Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8 DJ Controller – In Depth Overview w/ ENDO

Dubspot instructor and Native Instruments product specialist Mike Henderson aka ENDO offers an in-depth overview of the TRAKTOR KONTROL S8 DJ controller. 

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In this video Dubspot instructor Mike Henderson (aka ENDO) gives a detailed breakdown of the TRAKTOR KONTROL S8 DJ controller. Discover a fresh new approach to mixing music using all the new features on this groundbreaking controller. Endo takes us through every aspect of the controller including setup and connections, integrations, overview of every control, tools to remix tracks live, mixing techniques, and many more creative possibilities!

NI TRAKTOR KONTROL S8

The TRAKTOR KONTROL S8 is Native Instruments flagship all-in-one DJ system. This highly versatile and innovative DJ controller is fully equipped and driven by touch-sensitive controls and high-resolution displays. Experience a new way to mix and perform with the 4-channel stand-alone mixer, customizable audio interface, and enhanced performance decks for ultimate control over the included TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO 2 software. The touch-and-see workflow enhancements Native Instruments packed in this cutting-edge controller gives you full control with touch-sensitive knobs, faders, and LED-guided touch strips that takes performing with TRAKTOR software to a whole new level. The vivid full-color displays allow you keep focused on performance and not on your laptop. This impressive DJ controller truly lets you connect with your music and interact with the crowd.

The TRAKTOR KONTROL S8 is more than a DJ controller; it is a step towards the future of performing by blurring the line between controllerism and traditional DJing. Create your signature sound with the responsive Remix Deck controls, and intuitively mix in sounds with 4+4 channel Remix Deck faders. Take your sets to the next level using the 16 color-coded performance pads to live capture and trigger your own samples and loops. The TRAKTOR KONTROL S8 is by far the ultimate performance controller.


Mike Henderson a.k.a. Endo is a Dubspot DJ course designer/instructor and Native Instruments product specialist, for more info check out www.djendo.com. Endo also produced a podcast for us back in December, Check it out at this link and below on SoundCloud.


Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro

The definition of DJing has changed dramatically in the last decade. Laptops, controllers, and software have emerged alongside more traditional turntables and CDJs, smashing the barrier to entry. In today’s digital age, anyone can become a DJ. To reflect this renaissance, Dubspot has created the Digital DJing with Traktor program. In both our physical and online schools, students will learn how to DJ entirely with Traktor’s cutting-edge technology. An emphasis will be placed on the concepts of DJing rather than simply learning how to use the software.

What’s Included

  • Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro 2 Level 1: Introduction to DJing
  • Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro 2 Level 2: Phrase Mixing
  • Digital DJing w/ Traktor Pro 2 Level 3: Beyond The Beatmatch

“I love the class, and the content! Shiftee and Endo are very funny, and very clear, so the material is easy and fun to follow! I wish my college teachers  were more like these two!” – Leandro Martinez, Chicago IL

More start dates and information about payment plans can be found here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

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Synthesis: Learning the Language of Sound

Can You Play What You Hear? By Professor Loudon Stearns, Berklee College of Music   As a professor who teaches music production at Berklee College of Music and Berklee Online, I have grown more and more sure that an understanding of synthesis is essential for keyboardists and producers alike. Synthesizers are a constant presence in […]

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5 Max for Live Devices for Ableton Push: Oktopush, Omnipush, Spektro, Push Pong, Time & Timbre

In this Max for Live roundup, Dubspot contributor and Ableton Certified Trainer Josh Spoon introduces five Max for Live devices that expand the capabilities of the Ableton Push controller.

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In a previous article found HERE I introduced five Max for Live devices that expand the capabilities of the Ableton Push controller. Since then Max for Live devices have evolved and they currently offer even more capabilities to override the standard features of Push. In this second round up, I’ll show you five additional Max for Live devices that Push the envelope for Ableton control.

OKTOPUSH

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Oktopush by Isotonik Studios released a Max for Live DJ template for Ableton Push, similar to their version for the APC40. This Max for Live suit provides a complete DJ setup for Push right out of the box. Oktopush includes all of the great DJ style effects you would expect from Isotonik. Push’s encoders control the rate of an effect while the Track Select Buttons enable and disable effects. My favorite effect is the Lo and Hi Pass Filter, which is controlled by the Push Touch Strip. In addition, you can toggle on/off Oktopush to have easy access to Push’s standard features and free up the User Mode for mapping additional parameters. If you’re looking to DJ with Push, Oktopush is a worthy choice for around $30. Pick up a copy HERE.

