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Learning Ableton with Point Blank

The DJmag diary

It's been a good few years since I've made excuses for handing in homework late, but having been working in Ibiza (which, strangely, doesn't get much sympathy) and then moving house, it was the strangely familiar position I found myself in last week on my twelve week course to learn the basics of Ableton online with Point Blank.

Fortunately tutor Jonny Miller, who as well as working for Point Blank releases broken beat and dubstep tracks through his label Jus'Listen, takes this in his stride when he return the Direct Video Response to my second assignment.

As it sounds, the DVR is on-screen footage of Johnny running through my project on Ableton, his disembodied voice providing personalised commentary on what works well and what can be improved, delving behind the main course notes to highlight particular parts of Ableton that can be used to achieve the kind of sound I'm making.

What's more, you can view the DVR for other students too, allowing you to see what hints and tips he's given to them to broaden your knowledge base.

Having covered midi-clips previously, week three touched upon audio clips, teaching us how to warp waveforms, the different types of warping that Ableton allows and where best to use them, and how to create loops and apply clip envelopes to alter these.

In tribute to my Ibiza adventures, I chopped up the beginning of The Grid's Balearic classic 'Flotation' to add to the midi drums I'd programmed. The jury is still out on how it sounds!