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Prevent Hearing Loss: Musician Earplug Advice

Dubspot’s Michael Walsh explores the importance of hearing loss prevention and offers some earplug recommendations for musicians and music fans.

Musician Earplug

Would you trade your perception of sound for one night in front of the speaker stack?

Excessive exposure to loud levels of noise is often hard to avoid in today’s society, especially for us who enjoy music. I don’t know about you, but I’m always finding myself just a few feet from the bass bins at most music events. How many times have you been over there as well shouting at friends for 30 seconds before deciding to move? I’ve tried to change this behavior but like many of you, I’m a slave to the rhythm, and without realizing it I always end up in front of the speaker stacks. As a result, I’ve slowly but surely started carrying earplugs with me to help prevent irreversible inner ear damage. As a producer and a DJ, that’s a scary thought. In an effort to push hearing loss awareness, we will explore some different ways to help prevent hearing loss.

H.E.A.R. is a non-profit group that was created by musicians and serves as a hearing education resource for the public. They have some good information on their site that I recommend reading over when you have a moment. In the meantime, I’ve grabbed some essential knowledge on sound exposure from their website.

dB Level Awareness

When you notice a difference between loud sounds and quiet ones, your ears are perceiving changes in sound pressure level. Intensity (or volume) is measured in decibels (dB). Zero (0) dB is the softest sound that can be heard. Pain from hearing is subjective. Often, levels above 125 dB may be painful to some individuals. One way to reduce hearing damage is by paying attention to noise levels and realizing when they are too high. According to the United States Safety and Health Standards, we should not be exposed to more than 90 dB over a period of eight hours. If you work in a noisy environment, check out the decibel level you are being exposed to and take the proper precautions. There are several phone apps available that measure noise volume in decibels (dB). Another recommendation is to have your hearing evaluated at least once a year by a hearing health professional. In addition, turn down the volume, or remove yourself from the noise area when possible. It’s also recommended to give your ears a rest for 24 hours after exposure to dangerous levels of noise.

Hearing Protection

There is a variety of ear protection devices available today designed for different uses. For all you party and clubgoers, earplugs are the best protection for an event with a loud sound system. Like you, I love it loud. However, over the years I have experienced pain, ringing (tinnitus) and popping in my ears after long exposure to loud music. As a DJ and producer, I’ve made the mistake of turning up the monitors at events to heighten the feel of the music. At first, your ears will “bounce back” and you’ll be able to hear again after a couple of days. But over time the damage will compound, and your ears won’t bounce back the way they once did. Earplugs are a necessity these days for several reasons. Have you noticed how hard it is to work on your own music after a night at a club? It hurts… save your ears and be more productive with a proper pair of earplugs.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The good news is that there is more for your ears these days than conventional foam plugs that you find at the drugstore. These types of plugs are especially hard to play or mix music with because they block essential frequencies we enjoy when listening to music. Over-the-counter earplugs range from foam variety to rubber, silicone, and wax. They’re all affordable, comfortable, disposable, and provide important help in reducing the dangers of exposure to excessive levels of noise. H.E.A.R. explains the problems that musicians have with these types of earplugs:

  • Existing earplugs attenuate more than necessary for much of the noise in industry and the environment.
  • Regardless of their exact construction, existing earplugs produce 10 to 20 dB of high-frequency attenuation, and the result is that people often reject them because they can’t hear speech clearly.
  • Conventional earplugs make the wearer’s own voice sound hollow (known as the occlusion effect).
  • Many people risk their hearing by either wearing earplugs loosely or wearing no protection at all so they will be able to hear voices, machinery or music more clearly.

Earplugs for Musicians

Custom fit earplugs are recommended for musicians because they are comfortable, easy to insert correctly, and filter sound better than disposable plugs. They are made from an impression of the ear canal taken by an audiologist or other hearing health professionals such as Etymotic and HearNet.

Instead of cutting out the high frequencies and sounding muffled like traditional plugs, musician’s plugs attenuate all the frequencies evenly in relation to your hearing allowing you to hear a wider range of sounds while still protecting yourself from extreme levels. From personal use, I can tell you that they are a lot better than foam plugs.

