Browsing Tag

Competitions

Saytek to Headline DJ Mag at Work Presents Point Blank. Full Line-Up Revealed!

The applications were closed earlier this week for entries into our latest DJ mix competition – we wanted to find Point Blank students who could show enough skills to take to the stage at Work Bar for DJ Mag at Work presents Point Blank – and you certainly delivered. We’ve been overwhelmed with the response and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to everyone’s mixes, and now it’s time to announce the winners! We’re also delighted to reveal that the headliner on the night will be Saytek, who will be bringing his mesmeric live show and streaming his set to the world. If you didn’t win, or perhaps didn’t feel the confidence to enter this time, there’s no need to worry – the standard of applications was very high and no matter what level you’re at, you can always check out our DJ courses to help take you to the next level.

There are limited free tickets so make sure you RSVP here if you haven’t already. Here’s a little bit more about each of our artists on the night.

Saytek

UK artist Saytek (aka Joseph Keevill) is one of the electronic music scene’s most in-demand live acts. From multiple shows in Ibiza, at The Terrace of Space (RIP), The Zoo Project and regular shows at fabric London, to being fully embraced by Berlin’s underground scene performing regularly at clubs including Tresor, Golden Gate, Salon – Zur wilder Renate, Chalet, Sisyphos, Kosmonaut, Ipse and more. Saytek has a relentless tour schedule with gigs at some of the best parties and festivals all over Europe. At the time of writing, he’s preparing for doubleheader in Berlin and Frankfurt this weekend (18 & 19 May). We can’t wait to see him bring his wild live show to Work Bar.

Ambian

As the winner of the Point Blank x Pioneer DJ Accelerator Programme, we invite Ambian to join us on the bill for his second show with us in the programme after returning from IMS Ibiza. Between his production and his series of nights, Sensus, he’s steadily been building his repertoire and honing his skills over the past couple of years and is set to launch to the next level. For a more in-depth look, check out our recent interview feature.

Imogen

Bouncing from quirky electro to darker techno, Imogen is already seen to be shaping the next generation of electronic music. Pushing her unique sound, she created a platform with her residency at the now-defunct Radar Radio. All who attend her shows bear witness to the way she captures an audience and threads her sets with a captivating narrative. Taking inspiration from the likes of Luke Slater, Defekt and Zenker Brothers, expect this to go off.

Paradoks

Only 21 years old and a little over a year on since his first release, Paradoks has earned the support from Lane 8, Solee, Betoko, Eelke Kleijn, Paco Osuna, Darin Epsilon and more. With releases on Parquet recordings, Paradoks harvests introspective melodies from his self-taught piano playing, combining it with tougher percussive elements. He’s had a couple of number 1 releases on the Beatport progressive house chart and his latest release, the “Eternal EP”, hit the top 6 of all releases on the site. One to watch!

Opportunities like these come up frequently for our student and alumni, for the latest on a weekly basis, make sure you check back with the opportunities section on this blog. if your feeling inspired then why not check out some of our new degree courses, including a fully accredited BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice, and a degree in Music Industry Management. If you have any questions about these or any of our courses, or to book a tour of any of our school, please get in touch.

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!

LONDON W OUTLINE

The post Saytek to Headline DJ Mag at Work Presents Point Blank. Full Line-Up Revealed! appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Loopcloud x Point Blank Remix Competition: Win Over £2000 in Prizes

If you’re a music producer at any level and you use a DAW, chances are you’ve come across Loopmasters and Plugin Boutique, two of the world’s biggest sellers of sample packs and plugins respectively. Well, to celebrate the launch of their free cloud-based platform Loopcloud 2.0, we’ve teamed up with both companies to bring you this outstanding producers remix competition. All you need to do is download Loopcloud and, using any of the 1GB of free sounds you gain access to on downloading, make a ‘remix’ track and submit it via Plugged In. The winner will receive prizes from an array of developers, as well as any of our ‘Complete’ range of online courses.

HOW TO ENTER

Step One: Download Loopcloud and make your track.

