Loops.Directory

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

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!

The post Sound Design: Transforming Vocals in Kontakt (FFL!) appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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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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DJ Video Tutorial: Mixing 101 w/ DJ Shiftee

Learn basic mixing techniques when beatmatching two records in this video tutorial featuring DMC World Champ and Dubspot Instructor DJ Shiftee.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Reigning DMC World Champion and Dubspot Instructor DJ Shiftee offers some invaluable tips and fundamental tricks when DJing. In this tutorial video, Shiftee demonstrates and explains the “Pushing and Pulling” technique used to correct the speed of record when beatmatching. Learn various methods of how to manually correct the speed of a record when cueing up two records for your next mix, so they play in sync.

 


Turntablism Extensive Program

Turntablism allows students to interact with music on a deeper level and completely reshape songs live rather than simply playing them. The skills you learn in this program will fortify your DJ arsenal.

Click here to view the embedded video.

About This Program

Turntablism is the art of manipulating turntables like an instrument. Starting with the fundamentals of “Scratching” and “Beat Juggling,” the program will focus on proper technique, optimal practice habits, creative exploration, group work, applications, and eventually full-blown turntablist sets.

What’s Included

  • Turntablism Level 1: Spice Foundations Part 1
  • Turntablism Level 2: Spice Foundations Part 2
  • Turntablism Level 3: Boot Camp
  • Turntablism Level 4: Mild | Improvisation & Teamwork
  • Turntablism Level 5: Medium | The Next Level
  • Turntablism Level 6: Hot | Building Routines

Additional Information

Visit the Turntablism 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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The Art of DJing: Tips for Opening DJs

Once again we revisit one of our most popular discussions – the art of DJing. This time, we’re focusing on the warm-up set, with advice from some Dubspot friends and veteran professionals such as DJ Dan, Josh Wink, Mike Huckaby, Endo, Hector Romero, and DJ Shiftee.

As a rule before any gig, you should find out who is playing before and after you. In addition, always show up at least one hour early before your set. Doing so not only enables you to feel the vibe of the room but gives you an opportunity to make sure you do not repeat any tracks the previous DJ has played. Since you have an idea of what the DJ is playing before you, pick a great track to transition and leave the next DJ with a great starting place. Again, you will know what that DJ will be playing so you can choose something that will be easy for them to flow into. This approach is just common respect for the crowd and the next DJ. If you play an earlier set, make sure you play a set that is groovy and does not rinse the energy out of the room, especially when there is a headliner on after you. The key to a good DJ is knowing how to pace the energy of the night. I guarantee you will get way more compliments if you play appropriately to your time slot. The one mistake I see up and coming DJ’s do that is never cool is to bang the shit out of it before the headliner goes on – as if to impress the next DJ. That is not cool. If you really want to impress the next DJ and the crowd, play appropriately and sexy to let the night have a nice build. If you are in a headlining position, go crazy! Again, though, make sure you leave the next DJ with something they can flow out into. Lastly, be respectful of the space you are working in. Most booths are small, so have consideration for where the next DJ will be putting their gear. You can start moving your stuff a bit towards the last couple tracks in your set so the transition can be easier for them. Oh, and never play the headliner’s new big tune in your set. I know this seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised as to how many times I’ve seen this happen. – Dj Dan

I think that everybody who is a DJ needs to know how to be a warm up or opening DJ. It takes awareness and patience to do so. An opener DJ sets the mood of the venue, and this is SO important! A DJ is someone who entertains, educates, and creates aural atmospheres. I love opening, as I get to play deep and moody music, creating a special feeling that gradually builds. – Josh Wink

An opening DJ should always remember the role that has been delegated to them for the night. You are opening up for another DJ. Your role is to set the tone for the headlining DJ. Often, the opening DJ will try to outdo the headliner by playing strong cuts way too early in the night, and trying to get peak hour crowd responses. A good opening DJ will always remember the role they are playing within the night. The opening DJ should also be compatible to the headliner, and know his style of DJing as well. Mike Huckaby

Endo_3

Being an opening DJ can be very tricky. It takes true skill and talent to be a good opener. You have to keep people dancing, but not too hard. You want to keep people going to the bar without clearing the floor. Playing to an empty room is also a skill. You also need to know when to pick things up as an opener. If you bore people with too much atmosphere, people might leave. As far as opening DJ etiquette goes, know what the person after you is going to play and build up to that. Also, keep your levels out of the red! If you have the mixer buried in the reds, the next DJ will not have enough headroom to mix with their levels. Opening up a night is a great opportunity to play those mood-setting musical records you wouldn’t get to play at peak time. – DJ Endo

