Tutorials

Ski's Music Technology Tutorial work

EMC Tutorial #7 - Deconstructing Azealia Banks ft. Lazy Jay '212'

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This is the seventh 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 tutorial he recreates 212 by Azealia Banks feat. Lazy Jay in Ableton with the help of an Native Instruments' Massive.

You can download the Massive patch used in this tutorial for free here..

You can learn more techniques like this on Point Blank's new online Electronic Music Composition course which has been developed by Ski himself. The course will 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.

Check out Ableton's blog piece about this tutorial..

Friday Forum Live! - Creating Rises and Sweeps in Ableton Live - 26th October 2012

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This was my third Point Blank Friday Forum Live! session in which I demonstrated how the new Point Blank Max for Live Riser Device which you can download for free here.. http://ow.ly/eHMbO
The aim of these sessions is to give people a taste of how the online school masterclasses work as a method of feedback and interaction, whilst providing an opportunity to ask live questions to the Point Blank team.

NI Maschine 1.8 Software Update (pt 2) Time Stretching a Vocal Acapella

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Ahead of the imminent release of the new range of Akai MPC hardware, Native Instruments have introduced MK2 of their hugely popular Maschine, and also updated the associated software to 1.8. It boasts many new useful features that not only exploit the colourful second incarnation of their Rhythm Machine, but breathe new life into MK1. 

In part two of this series of tutorials, Ski continues his look at the new Time Stretch function by attempting to get a Vocal Acapella (of a different tempo to his original beat) in time.

You can check out loads more tutorial videos at Point Blank Online.

NI Maschine 1.8 Software Update (pt 1) - Time Stretching a Conga Loop

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Ahead of the imminent release of the new range of Akai MPC hardware, Native Instruments have introduced MK2 of their hugely popular Maschine, and also updated the associated software to 1.8. It boasts many new useful features that not only exploit the colourful second incarnation of their Rhythm Machine, but breath new life into MK1. These include New Analog sounding Effects, Time Stretch and Pitch Shift, New Browser sample preview mode, Sample play position indicator to name but a few.

In this tutorial video, I'm going to focus on the Time Stretch function which has been probably the most sought after feature since the last update.

To get things started, I created a house groove using drum sounds from my library, combined with Bass, Pad and Rhodes sounds all sourced from Native Instruments' own Absynth and Kontakt libraries. I particularly liked the sound of Maschine's own 'ICE' Reverb used on the Rhodes stab.

In order to put the new Time Stretch feature to the test, I looked for a Conga loop from my library which I knew was at a different tempo to the tempo of my track. Firstly I created a new 'Group' and then dragged the audio loop onto the first available 'Sound' slot. After clicking the 'Sampler' button which brought up the waveform display, I selected the 'Edit' tab which reveals the small clickable menu on the right hand side. Clicking on this displays a list of all the available sample editing functions, including the new 'Stretch' feature at the bottom.

After selecting this, a box appears which gives you the option of adjusting the Pitch and Time of the sample. Amazingly it had calculated the original Source BPM very accurately, and automatically inserted the New BPM, meaning all I had to do was click on 'Apply'.

The functionality was incredibly slick, and sounded perfectly in time. Now that the conga pattern was sitting well with the beat, I decided to Slice it up so I could have the individual hits spanned across the Pads, which again was a very quick process.

I was really impressed with this new Time Stretch feature, and the speed of workflow rivals that of Ableton, with the added advantage you can work away from the computer screen if necessary. I can't wait to check out some more secrets of Maschine 1.8 very soon!

You can check out loads more tutorial videos at Point Blank Online.

EMC Tutorial #6 - Deconstructing Orbital's 'Chime'

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This is the sixth 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 tutorial he recreates Chime by Orbital in Ableton with the help of an Akai APC40.

You can learn more techniques like this on Point Blank's new online Electronic Music Composition course which has been developed by Ski himself. The course will 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.

Check out Ableton's blog piece about this tutorial..

Friday Forum Live! - Working with an Acapella in Ableton - 7th September 2012

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This was my second Point Blank Friday Forum Live! session in which I demonstrated how to get an Acapella in time, and then start writing some chords to go underneath it. It is a taster of the Electronic Music Composition course that I have recently developed.
The aim of these sessions is to give people a taste of how the online school masterclasses work as a method of feedback and interaction, whilst providing an opportunity to ask live questions to the Point Blank team.

EMC Tutorial #5 - Bassline in Daft Punk's 'Around the World'

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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 tutorial he breaks down the three bass lines in Around The Word by Daft Punk.

You can learn more techniques like this on Point Blank's new online Electronic Music Composition course which has been developed by Ski himself. The course will 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.

Ableton Live Tutorial - Creating a Beat with Found Sounds from Japan

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I've been coming to Japan quite regularly for over 20 years, and one of the things I love doing while I'm here is collecting sounds to take back with me to London. In the old days I would take a portable DAT recorder... later a Mini Disk recorder, but this year I was lucky enough to have a brand new Tascam DR-07 MkII. The advantage of this is that the audio is recorded straight to an SD Card, so I can transfer the files to the computer very easily using a USB cable.

So I thought I'd make a video for Point Blank demonstrating how I go about recording and organising the sounds, and then start using them creatively in Ableton Live.

Collecting 'found sounds' for your production palette is a great way of stepping away from the sample libraries and plugin presets, and moving towards organic sounds that are completely unique to your music.

I have made all the sounds (and more) featured in this video available to download for a limited period.

You can download and preview them individually from my Soundcloud page:
http://soundcloud.com/skioakenfull/sets/japan-found-sound-2012

...and they can also be downloaded as a bundle from my website..
http://www.skioakenfull.com/sounds/japanese_found_sounds_summer_2012

Hope you enjoy the sounds and the video too!

EMC Tutorial #4 - Deconstructing Michael Jackson's 'I Can't Help It'

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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 tutorial he breaks down the chord sequences in the verse and chorus of  I can't help it by Michael Jackson, using the amazing sounding EP73 Rhodes from Sonic Couture.

You can learn more techniques like this on Point Blank's new online Electronic Music Composition course which has been developed by Ski himself. The course will 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.

Friday Forum Live! - Deep House Chords in Ableton - 6th July 2012

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This was my first Point Blank Friday Forum Live! session in which I expanded on my previous Ableton Arpeggiated Chord Pattern Generator tutorial, by exploring more of the musical theory behind it, and talking about the Electronic Music Composition course that I have recently developed.
The aim of these sessions is to give people a taste of how the online school masterclasses work as a method of feedback and interaction, whilst providing an opportunity to ask live questions to the Point Blank team.
You can check out a behind the scenes picture 10 minutes before we went on air here..