  • Use this link to download the programme, giving you access to 1GB of free sounds. Users who download will also get 500 free shop credits and 150 new free samples each week.
  • Make a track in any style or genre – whatever takes your fancy. The only requirement is that you use at least one of the free sounds from Loopcloud
  • Upload your remix to SoundCloud
  • Name the remix “Point Blank x Loopcloud Producer Competition: Your Artist Name ‘Your Track Name’ “

Step Two: Share your remix on Plugged In

  • Note that you will need to be registered in order to submit your track. For those not already registered, you can do so via this page
  • Once you’ve recorded your track and are ready to share it from SoundCloud, head to the Tracks page of Plugged In, then select Add Track to get started
  • On the Add Track page, simply paste the URL of your mix into the ‘track URL’ field, and name the track accordingly. You must also select ‘Competition’ under the ‘select category’ field for your entry to be eligible (see below)
  • Once you submit your track, it will now be visible when you filter in our ‘competition’ category within the Tracks channel. You’re all set!

JUDGING

All entries will be listened to and judged by the Loopcloud and Point Blank listening panel. Entrants are encouraged to promote through their social media channels to maximise the chances of them proceeding to the shortlist stage. Our panel will then judge the shortlisted remixes based on:

  • Votes and listens on Plugged In
  • Originality
  • Songwriting
  • Arrangement
  • Mixdown quality

The deadline for entries is 10th June 2018, and we will announce the winners shortly after. If you’re new to Loopcloud, watch the short video below to learn more and head to this page to see the full list of prizes on offer. Happy producing and good luck!

Want to study at Point Blank? At our London campus, we have a whole studio connected with the Loopcloud library, which you can access as part of your study experience. Our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree is one of the most comprehensive music courses out there, on which you can also learn everything you need to know about music production including mixing and mastering, composition and music business. We also offer additional degrees in Music Production and DJ Practice as well as Music Industry Management, all fully validated and accredited by Middlesex University. For more information, contact our course advisors on +44 20 7729 4884. If you are a resident of the USA, you can reach us on 323 282 7660.

Our London facility features a studio fully kitted out with Loopcloud licenses

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 Loopcloud x Point Blank Remix Competition: Win Over £2000 in Prizes appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Introducing the Winner of the PB x Pioneer DJ Accelerator Programme 2018: Ambian

We’re delighted to announce that Ambian is the winner of this year’s PB x Pioneer DJ Accelerator Programme. After the success of last year’s programme, which saw Gabby Gunn* playing huge events like IMS Ibiza and ADE, we’ve extremely excited to relaunch the initiative. Ambian, real name Robbie Palmer, impressed us with an excellent mix entry and an insatiable work ethic to match, and we can’t wait to start putting him on some of the world’s biggest stages.

The aim of the programme is to maximise the promise shown by an exceptional Point Blank student or graduate, giving them access to exclusive opportunities which include live performances at events including IMS, ADE, DJ Mag at Work and DJ Sounds. Ambian, with his accomplished mixing style, recent debut track release and an unwavering level of dedication, will begin the programme in the coming weeks. The first event will be a slot at IMS Ibiza playing for Pioneer DJ Radio, broadcast across the island. Following that will be the main support slot at DJ Mag at Work, and on into a year of guest mixes, gigs and networking opportunities.

After revealing his victory, we had a chat with Robbie to see what he hopes to make from the year.

Hi Robbie, congratulations on becoming the winner of this year’s Pioneer DJ x Point Blank Accelerator Programme! How does it feel to have won?


Thanks! To be honest it feels absolutely amazing to be recognised by the school and of course, Pioneer. I have worked extremely hard over the past year honing my skills and style and I feel I couldn’t be in a better position now to win something of this calibre. I can’t wait to fully immerse myself in everything on offer to me and carry on making my dream a living reality.


You’ve got a lot of strings to your bow but if we could go back to the beginning – how did you get into music? What were your first loves?

I think it all started at home for me. I had an older sibling that was DJingn and he would show me euphoric Trance tracks and high energy DNB stuff when I 13/14. I felt a connection and each year I found myself searching, hunting and familiarising myself with electronic artists every day. I think I was the only kid in my school that listened to High Contrast on the way home. At 17/18 my life then revolved around clubbing and experiencing the music first hand with friends. At this time the Dubstep scene was very strong and I was instantly drawn in by the huge bass and spectacular energy from people in the crowd. I experienced some of the best party’s I have ever been to at the likes of Cable, Fabric and places like Alexandra Palace and 02 Brixton. Being part of a scene and culture that young really helped cement and sculpt my thoughts and undeniable love for dance music. Without experiencing it first hand and feeling what I felt in the moments I doubt I would be where I am now.

Photo by MJB | https://www.mjbphotography.co



When you love music starting to DJ is often a logical step. But was there a moment or catalyst that made you think it was something you needed to do?

