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Tips & Tricks chord progressions

musictheory

Music theory is one of the most helpful tools for music production, regardless of its seemingly
classical and restrictive atmosphere. Music Theory shouldn’t be used to define if your music is good or
bad, or to strictly delineate what types of notes and note combinations can be used. Rather, it’s helpful
for guiding the creative process and can be instrumental in speeding up your workflow. Instead of trial
and error, you can get a fairly quick idea of how a number of notes will sound when played together.
When happy and joyful is what you want, you’ll know how to get that. When you want dissonance and
terror, that’s possible too! And sometimes knowing music theory makes it even easier to break out of
the rules and do something unconventional. In this guide, I’m going to go over a few quick tips and tricks
that can be used to enhance the flow of your chord progressions, or give them a bit of flair.

Voice Leading

Have you been left feeling that your chord progressions are jumpy, or don’t flow as well as they
should? As someone who listened to (still listens to) a lot of Liquid Funk, I found myself frustrated that
even after using “jazzy” chords nothing I wrote flowed as well as I thought it should. It seemed
disjointed, and like it didn’t blend together. It did not feel at all like the genre I was trying to produce!

If you’ve felt like this, chances are you’re chords are in fact not flowing the way they should. This
is easy to fix, however, and is what voice leading is about. Good voice leading is simple: minimize the
amount of motion between chords in a progression. Commonly, we’ll do this by using inversions. This
won’t change the tone of the note too much, but will make it feel much more “in place” and stop that
jumpy feeling. Inversions are when we take the lowest note of a chord and raise it an octave. So, in the
below image I’ve placed a Cmaj chord and the first inversion of that chord-

inversions1

As you can see, this is really quite simple in practice! Its really just moving the notes within our
chords to fit better with the rest of the progression. We can invert as many times as we like, technically,
but you may notice that once we get to our 3 rd inversion we just have our original chord raised an
octave. Therefore, it is really just the 2 nd and third inversions that we worry about. You may note that
inversions do sound a bit different in tonality, and I feel they lack some of the power or glue of regular
chords (Tchaikovsky also noted this). As such, it may be wise to leave chords at key points in your
progression uninverted, if the inversion lessens the impact or power of said chords.

Applying inversions to your chords follows the classical rule of “if it sounds good, it is good”.
Another small note is that common notes among two chords shouldn’t usually be inverted, as these
already will segue into each other nicely. It tends to be the notes most outside of the range of the
progression that will need inverting, in most cases. I often find myself pitching the whole chord down an
octave, then inverting the first two notes in cases where a chord really jumps from the core of the
progression.

Suspended Chords

Suspended chords are remarkably simple to construct, and come in two flavors: Sus4 and Sus2.
This relates to how they affect the notes in the chord. Remember that a chord is 3 or more notes being
played at once, and that it involves (conventionally) the notes of a chord two degrees apart. So, the root
chord in a scale is numbered as 1. The tonic chord is the chord starting at this root note, and includes
the 3rd note in the scale (+2 from 1) and the 5 th note in the scale (+2 from the 3 rd ). A Sus2 chord switches
things up by making the second note in the chord the second degree, and the Sus4 chord makes the 2 nd
note be of the 4 th degree. So if a Cmaj tonic chord is C-E- G, a Csus2 chord is C-D- G and a Csus4 chord is C-
F-G. The 2 nd /4 th degree is really relative to each chord, so it’s easier to picture the sus2 chord as having us
move the 2 nd note of a chord down one note in the scale, and the sus4 chord having us just move this
middle note up one note in the scale. These chords are a wonderful way to add more tension to a
buildup, for example. Making more and more of repetitive chords suspended chords as you approach
the drop is a subtle and clever way of amping up the tension (and increasing the eventual feeling of
release).

suspended2

In the above, I used the standard Cmaj root triad, then Csus4, then Csus2. As I near the point of
“release” in my song, whatever that may be, I increase the tempo of these suspended chords and stop
using the root chord. As this is Cmaj, it does sound a bit cheesy but I’d still give this a shot yourself so
you can get an idea of the general “tone” of this structure, so to speak.

