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Free DJ Workshop at Point Blank Mumbai & DJ Competition at Palm Expo 2018

We have two very exciting events coming up with the True School of Music at Point Blank Mumbai. The first is an admissions day for any aspiring DJs who want to come get a flavour for the school and get their hands on some our industry-standard equipment. The second is our presence at this year’s PALM Expo, where we are sponsoring the DJ Competition with some fantastic prizes. Find out more about our courses in Mumbai here, and read on for some more information about both events.

The first ever group of students at Point Blank Mumbai

DJ Admissions Day at Point Blank Mumbai

Next week on Tuesday 29 May, we are hosting a free DJ workshop at Point Blank Mumbai. If you’re interested in the school or just want to get your hands on our state-of-the-art Pioneer DJ equipment then come along. Those in attendance will get a tour of the facility and sit in for an interactive, hands-on workshop in the DJ room, with DJ instructor Kedar Sakharkar taking them through the basics of DJing. DJ KD or Deeptektiff has almost two decades of experience in the DJ industry, performing with acts like Yousef, Justin Prime, Prok & Fitch, Sultan & Ned Shepard, Paul Thomas & more. To register please call 022-66243200 or email contact@trueschool.in.

DJ Competition at PALM Expo 2018

This year, at PALM Expo, India’s premier Sound, Lighting and Events platform, we will be hosting a trade show and sponsoring the renowned DJ Competition with some fantastic prizes. Find us there across all three days and talk to our staff in person about our fantastic courses and facilities; and enter the competition for a chance to win free copies of Komplete 11 and Ableton Live, private study with DJ KD, or a slot at one of our Pro DJ Workshops.

The championship is the only platform of its kind in India which promotes and fosters upcoming DJ talent, through a National DJ Talent Hunt judged by some of the best DJs in the country. Check out the competition page for info on some of the other incredible prizes on offer.

We’ve recently added a whole host of new courses you can study at Point Blank Mumbai, catering for all ages to take you as deep into the mechanics of DJing as you want to go. These range from our Complete DJ and Entrepreneur course, which teaches you everything you need to know about DJing and how to use it to embark on a successful career, to an introductory Explore DJ taster, where students get three hours of hands-on teaching to dip their toes in and see if they would like to pursue DJing further. If you have any questions please contact us or call +44 20 7729 4884 to speak with a course advisor.

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

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

The post Free DJ Workshop at Point Blank Mumbai & DJ Competition at Palm Expo 2018 appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Check out a New Video Exploring our Latest Degree Programmes

In the last few months, we have announced several new degree programmes to join our original BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering. These are the BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice (also available as a fast-tracked two-year course) and the BA (Hons) in Music Industry Management. All our programmes are quality assured by Middlesex University and will leave you with an unparalleled footing to embark on a career within the music industry. Watch the video and hear from instructors and graduates talk about the facilities, studio time, tuition, opportunities and past success that make Point Blank the fantastic place to study that it is.

If you’d like to find out more about these courses, there are FAQs and specific details for each of the programmes linked above or you can get in touch with a course advisor, either by calling +44 20 7729 4884 or using this form. If you’d like a taste of the degree courses on offer, you can also sample the online degree here after registering with us. As a student in London, you get access to the same Virtual Learning Environment as the online degree so it’s a great chance to get a feel for the way we teach.

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 Check out a New Video Exploring our Latest Degree Programmes appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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

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

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

Saytek

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

Ambian

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

Imogen

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

Paradoks

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

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

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

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

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

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Behind The Scenes at Point Blank: Graham Silbiger

You’re probably aware that all of our expert instructors here at Point Blank have a wealth of experience in their fields, often with a concurrently running music career alongside their teaching and a vast bank of experiences to draw on when engaging with students. What you may not know is that much of the backroom staff are successful musicians, DJs and engineers too, which we think is a key reason for the fantastic services we offer. The last subject of one of these ‘behind the scenes’ features, for instance, was studio assistant Ricky Vianello who, when he’s not helping students set up equipment or offering advice, is one half of the pulverising techno duo Tapefeed. This time, we collared our content developer Graham Silbiger to share some of his experience and wisdom with us. Graham has over 30 years experience as a working musician, is a highly respected bassist and DJs at gigs and on radio too, time permitting. Read on for one of our favourite editions of this series full of anecdotes and choice advice.

