ski
Welcome to the official Ski Oakenfull Website.
Ski is an Artist, Keyboard player, Producer, Remixer and Composer living in London. Having started his career with The K-Creative who were signed to Gilles Peterson's Talkin' Loud label in 1991, he went on to release two solo albums, Life Changes & Rising Son, play keyboards with bands such as Galliano, Raw Stylus & Two Banks of Four, remix over 50 tracks, and work at Xenomania. He currently releases music on his own label, Primaudial Records, plays live with The Bays, writes & produces with artists such as Incognito, Joey Negro, Valerie Etienne and newly signed artist Murray James. He has an Ambient Electronic project called Ayota, and also does a bit of DJing in his spare time. When Ski is not cranking out his own beats, he manages to find time to tutor and develop courses at Point Blank Music School. Please have a look around this site, and feel free to leave a message.

Logic VS Ableton: Recording Audio (Comping)

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Before becoming an Ableton Live 'convert' about seven years ago, I was almost exclusively using Logic, and still love revisiting it, especially to provide an alternative approach to writing and programming. Every DAW has it's pros and cons, and one thing I always rely on in Logic, is the Take Recording and Swipe Comping functionality.

Rather than having to create fresh tracks each time, Logic allows you record over the same section of audio, placing the different takes into a folder. Comping then allows you to extract all the best bits and piece them together into a single master take, using the innovative swipe technique.. This is a real godsend, as sifting through endless vocal takes for example, can become incredibly laborious.

For this video I wanted to try recording some Roland MC-202 synth parts over a deep house track to get more of an organic live feel. You can see how I was able to 'jam' down different takes and then piece them together very quickly.

Ableton Push Challenge (Part 2)

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The main goal of the first part of my Push Challenge was to create the seeds of a vocal track from scratch using Push, while trying not to look at the computer screen at any point. I'd never met vocalist and ex Point Blank student Viv May before, so I had no idea how the session would pan out. Thankfully, it went really well and Viv came up with some killer vocal lines.

As promised in the broadcast, I wanted to make a part 2 video to show how to take these initial ideas and start turning them into a finished track. For the live session we used a standard SM58 dynamic mic together with a reflexion filter to cut down on ambient noise from the speakers, but afterwards we re-recorded the vocals using a better quality condenser mic together with headphones. Viv had some new harmonies and a bridge section that she was keen to add as well.

I decided to record these new vocals directly into the arrange page of Live as I generally feel more comfortable recording in the traditional linear way. When it came to arranging however, I realised I could make use of Live 9's fantastic new 'Consolidate Time to New Scene' feature which allows you to grab whole sections of the arrangement and place them back into Session view. You can then build up the arrangement using Scenes, and 'Jam' the structure back into the Arrange page.

After building a basic arrangement, the next stage is to start getting deeper into the production, which might well make up the next part of this video series!

New Release : Kris Holiday & Ski Oakenfull - Tell Me

Announcing... A track I collaborated on with Kris Holiday who was one of my Point Blank students, has recently seen a release on Big Mamas House Records. You can check out the track here:

You can purchase it from iTunes or Beatport.

It also features on a forthcoming compilation album entitled 'Ibiza 2013 - The Official Compilation which you can check out here:
iTunes

Ableton Push Challenge (Part 1)

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As Point Blank continue to not only push forward with their teaching techniques and approach to musical education, they're also pushing their own tutors to get the very best out of them and to show everyone just how talented they are. The latest endeavour we embarked on was an Ableton Push challenge featuring PB's Ski Oakenfull.

Having got to grips with Ableton's new Push device, we thought it would make for an entertaining session if we put his skills to the test and set him an interesting challenge… We asked Ski to create a vocal track from scratch within an hour, with no preparation and with vocalist he's never met before! Sounds tough eh?! But we knew Ski was more than capable of pulling it off, and here is the result!

The challenge was for him to jam with former Point Blank student Viv May, laying down an instrumental and recording the vocals which he will later use to make a complete track. The aim is simple; 1) To demonstrate the capabilities of Ableton's Push and 2) To show you how talented our tutors (and former students) are and 3) To create the parts that can be used to produce a legimate track.

You can find out more about the wonderful Viv May by following her here:

Twitter
https://twitter.com/VivMayUK

Soundcloud
https://soundcloud.com/vivmayuk

EMC² - Deconstructing Major Lazer - Get Free Pt2 Synth Sound

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This is the fifth in a series of tutorials from Ski Oakenfull covering a variety of aspects of electronic music composition. Point Blank want you to get involved in this series, so if you can think of well known track for Ski to deconstruct musically in the next tutorial then hit us up on twitter with:
#emcrequest @point_blank + your suggested track title.

