Loops.Directory

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

Monthly Round-Up October 2017: Octave One, NI Maschine, Prequell and more

We’re back again with another round-up of former glories, cherry-picking the brightest and best videos, interviews and offers from the past month. As always, our content is designed to help students and curious readers alike to gain insight and expertise in all facets of the music industry. To take this to the next level, head to our pages for schools in London, LA, Ibiza, Mumbai and Online.

Halloween Offer: 25% Off Online Courses


With just one day remaining we thought it vital to include a mention of our current Online offer. Get 25% Off Online courses until midnight tonight!

Octave One: Live Performance Masterclass

We have welcomed many great artists to our schools over the years, and as a result, been treated to an incredible array of guest classes and demonstrations. In Octave One, we added another to the very top of the list, with the duo having contributed immeasurably to both playing live and techno as a whole over their long history. Watch as they take us through their celebrated set-up, offer invaluable advice and demonstrate their world-beating live show.

An Interview with Prequell


Thomas Rousel may not be on everyone’s radar, but over the last fifteen years or more, he has been on a huge number of important radars nonetheless. A lifetime composer and hugely respected conductor and bandleader, he has scored films, TV and advertisements; provided music for fashion brands like Chanel, Akris and Christian Dior; and worked on several records by Justice and Jeff Mills. Since the turn of the century, he has achieved more, and in more fields, than most achieve in a lifetime, and he now turns his considerable talents to making music as a recording artist, under the name Prequell – an allusion to his original ambition to make the kind of emotive, electronic and orchestral crossover present on his debut album. We caught up with him to learn about composing for different mediums, and what’s compelled him to make this switch.

How to Create Evolving Sounds with Native Instruments Maschine

Last month also saw the release of the latest iteration of Native Instruments’ Maschine controller, elevating its capabilities further from still from its original function and maximising time spent working out of the box. PB instructor and NI specialist Paul Ressel put together a pair of videos for us to celebrate the new version’s release, and in this one, he demonstrates how to use the relationship of pitch and tempo to create dynamic rhythmic patterns, and uses morph-mode to let FX develop and intensify over the course of a track.

Behind The Scenes with Kate Simko and the London Electronic Orchestra

We’ve long been fans of Kate Simko. We first invited the Chicago native to give a masterclass with us back in 2013, when she was studying at the Royal College of Music. It was during that time hat the foundations were laid for the London Electronic Orchestra, the band that she has lead across the world in the past couple of years. We were thrilled to be able to get backstage with Kate and film her and her ensemble-mates getting ready for their latest show at The Jazz Cafe in Camden. Check the video below to see the LEO crew in action.

PB Recommends #45

We may be slightly biased, but we think we put together a fine round-up of recommended tracks here at Point Blank, and October was no different. Picks of last month’s favourites include tracks by ABRA, L-Vis 1990 and Finn’s bittersweet masterpiece ‘Sometimes The Going, Gets A Little Tough’.

If you enjoy this content, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. If you’d like to get into music production, or take yours to the next level, then consider our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree in which you can learn everything you need to know about music production including mixing, mastering, composition and music business. We also offer an online alternative, our online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree. You can also check out our whole range of online courses 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 Monthly Round-Up October 2017: Octave One, NI Maschine, Prequell and more appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Top Indian DJ/Producer Suketu Studies Online w/ Point Blank. Watch Week 3 of the Vlog Here

As co-founder of The Music Inc (TMI) and one of India’s top DJs, DJ Suketu is back to show what even those with his kind of experience can learn with Point Blank, continuing his weekly vlog series. Suketu is now three weeks into ourComplete Electronic Music Production online course. Watch below as he tells us how he found week 3. Come back next week for the next instalment.

Having covered drum programming and tentatively introduced basslines in weeks 1 and 2, in week 3 we turn our attention over to basslines, fleshing out our electronic ‘rhythm section’ fully. The week’s classes look at each of the five chose genres for examples, students learn some more building blocks using stabs, intervals and delay, and further depths are plunged when it comes to FX. As always, lessons use both Logic and Ableton, so students can choose their tools based on their own intuition and preference. Watch the video below to learn how to make an electro bassline using Logic’s native ESP plugin.

Suketu is also the co-founder of The Music Inc (TMI), an electronic music school based in Mumbai. Point Blank has worked closely with Suketu and TMI to create a unique educational pathway for their students looking to study with us in London. Indian students looking for academic accreditation in the UK can benefit from saving up to £3,000 on our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree, in which we shape a bespoke range of modules for their programme. We have also developed two courses for TMI students looking to study with us in London based on a short-term visa, in the form of our Advanced Music Production & Sound Design Diploma and Advanced Music Production & Sound Design Certificate.

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

If you register with Point Blank, you can access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples 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 Top Indian DJ/Producer Suketu Studies Online w/ Point Blank. Watch Week 3 of the Vlog Here appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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#1stEuropa – It's Europa fest!

