Tutorials

Ski's Music Technology Tutorial work

EMC Tutorial #1 - Deconstructing Emile Sande's 'Heaven'

EMC Tutorial #1 - Deconstructing Emile Sande's 'Heaven'

Welcome to a new 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, bridge and chorus of Heaven by Emeli Sande.

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 Tutorial - Deep House Arpeggiated Chord Pattern Generator

Ableton Tutorial - Deep House Arpeggiated Chord Pattern Generator

This is a tutorial video demonstrating how I achieved an Arpeggiated Chord Pattern Generator in Ableton Live.

You can download a free instrument rack of this sound by going to the 'Free Sounds' section of this site.
It will appear very soon as part of the Online DJ Mag Tech section. I will post a link as soon as it is published.

But for now, here is the video and accompanying text.

Taking inspiration from Deep House don and Freerange Records label boss Jimpster, I wanted to have a go at recreating a musical part I heard recently from one of his tracks.

I loved the way the rhythm of the pattern lies on the off beat, so I set about trying to figure a way to achieve this in Ableton.

One of Live's major assets are its fantastic Midi Effects which, when combined together in series, can perform some powerful Midi processing. So for this project I used the following Midi devices:

Arpeggiator
This allows you to hold down any number of keys, and have Ableton build up a Rhythmic pattern (Arpeggio) using these notes. The important thing in my example, is that I had to set the rate to Free mode to get that offbeat rhythm.

Chord
This allows you to play a single note on the keyboard, and have Ableton add extra notes allowing you to build up chords. In this example I programmed a Minor Triad (+3 & +7)

Scale

Ableton Tutorial - Creating the Julio Bashmore Bass Sound

Ableton Tutorial - Creating the Julio Bashmore Bass Sound

This is a tutorial video demonstrating how I achieved the bass sound used in Julio Bashmore's 'Battle For Middle You' using Analog in Ableton Live.
You can download a free instrument rack of this sound by going to the 'Free Sounds' section of this site.
It will appear very soon as part of the Online DJ Mag Tech section. I will post a link as soon as it is published.

But for now, here is the video and accompanying text.

Creating a Deep Bass Sound using Analog

Julio Bashmore's 'Battle For Middle You' was perhaps one of the most defining tracks of 2011. It managed to not only attain the enviable position of crossing over to a wide range of DJs, but also be at the forefront of last year's Bass Music revolution.
One of the key ingredients to the sound of 'Bass Music' is of course the Bass, and this is certainly evident on Bashmore's track. The sound is very similar to the Sine wave based analogue Kick Drum of a Roland TR808 Drum Machine, with a sharp bite to the attack, and long release. The main difference however is how defined the pitch is, making it more like an analogue bass patch from a synthesizer.

Ableton Tutorial - Looping on the fly

Ableton Tutorial - Looping on the fly

This is a video I made to demonstrate using the Looper device to set up loops on the fly in Ableton Live, and use a midi controller to start and stop the loop.
It came about after the live sets I have been playing recently with Palm Skin Productions.
It will appear very soon as part of the Online DJ Mag Tech section. I will post a link as soon as it is published.

But for now, here is the video and accompanying text.

Ableton Looper Tutorial Video by Ski Oakenfull

The Looper tool was a much requested feature of Ableton, and was only introduced relatively recently in version 8.
Before its arrival, it was still possible to loop pre-warped audio 'on the fly' in a DJ situation by assigning controllers to set start & end points in the clip inspector, but the Looper adds much more flexibility and provides some exciting possibilities.
Firstly it exists as an Ableton audio effect, so can be used as an insert or return. For a DJ set up, the return scenario is perfect as it allows you to send any of your DJ channels to the Looper, and then treat that return channel separately.
Secondly, you can assign your Midi controller to any of the functions of the Looper such as Record, Play, Stop, Overdub etc. This means you can 'perform' your Looping and introduces more of the chance element, and not be tied to your computer.

Ableton Tutorial - Microtonic inside a Drum Rack

Ableton Tutorial - Microtonic inside a Drum Rack

I'm currently tutoring Ableton Logic at Point Blank Online Music College. In this video I show how you can set up the Microtonic Drum Synth inside Ableton's Drum Rack so you can benefit from individual outs and FX..

The resulting Instrument Rack can be downloaded here:
https://tinyurl.com/5vb7lmu

For more info on the tutors and courses available at Point Blank College please visit here:
https://tinyurl.com/62hllbd

This video has subsequently been re-made and is now included in the Point Blank Minimal Techno Course.

Ableton Tutorial - Roland SH-101 Rack (Free Download)

Ableton Tutorial - Roland SH-101 Rack (Free Download)

I'm currently tutoring Ableton Logic at Point Blank Online Music College. In this video I set about recreating a Roland SH-101 LFO Filter Modulation Effect on the Ableton Live 'Analog' Instrument.

The resulting Instrument Rack can be downloaded here:
https://tinyurl.com/3njoglt

For more info on the tutors and courses available at Point Blank College please visit here:
https://tinyurl.com/62hllbd