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

Point Blank on Pioneer DJ Radio: LNGTHRN Delivers a Thumping Bass House Mix

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.

DJPoint 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

British born producer and DJ Dylan Langthorne graduated from our Music Production and Sound Engineering Master Diploma early this year and has been busy putting it to use ever since. Currently recording an up-and-coming EP under the name LNGTHRN, this hour-long mix is an insight into the bass-laden sounds and party-starters currently energising the young artist.

Looking back at his time on the course, Dylan praises Point Blank for the wealth of equipment – and the chance to nurture networks within the industry: “My favourite thing was being able to use all the equipment there for practise and making connections with other DJ’s, Artists, Singers…” he says. “Point Blank has helped me out massively. I’ve learnt how to record in a studio which has helped a lot with my production as I can record singers for my up and coming EP and my knowledge on Logic Pro has become far more advanced.”

Feeling inspired? Why do what Dylan did and join us at Point Blank. You can find out more about our DJ courses in London here, or if you want to see the state-of-the-art facilities yourself, please book a tour by contacting a course advisor or give us a call on 0207 729 4884. And remember, If you’re studying with us and want to join Dylan in getting your DJ mix played on Point Blank’s show on Pioneer DJ Radio, get in touch with Louise at Point Blank.

Register to Access Free Courses, Plug-ins, 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 Point Blank on Pioneer DJ Radio: LNGTHRN Delivers a Thumping Bass House Mix appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Point Blank Los Angeles DJ Studios – First Look!

A few months ago we teased images from our DJ studio at our Los Angeles school. Based out of the historic Mack Sennett studios – an LA landmark – the space boasts industry standard setups provided in partnership with Pioneer DJ, who are also the main equipment provider for PB’s DJ Studio in London. We’re talking PLX-1000 turntables, CDJ2000 Nexus CDJs and RMX-1000 remix stations – in short, everything you need to make sure students are club ready when they graduate from Point Blank. Situated next door to our production studio, the two spaces work really well together and feed into the unique, creative atmosphere of Point Blank Los Angeles.

But words can only convey so much, so peep the brand new images below and see for yourself. And don’t forget, if you want to see for yourself in person, make sure you sign up to the next PBLA Open Day on September 17th – you can reserve you space now by heading to our Eventbrite page and hitting RSVP.

PBLADJ2Students on the brand new Complete DJ course in LA will gain skills across both digital and vinyl platforms

PBLADJ3Students will hone their skills on PLX-1000 turntables, CDJ2000 Nexus CDJs and RMX-1000 remix stations

PBLADJ6The state-of-the-art equipment available on every workstation is provided by our partner, Pioneer DJ


If you’re considering enrolling, now’s the perfect time as there’s currently 20% off all PBLA courses if you book before August 31st. With this discount, you’ll save $2,200 on the Music Production & Sound Design Diploma – simply use the PB20 discount code upon enrolment. For more information, contact a course advisor 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.

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 Point Blank Los Angeles DJ Studios – First Look! appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Dubspot Radio Podcast: Mungo’s Hi Fi

This episode of Dubspot Radio pays tribute to Mungo’s Hi Fi, the Glasgow-based sound system and production unit who are known for their quality reggae/dancehall selections.

Mungo's Hi Fi



1. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Sugar Minott – Scrubadub Style
2. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Daddy Freddy – Dubplate
3. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Eek-A-Mouse – Hire and Removal Refix
4. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Soom T – Jump Up Quickly
5. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Warrior Queen – Poison Dart Refix (Dubplate)
6. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Mr. Williamz – Call Mungo’s For Me
7. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Dread MC – Mash Up The Bumboclaat
8. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Brother Culture – Slip and Slide
9. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Mr. Williamz – Musically Mad
10. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Murrayman – Mashup Jah Earth
11. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Lyricson – Grudge and Vanity
12. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Ben Jammin – Mexican Bean
13. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Mr. Williamz – Give Thanks To Jah
14. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Little Kirk – Kill Them Out Remix
15. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Pupajim – Ready Ready
16. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Sugar Minott – Herbsman Hussling
17. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Soom T – Don’t Defend Me
18. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Mr. Williamz – Computer Age
19. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat YT – World News
20. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Bongo Chilli – Nuttin Nah Gwaan
21. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Sister Carol – Culture Me Vote
22. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Daddy Freddy – Dread Inna Armagideon
23. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Daddy Scotty – Stand Off
24. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Afrikan Simba and Dixie Peach – Leave The Oil Alone
25. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Pupajim – Boat People
26. Mungo’s Hi Fi feat Ranking Levy – New York Boogie