Hi Graham, can you start by telling me what your role is at Point Blank?

Yes, I am content developer in the development team. Meaning I create content for the Virtual Learning Environment both for the online courses and for the London school. That could be anything from creating a Logic project, writing about Gibson and Fender guitars or describing or explaining how modes work. Anything we put in the degree I create content for.

What would you say that you like about working here?

I really like working in the office, I think there are some great people here and they are fun to be around. The actual work is great because I have a lot of autonomy to put in what I want to put in, and I get to use all my experience and years in the business and offload a lot of it.

Obviously, you’ve been a music person for a really long time – could you tell me what your first experience in music is?

Going back to the beginning, I really wanted a guitar when I was 10. My folks weren’t going to buy me one, so I would sit with a cassette player and a Simon and Garfunkel cassette and sit with my tennis racket pretending to play ‘The Boxer’. In the end, I did get one, but my first real music experiences were I guess with my band Small Change when I was about 13. We were a rock n roll band and shortly after in 1977 became a punk band. The older brother of the guitarist got himself expelled from school for having pink hair and we thought he was a hero so naturally we followed him. We did things like hospital radio when there was such a thing, we did gigs as well at that age.

So you were playing guitar?

Initially, I wanted to be the guitarist but the band wanted me to play bass, so for the first year, I had to use my Gibson Columbus copy and play the basslines… Eventually, I got an SG copy bass, and I started playing bass properly.

So the bass has been your instrument since?

Yeah, I’m a bass player. I’m also a guitarist, I play drums, collect percussion instruments and I can produce a bit using Keyboards. But bass mainly. I’ve played lots of different styles but I’m not really into soloing, I’m more of a groove merchant.

I also know that you DJ quite frequently you’ve mentioned it to me before but would you say that reggae was your intro into not just DJing but soundsystem culture as well?

It was. Back in the 70s London subculture was essentially driven by reggae music, until punk came along. punk came along with the same kind of ideological agenda as reggae, and it resonated with a whole new audience. I started going to soundsystems in 1983/84, to [Jah] Shaka down in Deptford. There weren’t a lot of North London white boys, there was maybe five of us who were regulars. But that was my introduction.

I’ve always thought punk and reggae form quite a symbiotic relationship in a way. And a lot of the most interesting music, particularly dance music, comes from those twin pillars of dub and punk.

Yeah well, the punk attitude, and then this whole idea of producing music to enjoy in a given environment. When reggae was produced, when King Tubby or Lee Scratch Perry or any of the other greats were making music, they were doing it with the soundsystem in mind, they knew what they were trying to do. It’s hard to describe really but when I used to go to Shaka it was as close to a true religious experience as I’ve had in music.

So I know you had some success with a band called Savajazz. Can you tell me a little bit about them?

So my oldest friend, Gav, who was in Small Change with me when we were 13 – it was his older brother that was expelled from school – and I kind of discovered funk music. At the time, there were a bunch of bands like A Certain Ratio that were punk bands but had songs that sounded like a funk riff. So there was this idea that you could be playing quite angry sounding music but it could be quite groovy.

Savajazz was an attempt to do something that inspired us from the American music of the late 70s and early 80s. We were a bit like Chaka Khan mixed with Earth Wind & Fire mixed with Funkadelic and Cameo. We wanted to be articulate and funky but we just wanted to do something a little bit different. In fact, what we’d done was invented ourselves as a rare groove band before that really happened a few years later.

You’ve also done a fair bit of session work. I saw that you had worked with Soul II Soul…

I was on Soul II Soul’s ‘Club Classics Volume 1’. I played bass on the track ‘Feel Free’. I got that gig because I was going to Soul II Soul at the Africa Centre at the time so we knew about them. I was in Camden with my bass one day and I saw Jazzy B and HB sitting at this empty stall in what was then called the traders market, opposite the electric ballroom, with a  box of 7″ records in front of them. I went up to them and said: “are you cutting any dubplates for the sound?” And they said, “no, but we are recording because we want to release some singles, so why don’t you come to the shop?” And that’s when I started working on that.