I wouldn’t say there was one particular moment but rather a build up of many moments from many events. From my first party, I have always been extremely fascinated by how one person can control a room of thousands of people. Being able to take them on a journey, controlling emotion and energy from the tracks they play had me in awe. I would attend every event possible but slowly I would find myself getting closer and closer to the DJ booth trying to catch a peek at the brightly lit equipment and the DJ’s techniques. Eventually, this led to a point where I was more interested in the what the DJ was doing technically then enjoying the party and at that moment, I guess you could say I knew what my destiny was.

Your production is coming along nicely too with the release of ‘Nebula’. What is your set up like and what would you say you aim to create when you sit down to make music – is it all about the dancefloor? A certain vibe?

Thank you. My set up consisted of mainly VST-based stuff for a long time but recently I have got into hardware with the additions of a Prophet6 and a Sub37. I love the natural colouration and tones circuitry can add over binary. I always felt within the box stuff it had to be perfect, everything had to be quantised perfectly and I would sit there tweaking automation over and over but now I believe in the beautiful mistakes you can get from being hands-on with a machine and recording in one take.

When I sit down to produce I think about four things: story, emotion, rhythm, and energy. I like to take people somewhere else when they listen to my music – to escape the real world and venture into a totally different mindset. I am highly inspired by film scores and how they capture so much emotion and I like to incorporate this into my music. For me, there is nothing better than a track that can make you question life, question existence and question yourself. It is important to me for people to be moved by the music and actually experience something within. I bring it all back to the club by incorporating coherent grooves from heavily sound designed bass and natural percussive afro rhythms that get your body moving without even thinking about it.

How do you see your production and DJing sitting together? Do they play into each other at all?

I see my production and Djing playing into each other very well. For me, it is crucial that they link. When people come to see me play, they are coming for a reason. They are coming to hear the sound of Ambian and that is what separates you from the next person. Whenever I sit down to produce I always have the clubs and festivals in mind. When I’m critically listening I will close my eyes and imagine how it would go down in the club.



You also run Sensus. Can you tell me a bit about the concept of the night?

 Any parties that particularly stick the memory?

Sensus is a Techno & House party formed by myself and 2 other lifelong friends. It was formed to provide a platform for ourselves to play out and to integrate into the scene with something substantial behind us. We started off at an amazing club called The Arch in Brighton and so far we have booked the likes of Route 94, Monki, Amine Edge & DANCE & PAWSA. We started off on the more Tech-housey route due to Brighton’s crowd and scene but as we move into London and Ibiza we plan to stay true to ourselves and take it down a much more Melodic Techno route which matches our sound pallet and individual styles as residents

One party that sticks to mind is our launch event last September with PAWSA. We were all really nervous about the turnout and I think we only sold about 200 tickets online. Luckily about 400 people turned up and it was absolutely packed. We knew this would be the start of something really special.

What about future events, or tracks of yours? Aside from the Accelerator programme what have you got in store this year?

We have just launched our next event in London at The Steelyard for 20th July with two of the biggest techno label head honcho’s out there. Noir Music’s NOIR and Suara Record’s COYU. We are extremely excited about this event and pairing these two together will make for a spectacular party in the capital. Of course, you can catch me and other Sensus residents playing on the night too. Aside from this, we have even bigger parties and line-ups planned London / Brighton / Ibiza but nothing I can reveal right now. Stay tuned!

In regards to my own productions I have been hammering away in the studio this past year and I feel I have finally found a sound and style I am happy with that represents me as a DJ & producer. I have tonnes of tracks in the pipeline that are waiting to be sent out to labels and A&R guys and thanks to this competition hopefully I can get it in the hands of some really cool people. If I cant find any fitting labels for my material I have always thought to launch Sensus Records and release it by myself.

Finally, what do you hope to achieve with the Accelerator Programme? Do you have any particular goals?

I would like to build on and take solid steps to reaching my ultimate goal which is to be globally recognised as a producer, DJ & event owner. Seeing how far I have come over this past year has felt really good but the work is never done. I am ready to immerse myself in networking and hopefully make the connections I need to make my dream a long-lasting reality. I like to go by a saying that is: ‘the harder you work, the further you get’ and I apply this to everything I do. I will not be slowing down at any point over this competition period and I can’t wait to put myself out there amongst some of the best artists in the industry.