About Mungo’s Hi Fi

Mungo’s Hi Fi are a Glasgow-based sound system and production unit who pull off that rare trick of making reggae/dancehall that is original and of quality.

Mungo’s was the brainchild of two likeminded dance DJs at the turn of the millennium, inspired by King Tubby, Prince Jammy and the UK’s Unity Sounds. True to reggae/dancehall’s DIY ethos, they built their first sound system from speakers found in a skip and began producing on an old Atari.

They started inviting visiting vocalists to their regular nights in Glasgow to hold the mic and then join them in the studio. Following some early recordings on London’s Dubhead records, including debut album Mungo’s Hi Fi Meets Brother Culture, they founded their Scotch Bonnet label in 2005.

Today Mungo’s is a global operation with five members: all committed to spreading their philosophy of serious, seismic productions plus easy going democratic dancehall fun. Highly collaborative, they’ve worked with everyone from Sugar Minott and Ranking Joe in Jamaica to Major Lazer in America, Kenny Knots and Solo Banton in England, and Scotland’s Soom T.

So far they’ve released five albums featuring an ensemble of talented artists: 2009’s c Champions, 2011’s Forward Ever, 2013’s Brand New Bangarang, 2014’s Serious Time and 2015’s Serious Time. All combine a keen sense of history with a wicked creative streak and some industrial strength drum ‘n’ bass. Like their inspirations, Mungo’s believe in testing their music where it matters: at their hugely popular parties and events worldwide.

A sound system, a production house and a unique way of doing things – Mungo’s Hi Fi are always looking for new collaborators and people who share their vision. It’s a vision based on taking music more seriously than yourself and pushing forward while never forgetting where you’re from.

Connect with Mungo’s Hi Fi on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Website


DJ Extensive Program

Immerse yourself in the complete art of DJing: from the fundamentals of beatmatching and mixing to using effects and programming extended club sets. Whether you’re a beginner wanting to learn fundamentals or a seasoned pro looking to take your talent to the next level, our curriculum is designed to accommodate all skill levels and styles of music. This comprehensive DJ program covers everything from basic mixing to advanced digital DJing with both Serato Scratch Live and Traktor Scratch Pro.

About This Program

At Dubspot you’ll be working at personal student workstations equipped with industry standard and cutting-edge technology: Technics SL-1200 / 1210 series turntables, Pioneer CDJs, Pioneer DJM or Rane TTM mixers, Apple iMacs and MacBook Pros, Native Instruments’ Traktor Scratch Pro, Serato Scratch Live, vinyl, CDs, timecode, and MIDI controllers.

Our instructors teach you the necessary techniques and draw on their vast collective experience to give you insight into the mindset, workflow, and art of DJing. Graduates of the DJ Extensive Program will have an opportunity to perform at an event in a New York City venue, organized and promoted by Dubspot together with you and your fellow students. At Dubspot, we want you to do more than just learn. We want you to be great at doing what you love. Let us help you get there!

