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

20% off all LA Courses + Free Ableton Suite. Save up to $3,750! Ends August 31

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Up to the 31st August we have a great incentive for those interested in enrolling at our Point Blank Los Angeles school – we’re offering 20% off plus a FREE copy of Ableton 9 Suite worth $749 with all PBLA production courses (excluding Maschine), bringing your potential savings to a huge $3,750. The Ableton Suite bundle comes with a host of additional software instruments and sample packs, as well as Max for Live integration to ensure our students have an enormous range of creative tools and sounds at their disposal in their own time as well as in class. Our courses can help you master Ableton, so sign up before August 31 using code SUMMER20, and you’ll receive your 20% discount and a free copy of Suite, helping to maximise your creativity as a producer, and saving you up to $3,750 too!

free ableton suite

Our music production studios at Mack Sennett are kitted out with Ableton Push, NI Maschine, Komplete 11, Kontrol 49 keyboards and Output’s REV. If you fancy yourself as more of a DJ, then you’ll have the opportunity to work in our fully specced, Pioneer-sponsored DJ studio. Our team is passionate & experienced and will provide you with all of the knowledge and assistance you need to take your productions to the next level.

To find out which course is for you, visit our Los Angeles course page to find out more – but hurry, you’ll need to sign up ASAP as spaces are extremely limited for the forthcoming term. We’ve got everything from production, sound design and mixing courses to DJ’ing. If you want to know more and you’re in the USA, give us a call on 323 282 7660, or contact us 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 20% off all LA Courses + Free Ableton Suite. Save up to $3,750! Ends August 31 appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Mixes Of The Week: 16/1/17

This week’s top mixes include Craig Richards’ Old-Meets-New RA Mix, Dekmantel’s favourite selectors of 2016 and Throwing Snow’s Electronic Explorations.

Craig Richards’ Old-Meets-New RA Mix. Resident for over 17 years and musical director for Saturday nights at FabricCraig Richards has played a large part in introducing UK audiences to underground names from around the globe over the years. Richards’ RA mix is a “combination of old and new records, some are old and crackly, some are new and scratched”. Stream above.

Dekmantel’s Favourite Selectors of 2016. Reflecting on a year of innovation and creativity, Amsterdam-based label and festival Dekmantel‘s first Dekmantel Selectors edition compiles recordings from their favourite artists of 2016, including Mike Servito, Andy Votel, Baris K, Rahaan and loads more. Stream and download all 27 above.

Swing Ting’s Fact Mix. Manchester collective Swing Ting feature as Fact‘s latest mix contributor, with label co-founders and artists Samrai and Platt showing why their ocean-spanning operation was crowned Fact‘s top label of 2016, including exclusives from Equiknoxx, Jubilee, Murlo and more. Stream above, more information and track listing here.

Throwing Snow’s Electronic Explorations. “After the intro tracks (playing on my atheism) I decided to showcase some of the 160 – 175 BPM tunes I’ve been feeling recently, some old, some new” – London-based producer for Local Action and Houndstooth Records, Throwing Snow describes his new Electronic Explorations mix. Stream and download above, track listing here.

Antal’s South African Jazz Selections. More than an hour of choice South African jazz compiled by Antal, co-founder of internationally-renowned record shop Rush Hour, selected from his two trips to South Africa and many years of collecting. Stream above, track listing here.

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Music Talk: Tobtok

Meet Tobtok, a.k.a. Tobias Karlsson, a 24 year old house DJ/producer hailing from Uppsala, Sweden. Growing up with Michael Jackson and Nile Rodgers being huge influences, Tobtok took the natural route via French-sounding house and nu-disco before delving deeper into his own niche of electronic music, where Reason always has played a big part. Tobtok is currently signed to legendary UK label Ministry of Sound and in 2016 he released the song “Fast Car” which to date totals over 30 million streams on Spotify and Soundcloud. Be sure to download the Reason lead synth combinator patch from that song further below!

We spoke to Tobtok about his song writing process and how he uses Reason in his productions. Check it out!

