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

Native Instrument FM8 Garage Bass Tutorial

In this tutorial we are going to replicate a bass sound that can be heard in many Garage and Bass
House songs today, but you can also hear it in alot of old Jungle and Dubstep tracks. We are going to
use FM synthesis but the patch is mainly simple and relies on good processing. We won’t apply too
much distortion to the sound, instead, we will focus on getting the right pitch and filter modulation
to get the best and most interesting results. Since we are using an FM synth, I would highly
recommend not overdoing any parameter when experimenting, since it will mess up with your patch.

First, let’s fire up our FM8 and initialize it if you haven’t already using top bar menu, file and then
New sound. Now press the Expert button in Navigator and turn on oscillator E by right clicking on it.
Then route the oscillator E to modulate oscillator F by around 75.

Picture 1

Next up, we will activate the key sync function in oscillator E and F, so our oscillator value resets to 0
everytime we hit a note.

Picture 2

Now to reduce clicking, press the Envelope menu and set attack and release of an oscillator F to be a
little bit longer. There is really no ideal value or number so trust your ears on this one, it is really
about reducing the click as much as possible.

Picture 3

Then let’s go back to our oscillator E menu. Set the Ratio on 2, and put the Offset on 2.50 Hz to get
more hollow bass. Now set the attack of the envelope to about 0.726 . That will give our bass that
disctinctive sound that is mostly used in Garage, Future Garage and Bass House tracks. Also, we will
set the Ratio of oscillator F on 2.

Picture 4

We will activate Unison in Master section on Navigator menu. Set the Voice on 2 and 54 should be
fine on detune parameter. By doing this, we will get some extra “hollowness” from our bass and it
will also sound bigger and wider. We will also put the Analog parameter on 59 just to get it more
gritty. And then set Portamento on and to about 20, so our pitch can slide from one note to another.

Picture 5

Next, activate oscillator A and route it straight to master. Set the parameter to about 60. This is
simply to fill our bass with lower frequencies. In the end, your matrix window should look like the
one in the picture below.

Picture 6

Now open the Effects window in Navigator section and apply some Shelving EQ, then simply increase
the high frequencies and remove some lower frequencies if necessary.

Picture 7

Next up is processing our bass in Ableton. You can also export it if you prefer working with Audio
tracks by freezing the track and then flattening it. First, we are going to use EQ simply to clean out
some frequencies. I have cutted all the 80 Hz for now to have a cleaner mixdown and for easier
layering with our sub bass. Also, I enhanced some mid frequencies to make it sound more bigger.
Remember, your Bandwidth should be lowest possible when cutting frequencies, and wider when
enhancing them, to make your mixdown sound better.

Picture 8

Now let’s apply some compression. Basically, our levels should sound even when pressing high and
low notes. Set the threshold around -13 dB, Ratio about 5:1. Attack should be around 10 ms and
release about 175 ms. Also, set the Dry/Wet to 84% and increase the Input signal only if needed.

Picture 9

Then we will saturate our bass to give it that fuzzy and satisfying sound. Set the Curve type on Soft
Sine and set the Drive around 1.3 dB but be careful with it, too much distortion will ruin the bass.
Also, set the Dry/wet to around 65%

Picture 10

And last but not least, we will put the utility plugin. Set the width of the bass to zero.Since the Bass
frequencies take alot of space in a mix, keeping the bass mono will limit the amount of space used.
Also, most subwoofers are in mono anyway, and if you make your bass stereo, it will lose punch and

Picture 11

And there you have it, how to make a Garage Bass in FM8. Don’t be afraid of experimenting and try
to add some pitch and filter modulation to make it sound more interesting. You can also mess with
the envelopes in the FM8 and add some layers to make it even more complex.

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Classic Synths: Get The Sound Without Breaking the Bank

Hardware. All the established producers swear by it, regularly boasting they have just so much of it lying around. All the emerging producers can’t wait to drop into conversation that they’ve dabbled with a bit of it here and there and all the bedroom producers are keen to try it. But, they often can’t afford to do so.

We’re not the guy you have in your phone book as Party Dave Six. Nor are we advocating the absolutely best way to make friends at a house party. However we can certainly relate to the price of kit. As the former-EDM crowd enter their mid to late twenties, names like Roland and Korg have started re-releasing modern versions of iconic hardware in the hopes of winning over producers looking to step up their studio game. These items are fantastic and well worth your investment. However, until you can afford the these, check out our list of cheaper alternatives for emergent producers looking for the sound of the classics without the classics price tag.

Moog Minimoog

The Context: Born in 1970, the Minimoog became an instant hit because of its size: at a time when synthesisers were often enormous studio fixtures, the Minimoog was geared towards mobility and live performance. In fact, variants of the original Minimoogs are still in production today.

The Sound:

Kraftwerk’s Autobahn and Michael Jackson’s Thriller albums are among the projects heavily based on the Minimoog.

The Software Version: The Arturia Mini V is the leader in a busy field of Minimoog emulators. Yours for £79.