Musician  Earplugs

The ER-20XS, Musicians Earplugs, and MP 9-15 models by Etymotic are popular custom high-fidelity earplugs for musicians that feature a special filter that lets the listener hear music at a safe level without sacrificing quality. They feature a flat-response attenuator that can be adjusted to set different levels of sound reduction while following the shape of the natural frequency response of the open ear. They both use a diaphragm, similar to a passive speaker cone as well to achieve the desired response curve.

Another popular set of earplugs are the Mack’s High Fidelity Hear Plugs, which replicate the natural response of the ear canal so that sound is heard clearly, just quieter and are a low-cost alternative.

Who Needs Musician Earplugs?

There are two types of people who could benefit from musician earplugs. The first type of people are those exposed to 90-120 dB sound levels for various time periods who need to hear accurately such as DJs, live performers, musicians, sound crews, recording engineers, nightclub employees, and other music industry professionals. The second type of people are those outside the music industry such as loud-music listeners, people with tinnitus or hyperacusis, spectators, construction workers, etc.

Musician earplugs offer better sound quality that is clearer and more natural. They also help to reduce fatigue associated with noise exposure as well over long exposure times. For example, DJs and live performance acts are subjected to loud levels of sound which can not only cause hearing damage but can also cause a shift in their perception of sound causing them to mix poorly or make bad decisions in a performance as a result of their hearing not functioning properly.

One mistake I’ve noticed many DJs make is turning up the headphones or monitors to compensate for a loud sound system when cueing the next track. The better solution is to turn down your monitors and your phones to let your ears rest and get used to the sound of the room. When the headphones are too loud you may confuse yourself in a mix in two ways – you will lose track of what is happening on the floor, and you will start hearing the track in the phones as running faster in the mix than it actually is. If you ever find yourself confused in a mix, turn down the headphones and ride the levels slowly until you hear the mix clearly. Try balancing the headphone levels down and up (keeping them low) before you touch the pitch and you’ll keep control of your mix.


EDU Summer Sessions

Music Foundations Program

Unravel electronic music’s origins, build your chops, learn musical language and theory, and make and play music the way you want. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the roots and lineage of a variety of electronic and dance music genres, strengthen their keyboard skills, and learn valuable music theory, deepening their creative practice and facilitating effective collaborations with musical partners.

Click here to view the embedded video.

About This Program

The best producers, DJs, and musicians in the world strive to be well-rounded. So should you. In Dubspot’s Music Foundations Program, you’ll explore three major aspects of music: rhythmic theory, melodic theory, and critical listening.

Most pioneering early electronic musicians had years of conservatory training in theory and performance but had access to very limited technologies. In today’s musical world, it’s the opposite: we have a powerful and versatile array of electronic music making tools at our fingertips, but often fall short in our theoretical understanding of how electronic music works.

Our Music Foundations program is designed to fill this gap and provide training in fundamental skills and concepts with the electronic musician, DJ, and producer in mind. In this course, you’ll build your chops and learn the basics of musical language and theory so that you can make and play the music you want. You will also develop a deeper understanding of the roots and lineage of a variety of electronic and dance music genres, and explore compositional techniques and song structure. The weekly homework lessons for all three courses have been designed using Ableton Live, and along the way you’ll also learn the basics of Ableton and how to use it as a powerful tool to improve your musicianship in a variety of ways.

What’s Included

  • Music Foundations Level 1: Pads & Rhythmic Theory
  • Music Foundations Level 2: Keys & Melodic Theory
  • Music Foundations Level 3: Critical Listening

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.


The post Prevent Hearing Loss: Musician Earplug Advice appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Club Recommendations: July 2016 (Anthony Naples, LCD Soundsystem + More)

Welcome to Point Blank’s monthly club recommendations column, where we trawl the listings to bring you the essential events taking place in London and Los Angeles. London may not be having much of a summer weather-wise, but fear not, there’s plenty of parties – outdoors and otherwise – promising to raise the temperature. Festival fans are particularly well catered for, with the brand new electronic music event Sunfall hitting Brockwell Park and the much-loved Lovebox taking over Victoria Park this month. For Los Angelenos, there’s also plenty to entertain this July, including unmissable appearances from Audion, Galcher Lustwerk and DJ Richard.

For those of you dreaming of seeing yourself included here, heading up the next big summer festival or slaying clubs around the world, you can find out about our range of courses in LondonLA and online to kickstart your journey there.