What’s your favorite new Reason 9 feature?
It’s definately the new Pitch Edit feature! I’ve always tried to stay in Reason for all sides of production but it’s been hard working with vocals up until now. I love to work with samples in all its shapes and with this new feature it can be applied and used with all kinds of sounds. I’ve been editing guitar-leads with the pitch-edit and it gives the sound a whole new and interesting character.

How do you get started with a new song? What sparks your creativity?
I often start out with a Radical Piano to write basic chords, usually around a vocal. Sometimes you stumble upon an interesting sound or sample and play around with it which engages the rest of the music making. I usually ignite my creativity with hours of listening to music. Later on, bits and pieces that caught my interest kind of gets imprinted into my memory and in to the music making. Today for example I was listening to some Swedish pop song and found a specific percussion sound that I got obsessed with. After a good few hours of investigation I found out that it was a “Wooden Frog”. It is now sitting nicely in my latest tune!

Sometimes creating a new track can be easier than finishing one. How do you decide when you’re done?
My archive of unfinished clips has really stacked up over the years. I’m very fortunate to work with a lot of the major labels and with it comes deadlines. Usually the record has to be done in a few days so you have to make big choices and just let it be finished when it sounds right in the moment. It’s so easy to think that you are finished when the arrangement is good and the mix is sounding tight, but after a few listens you always hear new stuff that you want to change. But sometimes you have to say to yourself that this is a finished product, let it go and move on to the next project. The industry is moving very fast and it’s all about keeping up with it.

Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?
Well, I think the biggest advantage in Reason is that it has its own sounds, which a lot of people are missing out on. I always use a lot of Reason’s own sounds because it stands out and always maintains a standard.

The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
Radical-Piano, NN-XT Sampler, Audiomatic Retro Transformer

What’s your all-time favorite album?
I have to be a bit boring and say Michael Jackson – Thriller! It’s hard to beat.

Any words of wisdom for other music makers out there?
Have fun and just keep learning new ways of working, because the beauty with softwares  and computer-made music is that there’s no limits to what you can do! Also, believe in your own talent and respect the craft. It’s hard to stand out with your music in this day of age, and a lot of people are following the same formulas so it’s a big advantage to try and take yourself out of those barriers and create something people have never heard before. Although it’s always good to take inspiration from others but try to put it into your own perspective! Lastly, don’t be driven by fame, because you should do music for your own pleasure, and if others enjoy what you’re doing it’s a bonus but your own passion is the most important thing!


DownloadDownload Tobtok’s Combinator patches



Fast Car Steel-Synth
This is a synth-based steel-drum sound which I used to layer the lead melody and plucks in my single “Fast Car”! I’ve used variations of this patch in a lot of tracks and it has this carribean vibe to it!

Radical Piano – Nice Standard
Probably my favorite and most used instrument in my productions is the Radical Piano. I usually start out with this patch because it fits well with house records as I’ve boosted the highs to make it more stabby and pop out in the mix.

Pretty Dope Xylophone
Used in a bunch of my remixes. This Xylophone sound is quite heavily compressed to give it this “in your face” attack. Great if you are looking to do a nice tropical lead!


Follow Tobtok on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram!


In August 2016 Tobtok opened for Avicii during his Ushuaia residency on Ibiza.

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NI Massive Tutorial: Trippy Trap Pad

Last time we heard from SUB-T we got our 808 learn on. Now in the same vain of trappy-ness. We’re going to check out how to construct a trippy pad that will fit well in not only Trap but any genre as far as I’m concerned. Break out the Godfather vst Massive and lets get trippy.

Download the Project files


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The post NI Massive Tutorial: Trippy Trap Pad appeared first on BassGorilla.com.

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Student Opportunities: Defected are Looking for Interns + more

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 performance 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.

Defected are Looking for an Events Intern


Last summer, we hooked our students up with a fantastic opportunity in the form of two summer intern positions at Defected, one of the most recognizable brands in electronic music. Now, with a new year upon us, the time has come to put the word out for more students looking for an opportunity to further their music careers.

