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

Check Out Our Latest Plugin Of The Week: NI Monark

The Minimoog is undoubtedly one of the most famous synths of all time. One of the first to bring the power of synthesis into a portable form, it kick started a synth revolution and put the Moog name on the map. 45 years later, the original model is not only expensive but fragile and often difficult to source. It’s led to a wealth of recreations in both hardware and software and in 2013 Native Instruments released their own unofficial tribute via their modular software Reaktor.

Titled Monark, it’s the focus of our second Plugin of the Week, streamed live on Facebook last Friday. In it we look at how the synth works, the sound of its oscillators and some extra tricks round back. Watch it above and make sure you subscribe for more live events and free tutorials.


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!

The post Check Out Our Latest Plugin Of The Week: NI Monark appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Live 9.7 is coming soon

With the latest free update for Live 9 we’re continuing to fine-tune Push as an instrument for music-making and performance. Coming later this year and currently in beta, Live 9.7 is bringing some big improvements to slicing, recording and programming beats with Push. Watch TecBeatz showcase some of the…

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Ableton Live Tutorial: Gain Staging

Levels and metering in the digital world can be confusing. Back in the day of hardware, clipping into the red could often mean a pleasant harmonic distortion and natural compression. That function sometimes creeps into the digital domain, where new producers might consider the clipping to be part of their sound. What adds to the confusion is the fact that most DAWs will now allow you to clip the channel with no digital degradation as long as the master channel remains below 0dBFS.


But there’s more confusion! Each plugin can drastically change the output level of your signal, while another might attenuate, leaving the channel itself at a nominal level, but the signal moving between plugins could be clipping and therefore forcing the plugin to react in a way you didn’t intend. If all of that only adds to your confusion, it’s time to take a course with Point Blank! In a video taken from our online Music Production Master Diploma, instructor John Watson looks at how to keep a keen eye on your levels to make sure your plugins react the way you expect. Watch it above, and subscribe to our channel for more free tutorials.

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!

The post Ableton Live Tutorial: Gain Staging appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Dubspot Radio Podcast: The Heatwave (Exclusive Dancehall Mix)

This episode of Dubspot Radio welcomes Gabriel Heatwave, a founding member of the London-based dancehall crew The Heatwave with an exclusive dancehall mix.

The Heatwave

Gabriel Heatwave, a founding member of the London-based dancehall collective The Heatwave dropped by Dubspot NY to deliver an exclusive mix featuring the finest Jamaican dancehall and reggae in the UK. Gabriel’s set delivers a perfect dose of tropical goodness loaded with original cuts and fresh tunes from dancehall heavyweights like Sean Paul, Elephant Man, and Natalie as well as specials from Mr. Lexx, Ward 21, Maxwell D, Bounty Killer, Busy Signal, and many others. Tune in and witness UK’s bashment raving scandal first hand.




1. Mr. Lexx – Diggy (The Heatwave Special – Flatlands Riddim)
2. Mr. Vegas, Natalie Storm – Doggy (Flatlands Riddim)
3. Linton ‘TJ’ White – DNA Riddim
4. Vybz Kartel – Turn & Wine
5. Ballaz – Style & Swagga Riddim
6. Focus Ryte – Name Brand Modelling (Style & Swagga Riddim)
7. Mr. Lexx – Mi Waan Know (Style & Swagga Riddim)
8. Terro 3000 – Likkle and Neat (Style & Swagga Riddim)
9. Beenie Man – Good Inna (Style & Swagga Riddim)
10. RDX – Deliver Me (Style & Swagga Riddim)
11. Seanizzle – One Day Riddim
12. Khago – Nah Sell Out (One Day Riddim)
13. Mr. G – Swaggarific (One Day Riddim)
14. Future Fambo, Beenie Man – Drinking Rum (One Day Riddim)
15. Serocee – Badeng
16. The Heatwave, Serocee – War Dance (Instrumental)
17. Bounty Killer – Stand Firm (Acapella)
18. Assassin – Idiot Thing Dat (Acapella)
19. The Heatwave, Serocee – War Dance
20. Equiknoxx – Jim Screechie Riddim
21. Aidonia – Jackhammer (Jim Screechie Riddim)
22. Yolanda Be Cool, DCUP – We No Speak Americano
23. Maxwell D – Sexicano (The Heatwave Special – Americano Riddim)
24. Busy Signal – Gal Bounce (Americano Riddim)
25. Sticky – Battery Riddim
26. Mad Dog – Tek De Floor (Acapella – The Heatwave Special)
27. Lady Chann – Eye Too Fast (Acapella)
28. Natalie Storm – Play Di Ting (Acapella – The Heatwave Special)
29. Roska – Squark
30. Mr. Vegas – Heads High (The Heatwave Refix – Squark Riddim)
31. Spooky – Coolie Dance Refix
32. Elephant Man – Stop Hitch (Acapella)
33. Ward 21 – We Nuh Fraid (The Heatwave Special)
34. Redlight – MDMA
35. Ms. Dynamite – What You Talking About?! (MDMA Riddim)
36. Natalie Storm – Bang Bang (MDMA Riddim)
37. Wayne Marshall – Stay Far (Catalog Riddim)
38. Aidonia – We A Tek It Off (Catalog Riddim)
39. Vybz Kartel – Whine (Wine)
40. Vybz Kartel – Better Can Wuk
41. Beenie Man – Dance & Killy Dem (Circus Riddim)
42. Sean Paul – Hey Ya (Circus Riddim)
43. Jeremy Harding – Circus Riddim
44. Busy Signal – Picante (Acapella)
45. Gappy Ranks – New York City


