Browsing Tag

Gear

We Explore Olafur Arnalds’ Chamber Evolutions by Spitfire Audio

Point Blank composition instructor Kevin Kerrigan once again dives into a new sample library by industry leaders Spitfire Audio. This time Kevin looks at the Chamber Evolution pack, developed with multi-instrumentalist and modern composer Ólafur Arnalds. The sounds contained are of small chamber groups playing with an emphasis on evolving dynamics. In part one of a three-part first-look, Kevin Kerrigan talks us through the nuts and bolts of what the ‘Wave’ sounds contained here are exactly, and how the sample pack is used. Check back next time for some ideas on how to compose with these sounds, and take a look at our Music Composition course and comprehensive BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering degree programme, where you can learn how to put tools like this to good use.

Branded an ‘alchemist’ by Brian Eno, Kevin has worked with Bjork, Gwen Stefani, Eurythmics, Kylie & Sting among others and composes for movies/TV for Paramount, BBC, Warner Bros, Sony & Universal. He teaches Music Composition at our London school and his own compositions focus on the cerebral and beautiful.

Music Composition is an important part of our BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering, which you can also study online. For full lists of our courses check out our schools in London, Los Angeles, Ibiza and Mumbai, as well as Online. Any questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The post We Explore Olafur Arnalds’ Chamber Evolutions by Spitfire Audio appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here

Dance Legend Pete Tong Learns Native Instruments Maschine at Point Blank

We were delighted to welcome the legendary Pete Tong to our London school recently for a crash course in making music with Native Instruments’ Maschine. He linked up with our expert Maschine instructor, Paul Ressel, for an intensive one to one session. Check out the short video we made of his visit below, and don’t forget to take a look at our Maschine course, taught in our very own Native-Instruments supported studio. You can also take this course as part of our BA (Hons) Degree programme.

Pete Tong has been one of dance music’s most prominent champions, beginning with his early career as a soul DJ at BBC Radio Medway and Invicta Radio. However it was with the early electronic music of the rave era that Tong became a household name, as integral to the scene as Messrs Rampling and Oakenfold, the latter of which coined the now ubiquitous rhyming-slang phrase: ‘it’s all gone Pete Tong’. He moved to Radio 1 at the beginning of the 90s, and his Friday night show became the most iconic radio broadcast to cover dance music, an accolade which hasn’t been surpassed today. Here, he launched the Essential Mix, and supplying one remains one of the biggest milestones in a DJ’s career, with recent iconic entries coming from the likes of Midland, Nicolas Jaar and Helena Hauff. He’s visited us before, and as always it was a pleasure to have the lord of dance in the building.

Whilst we taught Pete Tong the basics and some of the many tricks and features on the new Maschine Mk 3, on our comprehensive 3-month programme we teach students everything from the very basics of setting up your unit, making beats, arrangement, sampling and synthesis, right the way through to live performance. It’s an incredibly powerful tool and the possibilities are virtually endless, so we know why Pete was so keen to learn the ropes.

Want to find out more? Check out our schools in London, LA, Mumbai, Ibiza and Online for information on all of our courses. If you have any questions, please call us on +44 20 7729 4884 to speak with 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 Dance Legend Pete Tong Learns Native Instruments Maschine at Point Blank appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here

Get a First Look at the New Roland TR-8S with Saytek (Cubism, Superfreq)

Is there a piece of equipment out there that’s had as much of an impact on modern music as Roland’s classic TR-808 drum machine? Or do you think other Roland units like the 303 or the 909 deserve the top spot? Whatever you think, spend a couple of hours listening to the latest hip-hop from the states or club sounds anywhere in Europe and you can’t miss the 808’s signature boom.

The original module ceased production in 1983 and will set you back upwards of £3,000 on eBay or similar, although digitised samples have been available for decades. It wasn’t until 2014 that Roland released the TR-8, a updated piece of hardware that threw in painstakingly accurate samples of the 808 and 909 for good measure. Now four years on, an update has arrived in the form of the TR-8S, adding the ability to load your own samples and many more features besides. We managed to get our hands on the unit for this first look video with live performer and Point Blank expert instructor Saytek, who teaches Electronic Music Performance as part of our BA (Hons) Degree programme. Peep the video below.

