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 has gone on to release three solo albums, Life Changes, Rising Son, and Short Circuits, 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, writes & produces with artists such as Incognito, Dave Lee, Valerie Etienne, and Duke Dumont. He has an Ambient Electronic project called Ayota, and also makes regular radio shows. Alongside his production work, Ski holds the position of Head of Education & Curriculum at Point Blank Music School where he manages their degree programmes. He has also made over a hundred tutorial videos for the school's YouTube channel which have racked up over ten million views, and is an Ableton Certified Trainer. Please have a look around this site, and feel free to leave a message.

The Azealia Banks '212' Tutorial video I made for Point Blank Online College was published recently in the DJ Mag Free online edition. You can check it out here: Its DJ Weekly 127.

I'm also attaching the offline version for you to download. You'll find the attachment underneath the picture..

You can also download the Native Instruments Massive Patch I created in the tutorial here.

Here's the accompanying text:

Although Lazy Jay is credited as a featured artist on this track, Azealia actually laid a vocal on his original instrumental, 'Float My Boat' which was released on Big & Dirty Records back in 2009. With her sleazy rap style perfectly complementing the beat, she transformed the track to become a massive hit in 2011.

For the analysis of this track I wanted to focus on the two main sections. The bulk of the song is centered around a swung beat with a distinctive Tom Tom pattern. Jay uses some great rising FX underneath to provide tension, as well as alternating various percussive elements. The other addition to this beat is the hooky synth line. Although I was working in Ableton, I decided to recreate it using Native Instrument's Massive, due to it's comprehensive range of Filters, Oscillators and overall fat sound. I assigned a Macro within the Synth to control the pitch of the Oscillators, which I was then able to record as Automation after recording a single note midi pattern into Ableton.

For the second section, the beat is filtered down, and some new synth parts are introduced. Azealia switches from a rap to a sung melody which copies the lead synth line. The melody uses quite an unconventional scale, which I was keen to investigate. Although I managed to identify the Key Signature as F# Minor, there were two notes not found in the F# Natural Minor Scale which were C Natural and D#. It is actually possible to play the Scale of C# Harmonic Minor over the F# Minor bass line to achieve all the correct notes!

Package icon DJ127.zip11.87 MB

This article was written by Ski for the Point Blank Blog and published on 29th October 2012

Live users have been anticipating the announcement of version 9 for over 3 years now, causing some intense speculation about what new features might be added. So when it was finally announced last week, you can imagine the frenzy of excited tweeting and status updating that took place. Ableton's biggest surprise however, was the announcement of a brand new hardware controller entitled 'Push'. On reflection it seems like natural move for Ableton to introduce their own controller, especially when you consider other companies such as Native Instruments andAkai who have been doing this for a quite a while now. Both NI's Maschine and Akai's new MPC Renaissance come with their own standalone DAW software, providing some real competition for Ableton. Push however, raises the bar, and by benefiting from it's predecessors, the APC40 and Launchpad, has combined all the best features to create what seems to be a unique new controller. Let's have a look at what it has to offer..

For me, both the APC40 and Launchpad have their shortcomings. Firstly, the Lauchpad's Pads aren't velocity sensitive, which limits the amount of expression when programming drums for example. Also, to get 'Visual Feedback' working, you need to set up an extra channel in Live to send back the midi data. The APC40 is primarily a clip launcher and mixer controller, and even though various customizations exist, you would generally still need to use a keyboard controller when composing with Ableton. Also, due its limited 5 x 8 grid, you have to rely on the cursor keys to view a large number of clips.