Candidates will be assisting the Event’s coordinator with the following areas:

  • Researching and booking logistics
  • Issuing itineraries
  • Producing Event Bibles
  • Administrating & Filing show paperwork
  • Coordinating Guestlist
  • Venue / Event Research
  • Promotion / artwork checks
  • Preparing production and merchandise
  • Shipping
  • General office duties (answering the phone, postage etc)

The candidate will have a keen interest in House music, be exceptionally organised and have an eye for detail. As well as assisting with delivering the shows behind the scenes, they will also be required to support the team at events so an outgoing and confident personality is a must.

Defected will cover the candidate’s travel and lunch costs. Please send a CV and cover letter to  to louis@pointblanklondon.com to be considered. The deadline for this is Friday 20th January so don’t delay in applying!

JW3 are Looking for a Stage Tech for Bangers & Crash


Migdal Ohr, in partnership with JW3, have teamed up to create BANGERS & CRASH, and they are looking for a Stage Tech for the event. This fresh, festival-themed battle of the bands will present some of the best homegrown London talent. Featuring an impressive roster of musicians aged 14-18, with an equally exciting panel of judges, BANGERS & CRASH will be kicking off 2017 in a loud way!

The event will see 3 to 4 bands perform, they will all be sharing a back line with minimal change over between sets. The stage plan will be generic and the bands will fit into one stage set up.

The main role of the Stage Tech will be to assist the bands on their change over between sets, helping with cabling up, mic changes and troubleshooting any issues that may come up. Time will be tight, so turn around needs to happen quickly.

In general, the bands will consist of:

  • Lead vox
  • 1 to 2 back up vox
  • Lead guitar
  • Bass guitar
  • Keys
  • Drums

If you think you’ve got what it takes to fulfil this role at Bangers & Crash, get in touch with us by contacting Louis at louis@pointblankmusicschool.com, who will forward you on.

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: Defected are Looking for Interns + more appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Exploring The Roots Of Dance: Part 1 – Disco

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We’re catapulting into 2017 with a brand new series, giving you a sneak peek of our Production Analysis module which features as just a small part of our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering degree course. In this series we’ll be documenting some of the most significant cultural movements in musical history and their contribution to the evolution of electronic music and the music industry. In the first part of the series, we delve into the roots of dance music, taking a look at one of the most important counter-cultural scenes of the 20th century, Disco.

Disco first gained popularity in the mid-1970’s, with its roots founded in Philadelphia and New York where many Proto-Disco acts such as Gil Scott-Heron, First Choice, Isaac Hayes and MFSB were beginning to emerge in the mid 60’s / early 70’s. Tracks like MFSB’s ‘Love Is The Message’ and Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘The Bottle’ were some of the first to have that particular groove that made them a hit at early Disco events. Influenced by Psychedelia, Funk, and Soul groups such as Sly and the Family Stone and Archie Bell, these musicians, along with the rise of urban gay culture in New York City, shaped the sound of what we recognise today as Disco.

The LGBT community was pivotal in the rise of Disco, pioneering some of the first parties to embrace these sounds. However, it didn’t come easy. The gay community was incredibly oppressed, and there were few clubs or bars for people to go to without fear of harassment. The Stonewall Inn, a mafia-run bar in Greenwich Village was one of the first gay bars in New York City. At the time, a New York by-law banned two or more men from dancing together and police would often raid venues and attempt to shut down events. However on June 28th, 1969, a morning raid didn’t go exactly as planned. Patrol wagons were late in turning up and with no way to transport arrested patrons the growing crowd grew restless, tired of the inequalities they were constantly subjected to. Fights against the police broke out, leading to days of rioting and protesting. Eventually, the law was repealed, marking a significant victory for the LGBT community and essentially jumpstarting Disco.