SPEKTRO PS-8

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Spektro PS-8 1.1 by IcaroFerre is a unique analog-style sequencer inspired by Korg SQ-10 and Moog 960 Sequential Controller. The Push encoders allow you to change the pitch of notes and velocity of the eight steps. The pads are used to control note on/off, loop start, shuffle amount, gate length, and loop direction, referred to as Mode. Spektro PS-8 provides great visual feedback and is relatively easy to use, giving you the freedom to have fun and focus on your performance. Download Spektro PS-8 for free HERE.

OMNIPUSH

OmniPush 1.1 by walrusmuse is a Max for Live device inspired by the Suzuki Omnichord. It opens up the ability to “strum” a glissando of notes using the Push Touch Strip. There are two modes to choose from, “Freehand” and “Scale” mode.

Freehand mode allows you to strum multiple octaves with the Touch Strip with one hand while playing a chord with your other hand on the pads. When using the Freehand mode make sure you also set the key you are playing in. Scale mode doesn’t use the pads and focuses only on strumming with the Touch Strip. In addition, you can tap or slide your finger to trigger notes, as well as set note boundaries, add fifths, and adjust velocity. I find it works very nicely with synth strings. Get your strum on and download OmniPush 1.1 for free HERE.

PUSH PONG

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Push Pong by  Mark Towers is a Max for Live generative sequencer inspired by Batuhan Bozkurt’s Otomata Generative Musical Sequencer. Notes are generated when pushing any of the pads on Push. A rectangle will start to move either vertically or horizontally, creating a note when hitting the boundaries of the Push pads. The fun starts when additional rectangles are generated when pressing any of the pads on the 8×8 grid.

Push Pong gives you many options to create a unique generative experience. You can change the notes that are generated on the boundaries, set either a “Global” or “Cell” mode to change velocity, note length, chance of cells bouncing, and the rectangle’s travel direction. Push Pong is also available to download free HERE.

TIME & TIMBRE 

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TIME & TIMBRE by Skinnerbox is a Max for Live modular drum machine and time engine. The TIME section is a six­ voice polyrhythmic and polymetric sequencer. This device lets you easily make and chain together patterns, add accents and rolls to individual steps. It has the ability to define sequence length and beat divisions freely and independently for each of its six channels. TIME is also capable of applying swing to any of notes, not just ones that fit a standard 4/4 mold, providing a unique feel. There are four LFO’s available to map to any parameter located on TIME & TIMBRE device, or any parameter in Live that will oscillate with Time’s swing.

TIMBRE consists of five drum synthesis modules that provide a great range of drum sounds. It is feature rich, allowing complete control of any drum elements. This drum synth can also be randomized in a few ways, or modulated using any of the four LFO’s. This powerhouse device truly gives you the freedom and ability to make unique sounds very quickly. Best of all you can access a lot of the features on Push, and the step sequencer works similarly to the standard one with a few clever quick sequencing options. One of my favorite features is “Morph Master Mike.” You can also use the top and bottom points of the Touch Strip to create parameter snapshots, and then morph between the two. TIME & TIMBRE has been very fun to use! Grab this double treat for $69 on Ableton’s site HERE.


Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program

The flagship of our music training, with every Ableton Live course offered at the school. After completing this program, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.

What’s Included:

  • Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches, and Ideas
  • Ableton Live Level 2: Analyze, Deconstruct, Recompose, and Assemble
  • Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis and Original Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 4: Advanced Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Effect Processing
  • Ableton Live Level 6: Going Global with your Music

This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, by developing your own sound through a series of sketches and experimentation. You will also learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, storytelling techniques, ways of creating tension and drama in your music. At the end of the day, it is the sum total of your choices as an artist that define your sound, and levels 2 – 6 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

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Dubspot LA EDU Sessions: Tales From The Studio w/ David Z (Prince, Etta James, Billy Idol)

On Friday January 16th, the Dubspot LA EDU Sessions continue with Grammy Award winning music producer David Z (Prince, Etta James, Billy Idol).