It’s Europa Fest! Reason’s new monster synth is receiving lots of love from its users all over the world. But what can you do with it? Aggressive arpeggios? Pulsating pads? Tantalizing Textures?

Share your first Europa creations with the world using the #1stEuropa hashtag. We’ll share and repost our favorites by Thursday Nov 9th. Get creative and get heard!

Don’t have Reason 10 yet? Download the trial today and join the Europa Fest!

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Learn How to Create a Track in the All-New Ableton Live 10

So here it is. It’s been almost 5 years since Ableton Live 9 was released, but the Berlin-based DAW powerhouse have finally announced their long-awaited updated. It is the programme of choice for many producers and lauded for its streamlined workflow, uncluttered interface and deceptive sophistication. We’ve long been admirers and partners of theirs, and even offer Ableton-specific courses at our London school: in Production and Performance. Take a look at our whole range of production courses here.

As you can imagine, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on the new version to see what tweaks and upgrades have been added to Live’s 10th iteration. It’s not available to buy until early next year, but our lead course developer Ski Oakenfull was given time to have a root around its new functionality for the day. The result was this first look video. Enjoy!

The video is a short tour of Ableton Live 10’s new functions, both in the DAW itself and in conjunction with the Ableton Push controller. In it, Ski talks us through cosmetic upgrades, before building a track from four samples, embellished with some new instruments and effects native to the programme. Some of the more notable features include the Capture function: allowing you to record the last sequence played without hitting record; some new drum synths and an Echo effect that can work as a Space Echo; plus the Wavetable, a new dual oscillator wavetable synthesiser. Some of the most exciting upgrades are undoubtedly in conjunction with the Ableton Push, with envelopes and EQ now graphically visible on the unit itself.

As we have come to expect from Ableton, the new version represents a steady but significant progression on from the previous, subtly tweaking to increase intuitiveness rather than re-inventing the wheel. We hope you enjoy the video and join us in counting down the days until its release in 2018.

Ski Oakenfull

Ski Oakenfull is the lead course developer here at Point Blank Music School, and along with our other fantastic developers and instructors, he has ensured that our courses are of the highest order. Check out our BA (Hons) in Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree for our most comprehensive programme, or take a look at our full list of London music production courses if you’re interested in something shorter. If London is not an option, take a look at our online courses, with which we’re currently offering 25% off select courses. We also have schools in Ibiza, LA and Mumbai. Contact us here with any questions.

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

If you register with Point Blank, you can access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples 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 Learn How to Create a Track in the All-New Ableton Live 10 appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Point Blank Selects: Ten Essential Productions by The Neptunes

A few days ago rumours began swirling of a new N.E.R.D record after billboards and flyers were spotted with the caption No_One Ever Really Dies.

The band have since dropped their new single ahead of their live reunion this weekend: Lemon ft. Rihanna. It is predictably big.

We thought it a perfect opportunity to round up 10 of the best tracks that band members Pharell Williams and Chad Hugo have done over their career. As The Neptunes, the duo pretty much carved the musical zeitgeist into whatever shape they pleased from the century’s inception, and their influence has hardly wavered. As we wait for the album, read on for a list of the most seismic productions from some of the best to ever do it.

Kelis – Caught Out There

Kelis’ Kaleidescope not only announced the arrival of the singer herself, but was the first big statement that The Neptunes were a force to be reckoned with. The duo weren’t exactly new to the game, having worked with Teddy Riley of Blackstreet since the early 90s, but this was the first sign that in the golden era of superproducers (Kanye West, Timbaland, Just Blaze etc) The Neptunes would stand tall.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard ft. Kelis – Got Your Money

For an artist as unique as ODB, it’s no mean feat to have produced his most memorable record (Ok Shimmy Shimmy Ya aside) but that’s what this is. Kelis makes her second appearance on this list already, which goes to show how closely tied her career is with Williams and Hugo’s. The bassline on this is pure Neptunes too, providing the blueprint for so much of what came later.

N.E.R.D ft Lee Harvey & Vita – Lapdance

We had to include at least one N.E.R.D track, though it’s not strictly The Neptunes. After much deliberation, we settled on the first single, because c’mon…. It’s the neatest encapsulatuion of the hard rock edge to the N.E.R.D output, it had a famously controversial video, and there’s something perfectly sinister about those loungy keys going on in the backrgound.

Britney Spears – I’m A Slave 4 U

When Britney shed her girl-next-door image, it was The Neptunes who were called on to provide the beats. The Neptunes had worked with huge artists before, but in 2001 it didnt get bigger in pop than Britney Spears.

