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Monthly Round-Up

PB Recommends #45: Finn, Giant Swan And More

Point Blank Recommends is your handy digest of our essential new music recommendations, whether it’s box-fresh material or tracks that may have slipped under the radar. If you’re seeking fresh inspiration from unusual places, PBR#45 has got you covered. As always, this one covers a broad spectrum of music, so open your mind, your ears and a fresh tab on your browser and get refreshing those listening habits with our handy Soundcloud playlist.

As the nights begin to close in, leaves fade to brown and inevitably cover the ground in a wet, brown mulch, its tempting to let your musical tastes fixate on darker hues. Saying that, sometimes you just need to surround yourself in sonic sunshine and drag your mind back to the summer. For the 45th edition of PB Reccommends, we’ve got both tendancies covered. Releases from Jasss, Sun Yufka and Giant Swan (on the outstanding Timedance imprint) pander to the darkness, while Nilüfer Yanya, Miles From Kinshasa and Finn exist on the sunny side (the latter has the office divided but we’ll let you make up your own mind).

For more music including the recent live set and masterclass we were blessed with from Octave One, head to the Point Blank Music YouTube channel, where you can also check out what’s going down on our label. As always we hope this inspires you to want to make your own music. If that’s the case why not take a look at our Online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree. Or if playlisting is your thing, why not have a look at our Radio Courses? As it happens we’re currently offering £1000 off our Radio Broadcasting Diploma until 31st October!

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

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

The post PB Recommends #45: Finn, Giant Swan And More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Monthly Round Up July 2017: Point Blank Mumbai Opens, plus DVS1, Joe Goddard + More

As we roll into August with a profusion of new content, we take stock and look back at what we were up to for the month of July. We’ve had some fantastic student opportunities, insightful interviews and informative masterclasses, all geared towards preparing you for your ascent through the music industry. Below are a few picks from the month. Don’t forget to check out our courses, such as our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree, on which you’ll learn the essential tools to take your productions to the next level.

To see each post in detail, click the corresponding title to be taken through to the page. And for those not already in the know, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel and following us on Facebook and Twitter so you never miss out on our cutting edge content. Now, roll July’s highlights reel:

Point Blank Mumbai Opens in Partnership with True School of Music


We are delighted to announce our latest development in what has been a very exciting year so far. Point Blank Music School and Mumbai’s own The True School of Music (TSM) are joining forces to create a unique and exciting two-week DJ/Entrepreneur Course, taught in TSM’s state-of-the-art facility in Mumbai.  This groundbreaking Point Blank-developed programme will be collaboratively taught by Point Blank and TSM instructors, focusing on essential DJ skills as well as how to make your mark in the music industry. Read the full post here.

DVS1 DJ Skills Masterclass Hosted by Point Blank at IMS Ibiza 2017

Earlier this year we headed out to the White Isle to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of IMS Ibiza, with Point Blank involved as part of the event programming. Kicking off the Wednesday afternoon’s programme, Point Blank’s Carly Hordern hosted a very special masterclass with DVS1, with a focus on DJ skills. The Berghain resident discussed his use of technology in music, approach to creativity, and his view on ‘uniqueness’ within DJ’ing, before giving a short but high-octane performance and elaborating on the techniques he employs to get the best from his sets. Watch the full session and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more masterclasses and tutorials.

Point Blank Present Joe Goddard Interview at Sonar +D: Creativity & Songwriting

Point Blank travelled to Sonar +D in Barcelona this summer to host two very special sessions, featuring as an official part of the programming at this internationally renowned festival. Finishing the day’s events and bringing in the festival weekend which featured the likes of DJ Shadow and Carl Craig, we sat down with Hot Chip co-founder Joe Goddard. With Joe also one-half of 2 Bears and label head of Greco-Roman, we were honoured to get an exclusive insight into the creative process of one of the UK’s most well-respected electronic artists. Watch the full interview below and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more masterclasses, tutorials and interviews. For those wanting to develop their own journey into music making, check out our full range of online courses.