Ah, the opening DJ set. To me, it seems like a lost art form. It is an art form because it takes a special kind of DJ to handle a crowd that comes early to the club and not bore them but yet not bang it out like it’s 3am.  I feel that the opening DJ’s set is as crucial as the prime time set. In my opinion, you’re actually a good opening DJ if you can rock a 10pm-1am set and not really play any major hits! And it’s not impossible. There are loads of amazing tunes that work during those early hours; you just have to put the time in and find those gems that work. – Hector Romero

Dj Ceiba

All’s fair in love and DJing until somebody feels like their toes are getting stepped on. That said, there are a couple of rules to abide by. Setting for an opener is akin to getting the energy of a room to simmer not boil. This is a different skill set than party rocking. You can’t drop ALL the fire right before the opener’s set by playing your best bangers and then handing it over to the next act. The other rule is that you can’t let your EGO get in the way. The folks that hired you are often business people – so think long-term. You are a walking business building relationships. Don’t do the headliner’s job if you want to get more work. – Dj Ceiba

rx5

If you were a person attending the event, what would YOU want to hear at that moment? Always keep the audience in mind because after all, neither you or the superstar DJ after you will be anywhere without them. Most of the time it’s just meeting people’s expectations, then surprising them. If it’s a Top 40 night, don’t play esoteric material, and if it’s a cutting edge party, don’t play obvious tracks the audience is sure to know. And please, please, PLEASE don’t “Madison Square Garden” as I like to call it, i.e. playing the most peak hour material of the evening to an unengaged, small audience without looking at them. Finally, people notice. Even if people are getting drinks or talking with their friends during your set, you can win them over if you read them well, pace yourself, and have just as great of time (if not better) than they are. Honestly, I love doing opening sets: less pressure and the world needs more awesome opening DJs that compliment the night. – Rx

Matt

Feel out the room and crowd and play something appropriate. Don’t over plan, and try not to stick to a pre-planned set that is not appropriate to what’s actually happening. Better yet, know what you’ve got as options to play and don’t plan at all! Don’t play banging shit to an empty dancefloor while people are still filing in and getting their drinks. It’s called the warm up slot for a reason. Know your role, fulfill it, and you’ll be invited back. Matt Shadetek

Martín Perna

Get set up right away and make sure everything is working smoothly before you get a drink. If it’s a paying gig, find out who’s paying you, how they’re paying you, and at what point in the evening you can expect to be paid. It might be up-front, or you might have to wait around until 4am. Know this in advance. Go to the bathroom before your set starts. There’s nothing worse for the headliner than DJing in a puddle of urine left behind by the opener. Know the music that you’ll be playing. Don’t try to make a bold statement just yet, especially if nobody is listening. Make sure before you start your set, that you know when you are on and off. If the following DJ is there, work out with him/her how the transitions should happen (both musically and technically). Bring extra music to play in case the later DJ is a no-show or starts late. Be conscious of your place and function in the movement of the evening and know your role, whether it is to provide background music, to warm up the crowd, or to create a context for the music that the later DJ(s) will be playing. Martín Perna

I agree with everything everyone has said, BUT I still think it’s important for you as an opening DJ to try to stand out and make your mark on the night. If you don’t turn heads with your set, what was the point? Respect of the headliner is great, but ultimately you want more work, which comes through fans and the promoters remembering who you are after your set. Here are a few little suggestions to get into people’s heads:

  • Talk on the mic and say your name throughout your set. I call this “Castanza-ing” (shouts to people who get my specific Seinfeld reference).
  • Drop surprising songs WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE NIGHT. Play tracks that people will go “ohhhhh” too, but only within the style of the night and your role of the opener as described by everyone else. These can be throwback songs, silly songs, or songs that seem like they don’t belong in DJ sets.
  • Make little flashy routines (that work within the context of the night as already described).

