Tutorials

Ski's Music Technology Tutorial work

Using Arrange Markers in Logic Pro X

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Apple's announcement of the Logic X upgrade last last year took everyone by surprise but was widely welcomed.
As well as many brand new features, it had a new look and rewrite of terminology and key commands.
Ski's job has been to manage the update of Point Blank Online School's flagship Logic course from 9 to X, which meant updating all terms, screenshots and the majority of videos.
In a video from our Logic Pro 1: Production course, Ski explains how Arrange Markers work. Take the full sample course here :: http://ow.ly/ttzQj
The course launched last October and you can sign up for it here:
http://tinyurl.com/qdzfu68
You can also check out the new Logic Pro 2: Advanced course here:
http://tinyurl.com/qjhfnpn

How to Sing: Pharrell Williams - Happy

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Course tutors Ski Oakenfull and Phil Ramacon explain how to sing the harmonies in Pharrell's Happy.

Deconstructing Bee Gees How Deep Is Your Love

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FFL stands for Friday Forum Live! and is a live broadcast from Point Blank.
This was a Valentine's Special in which Ski deconstructed & remixed this Bee Gees classic. Find out more about our EMC course :: http://ow.ly/ttw4i

Using Flex Pitch in Logic Pro X

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Apple's announcement of the Logic X upgrade last last year took everyone by surprise but was widely welcomed.
As well as many brand new features, it had a new look and rewrite of terminology and key commands.
Ski's job has been to manage the update of Point Blank Online School's flagship Logic course from 9 to X, which meant updating all terms, screenshots and the majority of videos.
In a video from our Logic Pro 1: Production course, Ski explains how to use Logic's Flex Pitch function. Take the full sample course here :: http://ow.ly/ttzQj
The course launched last October and you can sign up for it here:
http://tinyurl.com/qdzfu68
You can also check out the new Logic Pro 2: Advanced course here:
http://tinyurl.com/qjhfnpn

Logic Pro 1: Production - Course Preview

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Apple's announcement of the Logic X upgrade last last year took everyone by surprise but was widely welcomed.
As well as many brand new features, it had a new look and rewrite of terminology and key commands.
Ski's job has been to manage the update of Point Blank Online School's flagship Logic course from 9 to X, which meant updating all terms, screenshots and the majority of videos.
The course launched last October and you can sign up for it here:
http://tinyurl.com/qdzfu68
Ski is currently putting the finishing touches to Logic Pro 2: Advanced Production which launches in February. You can check it out here:
http://tinyurl.com/qjhfnpn

Wham! - Last Christmas Deconstruction Special

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This special Christmas video was broadcast live at Point Blank for the final Friday Forum Live.
My task was to deconstruct Wham's classic 'Last Christmas and then give it a little remix.
Here's the final remix which is available to download until Dec 25th

I used Ableton Live together with Push, and the main devices I used were:
Native Instruments Battery 4 for the Linn Drum
http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/drums/battery-4/
Tal Audio U-NO-LX for the Synth Chords
http://kunz.corrupt.ch/products/tal-u-no-lx
Korg M1 for the Bells
http://www.korg.com/Legacym1

Making music with an iPad

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In his latest video Ski introduces you to iPad music-making using Garageband 2.0 and an iPad Mini

Deconstructing: Hot Natured - Benediction (Logic Pro X)

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The majority of my deconstructions have been made using Ableton Live, so with the recent release of Logic Pro X, I was excited to see how I could use its new features to help break down this track by Hot Natured and Ali Love. I particularly love the new iPad control app which amongst other things, allowed me to shoot to the different sections of the arrangement once I had set up region markers. I’m also enjoying the new Retro Synth which I used to recreate the main Synth Chord stab sound.

‘Benediction’ uses the easiest of scales, A Natural Minor, and is made up of three main sections, each with a different chord sequence. Interestingly the Chorus starts on the ‘iv’ chord (D Minor) and features a rising progression which really reminded me of another track. I eventually realised it was ‘Spirits In The Material World’ by The Police, which is also in A Minor and starts on the same Dm chord in the Chorus.

This song demonstrates really well the use triads in a diatonic scale which allow us to define chords built on each degree of the scale using roman numerals (ie. i , ii , III , iv , v etc). From this we can write out any chord progression. See if you can work these out with all three sections of this Hot Natured track.

Deconstructing Daft Punk - Get Lucky

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For me, this track by Daft Punk exemplifies everything that the French duo are great at.. namely a brilliant groove, simplicity, a strong hook line and of course tight production. For this video tutorial, I figured there was no point trying to create an exact replica of the track, as all the parts (drums included) were played on real instruments by real musicians! Instead I concentrated on working out the main parts, namely piano chords, bass line, wurlitzer riff and the cool lead synth line at the end of the track.

The verse, bridge and chorus sections of the tune are defined by the changing vocal melody and the variation in the the wurli riff, with the guitar and bass holding the same groove and chords for the full length of the track. Of course we shouldn’t forget the great vocoder section in the final section which provides an electro funk element to the song.

The four chords that make up this track are: Bm7 | D | F#m7 | E. The interesting thing is the way they are played using different inversions which increases the range of notes that are used... check out the video and see if you can play along!

X-Press 2 Live In Session: Deconstructing 'Lazy'

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In 2002, X-Press 2′s deep house single “Lazy” featuring an unlikely collaboration with Talking Head’s David Byrne, became one of the most notable dance records of the decade by hitting the top of the UK charts. The breakout single from the ‘Musikism’ album, ‘Lazy’ featured Byrne speaking and singing over a barely up-tempo house track.

In this live interview Point Blank’s Course Developer and EMC (Electronic Music Composition) course tutor Ski Oakenfull (who deconstructs ‘Lazy’ as part of our online EMC course) and presenter Luke Hopper chatted to Rocky and Diesel about the track, what made it so infectious, their approach in the studio and the story behind the vocal. Make sure you check it out below…