In this video Ski introduces the brand new EMC2 course.
He shows you how to recreate the lead synth sound of Major Lazer's huge 'Get Free'. Download the FREE synth rack from this video by clicking on this link :: http://ow.ly/jdAKL 

One of the things that really struck me about this track by Major Lazer was the combination of an authentic laid back reggae feel with modern electronic production. One sound that caught my ear was the fat pulsing synth lead that moves underneath the vocal and also provides a musical tag after the chorus sections.

EMC² - Deconstructing Major Lazer - Get Free Pt1 Musical Parts

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This is the fifth in a series of tutorials from Ski Oakenfull covering a variety of aspects of electronic music composition. Point Blank want you to get involved in this series, so if you can think of well known track for Ski to deconstruct musically in the next tutorial then hit us up on twitter with:
#emcrequest @point_blank + your suggested track title.

In this video Ski introduces the brand new EMC2 course.
He works through the musical elements of Major Lazer's huge 'Get Free'. Download the FREE synth rack from this video by clicking on this link :: http://ow.ly/jdAKL 

This track by Major Lazer aka Diplo came out in 2012 and manages to combine an authentic loose reggae feel with up the minute electronic production. I love Diplo’s use of Amber Coffman’s edgy vocals in the track which seem to weave in and out of the guitar and synth lines. The one drop rhythm with the drums also make the track beautifully restrained without sacrificing fatness.

Ableton Push: Ski Demonstrates the Controller's Features

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I’ve been lucky enough to have had Push for a few days now, and have been absolutely loving it. I was initially surprised by how heavy it was, but this makes it feel reassuringly solid and professional. I imagine it will mostly reside in my studio rather than travelling around in my rucksack!

The overriding purpose of Ableton’s controller is to drag the user away from the computer screen, to make the composition process even more organic and fun than it already is with Live. So for this video I wanted to test it out by taking a track I originally produced in Logic, and replaying the parts using the Push controller. I chose a track entitled ‘Illuminations’ that came out a few years ago on my label Primaudial Records.

You can watch a video of the track here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjJnVtWxHd4

In order to get the most out of using Push, I found that preparing your user library is key. Once you have organised and named all your own presets, it makes it much easier to dial them up on the LED screen. As yet, Push doesn’t seem to be able to audio preview the presets which is one of the great new features of Live 9... but I’m sure this will arrive in a future update.

Ayota Rehearsal for Corsica Studios Gig Part 1

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This was a live rehearsal for a gig at Corsica Studios on Sat 9th Feb 2013..
I just wanted to try out the set.
It was also a celebration of the album 'Helicopter Cuts' being released on 8th Feb!
A bit scrappy, and internet kept dropping, but quite fun to do..
Here's the link to the album on itunes
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/hel...
and you can like my facebook page here:
http://www.facebook.com/ayotafanpage
You can check out Part 2 here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPVNVhxlAAg

EMC² - Deconstructing Todd Terje - Inspector Norse

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This is the fourth in a series of tutorials from Ski Oakenfull covering a variety of aspects of electronic music composition. Point Blank want you to get involved in this series, so if you can think of well known track for Ski to deconstruct musically in the next tutorial then hit us up on twitter with:
#emcrequest @point_blank + your suggested track title.

In this video Ski introduces the brand new EMC2 course. One of last year's big hits, an instant classic, Todd Terje's 'Inspector Norse' gets the deconstruction treatment using Ableton Live..

You can learn more techniques like this on Point Blank's online Electronic Music Composition course and the forthcoming EMC2 course, both of which have been developed by Ski himself. The courses show you how to develop the musical aspects of your tracks in an easy to understand way, without getting bogged down with too much scales and theory.

EMC² - Deconstructing Nuyorican Soul - Black Gold Of The Sun

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This is the third in a series of tutorials from Ski Oakenfull covering a variety of aspects of electronic music composition. Point Blank want you to get involved in this series, so if you can think of well known track for Ski to deconstruct musically in the next tutorial then hit us up on twitter with:
#emcrequest @point_blank + your suggested track title.

In this video Ski introduces the brand new EMC2 course. Using Ableton Live, Ski deconstructs an all-time classic, 'Black Gold Of The Sun' by Nuyorican Soul.

You can learn more techniques like this on Point Blank's online Electronic Music Composition course and the forthcoming EMC2 course, both of which have been developed by Ski himself. The courses show you how to develop the musical aspects of your tracks in an easy to understand way, without getting bogged down with too much scales and theory.