The Free Version: Steinberg Classics Model E has the added kudos of being one of the first ever VST synths. We tried it (running Ableton Live 9 on a Macbook) and it’s an ace little bit of kit.

ARP Odyssey

The Context: Launched in 1972 as a direct answer to Minimoog, the Odyssey was a stripped down mobile version of ARP’s bigger 2600 synthesiser available at the time. This is a particularly relevant piece of kit as it’s just been relaunched. Cue a slew of upcoming releases featuring this sound. Get on that bandwagon quick!

The Sound:

Abba’s Gimme Gimme Gimme, Juan Atkins and Sam Smith. So quite the range then.

The Software Version: The GForce Oddity 2  has a spec list longer than many respectable crime novels. At £116 it’s not the cheapest VST out there, but at glowing review over at ‘heads Music Tech indicates it’s money well spent.

The Free Version : There’s a few but they’re all Windows-only so our reviewer couldn’t test them… There also all keen amateur efforts so be wary of bugs.

Korg MS 20

The Context: Next to jump on the portable synthesiser bandwagon (seems we’ve found the root cause of most classic synths’ popularity), released in 1978. Like the ARP Odyssey, it’s also been subsequently re-released, into an ‘even more mini’, mini synth.

The Sound:

Mr Oizo Flat Beat, Daft Punk Da Funk

The Software Version: Korg make their own one. So… we’re just gonna assume that’s the best. Besides, it’s only $49.

The Free Version: Erm… there doesn’t seem to be many out there. Presumably because Korg bossed it by offering their own plugin at such a good price.

Sequential Circuits Prophet 5

The Context: With five levels of polyphony – that’s the ability to play five keys at once – like a chord, and the ability to save patches (sequences like modern day midi patches on your DAW) the 1978 release of the Prophet V was seen as a new era in high tech synths. It’s melodies were particularly popular later on with the emerging hip-hop scene.

The Sound:

Dr Dre, Too $hort, Madonna – Like A Prayer

The Software Version: Arturia are your people once again. Their Prophet V VST ships for €99

The Free Version: There’s a stack of Free VSTs just a Google search away, although most of them are Window-only and are enthusiast-builds so pick wisely.

Roland TB 303

The Context: To many, the most famous of them all. The TB 303 was produced with the aim of giving garage bands a programmable bass guitar substitute. It proved odd sounding for the job and difficult for bands to use. However, its affordable price (and even more affordable second hand prices as disappointed bands ditched them) led to the synths being swept up by experimental producers in the ’80s who went on to use the 303 sound to create the foundations of the house music sound so prevalent in electronic music today. We’re also going to point out here that Roland’s modern day version of this is pretty stonking and, at £229 within the realm of affordable too. We even did a review of it here.

The Sound:

DJ Pierre, Mr Fingers, and more or less every acid track you’ve ever heard.

The Software Version: Plenty out there. Best in class appears to be G-Sonique’s Alien 303, a bargain at £11. Can we go even better?

The Free Version: Yes we can. You can program a 303 sound into Ableton, by yourself. Check out tutorial on it here:

Yamaha DX 7

The Context: Possibly the best selling synth of all time and one that truly broke the mainstream, the Yamaha DX 7’s appeal was it’s (comparatively) affordable price, high tech spec and flexiblity – it came with optional upgrade cartridges of additional settings and had the ability to patch into computers in addition.

The Sound:

Billy Ocean, Lionel Richie, Kate Bush, Dead Or Alive and, er, Enya.

The Software Version: The daddy of the VSTs for this is Native Instruments FM8 at £169. Punchy, however it would appear to be the VST synth that rules them all so worth the investment.

The Free Version: The Yamaha DX 7 was the first commercially available Digital FM synthesiser. Consequently, any free FM Synth you download will have elements based on The Yamaha DX7. Or, if you’ve got Ableton, you can make your own here:

Electronic music’s a curious affair. At different points looking for a way to make new sounds in a way conventional instruments never good, but at the same time constantly referencing the past: hence all those Chicago house acapellas, 808 drums and disco samples. At any rate, add one of the above into your tracks and you’re bound to get a few nods from the right heads. Go and get em!

If you want to learn more sound design, production, mixing, mastering and composition tips, our online diploma course is the 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, Projects, Samples & More

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

The post Classic Synths: Get The Sound Without Breaking the Bank appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Student Opportunities: The Hospital Club Are Looking For a Trainee AV Co-ordinator

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

The Hospital Club Are Looking For a Trainee AV Co-ordinator


Private members’ club The Hospital Club are looking to recruit a trainee AV co-ordinator to provide general support to the AV team as required and appropriate. Please be aware that the traineeship is in partnership with Camden Council and the successful applicants must reside in the London Borough of Camden. To apply, please send a CV and covering letter to louise@pointblanklondon.com.

