Point Blank

DJ Mag August 2018

I was interviewed by DJ Mag earlier this year, and was really chuffed to see the article appear in the August issue. I discussed my deconstructions for Point Blank Music school, and how they have evolved over the last six years. I'm attaching a photo of the piece below which you can download.

Here's an interview I did recently for Point Blank. There's loads of exciting stuff happening at PB in 2015.. check back for more details!

Over the last few months I've been working on a major update of Point Blank's Mixing Dance Music for Ableton Live course with top sound engineer Anthony Chapman. It's been expanded from a four week to an eight week course, and will guide you through fundamental mixing techniques like image and balance, dynamics, EQ, reverb, depth, mixing vocals and even mastering. It's the perfect course for remixers, studio engineers and programmers alike.

Please check out the video below, and also read more about it here.

This course is compatible with both Logic Pro and Ableton Live

Electronic Music Composition 2 (EMC²), is the natural progression from EMC, taking you further along your creative pathway. We continue to demonstrate how classic and cutting edge tunes are put together and sometimes break the 'rules'. EMC² explains the tricks of the trade, building on what you learnt from EMC and getting more in depth: extending your knowledge of musical theory; deconstructing BIG tunes to see what makes them work; how to get vocals into your work and examining the different approaches to writing that will help keep you inspired and prolific. EMC² is developed by virtuoso keyboardist Ski Oakenfull. It contains presentation techniques that enable you to see exactly what's being played on the keys and what's happening in the software/DAW. To enrol on this course you need to have taken EMC. If you want to take both you should consider enrolling on the EMC Professional Course Program and save some cash. See you in class!

Includes a minimum of 240 mins video / frequent DVR™ (1-2-1 video feedback)/ 4 hours live masterclasses /1 year access / over 80 pages of course notes / 24/7 access to forum / exclusive audio resources to download.Optional: sign your track to Point Blank Music distributed by iTunes, beatport, Juno Download and Amazon.


Extending Musical Theory

  • General EMC1 Recap
  • Mixing Major & Minor Chords, Slash Chords & Right hand Inversions
  • Breaking the rules with clashes and notes not in the scale
  • Working with Intervals and Chord Riffs
  • Extended Scale Theory - Modes & Alternative Minors
  • More about Chord Progressions - Dominant 7ths
  • Modulating
  • Extracting Feel - Making it Funky

In addition to his writing and production work, Ski is Head of Education & Curriculum and Lecturer at Point Blank Music School in London.
If you would like to find out more, please drop him an email here: ski@pointblankmusicschool.com

In 2012 Ski was asked by Point Blank Music School to write an online course entitled Electronic Music Composition or 'EMC' for short. The first 4 week incarnation proved to be extremely popular, so later that year he set about writing a part 2. Eventually they merged into a single 8 week course which is currently running as both a standalone course and a module in Logic & Ableton certificate programmes. Take a look at the preview and syllabus description below!


This course is compatible with both Logic Pro and Ableton Live

Ever find it difficult to finish your tracks? In Electronic Music Composition (EMC), we analyze how classic and cutting edge tunes work and show you the techniques used so you can implement them in your own tracks. Over 8 inspirational and engaging weeks, EMC shows you how to develop the musical aspects of your tracks without getting too bogged down in scales and theory. You'll learn how to add hooks, riffs, chords, basslines, melodies, develop your arrangements and work with vocals whilst keeping everything in key so it 'sounds right. Developed by keyboardist Ski Oakenfull (Sony artist/producer/writer/player for Incognito, Joey Negro and The Bays), this course shows you what's being played on the keys and what's happening in the software/DAW. See you in class!

Includes 120 quality videos (approx)/ 3 x 1-2-1 Live Tutorials (via Skype) / 1x DVR™ (1-2-1 recorded video feedback)/ 8 hours live masterclasses/1 year access / over 160 pages of course notes / 24/7 access to forum/ exclusive audio resources to download. Optional: sign your track to Point Blank Music distributed by iTunes, beatport, Juno Download and Amazon.

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.