August 2016 was another productive month here at Point Blank, packed 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 time to launch a groundbreaking Virtual Learning Environment which promises to help students get the most out of their time with us. We dug deep into the history of sampling in a long-form feature and inaugurated our brand new series, Style Guide. 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.
Sampling is the use of someone else’s recording within your own to create something new. It can range from lifting sections of drums or other isolated instruments to entire musical ideas and right down to milliseconds of material. It’s such a common technique that we’ve developed instruments to solely perform this function, it’s studied at universities, there are even laws governing it and there are companies based around exploiting loopholes and workarounds. In this long-form guide, we explore how sampling has developed over the years through the lens of genre and offer practical tips and advice.
This month we launched a brand new series that explores the origins of electronic music’s key genres, focusing on the pioneers who shaped the sound and, crucially, the kit they used to do it. As this was the inaugural episode, we began with some fundamentals – house music. Our expert guide was F9 Audio founder and Freemasons member James Wiltshire – who, across these two episodes, not only delivered a informative history lesson but also demonstrated how to replicate those classic sounds using modern production methods.
We’ve teamed up with legendary house label Moody Recordings and dance music website Magnetic Mag to bring you an exclusive production competition that’s currently taking place over on Plugged In. We’re calling on all house aficionados to submit their strongest new, original tracks for this competition – the winning entrant will bag themselves a place on Moody’s upcoming 20th anniversary compilation, together with an exclusive feature on Magnetic Mag plus a load of prizes from Point Blank worth over $2,000. Read the original post for details, and then head to the Tracks page on Plugged In and submit your entry by 30th September.
Duke Dumont is surely one of the most successful producers to come out of the UK in recent years. His tracks marry slick pop hooks with a main room club sensibility to exhilarating effect, conquering chart countdowns and main room dancefloors the world over. Just look at his mega hit ‘Ocean Drive’ – currently cruising at 123 million YouTube views and counting. When we were invited to the inaugural IMS College Malta event last month, we enlisted the help of our Lead Course Developer and Ableton Live wizard Ski Oakenfull to strip the track down and re-build it, showing the chords and notes that make up its parts.
At Point Blank we believe it’s essential to find new ways to enhance the learning process and improve the student experience. That’s why, from September, Point Blank will be introducing a new, bespoke virtual learning environment – or VLE for short. Using our pioneering online school as the blueprint, we have developed the platform to provide students with a blended learning experience, balancing the flexibility of online learning with the access to our award-winning music schools based in London and LA. And as it’s been developed specifically for Point Blank, it is tailored closely to the specific needs of our students.
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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!