I saw George Michael on there as well.

Yeah, I got a recommendation from my very good friend Toby Pittman who’s a fantastic guitarist, engineer, producer who works out of Air Studios. He’d been working on tracks on George’s album because the other two producers were also housed at Air. He recommended me, I went to Air and recorded three tracks for that records, and one made it onto the album. [laughs] So I’ve got an album credit on George Michael’s ‘Patience’ album as well.

Brilliant. Was he there?

He wasn’t there, but he signed the cheque anyway…

More recently you’ve been gigging with Vibration Black Finger…

G: Well the sad news there is that the particular gig coming up on the 5th of June just got pulled because they’ve cut it to one date rather than two, but we will get another date out of the Jazz Cafe. Working with that project has been fantastic because its creator and core member is Lascelles Gordon, who is for me as much a pillar of the music establishment as Giles Peterson. He’s a very unsung hero. He was the founder of the Cat in the Hat Club along with Barry Sharp. He was also a founding member of The Brand New Heavies, and probably the music inspiration too. He then went on and did several other things that I’ve worked with him over the years on, but he’s just one of those guys who is a really influential music person and never compromised in what he wanted to do.

Graham playing with Vibration Black FInger at Worldwide FM

What other projects are you involved in at the moment?

I’ve started working with a DJ and producer who goes by the name Dear Earth, he’s on Balamii Radio now and again, and he’s started working with Ed Badon Powell’s sons, Marley and Wazoo. Marley runs the label for Rhythm Section and Waz is the drummer, a fantastic drummer. What’s great for me is that I’m getting to work with younger people and I’m really enjoying that.

What would you say you are most proud of over all of those years.

Sticking to my guns. I’ve been in lots of projects as a career musician, and I’ve not gone chasing around trying to work with pop stars. I’ve tried to work in bands writing my own material with other people, which is what I’ve always believed in doing. Also, I’ve learned a great deal and gone beyond being a bass player.

If you were going to ask me what single thing I’m most pleased to have played on, that’s a little more difficult, but there are things that make me smile. Doing a track for Big Youth on the Tough Scout label was great because used to listen to them when I was about 13. There’s lots of stuff you haven’t mentioned – lots of one-off singles with bands I’ve been in. Those are the things that don’t have the most profile but are the most satisfying.

That might play into this last question. What would one piece of advice would you give to any aspiring musicians?

Given that you always meet the same people on the way down, as you do on the way up… don’t behave badly.

Thanks so much for your time Graham!

Graham plays a key role in the development of the courses here at Point Blank, especially with the new degree programmes in Music Production & DJ Practice and Music Industry Management. He also produced a great deal of content for the online degree in Music Production and Sound Engineering. Find out more about how to enrol, or book yourself a studio tour, by speaking 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!

LONDON W OUTLINE

The post Behind The Scenes at Point Blank: Graham Silbiger appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Watch the First Video in Our New Series: Ableton Live 10 In Depth – Using Capture

In a new series, we take a look at Ableton Live 10 in depth with Thomas Glendenning, our resident Ableton whizz in London and certified Ableton trainer. For the first video, the focus is on perhaps the most simple new feature of Live 10, and almost certainly the most revolutionary: Capture. It allows you to record midi sounds after-the-fact, even if you forget to hit record, opening a world of possibility for freer jamming. Thomas teaches Introduction to Music Production (Ableton) with us here in London which, as well as acting as a standalone course, is an integral part of our degree and diploma programmes, both in London and online.

After a short intro from Thomas, we dive into the demonstration, which is directly taken from the course materials for Intro to Music Production (Ableton). As we can see, it allows for a more organic way of recording sounds by eliminating the need to figure out exactly what you might have played while jamming, also taking off some pressure when recording a take. It does this by constantly listening to your session, as long as the midi track is record-armed. It will automatically guess your tempo and a suggestion as to where you want to loop the clip, and you can even overdub using capture as well, simply hitting the button again after playing over your original clip. Watch the video for some more in-depth information about what it can do.