Sunfall Festival w/ Anthony Naples, Ben Klock, Fatima Yamaha, Donato Dozzy + more – Brockwell Park – Saturday 9th July


This being July, there’s no let up in outdoor, all-day parties for those willing to turn a blind eye to the weather forecast. However, new festival Sunfall is orchestrated by the people behind XOYO, Dimensions and Phonox and has enough tasty names to cut through the festival fatigue. Brockwell Park in Herne Hill may seem an unlikely centre for all things electronic and underground, but for two days it stakes its claim: Anthony Naples, Donato Dozzy, Josey Rebelle, Zomby and more line-up for what promises to be a big one… and when the sun goes down things move to Peckham’s The Bussey Building. Prepare to get messy. Details here.

Lovebox w/ LCD Soundsystem, Major Lazer, Run The Jewels, MØ, IZZY BIZU – Victoria Park – Friday 15th – Saturday 16th July


If Sunfall is pitching itself to the underground, Lovebox aims to please the biggest crowd it can. The main draw here is surely the recently un-retired LCD Soundsystem who, fresh from conquering Glastonbury, look set to storm the main stage on Saturday. Elsewhere, Diplo pops up both in his own right and at the helm of his party-starting supergroup Major Lazer and Swedish pop weirdo Mø is certain to hold her own. Don’t miss PB alumna Izzy Bizu, last seen soundtracking the Euro 2016 coverage on the BBC. Details here.

Find Me In The Dark w/ Future Times x Mood Hut w/ Beautiful Swimmers, Pender Street Steppers, Hashman Deejay + more – Saturday 30th July – Corsica Studios

Beautiful Swimmers

For their summer edition, London party Find Me in the Dark have roped in standout North American labels Future Times and Mood Hut for a seasonal showdown. Expect warm house and new age vibes courtesy of Vancouver’s own Pender Street Steppers, Hashman Deejay and the perma-chill Neo Image. On the Future Times side there’s Berlin-based oddball PLO Man, Jordan and label head Maxmillion Dunbar comes correct as one half of Beautiful Swimmers – whose DJ sets are things of beauty – and on his own in his Max D guise. Details here.

Lights Down Low LA w/ Galcher Lustwerk and DJ Richard – Friday 8th July – TBA [Los Angeles]


Californian promoters Lights Down Low have exceptional taste, as demonstrated by their recent Fatima Yamaha and House Meat Disco bookings, but this White Material throwdown looks to be knockout. NYC’s Galcher Lustwerk will be bringing his characteristic deep, textured house – and surely some of his brand new Road Hog material – to the proceedings whereas NY-Berlin transplant DJ Richard will keep things strange and, very likely, noisy. Unmissable Details here.

Inception w/ Audion (Live), DJ Three – Saturday 16th July – Exchange LA [Los Angeles]


In June, Matthew Dear returned to his overtly techno moniker, Audion, some ten years after last releasing a full-length under that name. The resulting Alpha suggested a newfound restraint, on record at least, but then, Audion has always been the master of tension and release. Even so, the wise will reserve full judgement until hearing the new material in a club context – we reckon this live set is going to go off. Support comes in the form of LA’s DJ Three. Details here.

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

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of plugins, free sounds, online course samples, access to our social network Plugged In and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

The post Club Recommendations: July 2016 (Anthony Naples, LCD Soundsystem + More) appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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“It’s Too Hard!” When Your Struggling to Complete Your Unfinished Tracks

Its too hard

If you are anything like me, you’re likely to have hundreds of unfinished tracks lying around on
various MacBooks, PCs and even mobile sequencers. You probably have countless unused chord
progressions, patches and samples that you came up with in the heat of the moment and then
forgot about because you got distracted, lost the inspiration or simply felt it “wasn’t good enough.”
This is a common challenge of producers: we operate in a medium where our own inspiration is the
driving force and because there is nobody else to carry the load and we are typically such hard task
masters, it’s very easy to shut down the project in its early or even later stages. But as the old cliche
goes, creation is one percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration. The following is a guide
to what to do the next time you find yourself ready to throw in the towel.