Summary of the key activities:

  • To liaise with the Events and Studio teams (and any other internal department or team) to prepare appropriate and timely AV solution for all meetings, members’ events and other organised activities throughout the building
  • To assist with the operation and management of technical elements of events/presentations to the highest standard, with responsibility for the rigging and de-rigging of the AV equipment before and after the event.
  • To ensure that AV systems are available for use on a daily basis and check tidiness of relevant areas (e.g. recover cables and equipment supplied for an event)
  • To maintain an up-to-date inventory of all AV equipment within the building and ensure appropriate storage
  • To regularly examine the Club’s AV setup and explore ways to future-proof/improve the current system
  • To ensure that all AV equipment, systems, associated cabling and adaptors are appropriately maintained to ensure the highest standards of service
  • To create and maintain a database of AV freelancers.
  • To proactively recommend appropriate technical solutions to enhance AV and technical operations
  • To provide timely information about in-house AV systems and have knowledge of alternative equipment, suppliers and standards for special events taking into account budget constraints
  • To demonstrate to/train members of staff how to correctly operate the AV equipment (e.g. Events staff, F&B Managers) in the various event spaces within the building, and to ensure the training manual is up-to-date
  • To assist in reducing AV/technical operational costs
  • To maintain records and other AV system information and ensure these are up-to-date
  • To ensure a prompt response to all AV related problems
  • To oversee third parties and contractors involved with the build for an AV-related event
  • To provide operational support to other departments where appropriate
  • To understand the needs of clients (internal and external) and deliver service excellence, which includes the need to dress appropriately for each event.


Experience or interest in providing Audio/Visual (AV) and technical support for events with a capacity size of between 300-500 people)  – Essential
Prior experience of operating and maintaining in-house AV systems in a similar environment/industry.  – Desired
Prior experience of a client-facing role in a similar environment/industry. – Essential

Knowledge & Skills

Managing a database of casual freelancers. – Essential
Ability to train non-technical staff AV disciplines. – Desired
Microsoft suite literate. – Desired
Qualified first aider and/or fire officer. – Desired


Excellent customer care ethos with the drive to attain the highest standard of customer service. – Essential
A strong team-player and the ability to build relationships at all levels. –Essential
A proactive nature with the ability to work on own initiative. – Essential
Ability to work flexible hours (evenings and weekends) – Essential

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 Opportunities: The Hospital Club Are Looking For a Trainee AV Co-ordinator appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Dubspot Radio Podcast: Alan Nieves

This episode of Dubspot Radio Podcast welcomes NYC tech-house DJ/Producer and Dubspot Instructor Alan Nieves with a deep and driving mix selection of underground vibes that combines the best qualities of house and techno.

Alan Nieves


Dubspot Radio Podcast



1. Saul Antolin – Cosas Paranormales (Alan Nieves Remix) [Kowloon Recordings]
2. Miguel Lobo – Vamos Willy [8bit]
3. Riva Starr – Dippin’ Side [Hot Creations]
4. Alan Nieves – With You [Witty Tunes]
5. Joeski – Babylon (Mihalis Safras Remix) [Maya Records]
6. Harry Romero – La Brava [Material]
7. Alan Nieves – 88 [Datagroove]
8. Dennis Cruz – New Life [Snatch!]
9. Miguel Bastida – Unlockers [Deeperfect]
10. Alan Nieves – Get Back [Elrow Music]


Submission EP Out Now on Datagroove



About Alan Nieves

Working in a genre that’s all about evolution, NYC tech-house DJ/producer Alan Nieves has been doing his share to keep his sound deep, funky and taut. Combining house grooves with a techno drive, his sound is the result of a powerful synergy glued together with meticulous percussive elements. Over the span of top releases for Miguel Bastida’s Be One Records and Barcelona’s world-famous Elrow Music, he’s used new technological twists to ensure his music offers maximum dance floor enjoyment.

His tracks are charted and played in festivals and clubs all over the world regularly by the biggest DJs in the US, UK, South America, Europe, Asia, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Brazil, and Australia. His music has been supported by artists such as Paco Osuna, Cristian Varela, Roger Sanchez, Joe T Vannelli, Fran Arés, Siminia Grigoriu, Sergio Fernandez, Dennis Cruz, Darkrow, Franz Costa, Kenny Ground, Luca Lento, Dani Masi, Outway, Tini Garcia, De La Swing, Hollen, and many more.

His live sets feature cutting edge elements from shades of tech-house to house to techno and a combination of booming bass lines and modern organic grooves with an electronic pulse of refreshingly forward energy. As a mainstay of the underground music scene, he delivers his distinctive sound to many delighted partygoers on a consistent basis, rocking dance floors with infectious beats from coast to coast.

Connect with Alan on Facebook | Twitter | InstagramSoundCloud


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: Alan Nieves appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Mix Deconstruction w/ JC Concato (FFL!)

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

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

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

Register to Access Free Courses, Projects, Samples & More

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

The post Mix Deconstruction w/ JC Concato (FFL!) appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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

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

Click here to view the embedded video.

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

How it Works

Transient Master

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


About Matt Cellitti

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


Maschine Program

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

Click here to view the embedded video.

About This Program

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

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

What’s Included

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

Additional Information

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

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


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