Exclusive Artist Masterclass Series Hosted at Point Blank’s London Studios

As part of the ongoing course development for our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree and equivalent online degree, Point Blank have commissioned a series of masterclasses from renowned instrumentalists at our London studios. To kick things off we had the highly-accomplished Sirishkumar Manji hosted a particularly unique masterclass session on the Tabla, a south-asian percussive instrument. We also hosted Basement Jaxx percussionist Oli Savill and Japanese instrument specialist Clive Bell – all for the benefit of our students!

Using BEAP in Ableton (Max for Live)

We’re back with a special two-part tutorial series, this time with Point Blank course developer and expert instructor Dan Herbert. In these tutorials, Dan focuses on using Max for Live plugin BEAP – available as part of Ableton Suite – to create your own synths, sequencers and more. Dan Herbert teaches the Sound Design module on our online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree, on which you can learn everything you need to take your productions to the next level. We are also currently offering 20% off our online courses until the end of the month, so you can save up to £3,260 when enrolling (including a free copy of Ableton Suite or Logic Pro with selected courses).

Three Years of Point Blank Los Angeles: The Roots Run Deep

Back in July 2014 we announced the launch of Point Blank’s Los Angeles school, and since that time our LA branch has established itself deep in the center of America’s electronic music renaissance. Three years on, we thought it a good time to take stock of our unique connection to the LA scene which has seen us extend the reach of the ‘Best Electronic Music School,’ a title bestowed by DJ Mag and one which we have proudly held for over 9 years. Read the full article 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 Monthly Round Up July 2017: Point Blank Mumbai Opens, plus DVS1, Joe Goddard + More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Monthly Round-Up May 2017: MJ Cole, Revilo, Sample Culture, Online BA, Robot Koch & More!

April was a busy month at Point Blank. Due to popular demand, we opened another course at our Ibiza complex, as well as hosting masterclasses at our London and LA schools. We held sampling events and production/mix competitions, welcomed new tutors, caught up with some PB alumni and had some fantastic new releases on PB Music. Here we run down a few of our highlights from the past month, before getting back to the grinding wheel for what is looking to be an equally busy May!

To see each post in detail, click the corresponding title to be taken through to the page. And for those not already in the know, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel and following us on Facebook and Twitter so you never miss out on our cutting edge content. Now, roll January’s highlights reel:

Watch Rag’n’Bone Man – Human: MJ Cole Remix Masterclass

In this exclusive session, MJ Cole gave us a tour of his incredibly well-equipped studio, showing us some of his favourite bits of kit, such as his Rhodes Eighty-Eight – originally owned by Portishead and used on their first album. For the masterclass element – a remix of Rag’n’Bone Man’s hit ‘Human’ – he shows us his creative workflow, touching on everything from chopping the track up for samples, vibing and coming up with ideas to mixing and arrangement. He explains and shows us how he works out a melody on his piano, finding the tonal key he wants to use and his process moving on from there in great detail, all throughout highlighting some of his favourite plugins and how he likes to apply them.

Revilo – ‘Hold On’: Out Now on PB Music! [Stream & Download] 

he sun has started to come out here in the UK and what better way to celebrate than to get down to a brand new banger from the PB Music squad. We are delighted to announce the latest addition to the Point Blank Music roster, Oliver Evans aka Revilo and his track ‘Hold On.’ DJ Pioneer featured this as his ‘Track of the Moment’ on his KISS FM radio show, which you can check out here, or grab yourself a copy now on Juno, iTunes and Spotify.

A Brief History of Sample Culture: Borrowing, Adapting & Shaping

Over the past few months, we have been sharing a new series of articles based on excerpts from our Production Analysis module, a part of our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree. Our journey thus far has taken us from the roots of dance, tracking movements like Disco and Dub, through Punk and DIY culture to the UK’s urban scene, and that’s just the beginning. As we continue the series, we’ll be taking a look at more of the most pivotal cultural movements in music history, as well as their effect on the music industry as we know it today. For this edition, we look at one of the most groundbreaking production techniques of all time -sampling – together with the rich history that surrounds it.