The Dominant 7 th

You may or may not have heard of the 7 th chord already, and may even have used the dominant 7 th
chord without realizing it. Remember that most chord progressions involve departing the tonic, heading
for the dominant chord, and then returning to the tonic. This sounds like leaving a harmonic home or
comfort zone, heading towards high tension sounds, and then returning home to resolve the
progression. This is because the dominant chord (5 th chord) leads to the tonic chord (1 st chord), due to
the relationships between the notes (covered very well by the courses here, and covered briefly in
numerous articles elsewhere). The Dominant 7 th chord is our usual V chord, just with an added major 7 th
above the dominants’ root. So, if we use the dominant chord of the C major scale (G-B- D), adding the
seventh means using the note F to create the chord G-B- D-F. Note that F is indeed only one half-step
below G. This has an even stronger pull to the tonic than the regular dominant chord, and is a good way
to really seal the ending of a chord progression or signal clearly that you’ve reached the peak of your
harmonic journey. This is a very distinct chord, and is commonly used, but that does mean you should
shy away from it! Rather, it is a sign of just how effective this structure can be.

Suspended notes between chords

This sounds very similar to the concept I discussed earlier, but is actually something entirely
different. Instead of tweaking the structure of our chords wholesale this involves just sustaining a note
from one chord, into the next chord. It helps to create a more fluid feeling, but can also add a touch of
dissonance. Here’s what it might look like applied to a standard I-IV- V-I progression:

suspended

To me, the sound really reminds me of melodic dubstep. It sounds ponderous and
contemplative, as far as I can hear. Suspended notes can also be modified substantially, and don’t have
to follow a certain format. Above, I just suspended the middling note and tried to not move too much
(also, note that I inverted the chords to get them to flow better). As there is no generalized procedure
for this, it’s best to experiment to find the combos that work the best harmonically. Generally, it can be
wise to think about the notes in the chord you are moving to. If the note you are suspending into this
chord is one of the triad notes, or is the 7 th , 9 th , or even 11 th , then it will sound more harmonic and in-
tune than if it is one of the off-chord degrees (which is okay, it just sounds quite different!). You can also
try playing the suspended note again, as you transition into the new chord, which usually adds a nice
touch of contrast to the transitions between chords.

Overall, I would say it is important to also not worry too much about making musically complex,
“valid”, or unique chord progressions. These tips here can help you add some extra flair, or fix any
glaring issues you may hear, but at the end of the day producing music under the umbrella of “EDM”
means that 2-4 strong chords can form the basis for the whole song. We can add other chords to
transition easily, certainly, but simplicity has its appeal. I spent a fair amount of time fretting that my
progressions weren’t unique enough, and the time I spent trying to make stupendously overcomplicated
progressions was time not making music. Make sure that above all else, you are doing what you enjoy
and what sounds good!

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Native Instruments Announces KOMPLETE 11 Production Suite Series

Native Instruments reveals their KOMPLETE 11 Production Suite, an industry leading collection for music production, performance, and sound design.

KOMPLETE 11

Today Native Instruments announced the 11th generation of its industry-leading KOMPLETE collections. These latest releases add new products to KOMPLETE and KOMPLETE ULTIMATE, and introduce a new member of the portfolio: KOMPLETE 11 SELECT. KOMPLETE 11 incorporates seven new instruments, including the highly innovative and brand-new synthesizer FORM, UNA CORDA, and REAKTOR 6 with the acclaimed REAKTOR Blocks. KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE adds 13 new products, such as the all-new orchestral instruments SYMPHONY ESSENTIALS and FLESH, as well as all the new additions in KOMPLETE 11. All suites are available as downloads or on a hard disk or flash drive.

Click here to view the embedded video.

KOMPLETE 11 and KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE deliver new instruments that significantly expand the sonic palette for producers, composers, performers and sound designers. Both suites now include FORM – a brand-new synthesizer. Using a sample as the primary oscillator, FORM offers a powerful new paradigm for sound design, to spark a broad array of fresh ideas. KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE also includes SYMPHONY ESSENTIALS – five detailed orchestral instruments that place the worlds of brass, woodwinds, and strings directly at users’ fingertips. Based on the SYMPHONY SERIES instruments, SYMPHONY ESSENTIALS deliver the same professional recordings and signature interface with a streamlined set of articulations.

KOMPLETE 11
KOMPLETE 11 SELECT is a new version of the suite that offers a gateway to the professional music production world of KOMPLETE. It delivers eleven full instruments covering the entire instrument range, with synths, pianos, drums, percussion, and effects. Among the instruments included are MASSIVE and MONARK – two of Native Instruments’ most widely used and revered synths. Two essential effects – The REPLIKA delay and SOLID BUS COMPRESSOR – round off the collection, enhancing options for experimentation and adding polish to new creations. In all, KOMPLETE 11 SELECT includes over 2,500 sounds with more than 25 GB of instruments and effects.

