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Introducing the Winners of 2018s Defected Mix Competition

The ballots have been cast, the votes in, and we can now reveal the winners of this year’s Point Blank x Defected Mix Competition. We had more entries than ever before this year and more than we even hoped for so firstly we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to apply and send us your mixes. With almost 600 entrants, it required almost a month of man hours to listen to all of the mixes, and we enjoyed hearing them all. After whittling the list down to a final shortlist of 10, it was over to the famed A&R department at Defected to decide which three mixes would take the podium and which overall winner would win a slot to play at this year’s Defected Croatia festival alongside the likes of Basement Jaxx, Derek Carter, Honey Dijon and Masters at Work.

Without further ado – here are the winners:

  1. Vin Postega
  2. Lambert & Handle
  3. DJ TQ

When we contacted the winners to let them know how they had got on, we asked them to tell us a bit about their mixes and what it means to win. Read on to find out, and to listen to each mix in full.

Vin Postega

With a love of all things groovy, Vin Postega moves through house, disco, soul and jazz in his sets, with a few curveballs thrown in for good measure. His winning mix managed to nicely represent modern house music while retaining a classic feel, and of course just sound fun – one you could instantly imagine against the stunning backdrop of the Adriatic.

On winning, Vin had this to say: “Winning the Defected Competition and playing among all of my heroes is absolute a dream come true!”

Keep up with Vin on SoundCloud.

Lambert & Handle

Having met in Poland after many years of DJing and working in music individually (Handle worked at Ultra Records in New York and Lambert was first released as far back as 2000 on Sony Records), these two veterans joined forces in 2016 under their shared love of disco and of course house. On their Defected mix they said the following.

“We have been fans of Defected since its early years. It is our big dream to get signed by Simon’s label one day. Our goal was to deliver at least 18 quality house tracks in the set, carefully building the track order not forgetting about harmony, cool more obscure tracks to mix together. The set opens with our own edit specially revised for the set, it grows along the whole time, from the groovy, summer vibes to tech themes. It reflects some of the gigs we’ve played in Poland recently. We really enjoyed working on it.”

Lambert & Handle are on SoundCloud.

DJ TQ

Hailing from NYC and infusing his Caribbean roots, hip-hop influence, and soulful style into his sets, along with the spirit and energy of his home city, T.Q. has spent most of his career putting his own spin on drum and bass. With hundreds of gigs under his belts a more innate connection with the dancefloor has been cultivated, and in recent years T.Q. has turned his attention to the world of house music, and on the basis of this mix, we won’t be surprised if he takes that game by storm too. Here’s what he thought of the competition and his entry:

“They say the 3rd time’s the charm, well for me it was four because that is how many times I recorded my entry for the 2018 Defected x Point Blank Mix Competition. I’ve spent over 200 USD simply on gathering tracks. Being that I’m in commute for most of my day (via subway, LIRR, or car), I have time to listen to so much music. I pay attention to what Sam Divine (and her occasional guest DJ) plays – I wanted to be sure that I didn’t include any of those tracks in my mix and bring as much originality and emotion to your headphones as possible. This was the most challenging and rewarding part of the entire competition.”

Follow DJ T.Q. here.

Vinculum

Honourable mention goes to vinculum, who’s genre-bending set was a favourite among the listeners here at PB.

Feeling inspired? We teach DJing at all levels here at Point Blank, and this is just one of many opportunities open to our students. We’ve recently added our first degree course in DJing, quality assured by Middlesex University, launching next academic year. That is the BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice 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!

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Point Blank on Pioneer DJ Radio 075 – Auriga

Welcome back to our fortnightly mix series with Pioneer DJ Radio, our longest running guest radio slot and home to artists like Slam, Sante and Eats Everything. Pioneer DJ obviously need no introduction as the world’s biggest DJ brand. Their radio station is full of names like the above and covers artists from all over the musical spectrum. This fantastic opportunity is open to Point Blank students only – if you’re a PB student or graduate and think your mixes belong with this illustrious company, send them to oliver@pointblankmusicschool.com.

As a classically trained pianist (she studied at the Oviedo Conservatory of Music) Auriga has a deeper understanding of music than most. She has since taken a different path, however, following her lifelong affection for club music instead. Since beginning her studies with us here at Point Blank her skills and dedication have led to sets at clubs all over Madrid and Ibiza including Goya Social Club, Studio76, Florida Retiro, Café La Palma, Nubel, Atenas Terrace, Ballesta Club and Pirandello. She has recently launched her Pitch Ladies series of parties as well, and a debut EP is in the pipeline.

Keep up with Auriga on Soundcloud and Facebook, and keep up with Pitch Ladies here.

