bestival Radio before landing a career-making slot at London’s Rinse FM while still in her teens. She now presents on 1Xtra and, frequently, Radio 1, bringing her club selections to a massive audience in the evening slot.

Shan McGinley – Radio Production Certificate


Shan came to Point Blank to study the Radio Production Certificate. Since completing his course, he secured internships at a few of London’s most cutting edge radio stations including Shoreditch Radio and Ministry of Sound Radio before going on to produce radio shows for Artwork (Magnetic Man) and Youngsta at Rinse FM. Recently, Shan set up brand new radio platform S I S T E R with Rinse FM’s Carly Wilford and former PB instructor Chris Bailey. Scouting the cream of international club talent, S I S T E R has already played host to Benga and Seth Troxler with more big names lined up for the future. We caught up with Shan and Chris to talk about the S I S T E R project here.

Anna Kay – Radio Course (part of the Radio Certificate)


Much like Monki, Anna Kay studied the Radio Course as part of the Radio Certificate at Point Blank. Shortly after graduating, Anna interned at Somethin’ Else where she got to work across radio shows on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, interned at Ministry of Sound Radio as a Broadcast Assistant and she produced the Breakfast show on Rinse FM before becoming a Radio Producer at Kiss FM. Here she worked across live and and pre-recorded specialist radio shows for the likes of Shortee Blitz & DJ MK, Majestic and Steve Smart, as well as producing shows for Kiss’ new digital station, Kiss Fresh. She’s now at the forefront of streaming radio, working as a producer Apple Music’s Beats 1.

When asked about her studies at Point Blank, Anna Kay said: “I loved my time at Point Blank. It made such a difference learning in an environment full of people that were passionate about what they were doing, and it was great meeting other creatives who were on other courses. The Radio Course gave me an understanding of how radio works, what makes good and bad radio, as well as the practical knowledge of how to use a radio desk. I think doing a course at Point Blank definitely made people take what I wanted to do more seriously as so many people have heard of the college and its great reputation. Thanks, PB!”

Bailey (Instructor)


Like all of Point Blank’s instructors, Bailey’s real world music industry experience is second-to-none. Rising to prominence as part of the ’90s drum’n’bass scene – he was made a resident of  Goldie’s legendary Metalheadz club nights in 1995, a post he still holds – he cut his teeth on the capital’s pirate stations of the time. In 2002, he went legit with a weekly show on BBC 1Xtra where he stayed for a decade, scooping a handful of awards and plaudits along the way. He followed this with a new weekly show on Ministry of Sound Radio in 2013 and now presents the Official Drum & Bass Show on Mi-Soul Radio, the digital station set up by original Kiss founder Gordon Mac. In 2014 he was part of a new wave of artists to be included in the Serato Icon series, the brand recognising his influential and transformative impact within club music.

Interested in joining us and carving out your own path in radio? Our Radio Broadcasting Diploma offers the ideal foundation. Students will not only learn core skills across production and presenting from expert instructors like Bailey but also delve into future trends and developments within the industry, placing them at the cutting edge. You can currently get 10% off this diploma if you enrol before May 31st. To claim your discount enter PB10 when enrolling.

Register to Access Free Courses, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, 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 Free TMA 2 Studio Headphones, Adobe Audition + Tascam Digital Recorder for Radio Students! appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Point Blank at IMS College Malta: Full Schedule Announced!

As previously announced, Point Blank and International Music Summit have partnered to create IMS College Malta, a new education initiative that will take place on the island from July 1st – 3rd. Now, with less than a month until it all kicks off, we are excited to reveal the names of the participants and the full two-day schedule of masterclasses, seminars, panels and interactive sessions. Point Blank will be hosting proceedings on Day One, and remember, PB students and graduates are eligible for a 35% discount. To claim the code, students and former students should get in touch with Point Blank with the name of their course.


First up, on our side Point Blank will be bringing the musical expertise of lead course developer Ski Oakenfull. He will be hosting a special deconstruction masterclass in Ableton Live. In this session, Ski will break down the musical sounds and techniques used in a recent classic dance track – previously he’s broken down tracks from the likes of Kraftwerk, Moderat, Caribou, Disclosure and many more.


Point Blank will also be hosting Ableton masterclass sessions with producer and Point Blank instructor Stefano Ritteri, who is best known for his releases on Defected, Exploited and Dirtybird, together with artist panels and masterclasses hosted by Point Blank’s own Declan McGlynn.

The MO behind IMS College Malta is to educate and inspire the next generation of industry leaders. The comprehensive ‘Learn By Day’ programme features a carefully curated line-up that draws expertise, insights and perspectives from every strand of the music industry, from radio to running a label, promotion to talent buying. Heading up the roll call of industry names is BBC Radio 1’s Pete Tong, one of the most respected voices within dance culture. He will be sharing some of his invaluable knowledge gathered over decades at the very heart of the scene. Fast-rising artist/DJ duo Eli & Fur will be providing insight in how to break through as a new artist – surely an unmissable discussion for aspiring DJs and producers everywhere. Continuing the production theme, Joost Stuursma will be delving into the hot button topic of ghost production, and Chief Engineer of Red Bull Studios in Amsterdam, Frank De Jong will be covering music engineering.

The programme will also be drilling down into the world of events with Croatia’s Hideout and Malta’s Lost & Found Festival director Wilf Gregory, former brand director and club booker of Pacha Ibiza and founder of  IBZ Entertainment, Danny Whittle and Lucy Allen, Head of Festival & Events Press at Listen UP PR.

Elsewhere, CR2 Records label boss Mark Brown will be sharing his insights into running a successful label (he’s released records by Eric Prydz, David Guetta and Nic Fanciulli), Mark Lawrence of The Assocation For Electronic Music and Robert Horsfall of Sound Advice LLP will be examining the impact of legal and music rights and lastly Laura Newton, who represents Róisín Murphy, Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten, Chromeo, Little Dragon and Hercules & Love Affair, will be discussing the role of the music agent. The full programme is below.


If you want to build a career within the music industry and become part of the next generation of industry professionals, our online Diploma courses will help you get there. Taken from anywhere in the world and for up to 64 weeks, they’re some of our most comprehensive courses. International Music Summit is an educational, inspirational and motivational thought leadership platform that was set up in 2007. It is dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for electronic music through the presentation of summits and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of the genre to art and culture worldwide.

Register to Access Free Courses, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, 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 Point Blank at IMS College Malta: Full Schedule Announced! appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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