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IMS Ibiza

Point Blank at IMS Ibiza: Andrea Oliva DJ Masterclass

You may have noticed how much fun we had at the International Music Summit in Ibiza last month, what with our Point Blank x Pioneer DJ Accelerator Programme winner Ambian playing at the Hard Rock in support of Flashmob and Seth Troxler, and DJ Ravine reporting from some of the parties at the event. Well, even that wasn’t the entirety of what we were up to out on the island – we also hosted a DJ masterclass with Swiss superstar Andrea Oliva. Check out the video below and take a look at some of our DJ courses to see how you too could learn some wizardry on the decks.

 

Andrea Oliva is known worldwide today, with past gigs on the biggest stages as diverse as Coachella and Panorama Bar and a whole host of Elrow parties. Everyone starts somewhere, however, and we learn here that he started out with a pair of belt-driven decks and Numark’s extremely basic two-channel mixer (which, let’s face it, is the beginner’s mixer of champions). We also learn some of his first inspirations to take his mixing as far technically as he could, including Erick Morillo and Little Louis Vega, leading him to his affection for four-deck mixing as demonstrated here.

After the show incorporating the four decks, Oliva gets into some of the technical nitty-gritty of his set, beginning with his RMX-1000 from Pioneer DJ. The effects unit can add impact when needed, and spices up looped sections simply. Simplicity isn’t necessarily something Oliva goes for, however, as he favours a “chaotic” approach to playlisting and planning to help allow a more natural creative process. We learn as well the importance of the warm-up set and how experience and risk-taking are the cornerstones of a constantly improving DJ.

IMS Ibiza is a massive event in the dance music calendar, drawing people from all over the globe to the white isle. Delegates in attendance are entitled to a 10% discount on course at Point Blank Ibiza, which is now enrolling for classes this summer. The courses on offer teach the basics of both DJing and Production, suited to your level, and there is another option to focus on DJing and Radio Production. Back in London, our flagship DJ course is the BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice, quality-assured by Middlesex University. For more info don’t hesitate to 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!

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DJ Ravine Reports from IMS Ibiza 2018

Point Blank’s connection with IMS Ibiza runs deep: you may have caught our recent video following the 2018 Accelerator winner and Point Blank student Ambian on his trip to play at IMS in support of Seth Troxler and Flashmob, and you may or may not know that PB students get discounted tickets to the event every year. You probably don’t know what our man DJ Ravine got up to when he accompanied Ambian on his trip this year – but you can find out the video below. We love the white isle so much that last year we opened Point Blank Ibiza, where you can take a two-week intensive course in DJing and production by day and head out into the island’s world-famous nightlife by night – the best way to fully immerse yourself in the culture. The next courses begin in less than a week, so hurry if you would like to snap up the last remaining places.

The International Music Summit in Ibiza is one of the biggest events in the global dance music calendar. Set in the spiritual epicentre of clubland, leading figures and inspirational artists fly in from all over the world to give lectures and host panels on the most important things happening in the industry. It’s a fantastic way to keep up with the latest developments and make sure that, whatever your involvement in music, you stay at the cutting edge of what’s going on. There are loads of masterclasses and workshops too and this year that included our own DJing masterclass with Andrea Oliva.

Of course, a trip to Ibiza wouldn’t be complete with a little partying, and in his video dispatch from IMS, DJ Ravine takes us along to the centrepiece of the event – the Dalt Vila party, this year featuring the likes of Dixon and Maceo Plex. He also shows us around the amazing classrooms and gorgeous surroundings of Point Blank Ibiza.

If you’d like to study with us out there, you have three options, each expertly tailored to fit in with whatever your interests might be. The original DJ/Producer course is perfect if you would like to split your time between making tracks and playing them, giving you a boost to get started in the world of electronic music. Given we’re back for our second year, we also offer an Advanced DJ/Producer course for those with a bit more experience or who perhaps did the original course last year. Expect to fine-tune your skills here and really begin to get creative. Finally, we have the DJ/Radio course, on which you will learn the ins and outs of radio production and presenting as well as how to spin tracks – perfect if what you really want to do is rule the airwaves. Get in touch 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!