Announcing our new Online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree

After more than a year of intensive development we are very proud to announce the launch of our brand new flagship online course, the BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering degree (online). Building on the successes from our degree course in London and our online Music Production Master Diploma, the Point Blank team has worked hard to ensure our new online degree course delivers an intensive, immersive and practical education across all areas of music production and sound engineering. Taught by our award-winning instructors, this programme is quality assured by Middlesex University and you receive a Middlesex BA (Hons) degree on successful completion.

Robot Koch ‘Eclipse’ Track Breakdown in Ableton Live at Point Blank Los Angeles

We’ve had the pleasure of hosting masterclasses with some of the best musicians and producers in the business, grabbing time with artists as diverse as Matthew Dear, Ritchie Hawtin, Shadow Child, Shawn Lee and Prince Fatty. In our latest guest workshop, we were joined by award-winning producer and composer Robot Koch at our Los Angeles school as he treated our students to a live deconstruction of ‘Eclipse’, a track from his 2015 album ‘Hypermoment’ released on Monkeytown Records. Check out the full video above.

PB Returns to Malta to Curate IMS College 2017: Exclusive Discounts Available

Following the success of the 2016 event, Point Blank and IMS College are once again set to provide a series of carefully curated panels, keynotes, networking sessions and workshops from music industry figureheads, providing attendees with a rare insight into every aspect of the electronic music industry from the creative process to business management, covering radio, production, management, PR, live bookings, trade organisations and much more. Over the weekend there will be specials performances from some of the world’s best artists, including Sven Vath (Cocoon), DJ Agoria, Todd Terry and Richy Ahmed (Hot Creations).

To find out more details, including information on packages, head to the IMS College Malta website. Information on how to book can also be found here. What’s more, Point Blank students and graduates are eligible for a massive 50% discount! To claim the code, students and former students should get in touch with Point Blank confirming their date of study.

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 Monthly Round-Up May 2017: MJ Cole, Revilo, Sample Culture, Online BA, Robot Koch & More! appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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February Round-Up: Online BA Degree, Austen/Scott Breakdown, Arturia FFL + More

After an explosive start to the year, we kept the ball rolling in February 2017 with an overabundance of new content for you to pore over. In this edition of our monthly round-up we bring you the latest masterclasses, tutorials, articles and offers from the Point Blank universe. Don’t forget to check out our courses, such as our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree, on which you’ll learn the essential tools to take your productions to the next level.

To see each post in detail, click the corresponding title to be taken through to the page. And for those not already in the know, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel and following us on Facebook and Twitter so you never miss out on our cutting edge content. Now, roll February’s highlights reel:

Announcing our new Online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree

After more than a year of intensive development we are very proud to announce the launch of our brand new flagship online course, the BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering degree (online). Building on the successes from our degree course in London and our online Music Production Master Diploma, the Point Blank team has worked hard to ensure our new online degree course delivers an intensive, immersive and practical education across all areas of music production and sound engineering. Taught by our award-winning instructors, this programme is quality assured by Middlesex University and you receive a Middlesex BA (Hons) degree on successful completion.

Set over three years of study, our online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering degree is formed of eighteen carefully crafted modules as a cross-platform course using Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Native Instruments and Pro Tools. With over 200 hours of high-quality videos, 216 live group masterclasses and 72 live one to one tutorials, this truly is the most comprehensive online music production course around. Upon enrolment, students choose from a free copy of Ableton Suite or Logic Pro X, and will also receive a free 3-month subscription to Pro-Tools. This in addition to exclusive audio resources including plugins, channel strips, racks, samples, acapellas and more. Find out more here.

Austen/Scott ‘Beyond Thought’ Track Breakdown In Ableton Live

In this Ableton Live track breakdown, we are joined by London-based duo Austen/Scott in a deconstruction of their single ‘Beyond Thought’, a track on their ‘The Consciousness’ EP out on Dutch label Rejected. Austen and Scott give us their top production tips and discuss their studio setup explaining how sometimes less is more, as well as giving us an insight into their production process. They walk us through every aspect of their track, from programming/texturing drums and writing basslines to using plugins and their mastering process. Watch the video above for the full track breakdown and to get an insight into the duos creative process.