Want to learn how to use Ableton from expert instructors like Thomas? As well as the ITP course, we offer much longer and comprehensive courses, foremost among them our new BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice, and BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering. You can also take the latter as an online degree from anywhere in the world. We offer courses covering production techniques like these at all of our schools, which are completed by Los Angeles, Ibiza and Mumbai. Any questions? Please get in touch.

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

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

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The post Watch the First Video in Our New Series: Ableton Live 10 In Depth – Using Capture appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Check Out the Latest Scholarships and Student Support Available at Point Blank

At Point Blank, we are committed to providing the best opportunities and support to our students to match the fantastic standard of teaching and facilities that we offer. As the recent winner of ‘Best Independent Higher Education Provider’ at this year’s WhatUni Student Choice awards, we understand the importance of making our school as accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds and with all kinds of needs. To try and engender this, we are proud to offer a range of scholarships at our different schools, as well as support for students that require particular assistance. Read on for a brief overview of our scholarships and student support and head to our about section for comprehensive information of what we supply.

Of our scholarships and bursaries, we offer higher education bursaries to help with the cost of our degree programmes in London and Online. These amount to a reduction of £3,000 per year and are available to those who can demonstrate outstanding potential and a household income of less than £30,000. In London, we also offer a Producer’s Scholarship worth £3,000 for any of our three-year BA honours degrees. We also offer partnered scholarships periodically, like our recent Resident Advisor scholarship, and across all of our schools, you can find other, smaller grants and funds to help you achieve exactly what you want to in music. Find out all the info on each of these schemes here.

Furthermore, we offer various forms of support for enrolled students with particular disabilities and learning difficulties. These include student counselling, writing assistance, tweaks to assessment method and much more. We’ve tried to make this as comprehensive as possible but we’re always looking at ways we can accommodate more students with needs not covered here. Find all of the details about the student services we offer here.

So if you’d like to study with us and have concerns over finances or special requirements, we hope this has eased some of your concerns. We’ve recently launched two new degree programmes in the BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice and the BA (Hons) in Music Industry Management, plus you can check out all of our courses across schools in London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Ibiza and Online. Any questions about scholarships, student services or indeed any of our courses, contact us 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!

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The post Check Out the Latest Scholarships and Student Support Available at Point Blank appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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

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

HOW TO ENTER

Step One: Download Loopcloud and make your track.

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

Step Two: Share your remix on Plugged In

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

JUDGING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Progressing in the Music Industry with Nick Halkes, Co-Founder of XL Recordings (Pt.2)

Following on from our first video a few weeks back, we return to the guest music industry masterclass given by Nick Halkes. Nick is currently the manager of Liam Howlett (The Prodigy), Stanton Warriors, DnB dons Bad Company UK, Ministry of Sound-signed One Bit and more. He is also a member of the Reach Up crew who are bringing their disco/boogie soundtrack to Blue Dot, Bestival and Festival Number 6 this summer. Furthermore, since we shared the first part of this video, his ‘Trailblazers’ podcast with Eddie Temple Morris has launched, which aims to explore the lives of electronic music pioneers. At the time of writing, they have covered Gary Numan, Mary Anne Hobbes and Fatboy Slim, and the programme is the number 2 music podcast on iTunes. We’re big fans already and, if you have any interest in electronic music, we recommend you subscribe right away. Don’t forget we offer a range of music industry courses here at Point Blank, including our new BA (Hons) in Music Industry Management, starting in September.

For the second part of his masterclass with us, we pick up where we left off last time, with Nick in NYC…

As Nick brings us along on his journey from WBLS back to university, Easy Street Records to City Beat, Club Promo to A&R and finally to the formation of XL Recordings and the discovery of Liam Howlett and the Prodigy. Much like the first instalment, the story is full of golden anecdotes. These include getting calls from the likes of Pete Tong to his shared phone in student accommodation and hearing ‘Numero Uno’ by Starlight at a party and encountering the familiar hostility of some DJs to track hunters. Plus the fact that Nick designed the XL label himself, despite having no graphic design tuition.