Justin Timberlake – Like I Love You

After Britney, The Neptunes were tasked with flipping the image of another member of Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club. Along with Timbaland, whom The Neptunes had actually worked with when just starting out as S.B.I, though they never released any records, they reinvented the former N’Sync singers persona. Like I Love You was reportedly written for Michael Jackson but combined with JT’s admiral imitation, the flamenco guitar and metallic drums, it was a classic nonetheless.

Nelly – Hot In Herre

By now, in 2002, The Neptunes ran pop music. The previous summer they were named Producer of the Year by both The Source and Billboard, and they went on to produce a string of massive hits in 2002 by Beyonce, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Sean Paul, Royce da 5’9″ and so many more. Arguably the biggest single of that year though, was Hot in Herre, and era-defining track and never topped by Nelly.

Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl

If this list was one track long, that track would be Hollaback Girl. The original, the instrumental and all kinds of edits are still consisntently played in megaclubs and dingy basements alike. The drums, lifted from Queen’s We Will Rock You never fail to sound enormous.

Snoop Dogg – Drop It Like It’s Hot

Stripped back and lazy, perfect for showing off Snoop’s laidback raison d’etre, with that iconic clip-clop beat. The Neptunes at the very top of their game.

Kendrick Lamar – Alright

Pharell originally wrote the hook for another rapper, and even when picked up by Kendrick, nobody could know how powerful the track would become. Adopted by Black Lives Matter and chanted at protests across the USA and the world, Alright became a rallying cry, crowed in defiance of police brutality against people of colour everywhere. Pharrell and The Neptunes have been involved in tracks that were bigger, but none have been so vital.

Skepta – Numbers

After so many years, having worked on film scores and even with Daft Punk, Numbers showed Pharrell could still make hard-hitting tracks with an international outlook. On the record that served as both victory-lap of and blueprint for, second coming of grime, Pharrell’s influenced is still felt.

Want to shape music in your image? We can’t teach you how to do that but with our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree, we can give you all the tools you need to try, including mixing & mastering, composition and music business. We also offer an online alternative. For those looking for shorter courses, take a look at our wider range of courses in London and online. We are currently offering a huge 25% discount plus a free copy of Ableton Suite with select online courses until November 6th, so make sure you enrol soon! For more information, contact our course advisors on +44 20 7729 4884. If you are a resident of the USA, you can reach us on 323 282 7660.

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

If you register with Point Blank, you can access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples 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 Selects: Ten Essential Productions by The Neptunes appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Discover Live 10 at Ableton Community Events

Experience the Live 10 beta first-hand with other passionate musicians, producers and artists at community-hosted events worldwide. Find upcoming events in your area below. We’ll be updating these listings with more events as they are announced. Please contact usergroups@ableton.com for more information. Upcoming events United Kingdom London Date: November 2-5th…

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Join Us at the PB London Open Day: Sat 11 Nov. Includes Free Workshops

Here at Point Blank, we believe we offer the best possible environment for musicians of every level to enhance their skills. Our most comprehensive courses, like the BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree programme, are quality assured by Middlesex University, and we offer access to state of the art equipment in everything we teach. That includes studios built with partners like Pioneer and Native Instruments, and kit which includes our industry-leading, 48-channel SSL Duality Delta mixing console.

We’re holding an open day for prospective students to come and learn more about what we offer at Point Blank London, on 11 November. It’s the perfect opportunity to come and take a look at our facilities, meet our instructors and admissions staff and ask questions you might have about anything that we offer. What’s more, workshops are held in the afternoon to give you a hands-on taste of some of our courses. RSVP here to reserve your space.

Point Blank’s newest studios on Orsman Road

Arrive at 12:45 pm to meet the staff and other prospective students, then take your place at the introductory seminar, a tour of the campus, interactive workshops and Q&A sessions, wrapping by 3:45 pm. There will be ample opportunity to find out about our Higher Education Courses, as well as courses in Radio, DJing, Music Industry and Songwriting. If you have any questions at all, head to our contact page.

For full timings and address, check out the schedule of the day below and don’t forget to reserve your free tickets as places are limited.

Our fully-kitted Pioneer DJ studio

Our 48-Channel SSL Duality Delta mixing console

One of our soundproofed studios

Saturday 11th September, 12.45 pm – 15.45 pm, 26 Orsman Road, London, N1 5QJ.

The Programme

12:45 – 13:15: Arrival on campus.

Meet and greet with Point Blank staff

13:15 – 13:45: Introductory seminar

Admissions staff present an overview of Point Blank and our music production courses

13:45 – 14:15: Tour

Tour of the facilities and learn what it’s like to study at Point Blank

14:15 – 15:15: Workshops

Interactive seminars with Point Blank instructors where you can learn more about the course curriculum

15:15 – 15:45: Your questions answered

A chance to speak to our Admissions Team and ask questions or raise issues not covered throughout the seminars

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 Join Us at the PB London Open Day: Sat 11 Nov. Includes Free Workshops appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here