What’s Included

  • DJ Level 1: Rookie Sessions | Essentials I
  • DJ Level 2: Phrase Mixing | Essentials II
  • DJ Level 3: Beyond The Blend | Intermediate Skills
  • DJ Level 4: Preparation | DJ Psychology
  • DJ Level 5: Classroom to the Club | Advanced Techniques I
  • DJ Level 6: Club to the World | Advanced Techniques II

Additional Information

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

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


The post Dubspot Radio Podcast: Mungo’s Hi Fi appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Style Guide: House pt. 2 – Making a House Track in Ableton Live

In our brand new series Style Guide, we visited the Brighton studio of F9 Audio founder and Freemasons member James Wiltshire to investigate the origins of dance music, explaining both who and what went into creating those early records, and how the scene and studios grew with the sound. Part one delved into the history of house music and explored one of the most iconic pieces of hardware behind the genre, the Roland TR-909.  In the second episode of this series, James goes on to explore how some of the classic house sounds created on hardware such as the TR-909 can be replicated with production techniques in Ableton Live. Watch the full video above and make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss future episodes in this series.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 11.57.54
In the first part of this series, James Wiltshire explains the origins of house music, starting with DJs such as Ron Hardy (pictured) and Frankie Knuckles shaping the early Chicago club scene 

If you want to learn more sound design, production, mixing, mastering and composition tips, our Online Master Diploma course is perfect for you. Taken from anywhere in the world for up to 64 weeks, it’s one of our most comprehensive courses and has been taken by the likes of Claude Von Stroke, Plastician and Jon Rundell. Find out more here.

Register to Access Free Courses, 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 Style Guide: House pt. 2 – Making a House Track in Ableton Live appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Plugin Spotlight: Stacker by Sample Magic

Get an in-depth look at the all new drum layering plugin by Sample Magic called Stacker which captures the power of synthesis and sampling.

Sample Magic


Sample Magic has earned a strong reputation as being one of the world’s leading provider of professional sound samples, instrument presets, musical components, music production resources, and software to producers across a wide range of genres.

The latest addition to their award-winning products captures the power of synthesis and sampling to deliver a truly unique drum layering plugin called Stacker.

Stacker Overview

Stacker is the ultimate drum layering plugin that uses synthesis and sampling across multiple layers to craft an extensive range of tailor-made sounds from cutting-edge drums, intricate percussion, and complex rhythmic tones to lush chords and cinematic-style effects.

Main Features

Stacker boasts some serious sound sculpting features such as three independent samplers, a fully equipped analog-style drum synthesizer, a suite of insert FX, a modulation matrix, smart global editing, freeform curve-enhanced envelopes, and a host of other innovative tools.

Six Channel Mixer

Located at the top of Stacker is a six channel mixer. The red, orange, and green channels are for the three independent sample layers. The blue channel is for the modeled analog synth. The last two channels are the effects returns for delay and impulse responses. Each channel sports controls for volume, mute, and solo. The sample and synth channels have two color-coded knobs for mixing in the delay and impulse Send FX, while the two return effects channels each have color-coded knobs for quick editing. Below all the knobs are the channel preset menus for each channel

Sample Magic

Three Independent Samplers

At the core of Stacker is the Sample Layer section. The Sampler is where you sculpt custom sounds with ease by importing up to three different audio samples and editing them with various parameters. Quickly shape samples to your exact requirements using assignable start, loop and end points, silky smooth filters, expression controls, and a pervasive set of phase correction and stereo width tools.

Sample Magic

Modeled Analog Drum Synthesizer

Stacker’s synth engine is driven by a robust modeled analog oscillator with a separate noise generator for constructing sonically rich drum sounds and effects. It can even be used to program bass and leads sounds. The synth offers a single oscillator for generating variable waveforms between a triangle, sine, and square wave shapes. Give your sounds some character by adding punch with the DRIVE circuit or mixing in an 808-style transient for exciting dull sounds using the CLICK generator, and then tuning the results to your track with the TUNE knob before sculpting it further with the Amp and Pitch envelopes. In addition, the NOISE circuit offers a color selection, a multi-mode filter with resonance, a stereo width control, and a noise envelope. Both the SYNTH OSC and NOISE generator are mixed together and routed through the FILTERS and Insert FX sections for additional processing.

Sample Magic

Multi-Stage Envelopes

Shape your sounds with precision using Stacker’s ultra-flexible envelopes and curve controls. Load a preset or program your own nuanced curves using the fully-editable 8-point Amp envelopes to control amplitude, pitch, and modulation. Zoom in for fine tuning and sculpt your sounds with greater detail using the TIME control to edit the length of a sample, and WARP to create instant transient variations.

