As even a cursory glance at the web’s leading online repository of them reveals, there are now so many Max For Live devices available to buy or download for free that it’s hard to know where to begin any investigation into them. To put a figure on it, we’re talking…
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.
Point 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.
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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!
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.’
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!Click here to view the embedded video.
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.
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.
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!
- 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
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.
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’.
Since 2009 Claire Boucher aka Grimes has been producing her own unique brand of electronic music to an ever-widening audience of indie and discerning pop music listeners. A series of critically acclaimed albums – Visions and Art Angels being the most recent – and single releases have established Grimes’ signature…
Dubspot’s Michael Walsh introduces a clever cassette tape saturation technique to add some analog grit and distortion to your mix using a tape deck and cassette adapter.
The Way of Analog
You may have noticed the increasing influence of analog sound that is happening in music production and recording. After decades of computer-based music, many producers are looking outside the box to find warmth and grit that a computer just can’t provide. Digital music has a tendency to sound very clinical and even small additions of outside sounds, especially analog sounds, can bring depth and life to your music. Some producers use outboard mixers, preamps, or reel to reel tape to fatten up a mix. The medium of tape, in particular, offers a uniquely warm sound and better dynamic range than most digital formats. However, most of us don’t have a nice reel-to-reel sitting around to fatten up a mix. So as a creative workaround, I want to share a great technique that I recently learned here by our friend Peter Kirn at Create Digital Music and Riku Annala, a producer/musician hailing from Helsinki, Finland.
“At the moment there seems to be a craving for that lo-fi retro sound. Everyone is trying to get rid of the clean digital output of VST’s and digital synths by adding another VST’s to their fx-chains that simulate analog gear.. or by purchasing analog gear that costs an arm and a leg. Here is a trick that costs about 10,- euros and looks way cooler than any VST!” – Riku Annala
Cassette Tape Saturation Technique
The tape saturation technique is a great trick because it takes a minimal amount of gear, costs close to nothing, and provides a gritty, compressed effect that can liven up your beats. To create this effect, you’ll need an old cassette deck and a cassette to 1/8 inch adapter (the one that plugs your iPod into your tape deck), and some cables of course.
Setting up this effect is fairly easy. First, run the output of your source sound (drum machine, computer, etc.) to the 1/8 inch end of the cassette adapter (I used 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch adapter to make this happen) and then put the cassette adapter in the deck. Next, connect the output of the tape deck to your mixer or speakers. Now, press play on both your source and the tape deck, with plenty of volume coming from the source (the key here is to overdrive the signal a bit). Lastly, enjoy your new analog compression/overdrive effect.
Now I must admit, I didn’t think this would work because I thought that the tape medium itself was the source of the sound and compression on tape recordings. But apparently this isn’t the case, the tape head itself will give character to your signal without the use of any tape at all. Recue.net’s Riku Annala explains this concept further here:
“The results are actually surprisingly nice (depends on what you’re after). Of course, the character of the sound completely depends on the components of the tape deck you use; the condition of the tape heads, connectors, mic pre’s, etc. The sound is far from hi-fi, so if you’re after that, just go purchase a real reel-to-reel unit. In the case of Hitachi D-230 I use, there are a couple of different options for obtaining a different sound. The audio can be just played back through the tape, but it can also be fed through the live-in’s, “recorded” to the tape capturing its output. Both of the methods give actually quite a different sound. With the former method, you can get a moderate crunch with a rather clean sound. With the latter, you get loads of more noise, but also A LOT more distortion and a nice pumping compression when pushed.” – Riku Annala
Transform rough ideas and basic compositions into dance floor bangers and sonically pleasing commercial quality masters. Learn the well-kept industry secrets of EQ, compression, panning, level balancing, reverb and special effects.
This program gives you everything you need to refine tracks into a clear commercial quality release, including special mixing and mastering techniques for dubstep, techno, house, trance, downtempo, hip-hop, and the gamut of electronically-produced music.
You will learn to mix and master your tracks using the same plugins that top industry engineers use every day, including plugins by Izotope, Soundtoys, Sonnox, Altiverb, and more.
- Mixing & Mastering Level 1: Mix
- Mixing & Mastering Level 2: Modify
- Mixing & Mastering Level 3: Master
Visit the Mixing and Mastering course page for detailed information on this program here.
If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.
The post Analog Distortion on a Budget: Cassette Tape Saturation Technique appeared first on Dubspot Blog.
Learn how to import and slice loops using Native Instruments’ MASCHINE and the legendary Amen Break to discover creative new ways to use sampled audio.
Slicing and resequencing loops and samples is a long-standing tradition in hip hop and electronic music. In the early days of sampling, producers used the EMU SP-1200 and other hardware samplers of the era that could only record and save small amounts of audio data that ultimately limited the options for processing the sounds. Today, we can use computers and advanced hardware samplers to manipulate sounds with incredible power and precision. In particular, we will look at Native Instruments’ MASCHINE, an industry-standard groovebox that lets you effortlessly produce beats, melodies, and harmonies with powerful drum synths, premium sounds, an integrated sampler, and more for ultra-smooth workflow.