Though it’s now synonymous with huge bottom-ended kicks and trap music, the Roland TR-808 was everywhere long before Kanye’s masterful eulogy in 2008. Pretty much since it was released, it’s been instrumental (sorry) in music across the board. It’s on Soft Cell’s ‘Non Stop Erotic Cabaret‘, it’s on Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Planet Rock‘ – it’s even on ‘Sexual Healing‘ by Marvin Gaye!

Saytek’s demo starts us off by showing some of the effects and live performance elements using a pattern he put together during his brief testing time with the unit. We learn that each sound now has its own fader now which opens up some exciting new performance possibilities, and you can drop effects at a local and global level. The SD card slot also means that importing sounds and samples are now a possibility for the first time, whilst extra outputs mean you can send different channels to different third-party units such as the SH-01 Boutique. Saytek is all about the live performance, so its no surprise that he’s really into these new features – but the unit has also sacrificed none of its suitability for studio work, which is perhaps the biggest draw of all.

You can learn all about live performance on our degree programmes, as well a several other music production courses. We also offer production tuition online, though live performance is less of a focus for logistical reasons. Check out courses in DJ, radio and songwriting too if any of those take your fancy, and don’t hesitate to contact a course advisor on +44 20 7729 4884 if you have any questions.

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 Get a First Look at the New Roland TR-8S with Saytek (Cubism, Superfreq) appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here

Point Blank Online – Exclusive Student Discounts

Every student loves a discount, so why not check out this list of offers available to you when you become a Point Blank online student…

To take advantage of the discounts below, email Support.

Discount for Returning Point Blank Students
So, you’ve finished your online course but still feel there’s more to learn. No worries. We offer discounts on future courses for all returning Point Blank students.


Free Copy of Ableton Live Suite
When you enrol on any of our online HE Programmes (including our new BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree), you will get a free copy of the latest version of Ableton Live Suite worth £520/$750 (with Ableton software selected).


Free Copy of Logic Pro X
When you enrol on any of our online HE Programmes (including our new BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree), you will get a free copy of the latest version of Logic Pro (with Logic software selected).


native-instruments-komplete-11-ultimate-educational-version-5-platz_1_PCM0014226-000

50% Off Komplete 11 and Komplete 11 Ultimate
Any online students on our HE Programmes, Professional Programmes or Native Instruments Komplete can buy Komplete 11 and Komplete 11 Ultimate for a massive discount of 50%. That’s a whopping saving and gives you everything you need to start making great music. Please note that discounts are not available on upgrades.


70% off all Eventide plugins
Our friends over at Eventide have given students at Point Blank the opportunity to take advantage of a massive 70% off all Eventide plugins, including the excellent Ultratap Delay and Black Hold Reverb, as well as their entire plugin bundle. To get this offer, please get in touch with Support.


50% off all Izotope software
The iZotope product line focuses on Music Production, with solutions for mixing, mastering, and creative effects, and Audio Post Production, with tools that enhance audio for film, broadcast, video, and new media. Point Blank students are able to save 50% on iZotope software via this link
. There is additionally a free version of mastering software Ozone, which can be downloaded here.


Up to 50% off at DV247
We’re pleased to say that, as part of a partnership with online music retailers, DV247, Point Blank Online students can get up to 50% off selected products. For more details, contact Simon at DV247 with the particular product(s) you’re interested in.


Novation & Focusrite & KRK – 10% off
Our good friends at Novation and Focusrite have offered up a great discount for our online students. Their range of products includes the excellent Dicer DJ controller, the Launchpad controller and much, much more.  Once you’re signed up for a course, just head here to fill in your details – you can get 10% off all current prices on selected Novation and Focusrite products.


25% off first Sounds Pack purchase at Beatport
Our generous friends over at Beatport have given all Point Blank students a whopping 25% off their first Sound Packs purchase when you spend a minimum of $20! Drop an email to Support with your full name and Beatport username to get your code.


 

Save 20% on Attack Magazine’s ‘Secrets of Dance Music Production’ guide
We’ve teamed up with our friends at ATTACK magazine to offer students an exclusive discount to their incredible resource, ‘Secrets of Dance Music Production’. Get in touch at Support to claim your code for this resource that was four years in the making.


20% off AIAIAI and UDG Through Dynamic Distribution
Any fans of headphones and products for transporting DJ equipment will be excited by this exclusive discount from AIAIAI and UDG via their UK distributor, Dynamic Distribution. AIAIAI’s headphones are used here at the college and UDG’s gear is universal, used by DJs all over the world! The offer is for a massive 20% off selected items, so make sure you drop us a line to find out more.