D.I.Y Culture: From Punk Rock to Bandcamp

Over the last few weeks, we have been delving into the new Production Analysis module on our BA (Hons) Music & Sound Engineering Degree and our brand new equivalent Online Degree course, giving you a sneak peek of what to expect on the course. So far we’ve covered the roots of dance, specifically the impact of Dub and Disco, exploring the impact they made on electronic music as we know it today. This instalment is no less pivotal, albeit in a different way. This week we look at the rise of D.I.Y culture, documenting its tremendous impact on the music industry, from Punk Rock to Dance music. We’ll be discussing some of the production options available today and the rise of independent labels and releases, including self-promoting using internet platforms.

How to Sequence a Modular Synth using Arturia Modular V

With the introduction of fixed-architecture synths, modular synthesis experienced a decline in the 1980s. Modular synthesisers had been commercially manufactured over ten years before by the legendary Bob Moog and Don Bulcha, who ceased production in 1981 & 1984. However, this made them much more sought after, so eventually, companies like Modcan and Doepfer introduced new modular systems in the 90s, beginning a massive resurgence in modular synthesis. The advent of the internet, plugins and modern DAWs only hastened this resurgence, with modular synthesis becoming much more affordable in the shape of virtual systems – one of which we discuss in the above video. Arturia’s emulation of the legendary Moog Modular – Modular V.

Point Blank Instructor Spotlight: Computo


One of the things that sets Point Blank apart is the quality of our expert instructors. Our team in Los Angeles is no exception. Each of our instructors is selected for their combination of talent, music industry experience and tangible success – which they pass on to you in the classroom. Joe Caputo aka Computo, a Hollywood-based producer and sound designer with a serious addiction to modular synthesis has been teaching the Sound Design module of our Music Production & Sound Design Advanced Diploma at PBLA for over 2 years now. Having worked for 6 years at Native Instruments, he trained artists like Zedd, Flying Lotus and A-Trak in the specifics of Maschine and Komplete. Now Computo is focused on modular synth composition and sound design, co-founding the CNTRPNT modular workshop series, as well as being involved in the Voltage Control Lab, a platform that he’s created for both new and experienced modular synth enthusiasts to learn about their instruments and take control of their sound. We caught up with him for a interview on his working with Sage Lewis on the Operator film score. Read it here.

Register to Win a Producer Pack, Online Course & Ableton Suite worth over £2,000!

As we steam through February, we decided to make your day that little bit brighter by offering you the chance to win Ableton Suite, a Novation producer bundle and a free online course of your choice, together worth over £2,000! All you need to do is register here before the 12th March to be in with a chance of winning. Our complete range of courses form part of our Music Production Master Diploma, and will give you the knowledge you need to produce music at an expert level, whether taking a deep dive into Composition, Production or as a DAW-focused approach using Logic Pro or Ableton. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to join the Point Blank family by registering here on our website.

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 February Round-Up: Online BA Degree, Austen/Scott Breakdown, Arturia FFL + More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Monthly Round-Up December 2016: Xmas Course Offer, Under the Radar, PBR Streetgang + more

At Point Blank, we always look to the future. We have to – our job is to help our students create and prepare for their careers, to equip a new generation of influencers and creatives who will go on shape the music industry in the coming years. As such, we rarely allow ourselves too much time to look back, even in December. Indeed, throughout the month we continued to provide the very best production tutorials, exclusive free giveaways and informative features geared towards building your knowledge and taking your music-making to the next level. After all, we know you’ve got big plans for 2017, we’re here to help you achieve them.

To see each post in detail, click the corresponding title to be taken through to the page. And for those not already in the know, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel and following us on Facebook and Twitter so you never miss out on our cutting edge content. Now, roll December’s highlights reel:

Christmas Offer: It’s Your Last Chance to Grab a 20% Discount On Los Angeles & Online Courses Until Jan 9th

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Christmas may be over, but there’s still a chance to save serious money on LA and online courses. If you’ve been dreaming of big things in 2017, what are you waiting for? We are currently offering two huge discounts off Point Blank courses until January 9th! Enrol now and you could save up to $3000 dollars on courses at our Los Angeles studios, including on our new flagship Music Production & Sound Design Advanced Diploma. Alternatively, you could save up to £900 / $1,200 on any of our online courses.  Point Blank offers unparalleled immersive and practical education across all areas of music production and sound engineering, whether in our studios or online. To redeem your discount, just enter XMAS20 when you enrol.