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Dubspot LA EDU Sessions:
Tales From The Studio w/ David Z (Prince, Lipps Inc., Billy Idol)

Friday, January 16th, 2015, Dubspot LA Room 1
4pm – 6pm PST

In this workshop Grammy Award winning music producer David Z will deconstruct some influential records and share a personal history of production techniques that were learned along the way. David is most well known for his work with Prince and also contributed to award winning albums by Etta James, Billy Idol, BoDeans, Buddy Guy, and Neneh Cherry. David was a member of Lipps Inc, with whom he had a US #1 hit with “Funkytown.”

RSVP on Facebook. This event is FREE and open to the public. Space is limited, please arrive early to sign in.


Open House in NYC: Sundays 11am | Guided Tour of LA

Ask questions. Watch demos. Test drive workstations.

Visit our New York and Los Angeles locations! Ask our Admissions Counselors in-depth questions about our programs, curriculum and philosophy. Watch live music production and DJ demos, and test drive our student workstations. If you are still trying to decide what you are looking for, stop by one of our Open Houses in NYC or schedule a tour in LA to find out more about the learning process at Dubspot. We can also help with scheduling details and payment options.

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

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The post Dubspot LA EDU Sessions: Tales From The Studio w/ David Z (Prince, Etta James, Billy Idol) appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Dubspot Radio Podcast: Matuss (Absence Seizure) – Mix and Interview

On the first Dubspot Radio Podcast of 2015, NYC-based DJ/producer and Dubspot technician Julia Matuss takes us on a trip with a sleek and enjoyable new mix showcasing her original productions along with some recent favorites. Matuss also talks about growing up in a musical household, immersing herself in house music at an early age, taking inspirations from a wide range of genres, how she approach music production, collaboration, and more.

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Subscribe to Dubspot Radio Podcast on iTunes

On March 30th, Matuss will be presenting the first vinyl release from her brand new imprint Absence Seizure. The release will serve as Matuss’s debut on wax! To celebrate the occasion, three events are planned in Los Angeles (February 27th), New York (March 13th at Lot45), and Miami! At each event, the first 10 people to attend will get limited edition vinyl from Absence Seizure. You can also RSVP at info@absenceseizuremusic.com. Details are forthcoming and we’ll update as they become available.

Julia Matuss discovered her passion for music at the early age of 6 by accidentally wandering through a music school and bumping into a music teacher in Hungary. She then immediately started Piano and Saxophone lessons perfecting her musical ability and learning how to produce music. In her early years she traveled all over the world experiencing many different cultures and types of music. She was drawn into sounds and melody developing an intense desire to create beautiful harmonies. Not learning to play music or be able create music was punishment to a young Matuss.  

The path was set for Matuss to dedicate her life to music and she later found herself attracted to the art of DJing and producing music, infatuated with the sounds and melodies created by mixing two tracks together. The power of controlling the sounds and vibrations that reverberate through the speakers causes Matuss to be overcome with emotions and gives her the ability to translate those feelings towards the crowd and the dance-floor through the tracks she curates.

Learning how to DJ and produce became natural for Matuss having been involved with music since an early age. Her conversation with Louis Botella solidified her decision to learn the art of DJing and to continue her passion for creating music and sharing that passion with the world. Buying her first Numark equipment changed Matuss’ life forever, placing it on the floor of her unfurnished apartment and forcing herself to learn and practice. This skillset has allowed Matuss to play clubs all over the world including Luxembourg, Switzerland, France, Italy, and her home country of the Ukraine.

Matuss has learned from the best in the industry including Armand Van Helden, Junior Vasquez, Hector Romero, Nic Fanciulli, and many more! She has opened for world renown DJs such as Danny Tenaglia, James Zabiela, Deep Dish, and countless others and held residencies at clubs in Chicago, the world famous Avalon in Los Angeles, Bliss in St. Martin, as well as a residency with Radio FG. During her time in LA she spun at numerous clubs such as Playhouse, Exchange LA, The Standard, and many many more. She has also played world famous clubs in New York such as Cielo, Sullivan Room, and lots others. Matuss also managed to get involved with Opulent Temple – a large scale art & music theme camp at Burning Man.  

Recently meeting her now friend and mentor, Nic Fanciulli, Nic saw the passion and dedication held by Matuss and helped her land a job as a technician at the legendary DJ school, Dubspot. Matuss can now be found learning, studying, teaching, and working at Dubspot in between her regular gig schedule and her time in the studio. She continues to perfect her craft and has regularly released on labels such as Vibra Macz, Monophonic Records, Automatica, Nosi, and many others. Her productions have received support by Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo, Scumfrog, Coyu, Alan Fitzpatrick, Marco Carola, Michel De Hey, and many others.