Up to 35% Discount on Bundles and Upgrades at Waves
All Point Blank students are entitled to 25% off all bundles and upgrades and 35% off selected bundles. Just email Waves stating that you’re a Point Blank student to claim your discount.


320MB+ of Free Loopmasters Content
Get 320mb+ of free content. This carefully curated sound pack incorporates cutting edge elements from the most up to the minute sounds in underground music, which you will be able to use throughout your studies. Loopmasters are also offering an incredible discount of 20% on the first purchase of any Loopmasters product for Point Blank students.


Up to 50% off Selected Plugins with Plugin Boutique
We have also teamed up with Loopmasters sister site Plugin Boutique to offer students 30% on Fxpansion plugins: DCAM Dynamics, DCAM Synth Squad and Maul. Buy all three together and get a whopping 50% off! Also, 50% off Sonnox, D16 Group, 40% off Izotope and 20% off Arturia. Get 20% off all of their products.


40% off Microphones at Sontronics
Desperately in need of a new microphone but worried about the price? Well, don’t fear! Our friends and official education partner, Sontronics, are offering all Point Blank students a mighty 40% off the RRP on their microphones, so be sure to get in touch to pick up your bargain.


30% off Output products for Point Blank Students
Output are the creator of some ground breaking plugins and instrument libraries, including REV, Signal and EXHALE, opening up a world of sound design which has been consistently hailed as “inspiring” and “creative” for producers, composers and musicians. Head here for details of accessing a 30% discount.


40% Off Sonic Faction’s Archetype Kontakt Bundle
To celebrate its partnership with Point Blank, Sonic Faction is offering a whopping 40% off its Archetype Kontakt Bundle for all students and alumni. Contact us with your course details to access the code. Archetype Kontakt Bundle is the essential collection for Kontakt, featuring 8 legendary instruments redesigned with a modern twist. Archetype features vibrant analog synths and drums, reactive animations, and over 800 presets. It includes Komplete Kontrol and Maschine integration as well! Learn more about Archetype here.

 

The post Point Blank Online – Exclusive Student Discounts appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here

Point Blank Reports from NAMM 2018: Needle-less Technology, Portable Turntables + More

Today marks the end of this year’s National Association of Music Merchants convention or NAMM. The American body has been in existence for over a century, bringing together the biggest musical innovators of the day to show off their wares and push the envelope for what musicians can achieve. Here at Point Blank we always try to stay ahead of recent developments in equipment and gear, so naturally, Namm is the kind of place you can be sure to find Point Blank represented. This year one of our top instructors from PBLA, DJ Morse Code, headed to NAMM to get acquainted with one of the biggest collections of new music gear on the planet. What follows is a photographic account of some of the event’s highlights. If you’d like to know more, check out our music production courses in Los Angeles, where you can be sure your instructors will know this gear inside out and can teach you how to make the most of your talent.

L: DJ Day performing live for Roland on the DJ-808 controller

R: People trying out Roland and Serato’s new collaboration, the DJ-808 controller paired with Serato DJ

L: DJ Shortee needle-less turntable demo for Phase

R: Novation Booth

L: Allen & Heath Booth

R: Portable turntable scratch cypher at the MixFader booth

Pioneer Rekordbox controller with waveforms built into each deck

L: Pioneer DDJ-RZ

R: Needle-less turntable from Rane and with Rane 72 mixer

L: 12-year-old DJ D-Ill performing for Roland on the DJ-808

R: Hardware installation at Roland

L: MixFader portable turntables

R: Portable Turntable from Numark

There was plenty that was announced or teased at the event for us to get excited by. In addition to the needle-less technology on show and all kinds of new innovations in DJing, this year also saw the announcement of Behringer’s first standalone synthesiser, in the form of the semi-modular Neutron. Watch the teaser for that below.

DJ Morse Code naturally gravitated toward the DJ gear. If you’d like to know more about the man once voted ‘best DJ in America’, head here for our instructor spotlight feature from last year. you can find out about the DJ course on which he teaches too, just click here. Of course, you don’t have to live in LA to study with us, as well as our flagship London school, we also offer an extensive online programme. Questions? You can find out everything you need to know by speaking with a course advisor. That’s 323 282 7660 in the USA or +44 20 7729 4884 anywhere else.

