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

Ableton Live Tutorial: Using Convolution Reverb in Max for Live

Max for Live offers a huge range of audio devices, synths and plugins, available for Ableton users to download to fuel new creative ideas and sound design possibilities. In the first episode of a tutorial series from PB Course Developer and Ableton-certified Trainer Freddy Frogs, we take a dive into a particularly powerful reverb plugin which forms part of Max for Live Essentials – Convolution Reverb Pro. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tutorials and live events.

freddy_frogs_april_11PB instructor and Ableton Certified trainer Freddy Frogs looks at multi-sampling your own instruments in our brand new video 

If you want to learn recording, engineering and mixing techniques as well as dive into DJing and even master the music business, our online Diploma courses cover all this and more. Taken from anywhere in the world and for up to 64 weeks, they’re some of our most comprehensive courses. Graduates include Patrick Topping, Jon Rundell and No Artificial Colours so you know you’re in good hands. You can also try a free online sample course 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 Ableton Live Tutorial: Using Convolution Reverb in Max for Live appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Livio & Roby – Phantom Circle


The Romanian tech house duo’s latest album features a number of secret collaborators. They talk us through the record and reveal the guest artists.

Bucharest-born Silviu Sandu and Robert Precup have been making music together for a decade, but it’s been four years since their last album. That LP, Indirect, was released under their Premiesku project with long-term collaborator George G.

For their latest full-length, Phantom Circle, just released by Desolat, the duo continued the theme of collaboration. This project saw them working with a roll-call of names from the scene, releasing the vinyl version with no track listing in an effort to encourage listeners to focus on the music first. These “phantom collaborators” contributed to all but one of the album’s tracks.

We asked them to talk us through the making of the album, track by track. In doing so, they reveal the collaborators…


Livio & Roby – ‘Capsule’

This track was made last year during Sonar. We were actually in Guti’s studio in Barcelona working on a feature with him. He had to leave for a gig and so we took the day to work some more and this track popped up with an unknown vocal sample so we continued to work it. This was the only track on the album without a phantom collaborator.

Livio & Roby vs Guti – ‘Skin Trigger’

We actually jammed on this one in a 22-minute original version with Guti in his studio, setting up his Roland Juno-106 and the DSI Prophet-8 for basslines. For the groove, it was a mixture between his new baby (at that point), the Roland TR-8 and the MachineDrum from Elektron.

Livio & Roby vs Tini – ‘Dimensiuni’

tINI was touring heavily during that period so unfortunately we couldn’t hook up in the studio, so we sent her an embedded project to initiate the process. She came back with some amazing rolling stabs and vocals and we just finished two arrangements; a vocal and a dub. We will release both, one vinyl and one on digital.

Livio & Roby vs Martin Buttrich – ‘Sister In Law’

This one was very interesting. We always wanted to make a track with Martin, so the first session happened during our US tour last year. We played in LA and we met him there. By that time his studio was based in LA. We just bought a Dave Smith Pro-2 that we used on that day for some basslines. Martin was having fun with Maschine and his sample collection, then we took everything out of the box using some Neve 1073 preamps and the GLM 8200 EQ.

Livio & Roby vs Hector – ‘Mound’

This track took more time as we were busy touring, so we were swapping files for a while. We picked up Hector’s Vatos Locos rolling grooves, attaching those to our melody and basslines. We ended up with a housey kind of vibe. We called it Vatoresku!

Livio & Roby vs Ryan Crosson – ‘Romaniac’

Ryan was surprisingly on it and was a fast one. We discovered that he is a very organised producer. We sent a track to him and he came back to us with the reshaping of our original idea and we finished it. It was as simple as that! Such a smooth procedure.

Livio & Roby vs Andrea Oliva – ‘Reloaded’

On this track we chose material that we were really attached to. We thought it was fitting and was right. We took the hook and Andrea changed the groove, putting it into a more intense flow. We gave this track a big room drop-off touch.

Livio & Roby vs Julian Perez – ‘Reign’

We had Julian down for a gig in Bucharest, and we spent a couple of days in our home city. We chose to develop one of our dub techno jams and we curated together some dubby sounds. We filtered it through our analogue East German RFT [Rundfunk- und Fernmelde-Technik] mixer. Julian became a big fan of this mixer and he ended up buying two of them!

Livio & Roby vs Enzo Siragusa – ‘SN Model’

Enzo came to us around Christmas time, which was a great time of year to have him around the house. He brought us his own samples, and we loved his big room snare and the dub bass that he created on our Roland SH-2. We actually had two tracks together and we ended up choosing only one for the album.