Aside from making and teaching music, Matuss also teaches at a kickboxing school in Brooklyn. Being a professional MMA Fighter and gave the idea for her most recent party project along with Abe Duque aptly named Fight Klub. The idea behind the brand is to allow people to have fun with no restrictions, no rules, and no strings attached. Every time Matuss performs, every gig she plays, she leaves a part of herself with every soul that hits the dance-floor.

Keep up with Matuss on SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, and her site.


Open House in NYC: Sundays 11am | Guided Tour of LA

Ask questions. Watch demos. Test drive workstations.

Visit our New York and Los Angeles locations! Ask our Admissions Counselors in-depth questions about our programs, curriculum and philosophy. Watch live music production and DJ demos, and test drive our student workstations. If you are still trying to decide what you are looking for, stop by one of our Open Houses in NYC or schedule a tour in LA to find out more about the learning process at Dubspot. We can also help with scheduling details and payment options.

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

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Music Tech Video Spotlight – Unique Synths from Critter and Guitari in Brooklyn, NY

We recently visited the creative studio of Critter and Guitari in Brooklyn, NY. We take a hands-on look at some of their quirky and unique synthesizer offerings.

Click here to view the embedded video.

When it comes to modern electronic musical instruments, most products on the market are “do everything” devices that aim to fulfill all of your studio needs. While many of these products look great on paper, the end result is often a confusing and un-inspiring instrument (or effect, DAW, etc.) that often takes longer to learn than it does to create sound.

Brooklyn-based synth designers Chris Kucinski and Owen Osborn seem to be offering an alternative to this mentality with a boutique line of instruments and video creation devices called Critter& Guitari. We recently had a chance to ask Chris and Owen a few questions about the company and to check out three of their products: the Pocket PianoBolsa Bassand B&W Video Scope (click here for our impressions).

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Interview with Critter and Guitari’s Chris Kucinski and Owen Osborn

One thing that I have noticed in using these devices (Pocket Piano, Bolsa Bass) is that they are incredibly addictive to play because of their simplicity (easy to master) while being very expressive at the same time (thinking here about how the keys respond in some patches). How did you come to find this winning formula with your product design?

Thanks! Coming from music, art, engineering and architecture backgrounds we had a lot of opportunities to experiment and explore different designs. We built musical and interactive sculptures for art shows and watched how people played with them. These works ended up being a proving ground for ideas. So there have been many iterations of various instruments that led to those two instruments.

Is less really more when it comes to musical instruments?

We think so! We like immediacy in making music. For us, that immediacy leads to more musical, fun, and spontaneous creations and keeps the energy up. The sonic parameters we design in to each instrument are geared towards those aspects of making music. Being able to record an audio loop like a Kaleidoloop does or a sequence on the Bolsa Bass or Melody Mill as soon as you can think of it is huge. We think it helps get you out of your head – making music instead of thinking about it.

Who builds these beautiful devices?

We’re a team of three. We assemble each instrument by hand, test and ship them out all from our Brooklyn studio. We have an assembly line set up to build big batches of instruments at once. The parts that are made specifically for us such as the wood and aluminum enclosures and wood buttons are all made in the USA.

Are the Critter & Guitari products a calculated response to the multitude of “do everything” products that flood music instrument market?

Recognizing and embracing your constraints is a good thing! The best instruments are the intuitive instruments – drums, piano, stringed instruments, etc. They don’t do everything, but they do plenty and they do it well. That’s where we’re coming from. Drop-down menus and system settings are boring and anti-music.

What inspired you to create a wooden box synthesizer? And where did the idea for wooden keys come from?

As we iterated through designs of what was to become the Pocket Piano, we would use cigar boxes for enclosures – drilling out holes for keys and jacks – to protect the circuitry and have some semblance of a finished instrument. For the production runs of Pocket Pianos, we continued using wood since it sounds good! We wanted a nice, refined touch when you played the Pocket Piano so we chose maple for the keys too.

The speaker and battery power in the Pocket Piano are one of our favorite features. What are your thoughts on portability with modern music equipment?

