August 27, 2013  |   Competitions, News

Hot Natured Deconstruction for Beatport + Subscribe To Win an iPad!

Today marks the second installment of our ‘How To’ feature with Beatport which will be running for the next four weeks and features three of our recent deconstructions as well as an exclusive new deconstruction for Beatport by Point Blank’s Ski Oakenfull. Hot Natured’s ‘Benediction was one of last year’s biggest underground to mainstream successes and was crying out for a deconstruction.

Watch the deconstruction over on Beatport.

“The majority of my deconstructions have been made using Ableton Live, so with the recent release of Logic Pro X, I was excited to see how I could use its new features to help break down this track by Hot Natured and Ali Love. I particularly love the new iPad control app which amongst other things, allowed me to shoot to the different sections of the arrangement once I had set up region markers. I’m also enjoying the new Retro Synth which I used to recreate the main Synth Chord stab sound”.
-Point Blank’s Course Developer and Tutor Ski Oakenfull

To celebrate the launch of this  ’How To’ feature we’re also running a ‘Subscribe To Win’ competition which will run for the next week. All you need to do is join our YouTube family by subscribing to Point Blank’s YouTube channel by midnight on Tuesday September 3rd 2013 (if you are already subscribed you’ll be automatically entered). The winner, who will be drawn at random, will receive an iPad Wi-fi 16GB black and $100 worth of Beatport download credit!

Video Transcription:

[music]

Ski
Oakenfull: Okay, we’re going to have a look at this fantastic track by Hot Natured and Ally Love called Benediction. It came out last year 2012 and it’s got a really summery vibe to it, and I want to get inside and have a look at the musical elements. I’ve got Logic 10 here, and also the Logic control app on the iPad. It’s the free app that comes with Logic that’s-, I’m really getting into it, and I’ve got my keyboard as well so we can have a look at the chords, and the baselines and that kind of thing.

So first of all, let’s have a listen to the sections. There’s three main sections that I’m going to look at. I’ve mapped these out using Logic’s markers which I’ve also coloured to make it a bit easier. What’s great about the iPad app is I can skip to each section just by selecting it here.

So, let’s start off with the intro, just going to give that a little play. This is just the original track.

[Music]

So this is our first chord sequence, and then we have the verse section. This is where the vocal first comes in and the bassline drops out.

[Music]

It’s really nice. And then we have the chorus section where strings come in and the bass line’s back, and this is a different chord progression.

[Music]

Then we also have this instrumental section where this kind of keyboard riff comes in. I’m just going to play that to you now.

[Music]

Like a really kind of clipped vibraphone sound. I really like that.

So first of all let’s have a look at the key signature. I’m just going to bring up my keyboard, let’s play along.

[Music]

So we’re in A minor for this track. Very simple, and this is the natural minor as well, so it’s all the white notes, very very simple. While I was working this track out, I couldn’t help thinking that it sounded like something else, and it finally hit me, and the track that I was thinking of was this one, it’s by The Police called Spirits In The Material World, classic tune. I’m just to play you the chorus now.

[Music]

So we have this vibe here, which sounds very similar to the chorus of this track.

[Music]

And even stranger is the first chord of this intro section of the Hot Natured track is in A, and then when you get to the course it goes to the D which is the four chord. So, we’ll have a look at then a bit more detail and in a minute, but I just thought I’d mention it anyway.

So, let’s kick off with this track. I’m going to go back to the intro. I’ve just sketched in a beat, here we go, I’m just going to play it to you now.

[Music]

So let’s start off with the chords of this intro section. Here we go, let’s record this in.

[Music]

So what do we have here? We’ve got an A minor chord here, these are all triads, then going to a G major chord, then down to an F major chord. So this is the one chord, this is the seven chord, and this is the six chord. It’s very simple. And you notice there is that kind of quite interesting rhythm as well, a lot of anticipation there. It’s also worth noticing that I have quantize on here, so everything that’s being recording is being quantized to 16 A swing.