Livio & Roby vs Premiesku – ‘Dezarhiva’

Being our third member and main supportive act, we had to get George involved in this project. This track reveals our way of live jamming and has that pure Premiesku flow. We still like to recreate this track in our live act.


Livio & Roby’s Phantom Circle is out now on vinyl and digital via Desolat. Find them on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

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Monthly Round-Up October 2016: Ghostbusters, Hannah V and More!

After the madness of September and the new school term, October proved to offer little respite as we stepped up with production tutorials, exclusive free content and informative features to help build your knowledge and take your music-making to the next level. We also found the time to pay a little homage to Halloween with our truly chilling FFL! special and put a call out to producers to remix the brand new track from producer Hannah V – with a huge prize haul up for grabs. Those waiting on the second round of our popular series Style Guide were rewarded with a techno two-parter. The perfect follow-up to last month’s house primer.

Check out our monthly round-up below as we recap some of the highlights. To see each post in detail, click the corresponding title to be taken through to the page. And for those not already in the know, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel and following us on Facebook and Twitter so you never miss out on our cutting edge content.

‘Ghostbusters’ Ableton Live Deconstruction (FFL!)

ghostbusters ffl

Making music can be terrifying. The endless plugins, options and influences mean starting a track can be tough, and finishing it can be even harder. At PB, our Music Composition module and accompanying deconstructions aim to simplify the process, taking well known tracks and breaking them down into how they were written, the notes and chords used and what goes in to the arrangement. Just in time for October 31st, we tasked track deconstruction maestro Ski Oakenfull to tackle a Halloween classic: Ray Parker Jr’s ‘Ghostbusters’.

Style Guide: Techno Part 1 & 2: History & Sound Design and Building a Techno Track in Ableton Live

style techno 1

Techno is so more than a genre – it’s an institution. Combining the avant-garde electronica coming out of Europe with the underground radio station’s electric funk and post-disco influence, Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson began to create what is now known as early Detroit Techno. Now, Techno’s countless sub genres and variants can all be traced back to the Belleville Three and, in our latest Style Guide, James Wiltshire (Freemasons, Beyoncé) traces the history, the impact and the sound of one of electronic music’s most defining genres before putting theory into practice in part 2.

Remix Hannah V (Rihanna, Jessie J) & Win a Maschine Jam, Yamaha Reface + More!

Hannah V 2

Producers! It’s time to step up your remix game because once again Point Blank has teamed with respected producer Hannah V to bring you an exclusive remix competition launching on our online music-making community, Plugged In. We’re inviting you to download the stems of Hannah’s new single, ‘No Problems‘, and submit a remix on Plugged In before midnight on 6th November. There’s no genre stipulations or style restrictions, the winning track will be judged solely on quality and originality. But what’s in it for you? Quite a lot, actually. The winner will bag themselves a massive prize haul including a Native Instruments Maschine Jam, Yamaha Reface (the winner can choose between the YC, CP, CS or DX models), a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 2nd Gen Interface, Rob Papen Predator 2.0 plus 1 x SubBoomBass. We’re also throwing in a Point Blank online course! Full instructions on how to enter are here,

Pioneer TORAIZ SP-16 Overview (FFL!)


As DJing and performance become more and more blurred, Pioneer’s industry standard range of kit has a new addition in the form of the sequencer-sampler SP-16 TORAIZ. With a touch screen interface, 16-step sequencer, sampler and performance functions, the TORAIZ aims to revolutionise both the booth and the studio. We asked Liam Jones aka Cera Alba (Hot Creations, Mad Tech) to give us an overview of how the TORAIZ works, including building a track from scratch, syncing with CDJ and much more. You can watch the FFL! again here and, after, be sure to subscribe to our channel for more tutorials and live events.

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 2016: Ghostbusters, Hannah V and More! appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Music Tech News Roundup November 2016

This music tech news roundup features the latest music industry announcements and emerging technologies.

Music Tech

KORG | monologue

KORG rolled out their next-generation monophonic analog synthesizer in a vivid five-color lineup. The monologue is a compact 25-key, fully programmable monophonic analog synthesizer with a voice all its own. While sharing its sleek layout, knob-per-function workflow and high-quality construction with Korg’s best-selling minilogue, monologue is a truly unique new synth for all types of musicians; featuring new voicing and sound-sculpting abilities. The monologue’s completely new filter, modulation, drive, and LFO can generate powerful basses and sharp leads, creating awesome mono sounds that showcase its single-voice design. The step sequencer has also been dramatically expanded, allowing more intuitive and more complex editing.