The Legendary Amen Break
This tutorial demonstrates how to use Native Instruments’ MASCHINE to slice and dice the legendary 4 bar Amen Break, a drum solo performed by Gregory Cylvester ‘G.C.’ Coleman in the song ‘Amen, Brother’ by the 1960s funk and soul outfit The Winstons. This famous drum loop was heavily used in early hip hop, sample-based music, and later becoming the foundation for drum-and-bass and jungle music. Arguably the most sampled drum beat of all time, the Amen Break can be heard in countless examples of breakbeat, hip hop, reggae, and electronic music around the world.Click here to view the embedded video.
Native Instruments’ MASCHINE is one of the most easiest and intuitive pieces of gear to use for working with sampled material. Its many features give users unlimited ability to chop, shape, and manipulate samples from any source. Let’s dive in deeper and check out a common technique for importing a sample and chopping it up into usable parts that can be played across MASCHINE’s Pads.
To kick the process off, download and import the Amen Break sample file into MASCHINE by first clicking the Disk Button to bring up your file directory and navigating to where the sample is located on your hard drive. Next, click the Import Button at the bottom of the directory window to begin importing the audio. The Tag Editor will open giving you the option to tag the sample before importing it into your library. You can organize the sample by Bank, Type, and Subtype to make it easier to locate samples from the Browser. After you’re finished tagging, click the OK Button to import the sample into your library and apply the selected tags.
The original Amen Break can be downloaded from Freesound here.
Now that the sample is imported let’s load it from MASCHINE’s Browser and drag it to an empty Sound Slot. Next, either press the Sampling Button on the MASCHINE controller or click the Sampling Button using the included software which is the third button on the strip directly to the left of your sounds.
Setting Loop Points
Let’s edit the sample down to an even loop length so it is easier to work with and more likely to sync up to your project’s tempo. First, click the Edit Tab so we can adjust the Start and End points of the sample to create a loop. Next, adjust the Start and End points by dragging the small gray icons labeled ‘S’ for Start and ‘E’ for End using the mouse. If you want to have a bigger view of what’s happening, use the Magnifier Icon in the lower left of the screen by dragging it to the right to zoom in on the waveform and left to zoom out. Now that the Start and End points are set let’s highlight the section of the loop we will be working with by clicking on the Enable Button to enable the Loop Area.
Slicing a Sample
Slicing a sample is useful if you want to rearrange loops or make them play correctly at another tempo. With the Loop Area highlighted, either click the Audio Button on the MASCHINE controller or click the small drop-down arrow on the right side of the Edit Tab screen in the software to reveal a menu of audio editing functions. Choose ‘Truncate’ from the menu to delete the unused part of the sample that is outside of the selected region.
We should now be left with only the audio we want to slice into smaller parts. Next, click on the Slice Tab to begin the process of slicing up the sample. The loop should now have 16 equally spread vertical lines in the waveform where the slices are going to be applied. By default, Split Mode is set which will automatically slice audio into equally spread regions. You can also try Detect Mode to slice the audio according to its transients or Grid Mode to slice according to note values.
Now click on the Apply Button to slice the currently selected sample. Alternatively, you can also click the Slice Dragger and drag the sliced sample onto another Sound or Group Slot. After clicking Apply, the Piano Roll/Keyboard Editor will open automatically displaying all 16 slices as notes that can now be played using the Pads. Alternatively, you can choose a different Sound or Group Slot to put the slices on by using the ‘Apply To’ function. This is achieved by clicking and holding down the mouse button on the 4-way arrow looking button directly to the right of the Apply Button and then dragging your mouse over an empty Group Slot and releasing the mouse button to spread the 16 slices across the empty Pads.
One great thing about using the ‘Apply To’ function like this is that you can easily go back and edit your clips by entering the Sampling Mode again.
Now that we have are Amen Break sliced up and spread across the Pads its time to jam around and discover creative new ways to use the slices in context with your current project. Try using the Note Repeat to make the slices stutter or various other audio effects to manipulate the slices further. Using the Amen Break creatively has become a rite of passage for many producers, each finding a way to use it in their own unique way. Sampling and editing the break yourself is a great way to practice some new sampling techniques using MASCHINE while working with a classic sound that has spawned several subcultures in music history.
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.
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.
- Maschine Level 1: Production Essentials
- Maschine Level 2: Sampling, Recording, and Effects
- Maschine Level 3: Advanced Techniques and DAW Integration
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.
The post NI MASCHINE Tutorial: How to Import and Slice Loops Using the ‘Amen Break’ appeared first on Dubspot Blog.