Sample Magic

The Pitch envelope has the same functionality as the Amp envelope, and can be accessed by clicking the PITCH tab. Design sounds that work harmonically in your projects by moving the semitone points for pitch-perfect accuracy. In addition, you can load, browse, and save envelope shapes using the Envelope drop-down menu.

Sample Magic

Insert FX

Take your sounds to new sonic dimensions with Stacker’s various Insert FX. Each of the four sound generation layers has their own suite of Insert FX that is accessed by either clicking on the FX tab or selecting the layer name from the mixer. Each insert in the chain can be toggled on or off. The available Insert FX are:

  • Digitize: Offers a variety of lo-fI effects to sounds.
  • Clip Filter: Combines a multi-mode filter and a distortion unit that features seven models from tube overdrive through soft clipping to complex wave-folding.
  • Zero Flanger: Alters a sound by introducing a varying phase shift and delay to add movement to the sound.
  • Mod Shift: Choose from either a ring modulator (RM), or a frequency shifter (FS) to add extra harmonics to the sound.
  • Two-band EQ: Offers low-shelf, high-shelf, and peak models with up to 12dB of gain for boosting or cutting.
  • Filters: The analog-style filters round out the sound with Low and High controls.
Sample Magic

Send FX

In addition to Insert FX, Stacker also sports a fully customizable delay and reverb Send FX engine that is accessed through the last two channels on the mixer. The delay features two separate models, tape-style echo and digital repeats along with a host of tweaking parameters to dial in your delay effects. The reverb effect uses Impulse Response files (IRs) to add various types of ambience to a sound, from classic room and hall reverbs to special effect textures. Both Send FX also have a Pump Envelope section for fine-tuning complex ghost grooves and slapbacks.

Delay FX

Sample Magic

Impulse FX

Sample Magic


The Scatter editor is one of Stacker’s secret weapons. This brilliant feature enables you to offset the start of each sample and synth layer so that they trigger at different times. This intelligent time displacement is indispensable for creating wide clap stacks, crescendo effects, and more.

Sample Magic

Modulation Matrix

The colorful Mod Matrix provides 11 different sources and over 90 targets for adding some serious dynamic motion and expression to your sounds. You can control nearly every parameter in Stacker or even control up to nine different parameters at once. When the Target is set, its color changes to match the layer for easy reference. Make the magic happen by using the many sound manipulation options to take your sounds to new levels. This section also features four independent modulation envelopes and a set of four Macros to control one or more parameters through a specific, pre-defined range.

Sample Magic

Global Controls

Quickly access global controls on a single intuitive panel for on-the-fly tweaking. The central light color panel shows high and low cut filters for each layer, along with resonance dials for each channel, while the dark panel lets you delve deeper into advanced sound design options. Here you can access essential layer parameters for each of the sampler and synth layers. The Presets Menu to the right is where you browse through over 1,200 expertly crafted presets including professionally crafted drum sounds, raw samples, tried and tested envelope curves, IRs, Macro assignments, effects racks, and more. Quickly swap and tweak presets or click the ‘lightning bolt’ button for intelligently randomized starting points. For more inspiration browse the Stacker XPansions from Sample Magic.

Sample Magic


Stacker + 1,200 presets available to download at Sample Magic.
Compatibility: PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats.


Kontour Tutorial

Sound Design Komplete Program

Finding the right sound can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Learn the fundamentals of synthesis and sampling and gain the depth of knowledge to shape sounds the way you want them or make your own sounds from scratch.

About This Program

Become fluent in the language of sound design and synthesis with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers the major techniques used for contemporary sound design.

You will learn to create your own sounds with a variety of techniques and add a personal sonic signature to your tracks. We introduce you to the latest synthesis and sampling technologies and show you how to use the world’s largest and most diverse sound library. In the advanced levels, you will acquire total control over all aspects of the Komplete instruments while practicing genre-based sound design.