So let’s have a look at the bassline now. And this is underpinning those chords, but there’s a lot of movement. It’s quite a rolling kind of bassline. So let’s record that in and see what that sounds like.

[Music]

There we go. It’s working really nicely with the chords as well, kind of playing in the spaces, it’s kind of really giving it a lot of funk. So now we’ve got the bass and the chords in. Let’s look at the string sound. I’m just going to bring that up here. And the strings really lift the tune, especially in the chorus. And they also provide a really nice kind of melodic element before the vocal comes in. So let’s record this in.

[Music]

There we go, just caught the first note there. So there we go, we have the strings, the bass, and the chords from this intro section. Now let’s have a look at the verse section. I’m just going to play that again just to remind ourselves what it sounds like.

[Music]

So here we start off on the six chord which is the F major triad. Basically you’ve got a different combination of these chords, but then it changes a little bit. It goes to, down to this chord here, which is an E minor triad, and this is the five chord. So let’s record this in and see what it sounds like.

[Music]

And as I mentioned before, there’s no bass line there, it’s just the vocal and these chords. Then we’re going to move on to the chorus section. And as I mentioned before, this starts on the four chord which is this D minor triad. So let’s record that in.

[Music]

There we go, we have that part in. And the bass line is pretty simple. It’s just following those chords. So let’s record that in.

[Music]

So, there we have it. And then the other element that comes in is the strings, and this is the second half of this intro strings that we had here. All I’m going to do here is just chop that there and I’m just going to copy that over.

[Music]

Cool. So lastly let’s just have a look at this instrumental section that I mentioned before. This is just over here. Let’s have a listen to that.

[Music]

And this is over these verse chords here, I’m just going to copy those over, and let’s just go on to this sound. So let’s just play this riff in.

[Music]

So there we go. And this is pretty much based on this A minor triad. We have this D in there as well. So there we go, I’m just going to trim the start of this region. Just copy it over.

[Music]

So there we have our different sections. I just want to quickly show you the sounds that I’m using here. First of all, we’ve got these synth chords, and this I created using the retro synth, and I use the analog section here, I used two SAW waves. They’re pretty much mixed together, but one of the oscillators is tuned slightly higher. And the key to getting this sound is this filter envelope which I’ve got here, and you can see I’ve got this shape here. If I bring this filter cutoff up, you can hear that sound there. So, that’s that. And then for the deep bass sound, I’ve just got a simple ES one. I think this is based on the preset, the deep bass preset, but I just kind of messed around with the cutoff frequency.

Then we have the string sound, and, I believe is one of the garage band settings actually. It’s called massive strings. And again, I had a play with the cutoff frequency and the resonance as well just to try to get it sounding similar to the original track.

And then finally, we have our vibraphone here, and for this, I just used a standard factory vibraphone sound, but I took the decay and the sustain right down on this to give it that kind of clipped sound. If I take that up again, you can hear how it affects that. I also changed it to monophonic as well so the notes didn’t hangover.

So there you go. I hope you enjoyed that deconstruction of this great track.

[Music]

Danny J.
Lewis: At Point Blank Online, you’ve got two methods of interaction with your tutor. Firstly, you’ve got the weekly online master class which is in real time. Then also we’ve got feedback on your assignments, and that’s known as DVR. So the online master class is a one-hour session you get with your tutor every week. You can ask questions about lesson content and get instant feedback and also demonstrations on the fly from their computer desktop with our streaming technology. DVR stands for Direct Video Response, and the concept is really simple.

You upload your Ableton, Logic or Cubase project file to your tutor, he downloads it, and then he pushes record on the screen capturing software and it evaluates your work, so basically giving you one-to-one feedback.

You see all of the mouse movements and any parameter changes made by your tutor. It’s kind of like sitting in the studio over their shoulder watching what they’re doing whilst they work.

We’ve found the DVR process has truly revolutionised the way that we teach online, and the results speak for themselves.

Book your place on a course now by visiting pointblankonline.net.