Have you ever wondered how to become the best DJ or sound engineer in the world? You might search for years to find a DJ school that teaches the latest in mixing, composing and producing music for commercials, movies, TV, and dance floors everywhere. Point Blank Music School in Los Angeles would be the place to go. I was invited to attend the media night at Point Blank LA and it was an amazing experience.
Arriving at Mack Sennet Studio’s in Silver Lake, you can tell that the building was made long ago. Each door has a long stucco staircase that looks like a 1916 entrance to an important building. Point Blank is located upstairs. The school has top of the line equipment from Pioneer and Native Instruments. In addition to teaching the Ableton computer program, students become versed in Push, Maschine, Komplete 10 and state of the art Kontrol 49 keyboards. The school’s location in Silver Lake at Mack Sennett Studios is the place to go for producers who have a passion for music. This school is designed to teach you the basics, fundamentals, hardware, software and advanced techniques in electronic music creation. People who attend Point Blank LA (PBLA) often become professional level sound engineers. Students with an interest in becoming an expert in this field can start at PBLA with no experience or plenty of knowledge and understanding.
The PBLA Coordinator, Viktor Carrillo, is an amazing teacher. He spent time with me and showed me the basics of his class. I have experience DJing when I was at the University in Boulder, Colorado. I understand beat mixing and counting beats while DJing. I can also calculate beats per minute and match two records to sound like one song. Viktor could see that I understood this basic part, he totally blew my mind. I had to hear him say it a few times and show me with a JPEG of a blown up sound wave on a computer. Suddenly, a simple concept of techno music was laid out in front of me and I’ll never listen to dance music the same way again. Viktor simply pointed out that every techno song has a certain count. The song is either a count of four or a count of eight and then repeated over and over. Once you learn how the track is made, you understand what is going on with the track. Once one understands this simple concept of the song’s count, one could easily create a track in a computer program such as Ableton. The production side of PBLA is really about the creation of music using the Ableton software, Native Instrument keyboards, plug ins, effects and modular synthesizers.
Let me take a moment to explain what a modular synthesizer is. The modular synthesizer contains special modules. These modules each have a unique effect on the sound. The modules are connected together with patch cords. Since its easier to see the cords in the dark if they are a different color (using a flashlight of course), there is often a colorful spaghetti of cords connecting the hardware together. The modular synthesizer performance scene is usually underground and not openly advertised. These events usually feature super creative DJs using the latest gear. Many people associated with the Point Blank Music School are active in the Mod Synth scene in Los Angeles.
Viktor Carrillo wasn’t done blowing my mind as he went on to explain a couple of other concepts about mixing dance music that I had never considered. Viktor’s class on DJing is made to get both beginners and professionals looking at the music in the same way. When the student finishes Viktor’s course, they would be experts on counting the music they are mixing. In addition they would understand how to do a live mix using vinyl records, mp3s, and CDs.
Once the student picks up the basics of DJ performing, beat mixing and counting, the expert instructors at Point Blank teach Music Production and Music Composition. Joe Caputo was on hand the night we were at PBLA. Joe seeks to help students gain a refined understanding of how sound works. By shifting the focus from the technical side of music production to the musical theory side of composition. Joe Teaches music theory, rhythm, structure and arrangement. These music composition concepts are what make great tracks.
Point Blank Music School is considered the best electronic music production and DJ school according to DJ Magazine. This is quite an honor in a world of expensive electronic music schools that are short in delivering a quality education in music production. PBLA has industry professionals teaching master level music production. The students learn about electronic sound production from experts and top music producers who stop by. Many music industry luminaries have taught at Point Blank Silver Lake both on staff and in the Workshop series. Von Harris from the 1990s electronic powerhouse, Nitzer Ebb, is teaching an occasional masterclass at Point Blank LA.
What are the costs of learning from Point Blank Silver Lake? There are full advanced diploma degree plans that run over ten thousand dollars. There are certificates and shorter courses available. You can take a weekend course for as little as $400. The school also runs specials on their website. The best thing to do is to visit the school. Point Blank LA has Open House events and the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable.
Check out the PBLA website here;