What’s Included

  • Sound Design Level 1: Introduction to Komplete
  • Sound Design Level 2: Synthesis with Massive, FM8 and Absynth
  • Sound Design Level 3: Sampling with Kontakt and Battery
  • Sound Design Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
  • Sound Design Level 5: Reaktor Ensembles and Production Techniques
  • Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming and Instrument Building

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.


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PB London Open House: Ableton Live Masterclass and Deconstruction – Friday 9th September

Following the huge success of our last London Open House back in June, we’re getting ready to do it all again. Like our hugely successful PBLA Open Houses, this event is an opportunity for prospective students to check out the unique creative environment and state-of-the-art equipment on hand and take part in a two free tutorial sessions with established music industry guests. It will be taking place on Friday 9th September but remember, places are limited and registration is a must. You can register for your FREE tickets here.


Kicking the Open House off will be the in-depth studio tour, followed by a Q&A session where you can raise any questions you may have about studying at Point Blank. This will be followed by an Ableton Live Deconstruction led by Lead Course Developer Ski Oakenfull. These sessions are always popular and this time Ski is pulling out all the stops by bringing his Ableton expertise to the iconic ‘Sign o’ the Times’ by Prince. Ski has previously broken down tracks from the likes of Kraftwerk, Moderat, Caribou, Disclosure and many more, but this one looks to be truly unmissable.

Point Blank Studio 1 SSL

Rounding off the evening with be an Ableton Live Production Masterclass with acclaimed producer and Monkeytown Records affiliate Alex Banks. The Brighton-based house artist, who is currently working on his follow-up to his acclaimed 2014 debut LP Illuminate, will be drilling down into his approach to production and offering insight into his working process.

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

Friday 9th September, 6pm – 8:30pm, 26 Orsman Road, London, N1 5QJ.

6:00pm – 7:00pm: Studio Tour and Q&A
7:00pm – 7:30pm: Prince – Sign ‘O The Times: Deconstruction in Ableton Live with Ski Oakenfull (Lead Course Developer – Point Blank)
7:30pm – 8:30pm: Ableton Live Production Masterclass with Alex Banks (Monkeytown Records)


Enjoying the brand new facilities of our second London studio complex comes as part of studying our all-encompassing BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering degree. If you would like to speak to a Course Advisor about this or our other diploma courses in London,  please contact us using our contact form here or call 020 7729 4884. If you’re an international student, please call +44 20 7729 4884. Can’t make the Open House? Book a space on a studio tour.

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 PB London Open House: Ableton Live Masterclass and Deconstruction – Friday 9th September appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Dance Music Evolution: History of House Music

Dubspot’s Rory PQ takes us through history back to the origins of House Music and explores the genres explosive cultural evolution.

House Music

House Music Evolution

House Music is a genre of dance music that has spread like a wildfire across the world. It has been keeping people dancing for well over 20 years and has become a lifestyle many have come to love and appreciate. Deriving from Disco, House Music has evolved into many sub-genres that have gained mass appeal and will continue to grow exponentially. Let’s explore how this niche underground sound was born and how it became globally recognized as the soundtrack to the club culture that exists today.

House Music Origins

No other music movements have gained as much critical mass as House Music. House Music was the first direct descendant of Disco. It’s said that “House was born from the ashes of Disco,” covered further down about ‘Disco Demolition Night.’ Disco emerged in the early 70s as an underground movement born out of the urban gay culture in New York City. Predominantly Gay, African American, and Latino communities popularized underground clubs and accelerated dance music culture. These clubs acted as safe havens for homosexual partygoers to dance in peace and enjoy an euphoric experience away from public scrutiny. Legendary clubs such as New York’s ‘The Loft’, ‘Paradise Garage’, and Chicago’s ‘The Warehouse’ set the stage for modern club culture and catapulted the club DJ to rock star status.

Early Mixing Techniques

Early producers and club DJ innovators such as Frankie Knuckles, Larry Levan, DJ Ron Hardy, and the Hot Mix 5 played a major role in evolving Disco into early House Music, forever shaping the modern dance scene.