Our amazing DJ studio in partnership with Pioneer DJ

We have a longstanding relationship with Pioneer DJ, as exemplified by our array of equipment in our DJ Studio, and we’re delighted to be teaming up with them once again for the Accelerator Programme. If you like the look of the facilities why not check out our courses in London, which now include our new B.A. (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice. For more info or to book a tour of the campus, speak to a course advisor: 020 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 Introducing the Winner of the PB x Pioneer DJ Accelerator Programme 2018: Ambian appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Mix Competition: Win a Set at Defected Croatia 2018 with Free Flights & Accommodation

Calling all DJs! Is 2018 the year you see yourself sharing a bill with some of the biggest stars in dance music? Point Blank and Defected have teamed up once again for a very special competition which gives you the chance to land a dream DJ gig, and we’re looking for the freshest DJ talent to submit their best mix efforts in the form of a one hour mix. The prize up for grabs? A slot on the Pontoon Stage at Defected Croatia 2018!

The winner will see themselves featuring alongside some of the most illustrious names in house music, including Basement Jaxx, Derrick Carter, Masters at Work, Todd Terry and many more! See below for full details on how to enter. The deadline for entry is 15th May so we suggest you get cracking as soon as possible.

The lucky winner will play at Defected Croatia 2018, happening 9th-14th August. Flights and accommodation for two nights will be supplied, so all you have to worry about is getting your set together and enjoying the sunshine. For two runners-up there are also two DJ slots up for grabs at a Defected event in London later this year.

Note that you must be 18 or over to enter – take a look at our full Competition Terms and Conditions before entering. The deadline for entries is 15th May 2018, and we will announce the winners by 28th May 2018. Happy mixing and good luck!

HOW TO ENTER

Step One: Record and upload your mix to Mixcloud

  • Prepare and record a 60 minute mix. Musically this should fit with Defected’s ethos of high quality house music.
  • Upload your mix to Mixcloud, adding the full tracklist and using the cover art provided above.
  • Name the mix “Defected x Point Blank Mix Competition: Your Artist Name
  • Tag your mix ‘Defected x Point Blank Mix Competition’.

Step Two: Share your mix on Plugged In

  • Note that you will need to be registered in order to submit your mix. For those not already registered, you can do so below or via this page.
  • Once you’ve recorded your mix and are ready to share it from Mixcloud, head to the Tracks page of Plugged In, then select Add Track to get started.
  • On the Add Track page, simply paste the URL of your mix into the ‘track URL’ field, and name the mix accordingly. You must also select ‘Competition’ under the ‘select category’ field for your entry to be eligible (see below).
  • Once you submit your track, it will now be visible when you filter in our ‘competition’ category within the Tracks channel. You’re all set!

JUDGING

All entries will be listened to and judged by the Defected and Point Blank listening panel. Entrants are encouraged to promote through their social media channels to maximise the chances of them proceeding to the shortlist stage. Our panel will then judge the shortlisted mixes based on:

  • Votes and listens on Plugged In
  • Track selection and curation
  • Technical ability
  • Originality
  • Flair and creativity

Remember, the deadline for entries is 15th May 2018, and we will announce the winners by 28th May 2018. Check out the full line-up below and don’t forget you can buy tickets at defected.com/croatia

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!

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Remix Competition: Eurovision Song Contest Entry ‘Bones’ by Equinox

Our students are no strangers to remix competitions. Not only do they offer inspiration and a great incentive to finish projects, they also provide a good gage of a budding producer’s progress. Our most recent competition – to remix EMF’s ‘Unbeliveable’ – is still live, but this one is too good to sleep on. The track is called ‘Bones’, by Equinox, and is this year’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest from Bulgaria. Three finalists will be released via Symphonix International on a special remix compilation and will receive a free copy of Ableton Suite. The overall winner will also receive a free online course. Check out the track below, as well as how to enter. If you’d like to join us for industry-leading tuition and access to more competitions of this ilk, check out the courses we have on offer.

How to enter

1. Download the stems – note, you must register with Point Blank in order to access the stems.
2. Create a remix in any style – entries will be judged on their quality and originality!
3. Upload your track to SoundCloud and submit the track via the Tracks channel of Plugged In – Point Blank’s social network for producers and DJs – before midnight on 6th May. Please ensure the track title includes ‘Equinox Eurovision Remix Competition’, and use the artwork provided in the stems as the thumbnail.

Want to study at Point Blank? Our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree is one of the most comprehensive music courses out there, on which you can also learn everything you need to know about music production including mixing & mastering, composition and music business. We also offer an online alternative, in the form of our new online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree. For more information, contact our course advisors on +44 20 7729 4884. If you are a resident of the USA, you can reach us on 323 282 7660.