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 Reports from NAMM 2018: Needle-less Technology, Portable Turntables + More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here

Friday Forum Live! Watch a Quickfire Deconstruction of Maze – ‘Twilight’

In our first Friday Forum Live of the year, we are celebrating the release of Arturia’s new DX7 plugin, based on the classic Yahama FM synth of the same name. It’s definitely the truest representation of the original unit available and, as we see in the video, it’s full of gloriously retro presets. Ski Oakenfull is the man in the hotseat, and if you follow our channels you will know that he is our lead course developer and resident deconstruction whizz. If you fancy learning how to make music with a course developed by Ski and a host of our expert instructors, then check out our production courses in London and online.

Yamaha’s famous frequency modulation synthesiser, the DX7, is the source of many classic sounds used in house music, foremost among them is the ‘lately bass’. As such we decided the best way to demonstrate Arturia’s new DX7 plugin would be to deconstruct a track that makes use of this sound, not mention many other seminal presents the unit came with. The track is called ‘Twilight’ by Maze ft. Frankie Beverly. But before Ski gets into the deconstruction he gives a brief theory lesson on FM synthesis and also pulls out his copy of ‘Textures’ by Brian Eno: an extremely rare sound-library CD (upwards of £500 on discogs!). The album is indicative of a period in Eno’s career when he was using the DX7 frequently.

When we do eventually get down to the deconstruction, Ski does what he does best and recreates the track layer by layer. Some of the sounds are just delightful, none more so than the woodblock sound that drives the wandering melody, and the cheeky guitar lick that tops everything off. In all honesty, you should stop reading this now and get stuck in to the video above. For reference, below is the original track. How do you think Ski did in his deconstruction?

If you’d like to get your hands on more content like this in the form of regular masterclasses, 1-2-1 tuition for advice on your projects, and comprehensive tuition on the complexities of making electronic music, then look no further than our online BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering. We also offer this degree in a more traditional format at our London school. For more information on all of our courses, plus advice on how to enrol, speak to a course advisor using this contact form.

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

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

The post Friday Forum Live! Watch a Quickfire Deconstruction of Maze – ‘Twilight’ appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here

Watch our Comprehensive Guide to Setting Up Your DJ Equipment

So you’ve bought your first set of decks, or maybe you’ve finally upgraded your equipment or even just added some CDJs for the first time… happy days! Of course, now you have to set them all up, and despite Pioneer’s continued commitment to making their tools as easy to use as possible, to get the most of out of your new toys you need to set them up properly. Luckily Point Blank’s lead DJ instructor Ben Bristow is on hand to show you both the basics and a few tricks to fully optimize your set-up. NB: Though Ben is using top-of-the-range equipment from Pioneer, much of this video applies to decks and mixers of all makes and models. If you fancy learning to spin tunes, Ben himself teaches many of our DJ Courses in London.

Check out the video above for a comprehensive guide to setting up your DJ equipment. As our lead DJ instructor, Ben Bristow has set up more than his fair share of DJ studios in his time, so you can be sure that if you follow his advice you won’t go far wrong. In the video we cover the basics of which inputs and outputs to use on your mixer, in this case a Pioneer DJM 900 Nexus, along with two Pioneer CDJ 2000 Nexus’. We plug everything into a separate LAN hub too so as to allow for perfectly quantised effects – meaning your mixer will automatically match the tempo of your effects to your tracks. Later we learn the slightly more fiddly trick of enabling the fader start function, allowing you to start and restart a track from its queue point using the crossfader – especially useful for scratch DJing. Another lesser-practised trick is to update the firmware on your CDJs, which will ensure there are no compatibility issues with Rekordbox.

We hope this is a useful tool for anyone setting up new equipment or those wanting to make sure everything is performing optimally. Get loads more advice, and comprehensive instruction in whatever style of DJing you’re interested in, with a DJ Course at Point Blank. We offer these in London, Los Angeles, Ibiza and Mumbai, and if you’re using virtual DJ software you can even study online. For more information or to speak with an admissions advisor, contact us using this form.

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 Watch our Comprehensive Guide to Setting Up Your DJ Equipment appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here

Watch our Native Instruments Machine Mk3 Tutorial with Paul Ressel

Just over a month ago, Native Instruments the newest version of their flagship Maschine controller, the MK3. The latest upgrade represents the biggest leap in terms of performance since the top-end Maschine Studio was launched back in 2013. It’s packed with new features and even if you’re familiar with Maschine, it’s a lot to get your head around. Have no fear though, as we’ve asked our instructor Paul Ressel, who’s not only worked with Lana Del Rey and Maxi Jazz, but also releases with his own band Vuvuvulvas on Tri Tone, to demonstrate some of its new functionality. Take a look at our tutor profile on Paul for more info.

