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Monthly Round-Up March 2018: Record Labels, DJ Ravine & More

Another month down in this rapidly disappearing year, here we are again rounding up the going’s on here at PB plus. It’s been another good one, too. DJ Ravine, for one, has wrapped up his time spent studying with us and, despite being delighted that he did so well with his studies, we were very sad for the series to finish. We also dropped another essential guide, this time to the labels we see having a big 2018, and took a first look at a very exciting new piece of kit from the mighty Roland. In other exciting news, this week we’ve launched a brand new degree programme! Check out the all new BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice.

First Look at the Roland TR-8S w/ Saytek

What better place to start than our in-house live-performance wizard getting to grips with the latest piece of kit from Roland. When the TR-8 was released in 2014, it opened up the possibilities of the classic 808 and 909 models to a whole new generation of producers, lovingly recreating the classic sounds using modelling and sampling, not to mention circumventing the astronomical prices of second-hand originals. It was a game-changing moment, but how to follow it? Boutique versions of both the 808 and 909 have since appeared, modelled more closely on teh original designs, but the true successor is certainly this, the TR-8S. With new sampling capabilities and an updated interface, there’s a lot to get excited by, and as Saytek showed, its potential for Live Performing is massive. Check out the video for a demonstration.

Point Blank’s Essential Guide to Record Labels in 2018

After last month’s guide to this year’s festivals, we decided to return to the format, turning our gaze this time to the underground record labels that have excited for the year ahead. There are literally hundreds, but in the interest of digestibility we funnelled it down to just these nine. Despite some glaring omissions (Whities, anyone?) we think it’s a decent and relatively broad look at who’s on a hot streak night now. Please delve in.

DJ Ravine – PB Vlog 10: The Final Entry

DJ Ravine invites us to follow him on his studies for the final time. Over the past ten weeks we’ve seen him take on Introduction to Ableton, Sound Engineering and Music Composition courses at our London School. As he catches up with his instructors one last time, in this video we bid farewell to DJ Ravine at Point Blank. It’s been a blast!

Student Success: India Spotlight

If you follow these pages you’ll know we put together a monthly round-up of the students who have been making their mark in their field, and we’re always very proud of the successes of our students. With our second term at our Mumbai kicking off just a few days ago, we wanted to shine a light on some of the super-talented folks from India who have passed through our doors at one point or another with this extra edition of Student Success.

Breaking Into The Music Industry With Nick Halkes, Co-Founder Of XL Recordings

The first entry in a three-part series with Nick Halkes, founder of XL Recordings and Positiva, and manager of Liam Howlett of the Prodigy, Stanton Warriors, Bad Company UK, and more. Filmed during a guest masterclass with music industry students at point Blank London, this video sheds light on Nick’s remarkable determination to find himself in the right places at the right time, going from a modest mobile DJ set-up in Portishead in Somerset to an invite to a Michael Jackson launch party on a yacht in New York.

Point Blank Recommends #49

Once again we could resist throwing our monthly round-up of tracks into the mix. A wide-angle glance at the irresistible releases of recent weeks.

If you enjoy this content, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. If you’d like to get into music production or take yours to the next level, then consider our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree in which you can learn everything you need to know about music production including mixing, mastering, composition and music business. We also offer an online alternative, our online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree. You can check out our whole range of online courses 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 March 2018: Record Labels, DJ Ravine & More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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PB Recommends #48: Slowthai, Pangaea, Shedbug and More

Point Blank Recommends is our monthly roundup of tracks being played and obeyed in and around the office. 48 is a typically eclectic affair, headed by ‘Noddy’ the latest release by Northhampton rapper Slowthai, as he teams up with Earbuds on production once again as he did on last year’s breakout banger, ‘T N Biscuits’. We also felt the need to give a nod to Dekmantel’s 10-year anniversary series of releases, and what else compares to Ricardo Villalobos’ unbelievable rework of Tony Allen’s ‘Asiko (In a Silent Mix). The five-minute clip hardly does it justice, being one of Villalobos’ mammoth epics that required two sides of wax to even press it. Learn how to put tracks like these to good use with DJ course with Point Blank.