Focus on the process and the result will come: If the idea or concept you had was so
amazing that it inspired you to pick up your Macbook or synth or bass guitar and start laying down
a groove for twenty minutes before you lost your mojo, then its probably worth pursuing. It’s kind
of like riding your bike down a hill, the first bit is easy and you don’t have to do any work,
(momentum does that for you) but as the ground levels out you eventually start paddling. Let me
tell you, most of music production is pedalling. Thinking that your just going to breeze through
every track totally unassailed by boredom or difficulty is a fantasy – it’s damn hard work. But it’s all
worth it. Once you have your basic idea, refuse to deviate from it. Just keep plugging away at it,
you’ll get there, or at least far closer to where you want to be than you were before.

Keep learning: You gotta’ learn to love learning. In his excellent book Mastery, author Robert
Greene talks about about an escalated cycle of returns that occurs once you reach a certain degree
of competency in a task. In this case we’re probably talking about mastery of your DAW of choice. If
you’re just starting and don’t know what automation or phase cancelling or any of that technical
stuff is, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and just go “It’s all too hard! I can’t do it!” And maybe
that’s true, you can’t do it all right now. But you can get really good at learning how to do it. Pick
something that you really want to emulate. Say you’d like to know how to side-chain your whole
mix to get that ‘pumping’ sound, start digging around online for how to side-chain. BassGorilla is
an excellent place to start and you will surprise yourself at how easy it is to make huge leaps in
changing your sound. But the results should be secondary – focus on getting better and reward
yourself for pushing your own envelope (no pun intended.) Once you get to a point of loving the
process of making it better, and a bit better still, not only will your sound production skill have
increased tenfold but you will be able to work for longer periods of time. The initial spark of “This is
the greatest thing since Scary Monsters and Nice Spites” will be replaced by a quiet intensity of
focus and willingness to get the job done which is ultimately far more satisfying and more likely to
get your track to completion.

Learn to create a ‘scaffold’ for your track and then build around that: Plenty of
producers forget that arrangement and songwriting are completely different skills. The style of
music that I create is predominantly song form based but even if you are trying to create Beatport
bangers, you need a scaffold to work from. The number of times I’ve been half or a third of the way
through a song and then thought to myself “I have no idea where to go from here…” Motivation
obliterated. You always need a next step. Learn to break it down into small chunks so that if you
ask yourself “What am I trying to achieve here?” you can answer it in a sentence. For example: “I
am trying to write a bassline for this verse,” or “I am EQ-ing the vocals so that they don’t clash with
the lead synth.” You must be as specific as possible. Once you know exactly what you want to do,
you will be amazed at how easy it is to get it done. It sounds simple but do not underestimate this

As well as specificity you have to be working towards something significant in terms of your track.
You must work from the outside in: get your structure, basic beat, vocals, basslines chord patterns
and melodies down first and DO NOT OBSESS OVER THEM. They don’t have to be perfect just
yet. Remember it’s better to be roughly right than precisely wrong. You don’t want to spend 6 hours
on something that is ultimately going nowhere because you painted yourself into a box. At the end
of the day, it doesn’t really matter if your hihat is -4.5 dB’s or -4 dB’s so don’t spend 20 minutes
agonising over it. I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. I suggest you start to make a habit of
pulling yourself up on how significant what you’re working on is. It may be fun to tweak for hours
at a time but you may need to delete that section if it doesn’t flow properly into the next one so
don’t waste your time on the specifics if the big picture isn’t sorted. Don’t bother making the icing
until you’ve baked the cake, which dovetails with my next point…

Focus on the hard bit: I know you will happily spend two hours making a perfect super saw
patch on Massive that sounds like it’s going to split the world in two. Me too. But if you’ve been
doing that for years, your time and energy is likely better spent on things that you aren’t as strong
on, especially if they’re important. For example, I like to record virtually all my own vocals because
I am a control freak, but quite frankly I’m often a little insecure in my vocal abilities at times.
Consequently, I put off doing them until the last minute. And we all know what happens when you
try and lay a vocal melody over a finished track – a lot of the time it doesn’t fly. This can be very
frustrating. What I’ve started doing is recording a guide track with a guitar and just me singing so I
know that the vocals will work on top of the chords (Madeon recommends this as well on his
Reddit AMA which I make a point of reading every month or so). The point is, get into doing the
hard bit as soon as you can, whether that be focusing on structure, making sure your sounds gel
together in an EQ sense or focusing on sound design. Once you’ve sussed that bit, the rest of it will
be easy so if you know your going to butt up against it at some point you may as well confront it
while you have the inspiration and energy to tackle it.