KOMPLETE 11

The 11th generation of KOMPLETE offers an even more comprehensive collection of instruments and effects. KOMPLETE 11 now includes 45 products and more than 13,000 sounds, with seven new instruments: FORM, REAKTOR 6, UNA CORDA, DISCOVERY SERIES: INDIA, REPLIKA, SESSION GUITARIST – STRUMMED ACOUSTIC, and KINETIC METAL. KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE – the flagship bundle for professional producers, composers, and sound designers – now has 87 products and over 18,000 sounds. It adds 13 new instruments to the previous generation, including the five SYMPHONY ESSENTIALS instruments, FLESH, EMOTIVE STRINGS, plus all the new products in KOMPLETE 11.

KOMPLETE 11

The KOMPLETE 11 suites are designed to keep users focused on sound creation and music making. The newly launched Native Access drastically simplifies downloading, installing, activating, and updating Native Instruments software. The included KOMPLETE KONTROL software offers unified browsing, innovative Smart Play features, and lets users take direct physical control of KOMPLETE instruments from a KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboard or MASCHINE. All KOMPLETE 11 suites are available as downloads or as boxed versions. For an improved installation experience, both KOMPLETE 11 and KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE are now delivered on a hard drive, and KOMPLETE 11 SELECT is provided on a USB flash drive – boxed versions only.

KOMPLETE 11

KOMPLETE 11, KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE, and KOMPLETE 11 SELECT will be released online and in retailers September 1, 2016. All KOMPLETE 11 versions are available now for pre-order from the NI Online Shop. KOMPLETE 11 costs $599 / 599 €. KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE costs $1199 / 1199 €. KOMPLETE 11 SELECT costs $199 / 199 €.

For owners of a previous version of KOMPLETE, KOMPLETE ULTIMATE, or KOMPLETE SELECT, upgrade and update offers are available.

 


About Native Instruments

Native Instruments is a leading manufacturer of software and hardware for computer-based music production and DJing. The company’s mission is to develop innovative, fully integrated solutions for all professions, styles, and genres. The resulting products regularly push technological boundaries and open up new creative horizons for professionals and amateurs alike.

 


Kontour Tutorial

Sound Design Komplete Program

Finding the right sound can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Learn the fundamentals of synthesis and sampling and gain the depth of knowledge to shape sounds the way you want them or make your own sounds from scratch.

Click here to view the embedded video.

About This Program

Become fluent in the language of sound design and synthesis with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers the major techniques used for contemporary sound design.

You will learn to create your own sounds with a variety of techniques and add a personal sonic signature to your tracks. We introduce you to the latest synthesis and sampling technologies and show you how to use the world’s largest and most diverse sound library. In the advanced levels, you will acquire total control over all aspects of the Komplete instruments while practicing genre-based sound design.

What’s Included

  • Sound Design Level 1: Introduction to Komplete
  • Sound Design Level 2: Synthesis with Massive, FM8 and Absynth
  • Sound Design Level 3: Sampling with Kontakt and Battery
  • Sound Design Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
  • Sound Design Level 5: Reaktor Ensembles and Production Techniques
  • Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming and Instrument Building

Additional Information

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

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

/files/2016/08/NI-Komplete-11-Thumb.jpg

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Point Blank on Pioneer DJ Radio: Imogen Richmond

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.

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

Still only 16, Imogen Richmond has been tracking the underground scene from a precociously young age. Eager to kickstart her career within the industry, she chose to study the comprehensive Music Production & Sound Engineering Master Diploma. “My favourite module has been Sound Design,” she says, speaking about about her experience so far. “It’s given my production its own unique sound. Also the DJ course has taught me everything I know.” It’s her DJ skills that she’s showcasing in this mix of underground fire and box-fresh house music recorded for Pioneer DJ Radio. “Point Blank has been a great experience,” she affirms. “I’m looking forward to taking everything I’ve learnt to Ibiza for the summer next year.”

Want to find out what’s popping in Imogen’s sonic universe? You can hit up Imogen’s Soundcloud page right here.

Feeling inspired? Why not make like Imogen and join us at Point Blank. 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 Imogen 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!