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

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 Remix Competition: Eurovision Song Contest Entry ‘Bones’ by Equinox appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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The Voice and The X Factor Auditions at Point Blank in London

Over the past few weeks, we’ve welcomed not one but two of the country’s most prestigious singing competitions, not to mention most popular programmes on television, to audition our students for next year’s editions of each. We have a special association with The X Factor in particular, given that Leona Lewis, winner of the third series of The X Factor, studied with us earlier in her career. We offer several variations of tuition focused on singing at PB London, tailored to match everyone’s individual needs. Find out more here.

PB Alumnus Leona Lewis’ Picture at Orsman Road Led Students to the X Factor Audition Room

The X Factor is entering it’s fifteenth year, making it by far the longest-running television series of its kind in the UK. The show has produced a string of uber-successful stars since it’s inception, including Alexandra Burke, Matt Cardle, Little Mix, JLS, One Direction and of course our own Leona Lewis. One Point Blank alumnus has already gone the distance, and why not another? Fun fact: one of the writers of The X Factor’s theme tune is a former expert instructor at Point Blank. Jos Jorgenson taught music composition and wrote Paloma Faith’s ‘Upside Down’ with his songwriting partner Andy Love.

The Voice’s history is slightly shorter than that of The X Factor in the UK, starting as it did in 2012, two years after the original show aired in the Netherlands. With a slightly different focus, successful contestants are paired up with one of the show’s four coaches, which inevitably are made up of some of the most iconic names in the industry, including the likes of will.i.am, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Rita Ora and Olly Murs. They can’t quite compare with Phil Ramocon and Linton Bennett, but it’s not bad.

These are just a couple of examples of the recent opportunities we’ve helped lay on for our students, and more are always on the way. Every Sunday we publish the best of what our network of contacts has passed our way on our Opportunities blog. Also, there are many ways to the top, and we can help you achieve your goals in each of our schools: in London, Mumbai, Ibiza, Los Angeles and Online.

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 The Voice and The X Factor Auditions at Point Blank in London appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Meet the winner of Anjunabeats x PB Beats In School Competition: Joel Freck

Announcing the winner of our latest Beats In School competition with Anjunabeats: Joel Freck. Joel is the second winner of the production competition after last year’s winner Taya, winning a Complete Online Mixing and Mastering course from Point Blank, along with gear and mentorship supplied by various top industry brands. He’s a Canadian Producer/DJ with support from Above & Beyond, Myon and Fatum, and his track ‘Violet Rose’ was nominated for ‘Dance Recording of the Year’ by the East Coast Music Awards. The competition involved recording a mix including an original production by the artist. Check out the winning mix below and read on for our recent catch up with Joel.

Hi Joel, So you’ve just won the Beats In School competition. Can you talk me through the winning track(s) and mix?

Hey Point Blank. Yeah!

I had three unsigned songs in there that I was actually working on to send to Anjuna. Two were the big “Anjuna Festival” style sound and another was a tribal track that I hadn’t yet finished but was dropping in my sets. I thought I might as well include it to highlight my versatility in production styles.

On top of that, I included 2 tracks I had finished earlier in the year.

The winning tracks were both tailored to Anjuna and the music their team was coming out with as of late. I had tested them at the club a few days before and the audience reaction was perfect, so I thought I had something special to share.

I took a bit of a risk and mixed some house, some tribal, and did a lot of mashups. All things I would do if someone were to see me perform live. I wasn’t sure how Anjuna would feel about me cutting up some of the classics, but they seemed to really enjoy the direction I went with the set, plus how my tracks sounded amongst some of Anjuna’s best.

What about your set up and writing process generally, any tricks or rituals that you always stick to?

My setup is currently changing and upgrading thanks to Beatport and its partners, but for the most part it’s nothing crazy. I run a Mac Pro, Logic X, 2 KRK 6’s (Now AdamA5X’s) and a midi controller.

My writing process usually begins with me focusing on a song that’s exciting me at the moment. That song that I’m most excited to play in my sets that night. When I have a track like that stuck in my mind, I usually want to create something in the same fashion to go alongside it, or completely replace it. I try to look at the bigger picture of how the music will be played which influences how I step into the writing process.

From there (depending on the sound and style) I usually have a basic template I open that just has some sends to reverbs, delays etc. to save me 20 minutes. Then I Import any old percussion/bass/lead bus from other projects to pick the sounds I had worked with that I like and keep a semi-consistent sound. I then change them out, edit the processing etc. This is usually how I start every project.

How did you get into making tunes and mixing?