Even if you HATE it, finish it and call it a learning experience: Working on a track for
weeks or even months and realising that you just don’t care about it anymore is an experience we
all go through. Its all just too hard, the baseline is crap, the drums sound like they were recorded in
a paper back and the vocals are dull and lifeless. But you know what? Do it anyway. Finish it and
put it out. Bach finished all his work and subsequently he is one of, if not, THE most highly
regarded musicians of all time. Once you’ve finished it and put it out you may never want to hear it
again but I promise you, you will be proud that you finished it. Completing a track will give you
valuable experience, not only in mixing and mastering if you self master it, but the act of
completion itself will setup a valuable precedent in your mind. You’ll also have a reference point for
next time, not to mention some sweet patches to call on.

Set yourself a reasonable deadline and decide you won’t seriously work on anything
else until it’s done: They say necessity is the mother of invention, and nowhere is this more true
than creative endeavours. If you have a goal and decide that no matter what you’re going to have
that rack done by Thursday, you will get it done. Of course, if it’s Wednesday and you haven’t
started don’t make that goal. Steve Jobs had a theory called a ‘reality distortion field’ that if you
really need to get something done and make it the number one priority, you could do it. This
certainly worked for him (a few distraught employees aside) but remember to take this in
moderation. How many hours do you take to finish a track? I read Porter Robinson and Madeon
take about 50 hours to complete a track, Wolfgang Gartner takes about 40. It really depends on
how much detail you want to put into it; if you’re just making a beat for a rapper, you could
possibly churn one out in 90 minutes. Personally, I tend to spend about two and a half weeks on a
track, assuming perhaps two hours a day (so maybe 30 odd hours) but it really depends.
Remember if your basic structure and melody is off, it doesn’t matter how much time you sink into

Work to your own rhythm: Some people like to wake up first thing in the morning and make a
beat. Others find inspiration at 2am in the morning and work until dawn. Some people make music
on their lunch breaks. Some people wait until they get home from work and then go until dinner.
Any of these approaches are valid, however, it’s unlikely that all of them will work for you. Develop
a habit of producing at a certain time. I tend to get up in the morning and due to the nature of my
work, I will work for two hours from maybe 10 until midday. Ideally you want to be working on it
every waking minute (and once you get into the habit, believe me you will want to) but obviously
that’s not a viable reality for most of us.

Keep listening to and viewing things that inspire you: Hard work may be the fuel that
drives your track, but inspiration is the the GPS guiding you to your destination. You can get
inspired by all sorts of things: movies, video games, music, books. Even a strong cup of coffee can
get you in a creative mood. I went to an art gallery the other day and it made me realise how much I
appreciate fine details in things – suffice it to say, I went home and made a very complex beat.
Knowledge and inspiration is what keeps us hungry when we’re feeling dejected so don’t neglect it.

Stick to your original vision, but don’t obsess on perfection, it is a mirage: We
sometimes have a perfect version of a song we’re making in our heads and exactly how we want it
to sound, or at least a similar track or style. You should use this as a guiding force, however,
experimentation is just as important so don’t get carried away making car alarm style sirens when
you’re trying to make a deep house cut. Until you hit the point of mastery a la Skrillex, Flux
Pavillion or Knife Party, it just won’t sound quite like it does in your head. Eventually, you can get
pretty close, but that sort of ability takes years and years. Accept that it will never sound “totally
perfect” and learn to work with what you have and love it for what it is.

Believe in yourself and your abilities: Make no mistake, you have the capacity to make really
great music – music that people around the world will love. The only difference between you and
anyone else making music right now is the size of your dream and time. It is a long, difficult road,
but if you stay on it you will get to where you want to be. And the only person who is going to allow
you to stay on that road is you. So get to work, you can do it.

The post “It’s Too Hard!” When Your Struggling to Complete Your Unfinished Tracks appeared first on BassGorilla.com.