Student Opportunity: Pioneer DJ x Point Blank Accelerator Programme

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Are you an emerging DJ looking for the chance to move to the next level?  We’re looking for a student or recent graduate to take advantage of the newly launched Pioneer DJ x Point Blank Accelerator Programme. The successful candidate will benefit from the combined support of Point Blank and Pioneer DJ who will coordinate guest DJ slots at high level music industry events including Amsterdam Dance Event 2017. As well as access to top level DJ gigs, they will be invited to create guest mixes for renowned vlog platform DJ Sounds and Pioneer DJ Radio, with media support along the way from Point Blank. Head to the original post for everything you need to know about how to apply.

Under The Radar with Sam Willis (R&S): Pt. 1 Korg Electribe ES-1

Stuck for Christmas present ideas? Fear not. We had a chat with Sam Willis, a.k.a Primitive World – R&S Records’ head of A&R and Point Blank instructor – about some fantastic bits of overlooked music production hardware that are due a reevaluation. This gear can often be found for a steal online and could make a big impact on your tracks when utilised well. In the first instalment of the series Sam shows us the Korg Electribe ES-1, a small but powerful sampler. Described jokingly by Sam as ‘the poor mans Octotrack’, in reality this sampler is not to be underestimated and can be used for production or as a live tool to great effect.

PBR Streetgang ‘12.32’ Ableton Live Track Masterclass

We sat down with Bonar Bradberry and Tom Thorpe, the duo behind acid powerhouse PBR Streetgang (named after the boat crew in the 1979 ‘Nam classic ‘Apocalypse Now’), for an Artist Masterclass breaking down their track ’12.32’. Check out the video above, where the pair touch on a plethora of topics including initial conception of the track, together with their approach to processing samples and arrangement. They also give some insight into the benefits of collaboration and the impact it has on their creative process and workflow, and divulge their tips on how to get the best out of your production by optimising your tracks for the club.

Plugin of the week: Soundtoys Tremolator

The tremolo effect, sometimes wrongly named vibrato by musicians and even manufacturers , is the effect of modulating the amplitude of a sound. The first electronic tremolo effect for guitar was designed by DeArmond in the early ’40s, but if the early analogue devices had limited parameters, mostly depth and speed, digital devices tend to offer more controls to shape your sounds. Soundtoys’ Tremolator is a perfect example of what a modern tremolo effect can do. So what can it do? That was the subject of this recent Plugin of the Week. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tutorials and live events.

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 Monthly Round-Up December 2016: Xmas Course Offer, Under the Radar, PBR Streetgang + more appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Monthly Round-Up November 2016: Marco Faraone, Win an Analog Heat and More!

As we power into the final month of 2016, there’s little sense of running down the clock. Indeed, November was as packed as ever with production tutorials, exclusive free giveaways and informative features geared towards building your knowledge and taking your music-making to the next level. And you had incentive to do just that, as we launched another unmissable remix competition, this time in partnership with rising star Viv May. Elsewhere, we invited techno’s new Italian Master Marco Faraone in for a masterclass at our London studios and launched a new register and win competition. The prize? An Analog Heat.

To see each post in detail, click the corresponding title to be taken through to the page. And for those not already in the know, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel and following us on Facebook and Twitter so you never miss out on our cutting edge content. Now, roll November’s highlights reel:

Register with Point Blank before 11th December to Win an Analog Heat + Online Course!

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Want to bag yourself an Analog Heat alongside a Complete online course – a prize haul worth £1,969? All you need to do to be in with a shot is register here before midnight 11th December. The Analog Heat is a brand new stereo analog sound processor from Elektron. Described as an audio enhancer and audio destroyer, you’ll be able to experiment with eight different stereo analog distortion circuits, add stereo analog filtering and EQ, and hear beautiful – and radical – things unfold. What’s more, the Analog Heat comes with Overbridge support, allowing it to be used as a VST/AU effect plugin. G’warn, get your name in the frame and register now.