About The Heatwave

The Heatwave are the UK’s number one bashment sound and a non-stop dancehall party like nothing you’ve ever seen.. Everywhere they go is a carnival, from their weekly Rinse FM show to raves all over the world. When The Heatwave touchdown it’s madness: pure hype and energy. Huge tunes and quickfire mixing, scandalous dancing, and people banging on the walls for reloads.

“We love this music. We want to tell everyone about it.”

The Heatwave sound ties together Jamaica and the UK. Their powerful compilations and mixes show how dancehall is the root of jungle, garage, grime, dubstep, and funky.

Connect with The Heatwave on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Website


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 Radio Podcast: The Heatwave (Exclusive Dancehall Mix) appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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iOS Music App Roundup: Ten Tools for the Studio or Stage

This iOS music app roundup spotlights ten excellent tools for music production, DJing, and sound design.

iOS Music


KORG iDS-10 | Analog Synthesizer

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The KORG iDS-10 combines a cutting-edge analog synthesizer, voice synthesizer, and analog drum machine inspired by the original KORG DS-10 series which was an enormous hit for the Nintendo DS. This beautifly designed app gives you a hand-held system to easily create electronic music and visually learn sound design. The analog synthesizer provides a wide range of music production possibilities, carefully selected parameters, and a unique patching function that lets you create astonishing sounds in even deeper ways. The voice synthesizer is one of the more popular features of the KORG iDS-10. Based on a vocoder, its engine makes it easy to generate engaging voices. It also supports a microphone input which can be used as a conventional vocoder. iDS-10 also provides an analog drum machine with total control over six drum sounds for creating some awesome tracks with high impact. Read more at KORG

Hook | DJ, Mashup, and Remix Workstation

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Hook is a fun music performance, mashup, and DJ workstation. It provides an easy way to arrange and trigger loops on a grid. Hook features a Flux Fader, which is a multitouch “smart crossfader” that allows you to expressively make transitions between any combination of tracks or cells on the fly. The Flux Fader includes a two-axis control with nine riser synths, glitch and gate effects, tempo-synced filter sweeps, an EQ, beat drop, tape stop, and a filter drop. Hook also includes a full editor complete with auto transient slicing and waveform editing, an integrated sampler with recording capabilities from mic/line, other apps via inter-app audio, or from iTunes and Spotify. In addition, Hook is a stellar mashup tool that sports a full mixer, tons of tracks, integrated FX bus, per-cell fx, transpose, time stretching, tuning, timing and trigger settings, and more. Imagine the clip launching capabilities of Ableton Live in a futuristic multitouch environment. Read more at Retronyms

Ruismaker | Drum Synthesizer


Ruismaker is a drum synthesizer that captures the spirit of many iconic drum machines from the last century. It started its existence as a hardware drum machine but is now available as an Audio Unit Instrument for mobile DAWs and sequencers. Ruismaker does not use sampled sounds; every single sound is fully synthesized using models that emulate classic analog circuitry to introduce natural fluctuations and subtle differences in every hit. This slick beat maker features virtual analog and FM models. Each drum sound also has its own independently modeled virtual circuit. Unlike traditional synths, Ruismaker provides dozens of unique synth models that each offer a signature character and musically meaningful flexibility. Read more at Ruismaker

Moog Model 15 | Modular Synthesizer

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The Moog Model 15 is the first Moog modular synthesizer and synthesis educational tool created exclusively for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The character, harmonic complexity, and mystique of the Moog Model 15s modules, from the legendary Moog 921–series oscillators and 904A Low Pass Filter, to the coveted 907 Fixed Filter Bank have been preserved. This impressive sounding synth features both monophonic and 4-voice polyphonic operation controlled by four seamlessly integrated controllers. Simple swipes and taps provide instant access to a traditional Moog keyboard, 1150 ribbon controller, 8-step sequencing arpeggiator, the award-winning Animoog keyboard with 22 built-in scales and polyphonic modulation capabilities, and much more. Read more at Moog Music Inc.

