Week one of my quest to be a DJ/producer I go to the Point Blank Hoxton campus to learn the basics


It's new years resolution season and while everyone else is on a salad and gym tip, my new years resolution was to finally learn the basics of djing and producing. I've been writing about dance music and interviewing DJs and producers for years, and have always felt that my knowledge of the technical side left a lot to be desired. So when premiere music school, Point Blank, asked me to have a go at their DJ/Producer Award I jumped at the chance.

So when the second week of January rolled around and my colleagues were staring with despair into their Fitbits, I was downloading Logic X and preparing to take my first steps into world of music production.

My musical journey would take place in Point Blank's new campus in East London's Hoxton. The new campus is fully kitted out with all the hardware and computer tech you could want. My class will run for three hours after work, every Monday and Wednesday for the next three months.

My class is small with only five other students, which is great because it gives me a lot more opportunity to ask our fantastic instructor, Dan, for help.

Before cracking on with production, we're lead through a brief history of recorded music and advances in music production. From the early days of the piano roll - a roll of paper with holes punched into it which would allow pianos to play a prerecorded song right up to the equipment sitting in front of us.



Speaking of equipment each station is decked out with everything you could ever need. For a complete novice like me it's a bit of an intimidating collection of hardware, from the obligatory iMac to a novation Keystation 49 to a Native Instruments Maschine and another sampler, it's feels like all bases are covered.



History lesson over it was time to jump into the basics. Dan walked us through the sequence of creating a drum pattern, adding bass and finally some ambient pads on top.

We then had a brief stab at mixing down and bouncing the completed track. My own effort was a very by-the-numbers deep house loop, but as the first music I've ever created - bar some guitar dabbling in my early teens - I was pretty proud of the results.

No so proud that I'm going to throw myself to the wolves and upload it here though. Maybe after a few more weeks of practice.


Find out more about Point Blank's extensive range of on and offline classes here.


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