Stonewall Riots, June 28, 1969 (2)

Protesters clash with Police at the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

Venues like The Loft and Paradise Garage began to pop up, with the Loft being credited as the first venue to really push the disco/proto disco sound. These private, strictly members-only events took place in DJ David Manusco’s apartment and provided a space for the gay community to enjoy themselves without fear of harassment. Frequented by House legends Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan, The Loft’s impact on the Disco scene can be viewed as a crucial catalyst in the birth and rise of House & Techno. These events in the late 60’s and early 70’s laid the foundation of Disco and gave birth to a whole generation of legendary artists such as Nile Rodgers, German producer & synth-maestro Giorgio Moroder, as well as singers like Donna Summer, Cherelle, Grace Jones and Patrice Rushen.

paradise garageThe dancefloor at New York’s Paradise Garage.

By the end of the 70’s Disco was firmly in the mainstream, and was bringing electronica and synthesis with it. Whilst early Disco, Proto-Disco and Funk relied on the unique groove of a studio drummer and more traditional instrumentation, artists like Giorgio Moroder adopted a more modern approach; using drum machines and synthesisers for a more rigid, pumping rhythm and to create dreamy, ethereal soundscapes. Donna Summers’ classic ‘I Feel Love’ is a prime example of this. Check out this fantastic footage from Top Of The Pops in 1977, where you can instantly recognise the hallmark sounds of modern techno and in which ‘I Feel Love’ features second. Also, don’t forget to check out our Production courses, on which you’ll comprehensively learn about synthesis and have access to a range of drum machines, synthesizers, midi controllers and more.

From a production perspective, early Disco invariably incorporated a strong, pumping four-on-the-floor beat, with 8th and 16th note hi hat patterns. These would roll under a prominent syncopated bass line, driving the track forwards and helping to create that instantly recognizable, highly danceable groove. Rhythm guitarists would typically play in a ‘Chicken Scratch’ style, lightly pressing the strings against the fretboard and quickly releasing them. Orchestral instruments, usually strings and brass sections, solidified the sound, often adding classic soul arrangements using a rich background and defined solo melodies. The vocals would create the human touch within disco tracks, with vocalists usually singing about love, dancing, or other themes of escapism. It was later on when Disco truly embraced the use of synthesizers, and drum machines, particularly towards the end of the 70’s and into the early 80’s. On our degree courses you will learn about the fundamentals of FM, Digital and Analogue synthesis and on our music composition module you’ll work on your song writing and arrangement skills, a key aspect of top Disco tracks.

studio 54

Partygoers queue up outside Studio 54.

Disco also revolutionised the role of the DJ and musicians like Francis Grasso and Nicky Siano were some of the first to really start to remix and re-edit tracks, using reel- to-reel tape machines to add new sections and sounds, manipulating tracks and using two turntables so they could mix more seamlessly when performing (a skill you’ll learn on our Complete DJ course). The rise of club culture associated with Disco meant the role of the DJ was much more important, and shaped the way the modern DJ is represented today. Clubs like Tenth Floor, 12 West and the infamous Studio 54 pushed the boundaries of the clubbing experience and helped to set the tone for the future of dance music and club culture. There is no doubt that without Disco, modern dance music as we know it today would not exist.


Giorgio Moroder with his Moog modular synthesizer.

At Point Blank, we go over all of the content you would need to cover to employ key musical and production techniques to your own music, whether you want to make Disco, Hip-Hop, EDM, Techno or anything else for that matter. Our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree can provide you with the tools necessary to take your productions above and beyond. With modules on Sound design, Mixing, DAWs, Composition, Djing, Music Business, Engineering, Mastering and more you will leave us overflowing with knowledge, kick starting your career in music and leaving you in good stead moving forwards. Using our London studios incredible facilities, you will have access to all sorts of hardware, from synthesizers and samplers to full recording booths. For a virtual tour, click here.

studio1_carpetStudio 1 at Point Blank London, featuring a 48-Channel SSL mixing console.

For further information on our degree course or any of our courses, contact our Course Advisors here or call 0207 729 488 or, if you’re in the USA, give us a call on 323 282 7660. If you’re calling internationally, use the number +44 20 7729 4884. Want to see firsthand the amazing facilities offered by Point Blank? You can book a space on one of our studio tours by heading here.

