May 08, 2019  

Read L.A. Club Queen Kim Anh’s PBLA Journal – Pt. 3: Sampling in Ableton Live

L.A. club queen Kim Anh strives to create diversity in L.A.’s underground nightlife by supporting underrepresented communities in music. She’s a DJ, producer and creative with an endless passion for music and a focus on pushing club culture forward. She’s been hosting parties in Hollywood since 2008, kicking off with her night, Booby Trap! (which eventually made its way to NYC) which has been described by Guest of a Guest as “one of the best party vibes ever witnessed”. In addition to her pioneering work in the L.A. music scene, Anh has hosted voter registration drives, coordinated rallies and served as an official ambassador of L.A. Pride, with her efforts helping raise over $1 million in direct support of the LGBTQ community. If you’d like to learn more about club culture, running your own events, label or management company be sure to check out our Music Industry courses, which feature a number of different pathways.

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As an avid Logic user looking to tighten up her skills in Ableton Live, Kim decided to enrol on a PBLA course. Whilst there she studied the Music Composition and Music Production courses, including the Intro to Music Production: Ableton Live module and decided to share her PB journey with us. Below, find the third and final instalment from Kim’s journey through the world of Point Blank.

Feb 11 & Feb 18

Sampling has become commonplace throughout the history of popular music. It can bring us to the familiar or to the obscure and it can provide a new avenue of creativity that we may not have reached on our own.  But sampling brings us into a territory of shared creative ownership. The legalities behind creative ownership can be a rude awakening to someone who does not take the time to consider if it’s “worth” losing personal ownership over one’s work.  We’ve seen recent controversial rulings that draw big questions to the surface about the fine line distinction between inspiration and sampling. I won’t go further into this aspect at this time, but do advise producers to clear popular samples before releasing.  

Our instructor brought in some thrift store vinyl and we spent time pulling samples in an experiment to see what we can make from unearthed sounds.  There were chants, big retro synths, flutes, guitar solos and world elements that must not have been uncovered in decades. I love the warmth of vinyl and it brings an “out of the box” element to production. The possibilities seemed limitless when applying the power of Ableton. One of my favorite tools is Simpler – it’s easy to navigate and the possibilities feel endless. I recommend anyone who is not familiar with Simpler to spend a day experimenting with sounds in Simpler.  

Our assignment was to spend two hours using the sounds we sampled from the vinyl and incorporate them into a new song.  I immediately gravitated towards the jazzy sounds: flute, saxophone and marimbas. I combined that with some beautiful chants and here’s what I came up with — a low slung jazzy groove made up of more than half sampled sounds.

Preview my track here:

That’s all for today, folks, but if you’d like to learn more about Kim Anh’s time at PBLA you can read part 1 here and part 2 here. If you’re interested in developing your skills in Ableton Live or Logic Pro, or learning to DJ like a don, why not check out a Point Blank course? We offer programmes in Complete Music Production & Sound DesignFurther Music Production & Sound DesignFurther Music Production & DJ Skills and more with great software freebies and exclusive deals.

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