Want your mixes heard by the world? Or are you a beginner wanting to learn? Our DJ courses can help you either way. Or if making tracks and live performance is your thing, have a look at our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree, which includes comprehensive instruction in both. If you want to see the state-of-the-art facilities yourself, book a tour by contacting a course advisor or give us a call on +44 207 729 4884. And don’t forget to send your mixes to Ollie at Point Blank if you’re studying with us and want your DJ mix played on Point Blank’s slot on Pioneer DJ Radio.

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!

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Listen to Shan Ali’s Set of Deep House Classics: Live at the Hub

Welcome back to the Hub where, for the latest session, we invited PB student Shan Ali to supply us with some more lunchtime grooves, which he supplied in spades, with a mixture of classic house cuts and newer bits. If you’re into this mix, check out Ali’s band DarkWhite on SoundCloud.  Also, check out the DJ/Producer Certificate course he’s currently studying with us in London.

Live at the Hub is our regular DJ and live performance slot open to students on any course who are ready to share their skills with the world. Think you’re ready? Send your best mix to oliver@pointblankmusicschool.com in order to be considered for our next slots. Study with us and you can have access to plenty more opportunities like this one, including guest radio slots, club performances and more. Find out more about our DJ courses, or our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree, which includes modules covering live performance. If you want to see the state-of-the-art facilities yourself, book a solo tour 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!

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Listen to Point Blank on Pioneer DJ Radio: Guest Mix from Joshua Michael

After an extended layoff, we are back with our regular guest slot with Pioneer DJ Radio. We’ve had a relationship with the station for a minute now and we’re proud to put our students on the radio alongside artists like Slam, Sante and Eats Everything. If you’re a PB student or graduate and think your mixes belong on the biggest stations along with that illustrious company, send them to oliver@pointblankmusicschool.com.

Joshua Michael studied the Music Production Certificate with us back in 2016. He’s been playing since he was just 14. His early interest in electronic music has since developed into a fixation for anything house and techno. With the launch of his own club night upcoming at XOYO and his first release just around the corner, big things are in the pipeline!

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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Learn Seven Ways to Make The Perfect Mix

So you’ve had the best idea you’ve ever had. Your bass, melody and beats are all perfect together… But somehow something’s not right. They don’t pass the car test, and you feel like you’re not doing them justice. Well, you need to add some sparkle to your mixes. Stand back and dive in with these seven tips to make the perfect mix. And if you enjoy these, don’t forget to check out our courses dedicated to the art of mixing & mastering.

1. 1D, 2D, 3D

Think of your mix not just in one dimension, not two, but three dimensions: width, height and ‘depth’. You’ve probably grasped the panning thing – make the most of the stereo space – so consider that as your/left right dimension. Now think ‘up and down’ in terms of volume and impact. Then try to imagine your mix in terms of its dynamic, its ‘depth’, how those frequencies fill your space. The more of the frequency range your mix fills, the greater its dynamic and we all love a good dynamic. EQ will be your friend here to cut frequencies and parts away from one another or boost, say, vocals, away from guitars. So fill the frequency space as much as you would the stereo space and your mix could enter new dimensions.

2. More or less

We know your production tool kit is full as most producers have more than enough power at their music making fingertips. Apple has thrown a gazillion GB of downloads at you with Logic, Ableton includes a huge library of instruments and effects, and your sample library folders are probably bulging so much that your very hard drive space is threatened with extinction. You have it all. Modern producers have such a luxury of choice – or for ‘luxury’, should we say ‘tyranny’? The problem with all of these collections of sounds, samples, presets and plugs is that, well, now that you’ve got them, you might as well use them, right? Wrong. Not only do they present too many options at the compositional stage – which bass from those 1000s should you use? – they also provide too many temptations at the mix stage. Why not just add another bass? Or layer a pad over that gap? Some strings for that hole maybe? In some genres of music, sparse is good and gaps can be just as powerful as kicks. So if you hear a space, relish and enjoy it before filling it.

3. Let it shine

And continuing the theme of ‘the lesser the better’, if your track is sparse – and in dance music that is more likely than less – then make sure that the few ingredients you do have are the best that you can get. With the kick, make it the best kick in the world: compress, combine, layer a sub; make it the T-Rex spine of the track and let the rest of the tracks be the rib-cage hanging from it. If it’s the vocal, make sure it’s the best damn vocal; the most well recorded, rounded, in tune and colossal voice. And if it’s that synth lead hook, make sure it’s not the synth lead hook, preset 35 from Massive (other synths are available). We’re not preset snobs here (not that much anyway) but make that sound your own and you’ll have the confidence to make it outstanding. Ultimately, decide what element makes your tune – the one thing will get people coming back to it again and again – and whether it’s that hook, the kick, the vocal or the break, give /it/ a break and let it shine…

4. Don’t tell anyone you’re doing this (part 1)

… because they might think you’re cheating Have a listen to your music collection. What is the one outstanding mix in your compositional genre that sounds incredible? Just the one, mind – we’re talking the ultimate production. Right *shhhh* take it, and load it into your DAW as an audio track alongside the mix you’re working on. Then, identify why it sounds better than yours. (And if it doesn’t, you’re done, you’re finished, bounce down now!) What has that producer done that you haven’t? Is it in the mastering? Or the arrangement? Or the dynamic of the mix? Don’t be afraid to copy it – no, not the whole track, just the mix element that lifts it above yours. Don’t be afraid to stand on the shoulders of that mix giant.