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Student Opportunities: W Hotel Verbier Are Looking For a Resident DJ

We strive to give our students and alumni unique opportunities to get involved within the music industry. These come exclusively from our extensive network of industry contacts, and can range from DJ performance to internships and paid roles too. Scroll down to see what’s popping this week, and for those that want to access many more ongoing opportunities like this, you can find out all about our courses right here!

W Hotel Verbier Are Looking For a Resident DJ For the Ski Season 2016/17

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The W Verbier in Switzerland are currently searching for aspiring DJs to compete for the chance to become resident at the hotel. The winner will be resident for the ski season, jetting off to Verbier, Switzerland in December 2016 and staying until March 2017. You will be heating up the dance floor for the hottest destination in the Swiss Alps and be center stage at the W OFF PISTE Après-Ski bar and W LIVING ROOM. You will participate to develop energy-infused music styling for W Verbier and be ready to set the beat 5 days/5 nights per week – from après ski to beyond. To find out how to enter, including terms and conditions, head to their website.

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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Student Success: July 2016 w/ Sergio T, Apollo X and Furtherance

Another month, another batch of former PB students making some serious waves out there in the real world. This is where we show off – like proud parents – recent success stories to give you insight into how music industry careers are established and nurtured right here at Point Blank. This month we get the lowdown on what’s popping in the world of tipped Berlin-based producer Apollo X, hit up Sergio T in Greece where he’s blowing up and get to know rising house star Furtherance. Want to be Point Blank’s next big success story? Check out our LondonLos Angeles and Online course pages to begin your own journey to the very top.

Apollo X (KRANK, Kaiser Wilhelm Records – Music Production Ableton Live Certificate, part of the Music Production Master Diploma)

apollo x Summer 2016

Chris Lynn was living in Austin, TX and doing his best to teach himself how to make electronic music in a city that’s known for its indie credentials. Tired of watching free tutorials and going down rabbit holes on music forums, he decided to take the plunge and sign up to Point Blank for the Music Production Ableton Live Certificate. “From the minute I started the course, I felt like this was what I was meant to do. The lessons were really easy to digest and I couldn’t wait to do the homework when I got home from my day job,” he says. “The way they block the courses together really helps build on the knowledge as you go. From advanced Ableton skills and plugins to composition, musical theory, arranging, and mixing down, Point Blank taught me everything I needed to start making my own tracks. Plus, the mentors are actually producers whose tracks I play out in my own sets. It was like working with some of my idols.”

Excitingly, having graduating from PB a little over a year ago, Chris has not only found the confidence to refresh his career opportunities, but his life too. “I felt so inspired that I left Austin and moved to Berlin. I’m now in the heart of the beast doing what I love to do.” His strain of primitivist, jacking house has landed him a montly residency at a party called KRANK with Larry Tee alongside gigs all over Germany, sharing bills with his favourite artists. What’s more, he has set up his own label Kaiser Wilhelm Records and begun recording an album. “It’s like a dream. Yes, it’s a hustle, but Point Blank gave me the foundation and the confidence I needed to build my career. If I hadn’t signed up for that first Point Blank course, I’d probably still be in Austin dreaming about the life that I’m living today.”

Furtherance (Machine Made Records – Point Blank x Defected DJ & Producer Course) 

Furtherance

UK-based producer Edward Shepherd first began producing at age 16. The early start has paid off; he’s DJ’d at Ministry of Sound, Pacha, Electric Brixton and Electronic Session Boat parties alongside Man Without a Clue and Tim Cullen. However, he recently took part in our first ever Point Blank x Defected DJ & Producer course last month as a means to further build and refine his skill set and get insight into the music industry: “Point Blank gave such a great experience in learning something completely new,” he explains. “I was able to competently walk away understanding it fully to an industry standard.”

Now he’s dialling back the gigs to concentrate on production. Under his Furtherance guise, he creates the kind of chunky, bass-heavy house music that’s destined for main rooms the world over. He’s already had released on US label Sector 7, Sammy Porter’s label Machine Made Records and Soundcloud label Empire and is looking forward to further building his profile and putting what he’s learnt at PB into practice. “The Point Blank tutors are amazing,” he says. “The masterclasses gave such a huge insight into what the industry has to give us.”