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Point Blank on Pioneer DJ Radio: Matty Gray

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

Stepping up this week is London’s very own Matty Gray. The up and coming DJ and producer recently completed the Music Production Certificate at Point Blank and is quickly establishing a profile here in the capital. A resident for NoExcuse Records and their regular party at Egg Club, this tightly crafted hour-long mix demonstrates his flair for no-nonsense tech- and deep house. “I’ve learnt so many new techniques and skills over the six months and met some fantastic people,” he says of his time at Point Blank. “I particularly enjoyed the Sound Design module and learning how to really get to grips with lots of synths. I couldn’t recommend the college enough.”

Want to hear more from Matty Gray? Check out his Soundcloud to listen to his productions and mixes. Feeling inspired? Why not make like Matty Gray 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 Matty in getting your DJ mix played on Point Blank’s show on Pioneer DJ Radio, get in touch with Louise at Point Blank.

Register to Access Free Courses, Plug-ins, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples, access to our social network Plugged In and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

The post Point Blank on Pioneer DJ Radio: Matty Gray appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Dubspot Radio Podcast: OBaH (Guru Tribute Mix)

This exclusive tribute mix remembering the life and legacy of the late MC, Guru comes from NYC turntable legend and Dubspot DJ Instructor OBaH, who has been holding down a soulful corner of the NYC DJ scene for some time now.


Remembering Guru’s Legacy

Poetry over beats, excuse me… poetry over really dope beats. That’s how I would describe Guru if asked. In a hip hop sea flooded with emcee’s, there is only a handful of lyricists I believe earn the title of “lyrical poet.” Keith Elam, better known to us all as Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal aka Guru, lost his battle with cancer on April 19th, 2010. He was only 48 years old. Not too many people were aware that Guru was fighting cancer during the final year of his life. He will surely be missed by hip hop fans worldwide. But I’m not here to dwell on his untimely death; I’d rather celebrate the legacy he has left behind for all of us to enjoy.

Guru established Gang Starr in 1987, and I’ve been a fan of from day one. Gang Starr entered my life at a special time when I began gravitating towards music and really starting to appreciate it for what it was, what it represented, and how it sounded. The music I came to love at this time was jazz, funk, rock, soul, and most notably hip hop. I say most notably because the other genres were more personal loves, acquired from my DJ father’s epic record collection.

Hip hop was the mainstream juggernaut that I and everyone around me was gettin’ down too. A couple of the album’s I had on heavy rotation at this time where ‘Step in the Arena’ and ‘Daily Operation’ by Gang Starr. Pure classics! The chemistry between Guru and DJ Premier is undeniable. Premier’s hard edged, jazz and funk sampled beats coupled with Guru’s smooth vocal tone and poetic rhyme skills is like butter on toast. For me it was the best of both worlds. Gang Starr released six albums all together. My all time favorites are ‘Moment of Truth’ and ‘Hard to Earn.’

Gang Starr

Guru was born in Roxbury, Mass. and DJ Premier is from Houston, Texas. Individually they moved to New York in post college days, and would eventually hook up as members of Gang Starr. They ended up moving to East New York, which I loved because I grew up in E.N.Y. (didn’t live there when they emerged on the scene). Gang Starr featured other lesser-known members beside Guru and DJ Premier such as Jeru The Damaja and Group Home to name a few. While Gang Starr never achieved mega stardom, the legacy and influence of their music can be heard far and wide throughout hip hop. Just look at artists like Madlib, J Dilla, Jay Electronica… man, the influence is heavy.

Aside from Gang Starr, Guru also released ‘Jazzmatazz,’ volumes one through four. On the ‘Jazzmatazz’ series, Guru collaborates with a wide range of talented musicians and vocalists. My top picks would be Volume One and Volume Four. As a pro DJ, I’m more than happy and willing to spin classics like ‘Just To Get A Rep,’ ‘Dwyck,’ ‘Mass Appeal,’ ‘Full Clip,’ ‘Loungin,’ ‘You Know My Steez’… I could go on. Aside from the blatant quality of Gang Starr and Guru’s music, one quality that can’t be overlooked is the fact that their entire catalog is laced with dope music that does not promote violence, materialism, pimp fantasies, or rampant foul language. For a lot of hip hop acts, those features are like air and water, can’t survive without it… or better yet, can’t make quality music without it. So the next time you’re at a party and the DJ throws on a Gang Starr or Guru joint, put that drink in the air, or two fingers, and show Guru the love and respect he showed us through his music. Rest in Peace!