5. Solo sounds rubbish? Don’t worry!

By this we mean: don’t worry if a track sounds bad in isolation as long as it sounds great in the overall mix. We had a great demonstration of this from a top producer we were interviewing who solo’d a break that they’d been working on and had scooped the bass end out of it so that it sat well with the kick and bass. It sounded terrible in isolation but incredible in the mix. So don’t be afraid to destroy to build – the bigger picture is more important than an individual sound.

6. Invest in great speakers

OK, ok, this is an obvious one, but you can’t overstate it. The better the monitor the truer that monitor usually is and what you are hearing is a great representation of your mix. If what you are hearing is accurate then what other people hear will be as good as it gets on their particular speakers. Also, if you can afford it, consider the newer systems that can adjust themselves to your room, so if you’ve been less than generous with the time you’ve spent on acoustics – and let’s face it, we’d all rather get a decent suite of plug-ins than start messing with bass traps – these monitors can measure your room and adjust themselves accordingly. We’ve used them and they really do work. Yes, great speakers ultimately cost but what’s the use of that fantastic suite of plug-ins if the result is being played through a couple of 50-quid video game speakers?

7. But if you have to use rubbish speakers, learn your sound

And here’s one if you haven’t got the cash for those ‘true’ speakers. It’s the old ‘try your mix out on a car stereo’ tip and one that still holds true, especially if you have cheaper, less accurate speakers. Try your mix out on as many systems that you can – the car, your nan’s radiogram, headphones, your next door neighbour’s five grand hi-fi – whatever you can find. Eventually you will find a sonic pattern emerging from which you can learn about your speakers. If your mix generally sounds bass light it means your studio monitors are delivering a coloured bottom end and you are compensating too much by pulling the bass back at the mixing stage. Similarly if it’s too toppy, your speakers aren’t delivering enough up there so you are pushing it too far. If you can learn the deficiencies of your cheap speakers then you could learn to mix and live with them.

8. BONUS TIP! Don’t tell anyone you’re doing this (part 2)

Cheat. Yes, cheat. Either get someone who knows what they’re doing to fix your mix for you – a colleague, fellow student, Daft Punk etc – or, even more cunning, buy one of an increasing number of software titles that might just help you out. iZotope’s Neutron is one that we’ve tried and whatever it uses – complicated algorithms, black magic, deals with the mixing devil – it pretty much works.

If you want more high-quality tips and instruction, join us here at Point Blank Music School. We offer a BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering accredited by Middlesex University, and there’s also an option to study remotely online. If you just want to learn about mixing but aren’t based in London, try our equivalent courses online and in LA. Please don’t hesitate to 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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The post Learn Seven Ways to Make The Perfect Mix appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Magnetic x Point Blank Mix Series 001: Gabby Gunn – Submit your Mix for 002!

We’re delighted to be launching the new Magnetic x Point Blank Mix series, in association with Magnetic Magazine. For the first entry, we begin with the first PB x Pioneer DJ Accelerator Programme representative, and recent Point Blank graduate: Gabby Gunn. Gabby has a regular slot on Radar Radio, has previously produced mixes for Pioneer DJ Radio and Funky SX Radio, and recent gigs include Blissfields Festival, Secret Garden Party and Creamfields. She is also due to take her unique live/DJ hybrid set to Amsterdam Dance Event for Pioneer DJ Presents: Gabby Gunn Live Featuring the TORAIZ SP-16. Take a listen to the mix below.

This is the first of a new monthly series and we want your mixes for submission! All you need to do is record a mix that’s one hour long, and send it to oliver@pointblankmusicschool.com. Magnetic Magazine is the brainchild of the team that produced BPM Magazine, and is committed to covering all aspects of electronic music culture and everything it entails. In addition to Point Blank’s own channels which reach an excess of 1m followers, Magnetic Magazine is respected the world over and reaches 33k+ on Instagram, 61k+ on Facebook and 22k+ on Twitter. All of which guarantees that these mixes are given the exposure you need to really push your DJ skills, so get mixing!

Gabby Gunn

Please note that this call-out is for Point Blank Students and Alumni only. If you’d like to have access to this and many more fantastic opportunities then why not join us at Point Blank. We offer a range of courses in DJing, Music Production, Radio and Sound Engineering, in London, Los Angeles, Ibiza and Mumbai, as well as 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!

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