Sergio T (My Group, Planetworks – Electronic Music Composition, part of the Music Production Master Diploma)

Sergio T

Born and raised in Katerini Pierias, Sergio Tanidis began composing his own songs on guitar as a teenager and landed a contract with one of the biggest record labels in Greece just a couple of years later. He broke through in 2014 with his radio hit ‘Don’t Go’ – the same year he began studying online at Point Blank on the Electronic Music Composition course. His 2015 tracks ‘Fighting for Love’ and ‘Secret’ repeated the huge success of ‘Don’t Go’, with the latter storming the Shazam charts in Greece and Turkey. Alongside his production, he is also in demand as a DJ, with a handful of residencies at clubs and bars in Thessaloniki and other cities across Greece.

“My experience at Point Blank was amazing,” says Sergio of his time studying with Point Blank. “So direct and to the point in all the information they can provide. It feels like you are considered as a person who has potential in the business.”

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 Student Success: July 2016 w/ Sergio T, Apollo X and Furtherance appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Dubspot Radio Podcast: NuCasa

This episode of Dubspot Radio brings a dark progressive vibe propelled by an ambitious tech-house selection mixed live by Dubspot alumni NuCasa.

 NuCasa

 

 

“Coming to Dubspot was a very tough decision for me. I just finished five years of university and suddenly decided to throw it all away, take all my life savings and come to New York to make music. Now, after finishing my Ableton Live production course, I can easily say that it was the best investment of my life. Dubspot showed me that if I work hard, I can achieve anything I want and that making my dream a reality only depends on me.” – NuCasa

Tracklist

1. Mijo ft. Mekanikos – Ahi Viene
2. Kris Davis – Petroleum (Original Mix)
3. D-Nox, Beckers – Serenade (Doctor Dru Remix)
4. Maceo Plex – Solar Detroit (Original Mix)
5. Locked Groove – Enigma
6. Joseph Zohlo – Pook (Original Mix)
7. Tyra, Nandu – Love You Till The End (Kris Davis Remix)
8. DJ Yellow, Flowers & Sea Creatures – No One Gets Left Behind (Konstantin Sibold Remix)
9. Fur Coat – Katarsis (Original Mix)
10. Miss Melera – Mint (Original Mix)
11. Adriatique – Rollox (Original Mix)
12. Paji – Venom (Original Mix)
13. Matador – Kenekt (Original Mix)
14. Justin Jay, Kill Frenzy – Momentum (Original Mix)
15. Plastikman – Exposed (Dubfire Mix)
16. KiNK – Cloud Generator (Original Mix)
17. Gabriel Moraes – Die Holle (Original Mix)

 


About NuCasa

Michal, also known as NuCasa is a Dj and Producer coming from Warsaw, Poland. He has been interested in music since he remembers, listening to it anywhere he could get his ears on it. Growing up with Hip Hop, Funk, and Rock music has influenced his sets and musical creations. He believes that focusing on only one genre of music is very closed minded, as he tries to get inspiration and draw elements from many different ones.

His journey with DJing began three years ago in Warsaw, playing small parties of his friends and some private events to the main Warsaw club scene. He also played in clubs around Pigalle, Bastille, and the 1st arrondissement after moving to Paris to continue his education. As he describes it, the milestone in his musical journey happened after Paris, when he moved to Valencia for seven months. He met a group of people called ‘The Basement’ (an electronic music organization from Valencia), who showed him the culture, power, and the magic of electronic music, which he totally fell in love with.

Now he smoothly operates between Deep House, Tech-House, and Dark Progressive, treating the stage as his house where he invites you all to a beautiful journey.

Recently living in New York and soon moving to Berlin, he mainly focuses on production, with his first track ‘The Definition’ already out with many more coming soon.

Connect with NuCasa on Facebook | SoundCloud

 


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.

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Sound Design: Transforming Vocals in Kontakt (FFL!)

NI’s Kontakt is one of the go-to soft-samplers on the market. But while many users simply load their favourite instruments and tweak the presets, lift the hood and Kontakt hosts some extremely powerful sound design capabilities. PB instructor and sound design expert Chris Carter join us for this week’s FFL, loading vocals into the popular sampler for some creative and unique processing. Watch live at 1pm BST and get your sound design questions for Chris in the comments! Subscribe to our channel here so you never miss another FFL.

NI_Kontakt_5Kontakt is one of the leading software samplers on the market, capable of powerful sound design
and sampling

If you want to learn more sound design, production, mixing, mastering and composition tips, our Online Master Diploma course is perfect for you. Taken from anywhere in the world for up to 64 weeks, it’s one of our most comprehensive courses and has been taken by the likes of Claude Von Stroke, Plastician and Jon Rundell. Find out more 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!