Blocs Wave | Music Creation Studio

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Blocs Wave is a nicely designed iPad and iPhone app for making and recording new music quickly, building up new ideas, and real-time loop recording. This app works great for starting fresh ideas and discovering new sound combinations. Using touchable waveforms easily set looping points or slice and rearrange sounds that have been recorded, imported, or selected from its huge library of quality samples. Blocs Wave is also great for live looping, thanks to its real-time stretch and pitch engine, which also helps you stay in key. Extend sound creation possibilities by syncing to other apps, devices or Ableton Live via Ableton Link. Read more at Blocs

Klimper | Assistive Compositing Tool

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Klimper is an assistive compositing tool excellent for discovering and improvising a variety of chords and scales. Klimper shows chords that are available in a given scale sorted by complexity. When playing melodies, Klimper highlights suitable chords based on the interval that sounded last, so you can instantly discover various possible harmonizations and progressions. When playing chords or intervals, Klimper highlights related chords as well. While improvising, just drag and drop chords you like to a designated area and create compelling chord progressions. You can even change a chords position by swiping through its inversions. Read more at Klimper

Lurssen | Mastering Console

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The Lurssen Mastering Console is a professional audio mastering tool for either iPhone, iPad, or Mac/PC created in collaboration with Mastering Engineers Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen of the Multi-Grammy Award winning facility Lurssen Mastering, Inc. in Los Angeles. This quality sounding app sports a top of the line mastering processor chain that has been created and tweaked by Gavin and his team to reflect the settings they use in the studio while mastering. It provides a complete emulation of the entire mastering processing chain that includes tube equalizers, solid state equalizers, limiters, de-essers, and solid state compressors. Read more at IK Multimedia

VoxSyn | Voice Controlled Synthesizer

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VoxSyn is a clever voice-controlled synthesizer that turns your voice into a flexible vocal sound generator. Talk or sing into the microphone to trigger various synthesizer sounds that follow your voice pitch or notes that can be touched on the hexagonal keyboard or external MIDI Keyboard. The basic sounds are selected from a vast pool of predefined sounds heard on the famous TERA synthesis engine. The harmonic table note layout visualizes your voices pitch in real-time and lets you play notes for more traditional vocoder effects. VoxSyn features voice control of pitch and timbre, a 22-channel Vocoder, integrated preset synthesizer engine, hundreds of presets, built-in effects, and more. Read more at VirSyn

Moebius Lab | Multimorphic Sound Processor

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Moebius Lab is a multimorphic sound processor equipped with a synth, a vari-speed stereo sample player, nine-time domain effects, six spectral effects, seven slots for external audio application, and nearly 200 LFOs that can modulate each parameter. It is an interesting tool for creating far out and unique sounds. Experimental sound designers will enjoy using this app to discover endless sound combinations. The internal synth contains two band limited oscillators, a complex oscillator, a ladder filter, an envelope generator, and a sub-bass oscillator. Process your sounds further with 16 different effects. There are more than 200 ready-mades presets to get started as well. Read more at Amazing Noises

Infinite Looper | Audio Looper

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Infinite Looper is a simplified tool designed to let you record and loop MIDI phrases quickly. Put the app into record mode, tap on a loop, and then any MIDI you play will be recorded, and played back repeatedly. Loopers are great tools for live performances and on-the-fly songwriting. By supporting MIDI, Infinite Looper brings the full array of possible instruments into the mix including synthesizers, drums, sampled instruments, and more. Use this app to hear how different elements sound together. For example, you could capture chords and chord progressions as loops and then overlay a melody or bassline to hear how they all work together. You can also bring in new loops, take loops out or mix and match with ease. Read more at Secret Base Design


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.

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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.


The post iOS Music App Roundup: Ten Tools for the Studio or Stage appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Designing Sounds for Film Using Melodyne w/ Steve Tavaglione

Learn creative sound design techniques using Celemony Melodyne to create unique sounds for film, TV, and video games with Musician/Sound Designer Steve Tavaglione.

Steve Tavaglione

Introducing Steve Tavaglione

You may not have heard of Steve Tavaglione before, but you’ve almost certainly heard his electronic sound design work on countless film and TV shows such as Wall-E, Finding Nemo, CSI:New York and Las Vegas, Ocean’s Eleven and its sequels, American Beauty, and Road to Perdition to name a few. Tav is probably one of the most ubiquitous laptop musicians in the world, having carved out a unique niche for himself in Hollywood as a creative sound designer and computer-assisted session musician. He has also designed sounds and presets for Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere synth and several sample libraries from Tonehammer and 8dio.