Read more at KORG


ROLI releases BLOCKS, a new modular music studio that you build as your skills and interests grow. You can arrange your Blocks in many configurations to create kits that are perfect for you. The Blocks connect magnetically, so you simply add more Blocks to do more things. The Lightpad Block is the center of the BLOCKS system. You make music through natural movements on the Block’s smooth, glowing, pressure-responsive surface. Drop beats and shape melodies by striking, sliding, and pressing your fingers on the surface. Illuminated grids help you find your notes. Light Trails guide you to learn musical gestures quickly. To get started on BLOCKS, all you need is a Lightpad Block and NOISE, the free iOS app.

Read more at ROLI

Roger Linn | LinnStrument 128

Renowned electronic instrument designer Roger Linn has released a smaller, more affordable version of his versatile LinnStrument MIDI controller designed to give electronic musicians more expressive control over hardware and software synths. The more compact LinnStrument 128 features a grid of touch sensitive pads capable of sensing five different parameters to control note characteristics: strike velocity, pressure, left-right motion, front-back motion, and release velocity. The LinnStrument 128 sports a powerful 2-track step sequencer, an expressive swing arpeggiator, a split keyboard to play two separate sounds, foot switch options, open-source software, and more.

Read more at Roger Linn Design

Elektron | Analog Heat

Elektron releases Analog Heat, a hardware effects processor that features eight different analog stereo distortion circuits, stereo analog multi-mode filter with seven filter types, two-band stereo analog EQ, assignable envelopes, and an assignable LFO. Analog Heat is also Overbridge enabled and can be fully integrated with your DAW. In addition, Analog Heat can function as a 2 in/2 out sound card, even while processing DAW audio.

Read more at Elektron

UVI | Synth Anthology 2

UVI releases Synth Anthology 2, a massive collection of 77 hardware synthesizer multisampled sounds that have been expertly programmed, individually sculpted with outboard processors, and mastered to perfection. Synth Anthology 2 delivers the renowned sounds from major manufacturers spanning over several eras that include Roland, Yamaha, Oberheim, Sequential Circuits, PPG, Korg, Casio, Moog, ARP, Waldorf, NED, Access, Kawai and more. Each hand-crafted sound has been brought to life using hardware processors including EQs, compressors, and effects from Manley, Langevin, Lexicon, Publison, Focusrite, SPL and more. In addition, Synth Anthology 2 provides deep sound editing capabilities in a clear and easy-to-use interface that allow users to quickly browse, tweak, edit, effect, modulate, and layer sounds from any synth with ease.

Read more at UVI

Play Joué | Joué

Instrument designer Joué has introduced an innovative and evolving MIDI instrument that offers artists a unique level of expressivity and spontaneity. The Joué features a modular design, which allows you to customize a variety of controls on its playing surface. Joué is made of wood and is equipped with a pressure sensitive sensor where you place touch sensitive magic modules such as piano keys, guitar strings, drums pads or 3D control surfaces that offer an infinite playground for musicians. Joué’s high sensitivity sensors and unique texture allow natural gestures such as vibrato, bending, finger drumming, and high-velocity giving you expressive control over any instrument.

Read more at Play Joué

MasterSounds/Union Audio | Radius 2

Radius 2

Famed audio accessories company MasterSounds has partnered with Union Audio who engineered Richie Hawtin’s recently launched PLAYdifferently MODEL 1 mixer to create Radius 2, a hand built two channel analog rotary DJ mixer. The mixer offers fantastic, open and dynamic sound on both LINE and RIAA inputs, as well as great usability. Radius 2 also features easy-reading VU meters, a responsive Master EQ/Isolator, a smooth, natural sounding hi-pass filter on each channel and an AUX Send/Return system for easy integration of external effects.

Read more at MasterSounds

Synthstrom Audible | Deluge

Synthstrom Audible releases Deluge, an all-in-one, stand-alone, portable synthesizer, sequencer, and sampler designed for the creation, performance and improvisation of electronic music. Deluge offers piano-roll-style sequencing on 128 full RGB pads with scrolling and zooming, a full-featured subtractive and FM synthesis engine, customizable patching matrix, a variety of effects and modulation options, time-stretching of samples, various scale modes, internal speakers and mic, SD-card storage, and a host of other features.