House Music

Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan

Club DJs began exploring mixing and beatmatching records, applying editing techniques, playing narrative DJ sets, and experimenting with innovative ways to overcome the limitations of the DJ equipment in those times. Many of these DJs helped merge the roles of DJ, composer, producer, and remixer by creating and playing their own edits of their favorite songs on reel-to-reel tape. Some even took the music to the next level by mixing in effects or using drum machines and synthesizers which introduced the consistent 4/4 tempo.


Tony Moran | Reel-to-Reel Remixes

Tony Moran | Reel-to-Reel Remixes

Disco quickly became a global fad, particularly after featuring films such as Saturday Night Fever in 1977. Commercialization lead to an explosion of club culture, and the record companies were looking to cash in on the popularity. Record labels would hire club DJs to bring their expertise to the studio as a helping hand to create music they knew would hype the dancefloor, and because they already had a direct connection to the dancing public. They often supervised studio-recording sessions as well for other artists and bands. In addition, record companies began commissioning remixes in an effort to help break and popularize artists through the underground channels of discotheques.


House Music

Larry Levan | Paradise Garage 1978

Death to Disco

In the late 70s, Disco quickly fell out of fashion almost overnight largely due to attacks from anti-disco DJs across the country. In addition, record companies had flooded the market with Disco songs. One of the most memorable and extreme anti-disco rallies was ‘Disco Demolition Night’ at Comiskey Park, July 12, 1979. Anyone who brought a Disco album to the double-header game between the White Sox and Detroit Tigers would be admitted for only 98 cents. During the game, radio personality Steve Dahl detonated a large collection of Disco LPs in an explosion on the field. Soon after, major record companies scaled down or eliminated their dance music production divisions.


House Music

Disco Demolition Night | July 12, 1979 at Comiskey Park

Music Technology Influences

During these times Chicago still had a strong underground dance scene, and with the halt on dance music production, DJs had a hard time finding new music, which lead them to further explore remixing and re-editing. New approaches towards music creation lead to a sound that was deeper, rawer, and more designed to make people dance. At the same time, synthesizers and drum machines became cheaper and more accessible allowing bedroom producers to emerge. DJs and producers in New York, Chicago, and Detroit delved deeper into dance music production and began embracing these machines. It was around this time when legendary DJ Frankie Knuckles, also known as the ‘Godfather of House,’ moved to Chicago from New York. He soon became a regular at ‘The Warehouse,’ a predominantly Gay and African American nightclub. It was there that the Grammy Award winner played a pivotal role in creating the House Music scene by pioneering a new sound that fused seldom-heard disco cuts with soul music, and then adding four-on-the-floor beat loops with a drum machine. The term ‘House Music’ originated as a reference to the music Frankie Knuckles was playing at ‘The Warehouse.’ It’s been said that record stores began to sell some of these records and labeled them ‘As Played at The Warehouse,’ which became shortened to ‘House Music.’ Some other early pioneer artists that played a major role in the development of House Music in Chicago are Jamie Principle, Jesse Saunders, Chip E, Adonis, Larry Heard, Marshall Jefferson, and Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley to name a few.


House Music

Marshall Jefferson | Last Dance Studio 1988

The increased access to music technology continued to drive the creation of new styles. Around the mid-80s, distinct electronic music styles and subgenres began to emerge. We began hearing defined characteristics such as tempo, type of drum machines and synths used, as well as how vocals were being edited to create the music. We also began to see geographic scenes emerge with the global spread of House Music after Chicago’s record labels quickly made House Music popular.


House Music

Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer | Roland TB-303 Bass Line

House Music is Here to Stay

House Music is here to stay and will continue to evolve and develop new subgenres with the help of globalization, emerging technology, and cross-genre influences. There is much more to the story, so I encourage you all to explore more of the rich and controversial history of House Music.

House Music Documentary

Pump Up The Volume: The History of House Music is recommend documentary to watch that tells the story of the social and cultural rise of House Music.

Click here to view the embedded video.


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.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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.


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Mazex – ‘Break the Ice’: Out Now on PB Music!

Mazex’s track ‘Break the Ice’ is as guaranteed to fill you with as much happy, youthful exuberance as the sight of a toddler owning a wedding dancefloor with moves unsullied by adult self-consciousness.