Ableton Live Tutorial: Creative Rhythm Programming

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You may have noticed that this month saw us roll out a new tutorial series PB Course Developer and Ableton-certified Trainer Freddy Frogs. In this, the third episode, the focus shifts to creative rhythm programming. Exploring techniques such as varying velocity, shifting the starting point of a pattern, multi-tap delay and even switching up time signatures, Freddy delves into ways that you can create interest and drive. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tutorials and live events.

Remix Competition: Viv May (Shogun Audio, Dispatch Records) – ‘Don’t Say It’

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A hotly tipped UK artist who has collaborated with Zero T, Phase and Session Victim, Viv May’s strand of spirited, soulful pop has found support from Radio 1, Ministry of Sound Radio and sister label of Shogun Audio, SGN:LTD. November saw us commence a search for your best remixes of her new track ‘Don’t Say It’ – there’s no genre stipulations or style restrictions, the winning track will be judged solely on quality and originality. But what’s in it for you? A Point Blank ‘complete’ online course of your choosing, a Synthmaster Everything bundle and Nevo Analogue Machines, Samplephonic’s hybrid synth created in conjunction with Yoad Nevo. Head to the original post to find out everything you need to know.

Marco Faraone – ‘Climax’ and ‘Over the Clouds’ Track Masterclass

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In this interview, recorded at our London studio, the Uncage boss talks about his trajectory, from those early jams on Reason – when his friends were off playing Playstation –  to his later gravitation towards hardware. He also offers an instructive and in-depth look into his creative process as he breaks down, step by step, two huge tracks, ‘Climax’ and ‘Over the Clouds’ from his 2016 EP for Drumcode. Watch the video above and make sure you subscribe to our channel for more tutorials, interviews and live events.

Free Logic & Ableton Template Download from WeMakeDanceMusic.com!

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Here at PBHQ we know that kit costs cash money so we are always on the lookout for freebies we can pass on to our loyal audience of producers and songwriters. Register with Point Blank today and you can download a selection of free Logic and Ableton templates which have been exclusively created for Point Blank by WeMakeDanceMusic.com. These handy free Logic and Ableton template downloads can be used for remixing, sampling, edits, and for learning by deconstruction and reverse-engineering. They will also help speed up your workflow and kickstart some new creative ideas, helping you to create plenty of new tracks!

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 Monthly Round-Up November 2016: Marco Faraone, Win an Analog Heat and More! appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Monthly Round-Up October 2016: Ghostbusters, Hannah V and More!

After the madness of September and the new school term, October proved to offer little respite as we stepped up with production tutorials, exclusive free content and informative features to help build your knowledge and take your music-making to the next level. We also found the time to pay a little homage to Halloween with our truly chilling FFL! special and put a call out to producers to remix the brand new track from producer Hannah V – with a huge prize haul up for grabs. Those waiting on the second round of our popular series Style Guide were rewarded with a techno two-parter. The perfect follow-up to last month’s house primer.

Check out our monthly round-up below as we recap some of the highlights. To see each post in detail, click the corresponding title to be taken through to the page. And for those not already in the know, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel and following us on Facebook and Twitter so you never miss out on our cutting edge content.

‘Ghostbusters’ Ableton Live Deconstruction (FFL!)

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Making music can be terrifying. The endless plugins, options and influences mean starting a track can be tough, and finishing it can be even harder. At PB, our Music Composition module and accompanying deconstructions aim to simplify the process, taking well known tracks and breaking them down into how they were written, the notes and chords used and what goes in to the arrangement. Just in time for October 31st, we tasked track deconstruction maestro Ski Oakenfull to tackle a Halloween classic: Ray Parker Jr’s ‘Ghostbusters’.