Read more at Synthstrom Audible

Apple | MacBook Pro

Apple launches the completely redesigned MacBook Pro that is faster, more powerful, thinner, and lighter. It has the brightest, most colorful Mac notebook display yet and introduces the Touch Bar, a Multi-Touch enabled strip of glass built into the keyboard that replaces the function keys for instant access to various tools. This latest model also scrapes traditional USB ports and introduces Thunderbolt 3 which integrates data transfer, charging, and video output in a single connector, delivering up to 40 Gbps of throughput. Other upgrades include redesigned system powered that provide twice the dynamic range, 58 percent more volume, two and a half times louder bass, and three times more peak power. All three models feature SSDs with sequential read speeds over 3GBp among several other improvements and features.

Read more at Apple

Ableton | Live Set Export

Ableton introduces Ableton Live Set Export, a new software development kit for iOS designed to make it easy for developers to add ‘Export to Live’ functionality into music apps. The library allows an application to write all types of Ableton Live project files. Live Set Export addresses a growing need for musicians using iOS music apps, who would like to move their musical ideas to Ableton Live.

Read more at Github


EDU Summer Sessions

Music Foundations Program

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

About This Program

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

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

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

What’s Included

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

Additional Information

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

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


The post Music Tech News Roundup November 2016 appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Kidnap Kid – ‘Brokenhearted’: Reason Track Masterclass

Matt Relton aka Kidnap Kid heralded the start of his career as a music producer with aplomb. His first ever release, ‘Vehl’, was chosen as iTunes ‘Best Electronic Song’ of 2012 while he was still a university student. Since then he’s built up a solid following with a string of sleek, dancefloor-ready tracks on leading electronic label Black Butter, highlighting a gift for melody along with slick arrangement and production techniques.

We caught up with Kidnap Kid at our London studios ahead of the release of his latest track ‘Brokenhearted‘, out now on his own label Birds That Fly. He talked about his decision to self-release and gave us an insight into his creative workflow and approach to production. Watch the video above and make sure you subscribe to our channel for more tutorials, interviews and live events.

kkKidnap Kid has had a string of successful releases on Black Butter, with his latest EP self-released on new label Birds That Fly 

At Point Blank, we regularly invite electronic music’s biggest names to speak to our students either as guests, or as alumni. Over the years we’ve had everyone from Claude VonStroke, Nicole Moudaber, Goldie and Jon Rundell study with us both online and at our London school. If you want to join our elite graduates, check out our online diploma course. Taken from anywhere in the world it’s your chance to master your craft. With modules in composition, mixing, mastering and even music business, all aspects of the industry are covered, giving you all the skills you need to succeed in music. Find out more about our online diploma 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 Kidnap Kid – ‘Brokenhearted’: Reason Track Masterclass appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Roland SH-101


In the latest instalment of Hardware Focus, we take a look at a cult classic: the Roland SH-101.

When you think of classic Roland instruments, the TB-303 or the legendary Jupiter-8 might be the first that spring to mind. Or maybe the highly sought-after Jupiter polysynths of the early 80s? You might even think of drum machines, most notably the classic 808 and 909. Fewer people would mention the SH series, but of all the Roland synths, these are in many ways the most important. 1973’s SH-1000 was Roland’s first instrument, and the monophonic, analogue SH models represented Roland’s key synth offering for the first decade of the company’s existence.

The SH-101, released in 1982, was the last in the SH series. In fact, it was the last monosynth the company produced in the analogue era, with its production run continuing through to 1986 when it was phased out as part of Roland’s shift to digital hardware (the all-conquering D-50 was released the following year, which set the direction for the next couple of decades).

Michael Penman, lead engineer at Mind Flux Studios in London and proud owner of quite a few bits of Roland kit, explains what makes it so desirable: “These units are the sound of electronic music. Roland synths have a certain distinctive sound; a lush roundness that truly brings a huge amount of warmth and spirit to a track. The tones and harmonics just fit together and this gives your tracks room to breathe, which in turn gives you a bigger sound. The 101 is a marvellous synth for basslines – you get that instant bouncy feel that adds some real funk and groove to a track. You can try and emulate the sounds on a soft synth but you will miss the unique harmonics and soul of the machines.”

The artists who’ve praised the 101 on Attack over the years are too numerous to mention, but Exercise One perhaps put the appeal of the synth best: “The sound is still so unique and pleasing. It’s so easy and simple to use, and the bass is just sublime.”

According to Matador, “it’s quite a simple instrument, as far as synths go, but it packs one of the heaviest punches in the studio. The sub-oscillator is one of the fattest, purest tones available to man”, while Debukas describes it as a “mainstay of the studio”, featuring it prominently in his tribute to Juan Atkins:

Elias Landberg describes it as “one of the nicest synths for making basslines”, having used it for sub bass on most of his early releases as Skudge.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/34182489″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

You can try out the SH-101 via Mind Flux Studios at The Audio Hunt.

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