I had been fooling around making hip-hop and electronica beats for my friends in high school but that was all it really was. It wasn’t until my friend flew me out to a show in Toronto where I saw the full scale of a DJ/Producer. After that night, as soon as I got home to Halifax I bought Mixer, a Mac, and switched from FL to Logic.

Have you had any tuition before?

Definitely. I had done a year of schooling in Vancouver for film, then when I made the switch to music I enrolled in a Point Blank course for arranging electronic music. I always had bartending on the side to pay all of that down.

What inspires you?

I think a better question is what doesn’t. I get inspired by movies, people, sounds, ideas, everyday life. Anything and everything. Wanting to give people a moment that resonates with them the same way it does with me is a big one. When I have that “yessss!” moment, I try my best to make it translate to every listener.

What drives me is the visualization of performing on a festival style stage. I get energized by people having a great time.

What advice would you give yourself if you were starting out if any?

There are two things. Learn arrangement and why it works – do this by referencing others tracks that work, and learn the ins and outs of mixing. It’s so key. I never knew this when I started out. It’s probably standard knowledge now, but when I first began nobody ever touched on how important it was.

As part of your prize, we are offering an online course of your choosing. Which one are you going for?

There were quite a few that interested me but I went with the “Mixing & Mastering” course. I really want to understand everything there is to know about making a clean & punchy and a greater grasp on how to polish it up and make it shine in the master.

Outside of your course, what have you got in the pipeline?

All sorts ;). I’m working with Anjuna at the moment firing lots of new tracks back and forth, and Beatport’s keeping me busy with all sorts of fun stuff. I’m sure some of it will be announced in the near future.

Thanks Joel and good luck!

If you want access to loads of competition like Beats in School, plus award-winning tuition in production, check out our courses, including our new Online BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering degree. You can also study with us in London, Mumbai, Los Angeles or Ibiza! If you’d like more information, to book a tour or help with the application process, contact a course advisor.

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 Meet the winner of Anjunabeats x PB Beats In School Competition: Joel Freck appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Remix Competition: No.1 Hit ‘Unbelievable’, EMF. Win a Course and Komplete 11

Who remembers this one? We have an unbelievable (sorry) opportunity for Point Blank students and graduates this week. A remix of an absolute classic by EMF – ‘Unbelievable’. That’s right – we’ve teamed up with EMF’s songwriter and guitarist, Ian Dench, and got our hands on the stems of one of the early nineties biggest hits. To enter, send an email to theo@pointblankmusicschool.com and we can provide private access to the stems. Please note that you won’t be able to share them, or your finished track until approved – submissions must be made privately to Point Blank only. The winning entrant will win a free ‘Complete’ online course and a copy of Komplete 11 by Native Instruments, worth £1,700. The winning remix also has the chance to be signed and released by the artist! These are the kind of opportunities you get on a regular basis when studying at Point Blank.

‘Unbelievable’ was released in 1991, a concise distillation of the vibe and feel of the Madchester style of guitar music that had gripped the UK. At the time, there were countless bands mining the same rich vein in the post-rave landscape, but something about ‘Unbelievable’ took it to the top of the Billboard chart in the USA, breaking into the American psyche where so many had failed.

After the band split in 1997, Ian Dench went on to form the band Whistler, who released two LPs in ‘Whistler’ and ‘Faith in the Morning’. Later, he became a songwriter for hire and has penned hits for the likes of Shakira, The Prodigy and Beyoncé. Tracks by Dench have also appeared in the ITV series The Halycon.

Remixing is a key part of producing dance music, is covered extensively on our comprehensive BA (Hons) in Music Production and Engineering degree, also available online. Check out our other schools too in Ibiza, Mumbai and LA. For more info, or to book a tour of one of our schools, speak to a course advisor.

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!

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Point Blank Launches Deep House Amsterdam Guest Podcast Series – Submit Yours Now

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve teamed up with Deep House Amsterdam to launch a new mix series. In collaboration with this massive international publication, we are offering our students a monthly guest slot within their podcast series, which boasts a huge digital listenership of millions of monthly stream. Point Blank’s guest slots will sit alongside those by artists as big as Space Dimension Controller, Felix da Housecat, Fritz Kalkbrenner and François K. Take a look at the playlist below to see exactly who’s been featured in the past. We recommend you take a listen to some of them to get an idea of the kind of tone they’re looking for as well for when you send us your own mixes for consideration.