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Register to Access Free Courses, Projects, Samples & More

If you register with Point Blank, you can access an array of free sounds, 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 Exploring The Roots Of Dance: Part 1 – Disco appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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News Round-Up: 13/1/17

Moby laughs off invitation to play at Donald Trump’s Inauguration Ball. Mad Mike opens up about Underground Resistance’s financial struggles. Korg to release Gadget for Mac.

Moby mocks invitation to perform at Trump’s Inauguration Ball. Moby has revealed on Instagram that he was invited to perform at Donald Trump’s Inaugural Ball. Moby went on to say he’d do it “if as payment Trump released his tax returns. Also I would probably play Public Enemy and Stockhausen remixes to entertain the Republicans.” Find out more here.

Mad Mike speaks on Underground Resistance’s financial struggles. In a statement to customers and fans this week, Mad Mike Banks discussed the complications and difficulties faced whilst running the Underground Resistance label. Banks revealed that his sister Bridgette, who handles orders for the label, has recently been ill and that the extra demand on vinyl pressing plants has also made life difficult. “This reality makes it extremely difficult for real urban inner city labels here in Detroit.” Read the full statement here.

Korg Gadget coming to Mac. Korg have announced that their popular all-in-one music production package Gadget will be coming to Mac soon. The desktop version of the software will feature the iOS version’s collection of 30 plugins, audio recording features, a powerful new drum gadget and similarly smooth workflow. To read the full specs, click here.

Soundtoys releases EchoBoy Jr. Plugin maker Soundtoys have released an affordable and artist-friendly junior edition of their award-winning EchoBoy delay effect, featuring seven classic emulations from the original including warm studio tape, gritty vintage hardware and new classics. The new version introduces ‘glide mode’ to generate new grooves and cool effects. Check out the video above and find out more here.

Amsterdam Dance Event announces 2017 Dates. Organisers of the ADE electronic music conference have announced their 2017 dates. This year’s event will which include an extensive program in Mumbai, India with further showcases at SXSW. Click here for full details.

Bitwig release Studio 2. Bitwig have announced that the latest update to their software is almost complete. New features will include a plethora of modulators and better hardware integration. More details here.

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Interview with Horse Meat Disco at DJ Mag Best Of British Awards

As 2016 drew to a conclusion, we headed to the infamous Egg nightclub in London to celebrate the very best of the year’s UK electronic music talent at the DJ Mag Best of British awards. Winners on the night included Alan Fitzpatrick, who was awarded Best Track for ‘We Do What We Want’, together with Lee Walker who secured Best Remix for his massive take on ‘Freak Like Me’. The legendary DJ EZ was also crowned Best DJ of 2016, treating partygoers to a special set on the night to celebrate his award.

During the event, we got a chance to catch up with DJs Horse Meat Disco, winners of the ‘Best Radio Show’ award for their Sunday slot on Rinse FM, where from 1-3pm, you can expect the finest in Soul, Disco, Rare-Groove and Boogie. Watch the video above, where they offer sage advice, talk new releases with the likes of Joey Negro and share some exciting news involving Luke Solomon! If you’d like to catch HMD in the flesh, their highlight of the year is playing the infamous NYC Downlow at Glastonbury’s Block 9. You can also catch them at Love International in Croatia, or at their regular Horse Meat Disco club night at the Eagle in Vauxhall, London, where you can get down to Deep House, Acid, Italo, Electro-Funk and most importantly – pure, unadulterated Disco.

Make sure you subscribe to our channel for more interviews, tutorials and live events.


You can learn more about Production & DJing along with mixing, and mastering on our Degree course – if you would like to speak to a Course Advisor about our Degree course in London or to visit us in person for a studio tour of our second London school, please contact us via our contact form here or call 020 7729 4884. If you’re an international student, please call +44 20 7729 4884.

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 Interview with Horse Meat Disco at DJ Mag Best Of British Awards appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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