Category: Gear

The ever-advancing world of DJ software has thrown out some brilliant tools in recent years, with software allowing more granular detail into the make-up of tracks. While Luddites decry the end of ‘proper DJing’, you and us, dear reader, know the truth. The truth is that these platforms and functions free up time and headspace to get even more creative with DJ sets. Rekordbox and Traktor have made it easier than ever to beat-match tracks and, rather than sap the art form of creativity, all manner of quick mixing styles and live remixing have been made possible. Algorithms have also been tasked ... Read more

Track Deconstruction at Sonar Barcelona: Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.

Last month, Point Blank Music School returned to take part in the programming of Sonar +D, the daytime tech showcase that accompanies Barcelona’s Sonar Festival. This event sees thousands of creatives attending to interact with some of the latest innovations in technology, creativity and more. As part of their involvement this year, Head of Curriculum Ski Oakenfull provided attendees with another of his celebrated track deconstructions, this time breaking down Gorillaz’ ‘Feel Good Inc.’, off their 2005 album ‘Demon Days’. Find out more about the many ways you can learn music production with Point Blank here. In a style now ... Read more

Drew Morisey x Point Blank’s DJ Ravine: Three Essential Social Media Tips for Artists

In today’s world, social media is absolutely vital to the career of any artist in any discipline. With music it is especially so because, let’s face it, most young people want to be musicians, creating even more of a challenge to stand out. To do this you need to be making music that is fresh and interesting, but that alone isn’t enough – chances are when you’re starting out you don’t have a marketing team behind you, so you need to get yourself out there. Grab a few key tips to get yourself started below and for comprehensive tuition on ... Read more

[Review] Knops Earplugs Allow Four Settings Of Volume Control

Last year we came across an interesting, Amsterdam- based (successful) IndieGogo campaign, which claimed development of earplugs allowing increased control over the peripheral volumes of life. Of course in our world hearing health is paramount and something all too frequently looked at within a bipolar setting…either you wear something or you don’t. I don’t have to tell you what the pitfalls of either practice is, but for the latter (in my opinion), it is the lack of control one has over their device that really affects my willingness to use. Traditionally, once an earplug is inserted, sound is muffled and important ... Read more

GarageBand Tutorial: How to Make a Basic Track

Point Blank Music School has years of experience teaching Music Production, and after experimenting with many different developers, the main DAWs they teach with today are Ableton Live and Logic Pro. Both are incredibly powerful tools with limitless potential for you to make whatever kind of music you wish. The learning curve can be a little steep, however (which is why their Introduction to Music Production courses in both Logic Pro and Ableton Live are so popular in London and online), so what about the programmes designed for those at an entry level? The most famous of these is probably ... Read more

Progressing In The Music Industry With Nick Halkes, Co-Founder Of XL Recordings (Pt.2)

Following on from the first video a few weeks back, Point Blank Music School return to the guest music industry masterclass given by Nick Halkes at Point Blank Music School.  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 the first part of this video was shared, his ‘Trailblazers’ podcast with Eddie Temple Morris has launched, which aims to explore ... Read more

Get A First Look At The New Roland TR-8S With Saytek (Cubism, Superfreq)

Is there a piece of equipment out there that’s had as much of an impact on modern music as Roland’s classic TR-808 drum machine? Or do you think other Roland units like the 303 or the 909 deserve the top spot? Whatever you think, spend a couple of hours listening to the latest hip-hop from the states or club sounds anywhere in Europe and you can’t miss the 808’s signature boom. The original module ceased production in 1983 and will set you back upwards of £3,000 on eBay or similar, although digitised samples have been available for decades. It wasn’t ... Read more

Moog Releases Revolutionary App Of Iconic Minimoog Model D Synth

Based on Moog’s original analog designs for the first portable keyboard synthesizer, the Minimoog Model D App invites users to explore the fundamental elements of sound. Created by Moog exclusively for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, supporting any 64-bit iOS device to deliver advanced audio desktop-class performance on the go, while integrating seamlessly with mobile DAWs. New Functions Include: – ability to play chords of up to four notes at once, – an easy-to-use arpeggiator module for rhythmic pattern creation – a real time looping recorder with unlimited overdubs – a tempo-synchronizable stereo ping-pong delay module – the Bender — ... Read more