Style Guide: Techno Part 1 & 2: History & Sound Design and Building a Techno Track in Ableton Live

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Techno is so more than a genre – it’s an institution. Combining the avant-garde electronica coming out of Europe with the underground radio station’s electric funk and post-disco influence, Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson began to create what is now known as early Detroit Techno. Now, Techno’s countless sub genres and variants can all be traced back to the Belleville Three and, in our latest Style Guide, James Wiltshire (Freemasons, Beyoncé) traces the history, the impact and the sound of one of electronic music’s most defining genres before putting theory into practice in part 2.

Remix Hannah V (Rihanna, Jessie J) & Win a Maschine Jam, Yamaha Reface + More!

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Producers! It’s time to step up your remix game because once again Point Blank has teamed with respected producer Hannah V to bring you an exclusive remix competition launching on our online music-making community, Plugged In. We’re inviting you to download the stems of Hannah’s new single, ‘No Problems‘, and submit a remix on Plugged In before midnight on 6th November. There’s no genre stipulations or style restrictions, the winning track will be judged solely on quality and originality. But what’s in it for you? Quite a lot, actually. The winner will bag themselves a massive prize haul including a Native Instruments Maschine Jam, Yamaha Reface (the winner can choose between the YC, CP, CS or DX models), a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 2nd Gen Interface, Rob Papen Predator 2.0 plus 1 x SubBoomBass. We’re also throwing in a Point Blank online course! Full instructions on how to enter are here,

Pioneer TORAIZ SP-16 Overview (FFL!)

TORAIZ

As DJing and performance become more and more blurred, Pioneer’s industry standard range of kit has a new addition in the form of the sequencer-sampler SP-16 TORAIZ. With a touch screen interface, 16-step sequencer, sampler and performance functions, the TORAIZ aims to revolutionise both the booth and the studio. We asked Liam Jones aka Cera Alba (Hot Creations, Mad Tech) to give us an overview of how the TORAIZ works, including building a track from scratch, syncing with CDJ and much more. You can watch the FFL! again here and, after, be sure to subscribe to our channel for more tutorials and live events.

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 Monthly Round-Up October 2016: Ghostbusters, Hannah V and More! appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Monthly Round-Up September 2016: Maschine Jam First Look, Recording Tabla + More

The start of a new academic year meant that September was always going to be an exciting month here at Point Blank. As we welcomed the new students onto campus – including our first students taking our new flagship BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree – we stepped up our game with production tutorials, exclusive free content and informative features to help build your knowledge and take your music-making to the next level. We also found the time to welcome some very special guests to PBHQ, including house star MK and acclaimed tablaist Sirishkumar Manji. Check out our monthly round-up below as we recap some of the highlights. To see each post in detail, click the corresponding title to be taken through to the page. And for those not already in the know, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel and following us on Facebook and Twitter so you never miss out on our cutting edge content.

Maschine Jam – First Look (FFL!)

Maschine fast became the go-to beat machine of millions of producers worldwide when it was launched back in 2009. Since, it’s seen some updates to its hardware and software via Maschine 2.0 and the landmark Maschine Studio controller. For many, it was a studio tool, used to produce and create ideas and beats, but more and more artists were taking the popular beat maker on the road. Now NI have catered for live performers with a brand new hardware release: Maschine Jam. In this FFL!, PB instructor Paul Ressel (Lana Del Rey, Faithless) gives you a first look at the new Maschine Jam and its new software functions.

Point Blank Los Angeles Student Testimonials: Travis Holcombe (KCRW) + More

Since opening its doors in January last year, Point Blank Los Angeles has introduced hundreds of graduates to the world of music production and DJ’ing. In that time we’ve seen some huge developments, from the recent introduction of our DJ Studios and with it our flagship Music Production and Sound Design Diploma, to a range of guest artists including Daddy Kev, TEED, Mr. Carmack and many more. With that in mind we took some time out to catch up with some current students and graduates to get the lowdown on their learning experience at PBLA.

Recording Tabla in Ableton Live (FFL!)