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In the power of words from a true lyrical poet taken from ‘Moment of Truth,’ on the ‘What I’m Here 4′ album:

“While some choose greed, I choose to plant seeds, for your mental… spirit and physical temple. Bob your head to it, there’s the water you’ve been lead to it, bathe in it, a long time you’ve been cravin it. Prance to it, use your third eye and glance through it. Your state of being, becoming advanced through it, while others rhyme with no reason I be breezin.” – Guru


About DJ OBaH

OBaH turned a family legacy into a profession, becoming a rising industry music producer and highly sought after NYC DJ. OBaH stands for Oldskool Beats and Harmonies for a very good reason: he’s the son of veteran NYC DJ, Musician, Professor, and activist Baba Chico. Growing up, OBaH had the world’s best funk, jazz, and soul records at his fingertips. Armed with his father’s epic library of music, OBaH quickly made his mark on the NYC club scene, becoming the resident DJ at several nightclubs in his native Brooklyn.

Quickly gaining respect and a solid fan base, his first big break came courtesy of world-renowned DJ, Rich Medina, who invited OBaH to spin at his weekly party at the legendary (now defunct) APT nightclub in the Meatpacking district of NYC. Since then, OBaH has spun in well over 75 venues in NYC, across the U.S. and abroad, has DJ’d private parties for Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, JAY-Z, Donna Karan, and many other A-list celebrities. His talents have also been commissioned by brands including Louis Vuitton, Vogue magazine, Diesel clothing, and Puma. He has performed for cultural institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum, L.A.’s Grammy Museum, Tribeca Film Festival, Fall for Dance Festival, as well as live performances by hip hop legends KRS-ONE, Brand Nubian, and deep list of international bands and acclaimed DJ’s. In 2010 and 2011 OBaH represented NY as the resident DJ for the “New York Stage” of Czech Republic’s largest music festival “Colours of Ostrava”, where he provided opening, closing, and after party sets for a host of International artists including Roy Ayers, Tortured Soul, Don Blackman, and Electric Wire Hustle to name a few.


While OBaH continues to spin on a weekly basis in NYC, he is also fast at work producing remixes as well as original compositions for television and film. Several of his tracks have been featured on networks including MTV, Bravo, HBO, NBC, and A&E. NYC based production company Interloc Films has also enlisted OBaH to work as music supervisor for their first film, Wilde’Beast. He has also recorded an exclusive mix for Time Out NY’s “Homespun Sessions” which highlights premier DJ’s from across the globe. In 2008, Dubspot records released “Funk Aid for Africa” which was compiled, mixed, and executive produced by OBaH. The compilation was highly acclaimed and was a charitable success helping to raise money for NextAid. In addition, his remix for ESL recording artist Ocote Soul Sounds landed him a full page feature article in DJ Times magazine in March 2010. OBaH also participated in a national coast to coast tour supporting that release and is working on a follow-up compilation. OBaH’s debut EP “Cross Fade” was released in March 2014 and garnered overwhelmingly positive feedback from tastemakers and press (Vibe.com, OkayFuture, and DMConline). In October of 2014, OBaH made his off-Broadway theatrical debut starring in “A Sucker Emcee” at the famed Labyrinth Theater, performing alongside the illustrious and acclaimed poet Craig “Mums” Grant (HBO “Oz”). OBaH has also worked as associate music director and understudy to DJ Rich Medina.

OBaH can also be heard on the Giant Step Jukebox. His show “Recycled Funk” is archived on their site. When he isn’t rocking the party himself, he’s teaching aspiring DJ’s the craft as a senior staff instructor at Dubspot, NYC’s preeminent electronic music production and DJ school. As a Dubspot DJ Instructor, OBaH has made two appearances on the BET network (106 & Park, The Pullup) as well as media in Brazil and France. He takes his “formative education” with him wherever he goes.

Connect with OBaH on FacebookTwitter | 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.

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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: OBaH (Guru Tribute Mix) appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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First CEDAR DNS 2 in Germany "an immense asset"

Veteran location sound mixer impressed by DNS 2

Shortly after the CEDAR DNS 2 was announced, Andreas Kluge, who has worked for 20 years in the fields of TV movies and series, cinema and advertising, became its first user in Germany when shooting episodes of the TV series ‘The Family of Dr. Kleist’.

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