In the video, we get a look at some of the new features on the MK3 such as the touch strip, new modes like the chord and keyboard modes, as well as the hugely improved editing capabilities, expanding what you can do without needing to revert to software. In just 13 minutes, Paul Ressel takes us through arranging and sketching and ideas, with an arrangement built from just two sounds.

When the first Maschine was released in 2009, it completely changed the landscape of using digital tools to make music. It borrowed the best features of the legendary Akai MPC and paired hardware sampler functionality with linked software to become more of a compact, digital studio. It has since undergone several makeovers: the Maschine Mikro introduced more portability, MK2 was an incremental upgrade with greater customisation, Maschine Studio added screens and a huge range of extra functionality to match its professional target audience and the Maschine Jam emulated Ableton’s Push module in design. The MK3 though marks the biggest change to the original design since it’s inception. We’re already sold.

Want to learn on Native Instruments gear? NI are an official partner of Point Blank and in London and LA our studios are kitted out with the full range of NI products: Maschine, Komplete, Komplete Kontrol and Traktor. On our Sound Engineering classes as part of our B.A Programme you will make use of our Native Instruments studio where you can find all of this kit in one place, and you’ll also learn everything you need to know about production.

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 Watch our Native Instruments Machine Mk3 Tutorial with Paul Ressel appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here

Plugin of the Week: Universal Audio Ampex ATR 102

Before digital audio, recording to tape was the standard medium for musicians to record, edit and store audio. However recording to tape had many challenges for engineers as tape machines had many imperfections such as hiss, non linear frequency response, wow & flutter, tape compression and harmonic distortion. How much these flaws would colour the sound of the recording would depend on a wide range of parameters such as tape width, tape speed, tape formulas, recording level, and of course the actual design of the tape recorder itself. If many of these flaws were strongly present on consumer tape recorders such as cassette and  cheap reel to reel, professional tape recorders were far better designed. In 1976, Ampex released the ATR102, which with its innovative transport system, strongly reduced wow and flutter. The ATR102 could also be modified to the engineer’s need, by changing the tape head and even removing the audio transformer. The ATR102 is still widely regarded as the finest tape machine for mixdown.

UAD released a few years back an incredibly detailed simulation of the Ampex ATR 102, which faithfully recreates all features found on the original and more. from a user perspective, the plugin has many advantages over the hardware version as you are able to change the tape type, speed, calibration, hiss and hum level, crosstalk, wow & flutter at the push of a button.

In this episode of Plugin of the Week, we take a look at Universal Audio plug in simulation of the classic tape machine – Ampex ATR102. Watch it above and make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tutorials and live events.

If you want to learn more production, mixing, mastering, sound design 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 Plugin of the Week: Universal Audio Ampex ATR 102 appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here

Under The Radar /w Sam Willis (R&S): Part 4 – E-MU 4XT / Ensoniq EPS

For the final episode of our Under the Radar series, R&S/Ecstatic records’ Sam Willis (Primitive World), also a Point Blank instructor, sits down with our own Glenn McGlynn to go through two more iconic bits of hardware. The E-MU 4XT Ultra and the Ensoniq EPS 16+ the latter being used by the likes on Raekwon, Rza and Ghostface Killah. Both in a rack, these legendary samplers have dropped drastically in price over the years and are immensely powerful tools to have at your disposal when producing your tracks.

Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 17.10.18

Sam Willis has recently participated in Fact Magazine’s ‘Against The Clock’ and is an instructor at Point Blank.

For those that haven’t been following the series, Sam and our own Declan McGlynn have been discussing several iconic instruments that may have perhaps passed ‘Under The Radar’ over the years. We have seen samplers and synths from the likes of Casio and Korg, and the insightful videos are all available on the Point Blank YouTube channel, as well as a library of Masterclasses, tutorials and more. Subscribe Here.

At Point Blank we host variety of music courses, from production and music business to radio and composition. Our world class instructors, including Sam, teach students in our state of the art facilities. If you would like to book a tour or get some more information, contact one of our course advisors who can help you with any questions you may have, you can call us on 020 7729 4884. If you’re an international student, please call +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 Under The Radar /w Sam Willis (R&S): Part 4 – E-MU 4XT / Ensoniq EPS appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here