In short, stand out, but do so appropriately! – Dj Shiftee

 


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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The post The Art of DJing: Tips for Opening DJs appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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The Point Blank Guide to Found Sounds

Samples are a key ingredient in electronic music but, as in cooking, it’s sometimes tempting to reach for the ready-made stuff. Listen to aspiring connoisseurs on the other hand, and they will say it’s all about working from scratch, preferably using the best analogue produce. Then there’s the diehards who say the only way to get results is to go out and forage in the wild.

Found sounds are samples taken not of recorded drums or retro synths but of, well, anything else. The found sound community can be niche with forums on the web devoted to explorers who methodically record trains, echoes under bridges, folk singing, chanting, breathing, birds and trips to the dry cleaners. But this kind of creative sampling, particularly when treated with effects, can add an element of originality to your tunes.

Mistabishi’s hit ‘Printer Jam’ – made almost entirely of samples from an old printer

Now, a true found sound pioneer will tell you the whole point is going out and grabbing samples on your own – lo-fi recordings on phones and background hiss only add to the authenticity. But, as a starting point on your journey, we’ve compiled a list of found sound sites and forums below. Best of all? The very nature of found sounds means these are all free.

The Forums

FreeSound

Found Sounds

Our favourite site and the most truly leftfield. If you’ve ever thought of it, it’s probably here. Indian construction workers doing a railroad song? Check. Lebanese music in a Berlin restaurant with German conversations over the top? Check. The nature of these free sites means the interfaces often feel old fashioned but FreeSound’s waveform displays and easy-to-navigate categories make it relatively painless to get digging.

Sample Swap

Picture1

Possibly the original free sample site with as much emphasis on conventional samples and royalty free tracks as found sounds. A bit more convoluted than the above but definitely worthy of a bookmark.

Bundles

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We get it. You’re intrigued, but you’re impatient and don’t want to spend your precious evening production time listening to endless two-second clips. Well, you’re in luck – Music Radar‘s Sample Radar has a massive collection of completely free samples, available to download in bundle form, many of which are found sounds including old cinema rips and weird FX. The whole lot is here and a more streamlined found sounds list is here.

General Sites – Our Favourites

The above bundles and forums are great launchpads, but if you’re really keen to dig deep there’s plenty out there to keep you occupied. These are the ones we keep returning to:

NASA

Interestingly, only some of NASA’s collection of audio recordings are available for download, but those that are include the Voyager Golden Record. This was the series of music, images and messages NASA recorded onto disc in the ’70s, intended to educate alien races about culture and life on earth. Eat your heart out Damian Lazarus, you don’t get much more cosmic disco than that.

TFL Recordings

1408_AOTU_Underline_MattRogers_GIF.02_frames_reduced.02-794x462Sample Set Graphic Score, Matt Rogers, 2015

Composer Matt Rogers was commissioned by TFL to explore the various environments of the Victoria line, from the platforms to operation rooms. Breaking his recordings down into a collection of discreet noises, percussive passages and ambient sound, Victoria Line Sample Set offers an intriguing sonic portrait of something many Londoners don’t think twice about. Even better, the entire collection is free for anyone to download and use in their own compositions.

ILAM – International Library of African Music

ILAM

Rhodes University recently published their extensive collection of sub-Saharan African chanting, monologues and tribal songs which have been making their way into a string of producers’ arsenals – not least Rudimental…

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

Actually, Googling anything weird and audio related – supposedly ‘ghostly’ echoes, voices in empty castles, examples of so-called electronic voice phenomena – will likely take you to a Wikipedia page and a downloadable audio file. There’s some pant-ruiningly odd ghost recordings, but our favourites are the collections of Cold War Russian military broadcast stations. They play strange coded audio loops, and to this day many are still running. File under ‘gloomy apocalyptic techno’. The black t-shirt crowd will love it.

Erm… YouTube

Many producers we’ve spoken to have admitted to ripping samples off YouTube routinely. That obscure funk record, a lesser-known 1930s jazz solo. Why not? On the found sounds front the platform gets even better. Pretty much every famous film quote, kooky 1980s documentary, machine test and animal noise is on there. Change those DAW recording settings to ‘internal’ and crack on!

Found sounds can add an edge unbeatable originality to your tracks. They’re free, and figuring out how to chop them, adapt them, add the right effects and fit them to your track will also bring you on leaps and bounds as a producer. Appropriately seduced? Go out and record some yourself! 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 The Point Blank Guide to Found Sounds appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Key Detection Lab Report: Mixed In Key vs. Beatport

Mike Henderson aka ENDO, a veteran DJ, Co-Founder of AGNT and MIDI Monsters, TRAKTOR specialist for Native Instruments, and Instructor at Dubspot compares the key detection accuracy between Mixed In Key and Beatport.