Perhaps more importantly, the video is packed with invaluable wisdom, foremost of which is to be true to your own vision when starting a label or brand. The thing for Nick, it seems, was the desire to pour his energy into something that would look exactly how he wanted and, for him to achieve this, starting his own thing was the most surefire route. Not only that but, as with The Prodigy, it is equally vital to respect the vision that the artists you work with might have, as demonstrated by the Prodigy’s initial reluctance to appear on Top of the Pops, and their subsequent long career stacked with several number 1 releases.

You can follow Nick on social media:

https://twitter.com/nickhalkes

https://www.instagram.com/nickhalkes/

https://www.facebook.com/nick.halkes

Guest masterclasses like this one are something we strive to bring students of all of our classes and recent examples include Shan McGinley visiting our radio students. Check out our courses in these subjects and beyond at each of our schools in LondonMumbaiLos AngelesIbiza and online. If you have any questions, please call a course advisor 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

The post Progressing in the Music Industry with Nick Halkes, Co-Founder of XL Recordings (Pt.2) appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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PB Recommends #50: Sharda, Venetian Snares, Hodge & more

Here we are, a half-century into our monthly whip-round of the tracks being played and obeyed by the Point Blank office crew. Once again it’s been a great month for releases, with new bits on some of our favourite labels like Livity Sound, ILIAN Tape, Lobster Theremin and Tectonic. There’s also new music from Wych aka K-Lone, who returns to the formative pastures of dubstep and grime; a syncopated beast from the one and only Venetian Snares; a joyous slice of breaks from Physical Therapy and one of the most infectious tracks we’ve heard in a long time (and current frontrunner for banger of the year) in ‘Chin Up’ by Sharda, the bassline moniker adopted by Manchester’s Murlo. Here’s to another 50 PB Recommends…

For more music, tutorials and class insights head to the Point Blank YouTube channel. We hope these sounds inspire you to take the next step in your music making, and whatever that means to you, we can provide the guidance you need at Point Blank. Our comprehensive BA (Hons) in Music Production & Sound Engineering is a great place to start looking, while we’ve also added two new degree courses ready for next semester: the BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice and the BA (Hons) in Music Industry Management. If you’re looking for something shorter, have a look at our radio and DJ. If you’d like to know more, you can find all the ways to contact us 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 PB Recommends #50: Sharda, Venetian Snares, Hodge & more appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Learn seven ways to get better bass

The bassline is often the most important part of a track although it rarely gets the recognition it deserves. A great bassline either holds the music together, combines with a kick to provide the backbone of the track, or even comes screaming out of your speakers to take the lead. But with such varied uses, bass can be a difficult beast to tame… unless you follow these tips to get better bass. Want more? Check out our music production degrees for the most in-depth tuition we offer.

1. EQ is everything

EQ is the obvious way to bolster a bass, but don’t just assume that randomly boosting your bottom end at all points will do the trick – a good bass sound covers a lot more of the frequencies than you might believe, and is not just about the lows. First, enter the region of approximately 60-100Hz and boost by 6dB and listen to how that sounds. It should add more width or ‘girth’ to your bass sound, but be careful as excessive boosting here can also quickly muddy the low end. If you want more definition then you’ll want to be looking more at the mid-frequency range, and boosting by 6 to 8dB between 500Hz and 1kHz should really make your bass sound stand up and be counted. To increase punch, you sharpen the attack of the sound which you can either do by decreasing its envelope attack time or, within your EQ, by nudging things up around 3kHz (although this will very much depend on your sound and could go up to around 6kHz). Experiment with the bass solo’d and then within your whole mix and you’ll soon hear the drama that happens within each part of its frequency range.