Watch A Deconstruction Of ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ At Ableton Loop, Berlin With Point Blank Music School

Welcome to the latest deconstruction from Point Blank, where lead course developer Ski Oakenfull takes a track apart and rebuilds it piece by piece. Recorded at Ableton Loop where Point Blank featured as a partner on the programme, Ski went to town on perhaps the best single of the 90’s: Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’. These deconstructions are used to teach students about production techniques, arrangement and composition, and there’s plenty more where this came from in PB’s course materials. If you’d like to learn how to use all of the techniques shown here and more, enrol in one of their ... Read more

Ableton’s Hugely Overhauled Live 10 Software Is Now Available

With four new devices, a re-designed sound library, workflow-accelerating refinements and more, Ableton’s 10th edition of its music creation and performance platform, LIVE, is now available. Adding a new synth, Wavetable, alongside three new effects – Echo, Drum Buss, Pedal – Ableton brings a broader, bolder palette of sound to Live. Sound libraries will expand with richer, more detailed sounds in its Core Library, while new curated collections and essential instruments show the sounds that keep styles and scenes moving. Naturally, the new edition also brings significant upgrades to both MAX and PUSH, with the former fully integrated and the ... Read more

Watch Point Blank Music School’s Comprehensive Guide To Setting Up Your Home Studio

Setting up your home studio correctly is a crucial first step to getting the best out of your productions. There are many factors to consider, from things like speaker placement and room treatment to ensure you are getting the most accurate sound possible, to knowing what essential equipment to purchase. All of this can be daunting when you are finding your feet in music production, so we’re here to help you get started. In this video tutorial, Point Blank Creative Director JC Concato guides you through the first steps of setting up your home studio. Starting by discussing how to ... Read more

Watch Point Blank Music School’s Comprehensive Guide To Setting Up Your DJ Equipment

So you’ve bought your first set of decks, or maybe you’ve finally upgraded your equipment or even just added some CDJs for the first time… happy days! Of course, now you have to set them all up, and despite Pioneer’s continued commitment to making their tools as easy to use as possible, to get the most of out of your new toys you need to set them up properly. Luckily Point Blank’s lead DJ instructor Ben Bristow is on hand to show you both the basics and a few tricks to fully optimize your set-up. NB: Though he is using ... Read more

Making A Track in Ableton Live 10 : First Look With Point Blank Music School

After 5 years, Ableton Live has finally announced its long-awaited update from Ableton 9 to Ableton 10. The Berlin-based DAW powerhouse is the programme of choice for many producers and lauded for its streamlined workflow, uncluttered interface and deceptive sophistication. As a long time advocate of the programme, Point Blank Music School has produced a short and accessible video, providing insight into Ableton 10’s new features. The video, which you can see below, features Point Blank’s lead course developer, Ski Oakenfull touring the DAW itself and in conjunction with the Ableton Push controller where some of its most exciting upgrades ... Read more

New App WARM Monitors Worldwide Airplays

With the purpose of giving true transparency to bands and artists played on the radio, WARM (World Airplay Radio Monitor) looks ready to expand even more its reach worldwide. With the addition of: – accurate real time data – detailed reports – clear geographical maps displaying gathered info – push notifications on radio airplays – downloadable reports WARM is able to democratize the way data on radio plays has been handled so far, giving valuable insights on where and how often the music is being played. Check out the WARM website below and use codeword “warm” at checkout to test ... Read more

FRISKY Radio Expands Role As Premier Underground Music Service With Android Launch

Featuring the largest category of electronic music, anytime, anywhere, FRISKY Radio has expanded its reach with the launch of its brand new Android application. Launched late last month, FRISKY’s extensive catalogue of Mixes and Programming will be available across iOS and Android, WORLDWIDE. You can even listen to all content offline, as well as discover music 24/7 with the always on FRISKY Radio in Hi Res Audio. Shows from the likes of Robert Babicz, 16 Bit Lolitas, Dave Seaman, Bespoke Music, Quivver, Wild Dark, Of Norway, Just Her, Justin Massei, Chus & Ceballos and many, many more make up the ... Read more