DHA’s industry props is clear from first glance, but for an idea of the kind of reach and backing a winning mix will receive, we can tell you they they have over 435k followers on SoundCloud, which in turn equates to over 2 Million plays each month. Through Facebook, there’s another 170k followers and the website is visited by over 200k people each month. Combine that with Point Blank’s 700k+ followers on Facebook and you get an idea just how much potential there is with this mix series. It’s a massive chance to rub shoulders with the best out there – you never know where this could take you.

How do I enter?

  • Record a one-hour mix, and try to make sure it fits in with Deep House Amsterdam’s editorial style
  • Send it to oliver@pointblankmusicschool.com by 25 November

This is the first of a monthly series, so even if you don’t feel you’re at the right level yet, you could still grasp this opportunity. Take a look at our DJ courses to see what we can offer to suit your level. We also offer DJ courses at our schools in LA, Mumbai and Ibiza. if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Also don’t forget about our other mix opportunities with Pioneer DJ Radio and Magnetic Magazine.

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!

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Student Catch-up with TAYA: Beatport Beats In School Winner

Last week, the winner of the very first of Beatport’s Beats In School competition was announced. Beats in School is a collaborative venture involving a who’s who of electronic music heavyweights. Naturally, Point Blank is included as well as Pioneer DJ, Mixcloud, the Association For Electronic Music (AFEM), Future Music Magazine and more. We are offering a free online course of choice to the winner of each edition of the competition.

For the first round, Beatport teamed up with Circus Records to dig in to the hidden talent in the world of Tech House. Contestants were asked to produce an original track and include in a mix matching the style of the label. The winner was TAYA, an Australian DJ and Producer from Byron Bay. TAYA’s winning mix is a luscious blend of smooth and deep house tracks, and his original the perfect example of the hypnotic ebbs and flows that define his mixes and sets. As it turns out, TAYA had studied Music Production Diploma  with us online already, so we couldn’t wait to catch up with him to chat about his journey so far and what we can expect from him going forward.

Beats In School Winner TAYA

Hi Taya, So you’ve just won the Beats In School competition. Can you talk me through the winning track and mix?

I’d only found out about the competition from a friend about a week before the submissions closed. With the original time for submissions being 6 weeks, I obviously had a bit of work to do so I jumped into the studio and got a beat going straight away. Firstly I built a drum groove in Maschine studio and also layered my bass line using my Moog Sub 37 & Spectrasonics Trillian. Once I was happy with an 8 bar loop I built the rest of the track around that.

The inspiration for this track was flowing freely and I found I didn’t get writer’s block once throughout the whole process, which is pretty uncommon for me. The end result has a groovy, deep, progressive, tech vibe with the occasional vocal pad, complementing the atmospheric melody I had made in Native Instruments Reaktor.

I’d also polished the track off with a home mastering chain I’d made in Izotope’s Ozone.

What about your set up and writing process generally, any quirks or rituals that you follow?

My studio consists of a Moog Sub 37, Maschine Studio, Virus TI2 Rack, ADAM A7X with 10” sub, Novation Mininova, Novation SLMK2 and thanks to Beatport & the Beats In School sponsors I have a new AKAI MPK & Allen & Heath Xone K2

When starting a new track I get the drum beat and bass working together, then build around that. Initially, I’ll try to get the idea out as soon as I can so the vibe of the track stays smooth. I will always try to have the whole song written within 3 days. If I don’t get the idea out ASAP it turns into a continuous ball of infinite changing sound (this is not ideal).

There are quite a few “rituals” that I follow but I think the top 3 important ones for me are:

I have a template in Ableton live that I made so I don’t have to muck around every time I start a new track (It’s a huge time saver!) I have 6 groups set up as Kick, Bass, Drums, Synth, Vocals, Fx. I also have a few return FX that are Short Reverb, Long Reverb, Sort Delay, Long Delay, NY Compression, Vocal Return FX. I use mostly return FX as it frees up my CPU dramatically.

I will apply the same groove from the Ableton groove pool to everything in the track. This way the beat will have that relaxed, natural swing but all the elements still flow together.

And the last thing is I will move the milliseconds out, from about -0.10ms to 0.10ms for most of the tracks. This gives a track the feeling that it isn’t just a computerized beat as if it were played live, ultimately giving the track more life.

You studied an online course with PB before. What was the course like and how was it useful for you?

I studied with Point Blank in 2013 when I made the transition from Logic to Ableton.

The course I did was the Music Production Diploma which was made up of 4 modules, focusing on Ableton Live Production, Deep House Production, Sound Design and Mixing Dance Music. I’d never used Ableton live before I started the course and had no idea how to use the program.