This appropriately named debut track by the 19-year-old EDM producer, the latest release on PB Music and available now on iTunes, plays excitedly, breathing new life into the comfortingly familiar chord progressions which make the track instantly likeable. The chopped up vocals seem to reflect a child’s exciting yet uncomprehending world as they rush around eager to drink in as much information as possible – to be everywhere and feel everything.

Under the influence of one of the EDM’s greats Mazex made the switch from acoustic to electronic music. He said: “I have always had a passion for music but earlier I was more into playing guitar. The one person that influenced me to start producing EDM was Martin Garrix. I used to love his songs and live shows and all that inspired me to do it myself.”

Despite describing himself as “just a bedroom producer at the moment,” who uses “a pretty basic set up of a computer, a pair of studio monitors, a keyboard and an interface,” Mazex has ambitions of taking his music to an audience of epic proportions. He said: “My dream gig would be to play the Ultra Music Festival and Tomorrowland. Those are huge, but I guess that’s what dreams are for.”

Despite his big ambitions, Mazex remains modest when describing his workflow and style. He said: “My style is nothing too complicated. I like making progressive house, but I feel there’s a Mazex sound or vibe in the tracks that I make which I feel differentiates them from others. When I’m producing a new track my first focus is on making the melody. I throw in whatever comes to mind and then improve it bit by bit until it starts to sound nice and catchy to me. The next thing is making the beat/drums and the bassline.”

Like most producers Mazex matches a spontaneous initial approach with a patient and thoughtful tweaking process. He said: “I keep on experimenting with new synths and plugins to get the perfect sound which I’m trying to attain for my track. It takes time, but there’s no other way around, at least that’s what I feel.”

If ‘Break the Ice’ is anything to go by, then Mazek is definitely onto something.

Break The Ice Artwork

Getting your music signed, released, and earning money from it through our own in-house label Point Blank Music is just one of the many reasons to study with us, and it’s another way we help to connect our students directly to the industry. Throughout the duration of the course and after completion, students that sign their tracks to Point Blank Music enjoy 100% digital distribution coverage including Beatport, Juno Download, Amazon, iTunes and Spotify and extensive promotion through Point Blank’s social media, marketing and database networks. Point Blank Music releases music exclusively from our students, and showcases all of the best talent that we’re constantly developing and nurturing.

We’ll also send your tracks to the world’s top DJs via our promo system Labelworxs. DJs that have supported Point Blank Music releases include Terry Francis (Fabric), Paco Osuna (Minus), Slam and Magda. If you would like your music to be considered for the label, please submit your track to our A&R team via this submission form. If you’re thinking of studying with us why not take a tour of our London studio complex? Head to the contacts page to book a space now.

Register to Access Free Courses, Projects, Samples & More

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

The post Mazex – ‘Break the Ice’: Out Now on PB Music! appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Ableton Live Hidden Features Revealed w/ Rory PQ

Learn how to unlock Ableton Live’s many hidden features in this guide and see a few of our favorite secret functions in action. Includes FREE Download.

Ableton Live

Ableton Live has a strong reputation for being one of the industry’s leading Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) for creating or recording musical ideas, transforming them into finished songs, and even performing live on the stage. Amidst Live’s most powerful and useful functionality is some amazing hidden features. In this guide, we show you how to unlock Live’s hidden features and highlight a few of our favorite secret functions.

The Options.txt Guide

Tucked away deep in Ableton Live’s directory on both MAC and PC is an Options.txt file that you can create or edit to access Live’s hidden features. The Options.txt file offers a way to change some of Live’s options for special circumstances. These options are mainly used for developing and internal testing. However, some of you may find them useful as well.