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Ableton Live Video Tutorial: Add Life to Your Pads

Dubspot course designer and Ableton Live expert Steve Nalepa shares a mixing technique that can be used to add life to your pads, string parts, and background vocals in Ableton Live.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Dubspot course designer and Ableton Live expert Steve Nalepa shares some valuable music production advice on how to improve the quality of your productions and avoid clutter. Nalepa demonstrates a simple technique that can add life to your pads, string parts, and background vocals. Learn how to take a bland pad sound and transform it into a more interesting and lush mixture of moving sounds using various audio effects routed through Live’s Return tracks.


About Steve Nalepa

Californian polymath Steve Nalepa is known for his vast and eclectic array of artistic collaborators. He’s a founding member of the esteemed beat collective TeamSupreme and a key node in the electronic music scene cultivated through years of creating music, producing events and mentoring many of today’s top artists in Ableton Live. Nalepa has published award-winning art books through the self-­launched Dilettante Press, scored several feature-length documentary films, and set up touring Ableton rigs for artists including Drake and The Weeknd. He produces solo and collaborative work under the moniker Nalepa, creates audiovisual works with the project Airspace, and releases music and tours with his bandmates The Acid (Infectious/Mute).

Connect with Nalepa on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Website


Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program

At Dubspot our world-class instructors provide the most complete and cutting-edge Ableton Live learning experience. The Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program is the flagship of our music training. After completing this program, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.

Click here to view the embedded video.

About This Program

This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, by developing your own sound through a series of sketches and experimentation. You will also learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, storytelling techniques, ways of creating tension and drama in your music. At the end of the day, it is the sum total of your choices as an artist that define your sound, and levels 2 – 6 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio.

What’s Included

  • Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches, and Ideas
  • Ableton Live Level 2: Analyze, Deconstruct, Recompose, and Assemble
  • Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis and Original Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 4: Advanced Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Effect Processing
  • Ableton Live Level 6: Going Global with your Music

Additional Information

Visit the Ableton Live 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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Point Blank hosts Native Instruments Meetup in London

Point Blank is excited to announce that the second Native Instruments Meetup event will be taking place right here in our brand new Orsman Road music complex on Sunday, 31st July.

Following the inaugural event held earlier this year at Red Bull Studios in London, Point Blank is the only school so far to host the event where the ever-growing community of NI users are invited to share knowledge, exchange ideas and learn about all things music production. And with our Orsman Road facility boasting studios with KK Keyboards, Komplete 10 and Maschine on every station, we’re well equipped to cater for the range of workshops and creative sessions due to take place.

Point Blank 2016 - 1866Our Orsman Road facility is kitted out with state-of-the-art NI gear including Komplete Kontrol Keyboards, Komplete 10 and Maschine

Alongside providing a unique learning environment and state-of-the-art kit, we will also be bringing the enviable experience and expertise of Point Blank’s instructors. Instructor and Ninja Tune-signed artist Ben Mallot, who specialises in NI’s Rounds and Blocks, and David Clarke, a Traktor expert, will be leading a number of the sessions covering music production, DJing and sound design using NI’s range of market-leading products. They’ll be on hand to demonstrate the potential of these powerful tools for music-making, offering expert insight and tips along the way. Other sessions include Artist Masterclasses and collaborative workshops in which small groups will create a brand new track from scratch. Orsman Road’s focal point The Hub will act as place where attendees can network, collaborate and review the music created over the course of the day.

PB The Hub 760xThe Hub will be the centre of proceedings, offering a place to network, collaborate and exchange ideas

Point Blank students were given an early opportunity to get involved and this event is already fully booked. If you have already booked your space, you can find out the full itinerary and programme over on the Eventbrite page. If you haven’t got a ticket this time don’t worry, this is an ongoing partnership with future Meetups held regularly on a bi-monthly basis. If you can’t wait and still want to check out our amazing space – and the kit we have in it – you can book a tour by using the contact form here or calling 020 7729 4884.

At our London facility, you can learn all aspects of music making, from mixing and mastering to composition, DJing and even the business side of the industry. With state-of-the-art facilities including Ableton Push 2, Maschine Studio, Komplete Kontrol keyboards, SSL Duality Delta and Audient 48-channel consoles and the latest Pioneer DJ equipment, it’s unrivalled for both kit and quality. Our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering degree covers all this and more – find out more about it 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!

LONDON W OUTLINE

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