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Go Behind the Scenes w/ Accelerator Programme Winner Ambian at IMS Ibiza

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Dalt Villa in Ibiza, and all its surrounding natural beauty, we followed the winner of this year’s Point Blank x Pioneer DJ Accelerator programme on his first major trip with us to play at the world-renowned IMS Ibiza, an electronic music summit like no other. Ambian is studying his degree with us currently, on the BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering, quality assured by Middlesex University, and the Accelerator programme is a result of a collaboration between two of electronic music’s biggest institutions in Point Blank and Pioneer DJ. Check the video below and watch Ambian as he embarks on his biggest year yet.

With DJs and performers at the very top of their game flying in from all over the world, between 23 and 25 May there was nowhere else we’d rather be in the world than on the famous white isle. As well as our own masterclass featuring Andrea Oliva, we were represented by Ambian, supporting none other than Flash Mob and Seth Troxler with his favoured brand of afro house and melodic techno.

As he points out, IMS is a fantastic place to meet likeminded music people and network – the first of many opportunities to advance his career as much as possible over the course of the year. His first time at IMS, he even got the chance to drop a tune of his into his set at the Hard Rock, which you can hear in the video. With his goal of becoming a world-renowned DJ and producer firmly in sight, this is certainly a big first step.

Feeling inspired? As mentioned Ambian studies his degree with us at Point Blank, and this is just one of many opportunities open to our students. We’ve recently added two new degree courses, also quality assured by Middlesex University, launching next academic year. They are the BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice and the BA (Hons) in Music Industry Management, so you can tailor your studies to your exact preference. For more information or to book a studio tour, contact us on +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!

LONDON W OUTLINE

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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!

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We Return to IMS Ibiza w/ DJ Masterclass feat. Andrea Oliva – Full Lineup Announced!

Point Blank returns to the White Isle in May for the 11th edition of the International Music Summit Ibiza. As a long-term industry partner, we have curated and presented many workshops, talks and masterclasses over the years and we can’t wait to head back for this year’s edition. This year music journalist and Point Blank presenter Declan McGlynn will host a DJ Skills masterclass with international headliner Andrea Oliva, who’ll be sharing his expertise with IMS attendees. As ‘Best Music School’ according to DJ Mag readers, we have a fair bit of experience of teaching people to DJ – don’t forget to check out our DJ Courses in London and on Ibiza itself if you’re interested.

 

Launched with Pete Tong in 2007, IMS Ibiza has long held an enviable position as one of the world’s premier music conferences and has gone from strength to strength each year. Billed as “The Premier Platform for Thought and Leadership in Electronic Music,” every year the industry’s biggest players come together to share ideas with the aim of advancing the cause of electronic music worldwide. Held at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dalt Villa, it’s the perfect marriage of natural beauty, Ibiza’s inherent buzz and true, game-changing innovation.

*Update* The programme at IMS Ibiza 2018 has been fully revealed and we can say with some confidence it looks set to be the best yet, looking at all facets of the industry and ways it can improve. Pete Tong will give the opening keynote address, paying particular attention to the tragic loss earlier this year of Avicii. A focus on wellbeing in music is a fitting tone-setter for the five-day conference, with many of the most interesting talks looking at progressive ways to make the culture safer, including tackling sexual harassment in music and drugs testing at clubs. These accompany the usual array of label showcases, masterclasses and panel discussions. For the full list of talks and shows head here.

A photograph of a talk on gender disparity in electronic music from last year’s IMS Ibiza conference

As for us, we have invited Swiss/Italian superstar Andrea Oliva to use his renowned skills as a DJ to demonstrate some choice DJ Skills. Our own Declan McGlynn, a music journalist and DJ of considerable talents himself, will be hosting, so you can be sure he will uncover some choice nuggets of information. Andrea has been having a stellar year already, continuing his long-running association with the all-conquering Elrow and playing at respected clubs like fabric, Watergate Berlin and The Warehouse Project. You don’t want to miss this one, which is held 11 AM on Friday 25th May.

We’re also bringing the winner of this year’s Point Blank x Pioneer DJ Accelerator Programme along with us to this year’s conference, where he will play the first set of his year-long partnership with us. For some more information on Ambian and the scheme, check out this in-depth interview we conducted with him after he was announced the winner.

Ambian is this year’s winner of the 2018 PB x Pioneer DJ Accelerator Programme, and he plays this year at IMS Ibiza

Last year we launched Point Blank Ibiza and this summer we return with an expanded list of courses. Come and join us to learn the fundamentals of DJing and Production, or DJing and Radio Production. There’s also an advanced course for those who attended last year or have some experience already. You can study all of this while enjoying the most exciting party destination in the world, on the most beautiful island in the world! For more information give us a call on  +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!