Traditionally this is a fertile part of the year for music – after the end-of-year rush for the major labels push the big commercial records in time for christmas, pressing plants get the chance for printing new music by more interesting, smaller labels, before record store day rears its misguided head and the backlog returns. This year is no different, and for PB Recommends 48 we’ve collected here a bunch of tracks setting the tone for dancefloors across the land. Aside from the aformentioned, some highlights include Pangaea’s latest muscular workout ‘Bone Sucka’, gritty breaks by Shedbug on Lobster Theremin, and a couple of tropical yelpers in K15’s ‘Sunbeams’ (Eglo) and thai artist DOTT’s ‘Unbreakable’ (More Rice).

For more music and tutorials including a deconstruction of Massive Atatck’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’, by our venerable lead course developer SKi Oakenfull, 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 most comprehensive course in production is our three-year degree programme in London: BA (Hons) in Music Production & Sound Engineering, and we also offer an online alternative. Perhaps making tracks isn’t your thing, in which case have a look at our radio and DJ courses to focus on selection. 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 #48: Slowthai, Pangaea, Shedbug and More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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PB Recommends #47: Heavy Lungs, Hudson Mohawke, Mor Elian and More

Point Blank Recommends is our regular round-up of the tunes being played around the office. PB Recommends 47 casts the net a little wider, given that the release schedule tends to slow around the end of the year. One of our favourite releases was the big advent drop from Lucky Me, which included a long-awaited cut from Hudson Mohawke – this one’s been knocking around in live sets since 2010 but it was well worth the wait. Learn how to join these dots and more with a DJ course with Point Blank.

Everyone here at Point Blank HQ has just about calmed down after the midwinter festivities, dry januay promises have started breaking, and everything feels like its getting back to normal. The downside of course is that, if your in the UK at least, all that’s left to look forward to for a little while is the long, cold, winter slog toward summer’s welcome return. As such, we’ve gathered this handsome list of heaters to warm those cockles. Some choice cuts include the deliciously deep and dubby Ron Trent remix of Nightmares on Wax’s Citizen Kane, an eighties indebted gem from Nabihah Iqbal (formerly Throwing Shade), a bonus Nicolas Jaar track from last year’s Sirens sessions, mad hype from Faze Miyake and a superb, wiggy roller from Mor Elian.

For more music and tutorials including our recent beginner’s guide to making a track in Ableton, 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 most comprehensive course in production is our three-year degree programme in London: BA (Hons) in Music Production & Sound Engineering, and we also offer an online alternative. Perhaps making tracks isn’t your thing, in which case have a look at our radio and DJ courses to focus on selection. 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 #47: Heavy Lungs, Hudson Mohawke, Mor Elian and More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Monthly Round-Up October 2017: Octave One, NI Maschine, Prequell and more

We’re back again with another round-up of former glories, cherry-picking the brightest and best videos, interviews and offers from the past month. As always, our content is designed to help students and curious readers alike to gain insight and expertise in all facets of the music industry. To take this to the next level, head to our pages for schools in London, LA, Ibiza, Mumbai and Online.

Halloween Offer: 25% Off Online Courses


With just one day remaining we thought it vital to include a mention of our current Online offer. Get 25% Off Online courses until midnight tonight!

Octave One: Live Performance Masterclass

We have welcomed many great artists to our schools over the years, and as a result, been treated to an incredible array of guest classes and demonstrations. In Octave One, we added another to the very top of the list, with the duo having contributed immeasurably to both playing live and techno as a whole over their long history. Watch as they take us through their celebrated set-up, offer invaluable advice and demonstrate their world-beating live show.

An Interview with Prequell


Thomas Rousel may not be on everyone’s radar, but over the last fifteen years or more, he has been on a huge number of important radars nonetheless. A lifetime composer and hugely respected conductor and bandleader, he has scored films, TV and advertisements; provided music for fashion brands like Chanel, Akris and Christian Dior; and worked on several records by Justice and Jeff Mills. Since the turn of the century, he has achieved more, and in more fields, than most achieve in a lifetime, and he now turns his considerable talents to making music as a recording artist, under the name Prequell – an allusion to his original ambition to make the kind of emotive, electronic and orchestral crossover present on his debut album. We caught up with him to learn about composing for different mediums, and what’s compelled him to make this switch.