I’ve done a lot of music study but this course is by far the best I’ve done. The teachers are really clear, easy to understand and to the point. By the time I had finished, I knew absolutely everything about Ableton Live and most important, my workflow was quick and flawless, so I could get my ideas out of my head and into Ableton within minutes.

A really good thing to note is that when you do a course with Point Blank, you know you’re getting the taught the correct way to do things. There’s so much false information on Youtube and the web so you have to be careful that you don’t learn and practice the wrong way. With the knowledge I’ve taken from Point Blank, I am confident in the techniques I use in my compositions.

TAYA’s competition-winning mix including his orginal track

You cut your teeth in the ‘doof’ scene in the Australian countryside. What can you tell me about that and how do you think it compares to what you’ve have heard or seen of the UK rave scene?

This is true, I’m what the call a “rave baby” I was bought up going to bush doofs from a young age. Given this, I’ve always progressed with this genre but taken the bits I like and created my own funky, techy cross-breed.

As for the UK & AUS scenes, I’m sure they’re quite similar. The parties in Australia though are all mostly held in remote Australian bushlands and have quite a cosmic earthy vibe. The closest neighbour is usually at least 30kms away so no one can complain about the sound being too loud.

Playing at those kinds of parties makes very different demands on you as a DJ. What did you learn from that time that you’ve carried into your DJ sets since?

One very important thing I learnt and have carried on from my rave days is to create a journey for the crowd and tell a story with your sets. I feel like crowds are best when they are following the journey of your set, so make it interesting for them.

You moved to Berlin a few years ago, what did you learn from that experience?

In 2012 I moved to Berlin purely because I wanted inspiration, to find my sound again. I’d gotten bored with psytrance music and felt like I had lost my passion for electronic music. I didn’t particularly know what I was looking for but I knew I had to throw myself out there.

The wide variety of smooth 4×4 beats that Berlin had to offer helped me get my passion back for electronic music and recreate my sound again.

What advice would you now give to your younger self just starting out?

Finish every song you start, don’t get distracted by continuous, pointless partying and take every opportunity that comes’s your way, you never know where it could lead!

As part of your prize, we are offering an online course of your choosing. Which one are you going for?

As I have already taken the Music Production Diploma and I have used Native Instruments plugins frequently for most of my music career, I think it’s a no-brainer that I choose Complete Native Instrument Sound Design. I’m also lucky enough that Native Instruments donated a copy of Komplete Ultimate 11 as one of the prizes for the beats in school Competition! This has complimented my Maschine studio very nicely.

You’ve been more successful as a DJ than a producer in the past, but this win demonstrates your obvious talent for both. Do you have any production-specific goals from now?

2017 has been the most successful year for my production, with the release of my Debut EP: ‘Perception’ through Aussie label Bassic Records as well as 2 remixes, 2 originals on VA Compilations and my forthcoming EP ‘Valhalla’ dropping Late November.

The next step for me will be the biggest in my career so far, my debut release with Circus Recordings. With Yousef mentoring me and the exposure the label guarantees, it will be a huge step for me with credible exposure on the production side of things.

For me, being able to collaborate with some of my all-time favourite acts, learn their techniques and hopefully share with them some of my own, are important personal goals.

What have you got lined up in the coming months?

The Beats In School competition is keeping me busy, with more and more prizes arriving at my doorstep it feels like Christmas. The next couple of month I will be busy learning all how to use the new pieces of hardware & software they are sending me and incorporating them into my workflow.

On top of all this, I have my “Valhalla” EP east coast Australian tour coming for the summer season. My schedule is looking quite busy, playing an array of Australian festivals including Subsonic, Earth Frequency and Bohemian Beat Freaks among others.

Thanks Taya and good luck!

TAYA’s first release on Circus will follow his upcoming ‘Valhalla’ EP on Bassic Records

With hard work and the help of Point Blank, there’s no reason why you can’t get these same kinds of opportunities. If, like Taya, you live outside of places with Point Blank schools (London, LA, Mumbai & Ibiza), take a look at the full list of our remote online courses. For further information on any of our courses, contact our Course Advisors here or call 0207 729 488 in the UK, 323 282 7660 in the USA or +44 20 7729 4884 from anywhere else.

Also if you fancy yourself as a future trance star, don’t forget to apply for the second round of Beats In School, this time in association with Anjunabeats. Included among the prizes is your choice of online course with Point Blank, so there’s no excuse not to enter. The competition closes on 13 November.

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!

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