Mixed In Key

Overview

Harmonic mixing is becoming an industry standard for professional DJs all over the world. It is an innovative way to mix tracks together that are in the same or related keys, resulting in better sounding DJ sets. Mixing harmonically compatible tracks makes it easier and more pleasing to perform long blends and mash-ups. The goal is to eliminate key clashes.

Mixed In Key

Harmonic mixing consists of two elements: knowing the key of every song that you play and knowing which keys are compatible. You can find the keys of your songs with a piano, a good ear, and a background in music theory. To save time, you can also use professional DJ software such as Mixed In Key. Mixed In Key is an innovative tool used to scan your MP3 and WAV files to show you the key of every song. The idea behind Mixed In Key is that it analyzes the harmonies and melodies of your music and then adds ID3 metadata to every track such as the musical key, bpm, track title, artist, and more. This information helps you choose tracks that are harmonically compatible with each other quickly, resulting in super-fluid mixing.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Many of the world’s top DJs use Mixed In Key. It works with Traktor, Serato, Pioneer CDJs, Virtual DJ, Ableton Live, and various other DJ apps. Check out my article on Harmonic Mixing to learn more about Mixed In Key and the concept of mixing harmonically here.

Beatport Key Detection

Beatport has become a widely used platform for downloading and listening to new and exclusive electronic dance music. The Beatport Pro online music store uses internal software to determine the key and bpm of tracks. You can also filter tracks, genres, and artist releases by musical key, allowing you to make purchase decisions based on your harmonic mixing needs.

Beatport

Mixed In Key vs. Beatport

Both Mixed In Key and Beatport offer worthy harmonic key detection algorithms, but which one is better? I thought it would be a good time to do another harmonic mixing lab report DJ Endo style to see who has the best key detection algorithm on the market. You can see my previous lab report here.

In this comparison, I’ve taken 100 songs purchased from Beatport and manually found the key of each track using a piano. I then analyzed all the tracks with Mixed In Key and compared the results with Beatport’s key detection.

Just a little background on me: I’m classically trained and have been keying songs with a piano for several years. I’ve also been a hardcore beta tester for Mixed In Key since the beginning and have sent them thousands of tracks that I’ve keyed on the piano to help with their algorithm. The chart below displays the results for every track I keyed with the piano. The tracks that were incorrectly analyzed are highlighted in bold letters.

Mixed In Key Results

Mixed In Key = 81% Accurate

Out of 100 songs analyzed in Mixed In Key, 81 were correctly analyzed. Out of the songs that were incorrectly analyzed, 10 of them were listed either a fifth below or above the correct key. When looking at the Mixed In Key Camelot Wheel, a fifth is only one step away. For example, a track that should be 8A was analyzed in Mixed In Key as 9A. Note, tracks that are a fifth apart are harmonically compatible as well. In addition, most of these tracks were tech house, deep house, and techno, so many of them didn’t have strong harmonic content.

mixed in key

Beatport Results

Beatport = 68% Accurate

Out of the 100 songs that I looked up on Beatport, only 68 of them displayed the correct key. Of the 32 tracks that were analyzed incorrectly, 8 of those tracks displayed the correct root note of the scale, but wrong major or minor key. For example, a track in A Minor displayed as A Major. Also, 8 of the tracks that were incorrectly analyzed were analyzed a fifth off. The rest of the tracks were completely off.

Final Results

As a conclusion, I have to say Mixed In Key is AMAZING and has come a long way with its key detection! I was completely blown away by its accuracy. Any track with some kind of recognizable melody was analyzed correctly majority of the time. I highly recommend Mixed In Key to any DJ ready to step up their mixing game. The software is under $60 and will completely change your DJ life forever!

Mixed In Key

Beatport, on the other hand, still needs some improvements with their key detection. Nevertheless, the new Beatport website is still great and completely designed for DJs. I have been spent many all-nighters digging through thousands of tracks on their website.

Congratulations to Beatport for the release of their new website, and congratulations to Mixed In Key for taking their software to the next level! However, in the key detection battle, Mixed In Key wins this round!

 


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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The post Key Detection Lab Report: Mixed In Key vs. Beatport appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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