How to Create Evolving Sounds with Native Instruments Maschine

Last month also saw the release of the latest iteration of Native Instruments’ Maschine controller, elevating its capabilities further from still from its original function and maximising time spent working out of the box. PB instructor and NI specialist Paul Ressel put together a pair of videos for us to celebrate the new version’s release, and in this one, he demonstrates how to use the relationship of pitch and tempo to create dynamic rhythmic patterns, and uses morph-mode to let FX develop and intensify over the course of a track.

Behind The Scenes with Kate Simko and the London Electronic Orchestra

We’ve long been fans of Kate Simko. We first invited the Chicago native to give a masterclass with us back in 2013, when she was studying at the Royal College of Music. It was during that time hat the foundations were laid for the London Electronic Orchestra, the band that she has lead across the world in the past couple of years. We were thrilled to be able to get backstage with Kate and film her and her ensemble-mates getting ready for their latest show at The Jazz Cafe in Camden. Check the video below to see the LEO crew in action.

PB Recommends #45

We may be slightly biased, but we think we put together a fine round-up of recommended tracks here at Point Blank, and October was no different. Picks of last month’s favourites include tracks by ABRA, L-Vis 1990 and Finn’s bittersweet masterpiece ‘Sometimes The Going, Gets A Little Tough’.

If you enjoy this content, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. If you’d like to get into music production, or take yours to the next level, then consider our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree in which you can learn everything you need to know about music production including mixing, mastering, composition and music business. We also offer an online alternative, our online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree. You can also check out our whole range of online courses 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 October 2017: Octave One, NI Maschine, Prequell and more appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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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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Point Blank Recommends #41: Levon Vincent, Joe Goddard, Project Pablo & 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#41 has got you covered. As always, this one covers a broad spectrum of electronic music, so open your mind, your ears and a fresh tab on your browser of choice and get refreshing those listening habits with our handy Soundcloud playlist.
Another month, another fresh selection of bangers, old and new, from the Point Blank team. We’ve carefully curated another Point Blank Recommends playlist to soundtrack your month, giving you some essential listening as we roll on into summer time. This month we have new material from the likes of Call Super and Washed Out, as well as classics from Levon Vincent, Joe Goddard and Dollkraut to name a few. Check out the playlist above and stay tuned for next month when we will present a whole new batch of tracks for your listening pleasure!

Still hungry for new music? Get on over to the Point Blank Music YouTube channel to discover what’s going down on our label, and be sure to subscribe to keep ahead of the curve. If all this is inspiring you and you can see yourself on the Point Blank Recommends playlist one day, you should join us. Our online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree can take your music to the next level. It covers everything from mixing your tracks, composition skills and mastering too. We are currently offering a free copy of Ableton/Logic Pro X with all of our online courses until June 30th. Spaces are limited so don’t delay!

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

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

The post Point Blank Recommends #41: Levon Vincent, Joe Goddard, Project Pablo & More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Point Blank Recommends #40: DJ Koze, Flying Lotus, Moon B & 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#40 has got you covered. As always, this one covers a broad spectrum of electronic music, so open your mind, your ears and a fresh tab on your browser of choice and get refreshing those listening habits with our handy Soundcloud playlist.

The sun’s out here in London and we’re back with another set of bangers to soundtrack your month. We have cuts new and old from Harvey Sutherland, Moon B, Steven Julien, DJ Koze, SPECIAL_REQUEST and many more, sure to keep you entertained through April. So sit back, relax and dive into the latest Point Blank selection, curated especially for you by the PB team. Don’t forget to lock in next month for the next playlist, or check out previous PB Recommends for more special selections.

Still hungry for new music? Get on over to the Point Blank Music YouTube channel to discover what’s going down on our label, and be sure to subscribe to keep ahead of the curve. If all this is inspiring you and you can see yourself on the Point Blank Recommends playlist one day, you should join us. Our online BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree can take your music to the next level. It covers everything from mixing your tracks, composition skills and mastering too. We are currently offering a huge 20% off all of our online courses until March 31st. Spaces are limited so don’t delay!

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

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

The post Point Blank Recommends #40: DJ Koze, Flying Lotus, Moon B & More appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

Read more here