Having worked on major film and TV projects for many years, Tav has gained a unique perspective on the business of music for picture and trends in the industry. In this article, we explore some of the software techniques he uses to make new and exciting sounds for the Hollywood stage.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Designing Sounds for Film

There are actually two basic types of sound designers who work on major projects in Hollywood. The first type, usually credited simply as ‘Sound Designer,’ is the person or team who create and place NON-MUSICAL sound effects in the film, like the sound of a laser gun firing, an explosion, or a car’s engine revving up. For example, the legendary sound designer Ben Burtt created the sound for the blaster pistols in the original Star Wars films by striking high-tension wires with various objects such as a metal wrench. Read more about this here.

The second type, sometimes credited as ‘Score Sound Designer’ or ‘Electronic Music Programmer,’ works directly with the film composer to create MUSICAL sounds and textures that can be used as part of the score. This role has become more and more important over the years, as electronic sounds have come to play a more integral role in film music. Steve Tav has made a successful career in the studio as this latter kind of sound designer, working on countless major film productions with Hollywood composers such as Thomas Newman, David Holmes, Aaron Zigmund, Paul Haslinger, and Trevor Morris.

With so many commercial sound libraries available these days aimed at the soundtrack market, it isn’t too hard for contemporary composers to find quality electronic sounds to use in their scores. In this environment, the most important job of a sound designer is to come up with fresh, creative sounds that CAN’T be found in sound libraries, and figure out how to make these sounds work MUSICALLY with the score. The secret of Steve Tav’s success is his ability to consistently come up with out-of-the-box electronic sounds and make them work, often by juxtaposing musical ideas and concepts in strange new ways that no one else has thought of before. He always keeps his mind open to new ideas and combinations no matter how absurd they might seem on the surface.

Creative Techniques with Melodyne

One of Tav’s favorite software tools for coming up with unusual new sounds and effects is Melodyne from Celemony. Melodyne is an amazing application essential for pitch and timing correction. Melodyne lets you work with audio in an entirely new way. It offers several editing possibilities, outstanding sound quality, and intuitive operation that allows you to make anything from the subtlest to the most far-reaching enhancements to your audio material. Analyzed notes are displayed in Melodyne in the form of “blobs” and the precise path of the pitch is indicated by a wavy line. With Melodyne’s tools, you can analyze any type of audio source to determine how the audio material will be interpreted and displayed within the Editor where you can edit individal notes directly and modify all important musical parameters such as pitch, vibrato, pitch drift, volume, timing, and more in a highly intuitive manner. Melodyne is also equiped with algorithms for every type of audio such as vocals, instruments, percussive sounds, noise, and entire mixes. To get started, simply analyze any type of audio source and Melodtyne will determine how the audio material will be interpreted and displayed within the Editor.


Melodyne is widely used in many areas of the music industry to ensure sounds, vocals, and final mixes are tuned and optimal. However, Tav tends to use Melodyne somewhat differently, testing its limits to do things that the developers may not have intended in order to come up with creative new sounds and effects. For example, one of his favorite techniques is to take some complex audio material such as a modern classical piano piece and use Melodyne to analyze all the notes in it and then export them as a MIDI file. Then he will take this MIDI file, import it back into Ableton Live (his favorite DAW) and play part of it back using another sampled instrument of his own design in Kontakt or Omnisphere instead of the original piano sound. These could sounds like  rain or the sound of a park bench being struck by various objects.

“I’d like to hear Meshuggah do a film score with orchestra, and then put the vocalist from Meshuggah into Melodyne and use that to control a water drum or something like that.” – Steve Tavaglione

Click here to view the embedded video.

Another technique of Tav’s is to use Melodyne’s ability to analyze the overtone structure of a sound to transform its timbre. For example, he might record the sound of a single sustained note being played on an instrument with a complex timbre, such as a bowed upright bass. Then he will import that into Melodyne and look at the relative volume of the different overtones that make up its sound. This is where it gets really unearthly – by taking the overtones and changing their relative pitches, he can make new timbres and sounds that are truly unique.

After transforming sounds in Melodyne like this, Tav will often sample them and then move them into a powerful sample-based software instrument like Kontakt or Omnisphere in order to further manipulate and tweak of the resulting sounds. Finally, storing the final results in these instruments also gives him a way to keep track of his work and the ability to easily access th original sound libraries at a recording session when every second counts.


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.

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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.


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