Combining unique instruments with more traditional techniques has often been the way to create your own sound. In electronic music and beyond, the blending of styles and genres can help you break out of the loop-based and sample-pack production traps. In this FFL!, Ski Oakenfull was joined by tablaist Sirishkumar Manji to show you how to record tabla into Ableton Live and combine it with electronic sounds in your productions. It turned into a jam session. Subscribe to our channel for more live events and free tutorials.

Watch MK Discuss His Creative Struggles, DJ Setup and Remixing at PB London

Marc Kinchen aka MK is a modern dance music legend. From his early releases like ‘Burning’, created under the mentorship of key Detroit figures, he went on to create a trademark vocal-chop sound, and even hit number one in the UK charts with his remix of Storm Queen. Point Blank have sat down with the house hero many times, first at the inaugural LEAF in 2013 and later at IMS Ibiza as part of the IMS Remix. This time, he came to Point Blank London to talk about his creative struggles, DJ setup and approach to remixing.

Sarm Music Village & PB Present – Sarm Session: Trevor Horn

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We had a huge announcement to make last month: on Sunday 13th November, two legendary music production institutions are teaming up to bring you world-class knowledge, insight and inspiration at a brand new event concept. Taking place at the newly-built SARM Music Village – the next generation of the famous studio complex – in collaboration with Point Blank, it’s your chance to learn directly from Trevor Horn, one of the world’s most legendary producers.

Trevor will be discussing everything from recording techniques, his favourite equipment, production approach and will be breaking down one of his most iconic productions: Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax’. This exclusive opportunity will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience; your chance to learn directly from the man who shaped the sound of modern music. Tickets are priced at £195 and are places are strictly limited to 50 on a first come, first served basis. Head here to reserve your space.

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 Monthly Round-Up September 2016: Maschine Jam First Look, Recording Tabla + More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Monthly Round-Up July 2016: Sónar 2016, Plugin of the Week + More

July 2016 was packed with exciting developments here at PB HQ. As always, we were busy sharing videos, production tutorials and exclusive free content with you to help you take your music-making to the next level. What’s more, we launched a brand new Facebook Live series and hit the road, presenting a series of masterclasses at this year’s Sónar Festival. Check out our monthly round-up below as we recap some of the highlights. To see each post in detail, click the corresponding title to be taken through to the page. And for those not already in the know, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel and following us on Facebook and Twitter so you never miss out on our cutting edge content.

New Order – Blue Monday Ableton Live Deconstruction @ Sónar+D 2016

In 1983, New Order created a timeless classic that’s celebrated as one of the most influential tracks of all time. The Manchester band are still going strong some three decades on, stepping up to headline Barcelona’s Sónar Festival in July. Indeed, when we were asked to take part in Sónar+D – the educational arm of the famous festival – it was a no-brainer that we’d honour them by giving the iconic ‘Blue Monday’ our world-famous deconstruction treatment.

New Series: Plugin of the Week

As part of our brand new series of Facebook Live streams, we’re taking a short and snappy look at some of the best plugins on the market to keep your inspiration flowing. In this broadcast, recorded live out of our buzzing Hub at Orsman Road, we spotlight AudioThing’s Valve Filter VF-1 – a simple, affordable and affective filter plugin. To watch Plugin of the Week live make sure you follow us on Facebook.

Composing for Film & TV (Part 2): Live & Sampled Strings

Back in November 2015 we teamed up with the highly respected Morley College to bring you two exclusive workshops focusing on composing, scoring and recording for film. In the second of these sessions filmed at our new studio complex, sound designer Adam JB (Eric Prydz, Channel 4) takes the recorded strings from the previous workshop and explores some production techniques to enhance the sound with recorded sound libraries.

Check Out These 10 Tips to Better Drums in Your Tracks

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Your drum sound can make or break your track. Get them wrong and the rest of your song will suffer. With so many tones, textures and types, ranging in pitch, sound and size, there are thousands of variables – and decisions – that go into choosing, recording, sampling and mixing your drums. Of course, our London courses involve getting stuck into a huge range of concepts for recording and programming powerful, dominating drums so we thought we’d cherry-pick ten of our favourites to get you started towards better beats.

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 Monthly Round-Up July 2016: Sónar 2016, Plugin of the Week + More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here