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Student Opportunity: Apply now for the Pioneer DJ Accelerator Programme 2018

We are very excited to announce that we are now taking applications for the 2018 Point Blank x Pioneer DJ Accelerator Programme! Read on for all the info you need on how to apply. With the Programme now open once again for 2018, we were delighted to catch up with Gabby to talk about how the past year has been for her since winning the 2017 programme. Check out the video below for the full lowdown.

The Accelerator Programme launched early last year, starting our search for a student or alumnus with the potential to hoist to the top of the industry, using the combined resources and contacts of Point Blank and Pioneer DJ.  The 2017 winner, DJ/Producer Gabby Gunn, enjoyed access to huge industry events such as IMS Ibiza and Amsterdam Dance Event, and was providing a wide range of mix, live performance and networking opportunities across the year.

One year on, Gabby returned to our studio in London to talk us through what she’s been up to over the past year. If you read this blog you will know about a fair few of her exploits already – which included trips to IMS Ibiza and ADE – but as Gabby explains in the video above, many more opportunities presented themselves along the way. Take her set at the BBC Introducing stage at Creamfields for an example, or her recorded performance at the final edition of the much-loved UK institution Secret Garden Party. She also shares some of the networking opportunities that arose over the year, together with access to the latest Pioneer gear.

Our DJ studio at Point Blank London is fully kitted with the latest equipment from Pioneer DJ, including the DJS-1000 sampler released late last year

If you are a student or a recent graduate who has already played a variety of DJ gigs, then you could be this year’s winner. The profile of these gigs doesn’t matter, all we need to see is potential and the drive to succeed – the successful candidate will be catapulted to some of the industry’s highest-profile platforms, so this is not for the faint of heart.

Interested in applying for this exclusive opportunity to fast track your DJ career? You’ll need to send an application to matt@pointblankmusicschool.com by 11th March 2018. Your application should give a full outline of your DJ credentials to date, together with a link to one of your mixes which you feel gives the best representation of your selector and mixing skills. After an initial shortlisting process, the successful candidate will be confirmed in March, with the programme commencing through to December. Please note this opportunity is for Point Blank students and graduates only.

Don’t forget that if you’re not at the level required yet we can help you get there. Take a DJ course with us and get started, or hone your skills with that little bit of guidance. Want to go deeper still, our BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering covers all the bases for you to make it as a musician in today’s industry, so don’t hesitate. As a student you’ll also qualify for this and countless other opportunities too.

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 Hosting Workshops at IMS Ibiza 2017

With IMS Ibiza celebrating its ten-year anniversary, Point Blank is returning to the island as an industry partner to curate two masterclasses for the event. Each year, the International Music Summit heads to the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dalt Vila, with a series of unique back-to-back performances curated for the appreciation for electronic music and the artistry related to DJing and all related art forms, as well as hosting a series of workshops and guest speakers at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Kicking off today, Point Blank’s Carly Hordern will be hosting DVS1 for a DJ Skills Masterclass, with the Berghain resident DJ discussing his unique mixing style, his record collection of over 35,000 vinyl and his experiences of the infamous Berlin club. A part of today’s ‘free day’, this is open to all Ibiza residents.

On Friday, Point Blank instructor Alex Phountzi (Bugz in the Attic, NameBrandSound) will be hosting a masterclass on boosting your creativity, sharing some essential techniques to inspire a more creative approach in the studio and equipping you with new ideas for starting your tracks. Attendees will learn creative ways to approach remixing and composition, learn new approaches for working with samples and have the opportunity to get hands-on with new creative techniques by participating onstage. Alex teaches Intro to Production and Creative Production and Remixing on our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree.

We’ve recently begun a brand new course based in Ibiza over the summer. This truly is an incredible chance to learn the core skills of a music producer and DJ whilst immersed in one of the centres of electronic music. The course is limited to just 20 spaces and is selling fast, so enrol today to ensure your place. Upon enrollment, you’ll receive a free copy of Ableton Suite and Rekordbox DJ, worth over £620 / €740, plus access to 50% off Native Instruments. For more information, contact our Course Advisors here or call 0207 729 4884 or 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!

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