To get started, create a text file called “Options.txt” and save it to the same folder where Live’s Preferences.cfg file is located. The file format of the Options.txt must be plain text. Below is where to find the Preferences folder on MAC and PC (Live 6.0.9 or higher):

Mac OS X
/Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/

Windows XP
Documents and Settings[username]Application DataAbletonLive x.x.xPreferences

Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
Users[username]AppDataRoamingAbletonLive x.x.xPreferences

Several functions can be activated in the Options.txt file. Editing this file is very simple; on separate lines, the syntax for each option begins with a hyphen and sometimes will also require an additional underscore. If you use the wrong syntax, you will get an error message when opening Live. If there is a function you wish to deactivate, place “/” before the syntax. You will also need to restart Live to activate the function.

Ableton Live

Syntax Example: -_PluginAutoPopulateThreshold=-1

There are dozens of syntaxes that can be discovered across the Internet. For Ableton Live’s supported functions refer to their Options.txt file page here.

Five Favorite Functions

Below are five of our favorite hidden features that are extremely helpful. In addition, we have included a FREE download of the Options.txt file used to unlock the following features.


Show Device Slots

Enabling this feature allows you to view all the devices on each track from the mixer in the Session View. This feature is an efficient way to quickly activate and deactivate devices without having to open the Device View and searching through your device chain.

To enable, add the following into Options.txt: -ShowDeviceSlots

Ableton Live

Map To Siblings

This feature is by far one of the greatest time-savers and should be implemented permanently. Similar to “Copy Value to Siblings,” this addition gives you the option to Macro Map a parameter across all of the same device instances in Drum Rack to the same Macro. This feature is accessed through the right-click context menu and eliminates the time needed to map each parameter individually.

To enable, add the following into Options.txt: -EnableMapToSiblings=1

Options: 0=Off, 1=On

Ableton Live

Arm On Selection

This feature will automatically Arm any track when selected. This addition may be useful for those working with external instruments in live performances or even in the studio. However, it can be a pain to deal with sometimes.

To enable, add the following into Options.txt: -EnableArmOnSelection

Ableton Live

Thinning Aggressiveness

This feature is another great time-saver when recording automation data. Depending on a pre-defined value, Live will smooth out all the breakpoints automatically after recording automation if you want more consistent automation lines. Alternatively, if you wish to remove breakpoints, you can hold down Shift while dragging to eliminate breakpoints as you wipe over them.

The default value is = 0.45

Higher value = More breakpoints eliminated

To enable, add the following into Options.txt: ThinningAggressiveness=0.80

Thinning Aggressiveness Off

Ableton Live

Thinning Aggressiveness On

Ableton Live

Plugin Auto Populate Threshold

This feature automatically populates the parameter list for any plugin you load. Located on the Device Title Bar is an “Unfolded Device Parameters” that reveals a panel where you can add useful parameters that can be adjusted without accessing the plugin. You can manually add available parameters by clicking the “Configure Mode” button, accessing the plugins GUI and selecting the parameter you wish to add. To save time, this feature allows you to auto populate the panel with a set value of available parameters.

Default = 32
Min = 1
Max = 128

“-1″ will always populate the list with max. 128 parameters, regardless how many parameters the plugin has.

To enable, add the following into Options.txt: -_PluginAutoPopulateThreshold=32

Ableton Live



Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program

At Dubspot our world-class instructors provide the most complete and cutting-edge Ableton Live learning experience. The Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program is the flagship of our music training. After completing this program, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.

Click here to view the embedded video.

About This Program

This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, by developing your own sound through a series of sketches and experimentation. You will also learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, storytelling techniques, ways of creating tension and drama in your music. At the end of the day, it is the sum total of your choices as an artist that define your sound, and levels 2 – 6 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio.

What’s Included

  • Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches, and Ideas
  • Ableton Live Level 2: Analyze, Deconstruct, Recompose, and Assemble
  • Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis and Original Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 4: Advanced Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Effect Processing
  • Ableton Live Level 6: Going Global with your Music


  • Dubspot’s complete Ableton course load: six levels/48 class sessions
  • 132 hours of hands-on instruction
  • Additional lab hours to work on assignments in Dubspot’s onsite facilities
  • 24/7 access to Dubspot Online’s Ableton Live course videos
  • Access to the course videos for one year after course completion

Additional Information

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

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


The post Ableton Live Hidden Features Revealed w/ Rory PQ appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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