2. Compress to impress

Compression is cool because it helps with two bass-heavy tasks: smoothing out the volume of an uneven bassline and helping add some punch to your sound. A compressor basically controls volume but it’s how it does it that is key and that is all down to the compressor’s settings. To create a more even bass track, you set a threshold to stop the volume of the bass going above a certain level – say -6dB – and a ratio to determine how much it reduces the volume if it goes above that threshold. Two other settings – attack and release – determine how quickly the volume is reduced and then increased after the signal drops below the threshold. A medium attack time will let some of the bass transients through and so give you more punch while a faster attack time and slower release will help smooth over an uneven bass. The actual settings on your compressor really depend on the type of bass sound you are using, but try these settings for punch: a ratio of 4: or 5:1 and attack and release times of between 50 and 100ms. Be careful not to go too fast on either of these as you might introduce some distortion. To smooth out an uneven bassline increase the ration to 6:1, the release time to 250-400ms and lower the attack time to as little as 5ms. At the end of the process, you might want to nudge the gain up as you’ll have reduced it in places. Again, use these settings as a starting point because experimentation is key!

3. Lay your bass on me

Creating the perfect single bass sound with EQ and compression is the ideal scenario but if you’re feeling lazy, don’t be afraid to layer different bass sounds together to toughen your lows up. In the same way as you can layer kicks of different types together – say a boomy sub kick and something a little more clicky – to create one almighty kick drum sound, so you can double up with basses. Just make sure that each one you layer doesn’t clash with the other and that each assumes a different role in the overall sound – one might be responsible for the attack part of the sound, for example. And, if necessary, be prepared to surgically EQ them away from each other so that their frequencies don’t clash.

4. And talking of kicks…

Your kick and bass will be the backbone of your track, but because they have a similar dynamic their relationship can be complex because there will be some crossover in terms of frequency and their pan positions (as both should be placed centrally in your stereo mix). So unless you are aiming to layer the kick and bass tightly together, almost creating a single sound – perhaps using a sine wave type sub-bass sound as part of your kick drone – you will need to make sure they sit apart in your mix so they don’t clash. This could be as simple as not playing a bass note at the same time as the kick but this obviously limits your arrangement options. The best idea is to take some of the EQ ideas from the first tip above. Use a spectrum analyser to examine both the kick and bass sound visually so you can see with surgical precision where each sound clashes so can either ‘lift’ the bass away from the kick or vice versa (lift the kick or lower the bass).

5. Programming your bass

You might want a bassline to stay static and unnoticed and that’s fine. If its job is just to bind your track together or to act as its backbone then a solid bass sequence doesn’t have to do much at all – just keep it punchy and not too overpowering in terms of girth (see tip 1). But if you want more interest you can easily get more dynamics with some simple programming tricks. A lot of synth bass sounds alter with velocity – the harder you press a note, the higher the resonance, for example – so at the very least introduce velocity changes as your bassline progresses. Adding legato – where notes almost sweep and slide into each other – is also a great option to introduce a more dynamic feel to a bassline, and even simply taking a note or two within a sequence up an octave will also make a bassline stand out and bounce along.

6. The many uses of the filter

Early dance music introduced the idea of subtle – actually not that subtle – filtering of basslines. Those early acid squeals were all about resonating and raising filter cutoff frequencies of the TB-303 bassline synth, and while that sound endures to this day, the filter has become an important tool for other bass programming tasks. You can use high or low pass filtering to keep sounds away from one another in the mix – as described above with EQ – or use a high pass filter to remove unwanted low end rumble frequencies (sub 30Hz) in either a kick or bass sound. Another tried and tested filter idea is to introduce movement to a bassline via an LFO. Apply this to your filter cutoff frequency for all sorts of effects – from acid screaming to dubstep wobble – or at a much lower rate for really subtle changes in the sound as it progresses through a sequence.

7. Effects? Not really…

Finally, as a general rule, ease off the effects with basslines because they can quickly be overpowered and muddied. Delays, in particular, can sound great in isolation but can quickly get out of control in a mix and reverbs and choruses can start spreading your bass love across the soundstage – not a great idea as you should keep it central. Distortion and overdrive effects can work on a bass sound if it’s quite a simple sub or synth sound to start with, but try not to go overboard.

So there you have it – seven easy-to-follow tips for getting the most from your bass. We offer tuition in music production at all of our school in London, Los Angeles, Ibiza, Mumbai and online, so if you want to get into more detail – you know what to do. To find out more, give us a call or drop us an email, finding our contact details here.

 

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