Including the speaker and battery power on our instruments is in line with our goals of making music with spontaneity and immediacy. It’s great that electronic musical instruments can be so small and portable, but we wanted to make sure people could hear them. It’s important that our instruments are as self-contained and self-sufficient as possible!

Click here to view the embedded video.

What’s the deal with the amazing (and bizarre) Critter & Guitari videos? 

Our friend Devin Flynn is the genius behind the videos! He’s a fantastic musician and animator. We’re very lucky to have him create the animations for us. Check out more of his work here: http://www.yallsostupid.com/

How did the Video Scope come about? And how does it work?

We use similar electronics to work with sound and video. So while we’ve been making sound instruments, we’ve also been soldering up video circuits as well. The Video Scope is sort of a hybrid. It takes a sound input and converts it into a video signal using different colors and patterns.

Tell us about any upcoming products, projects, or tidbits that you have going on..

We’re always working on new instruments, usually a few at the same time. Our development process is experimental so we really don’t know much about them until they are done. We’re always posting on Instagram & Facebook also.

See what Critter & Guitari are up to on Instagram and Facebook


Open House in NYC: Sundays 11am | Guided Tour of LA

Ask questions. Watch demos. Test drive workstations.

Visit our New York and Los Angeles locations! Ask our Admissions Counselors in-depth questions about our programs, curriculum and philosophy. Watch live music production and DJ demos, and test drive our student workstations. If you are still trying to decide what you are looking for, stop by one of our Open Houses in NYC or schedule a tour in LA to find out more about the learning process at Dubspot. We can also help with scheduling details and payment options.

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

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The post Music Tech Video Spotlight – Unique Synths from Critter and Guitari in Brooklyn, NY appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Ninja Tune x Dubspot Contest – Congrats to our Winner, Mike Polarny!

Ninja Tune asked Dubspot to put together eight tracks from current and past Dubspot students for the opportunity to have a track featured in their Ninja Jamm app. Congratulations to the winner of the contest, Mike Polarny!

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Ninja Tune x Dubspot – Ninja Jamm App Contest

Congratulations to the winner of the contest, Mike Polarny! His track “Trip to Cuba” won first prize.

As part of his first prize, Mike got his track made into a featured Tunepack on the Ninja Jamm app, an opportunity to join the Coldcut Crew Collective, a $50 voucher for digital downloads at Ninja Tune Shop, one Dubspot course and a limited edition Dubspot T-shirt.

Also congrats to our runners up who received a $25 Voucher of Digital Downloads to Ninja Tune Shop, a signed Coldcut CD/Vinyl signed by Ninja Tune founders Jon More and Matt Black, and they will join our Coldcut Production Crew.

Greco x Kayloo

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Ninja Jamm Remix App

Ninja Jamm is a free jamming and remixing app from Ninja Tune and Seeper, featuring exclusive Ninja Tune tracks. Ninja Jamm asked Dubspot to put together eight tracks from current and past Dubspot students to potentially be featured in the app. Whichever track receives the most “likes” on Soundcloud will be the winner. The contest ends November 11/25 so stream the selected tracks below and click here to like and vote.

The tune with the most “LIKES” on Soundcloud will also receive:

- Their track made into a featured Tunepack on the Ninja Jamm app!
- Opportunity to join the Coldcut crew production collective.
- $50 voucher for digital downloads to Ninja Tune Shop
- One Dubspot course.
- Limited edition Dubspot T-shirt.


Open House in NYC: Sundays 11am | Guided Tour of LA

Ask questions. Watch demos. Test drive workstations.

Visit our New York and Los Angeles locations! Ask our Admissions Counselors in-depth questions about our programs, curriculum and philosophy. Watch live music production and DJ demos, and test drive our student workstations. If you are still trying to decide what you are looking for, stop by one of our Open Houses in NYC or schedule a tour in LA to find out more about the learning process at Dubspot. We can also help with scheduling details and payment options.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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The post Ninja Tune x Dubspot Contest – Congrats to our Winner, Mike Polarny! appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Synth Bass for Bass Players, Part 1

Increase Your Versatility and Get More Gigs In today’s music world, the vast influence of EDM and other electronic styles has crept into the fabric of nearly every popular genre. The core of EDM is a driving rhythm groove, with the low end held down by synthesizer bass. To cover this essential sound, traditional bass […]

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Bring the ’59 Bassman to Your Pedalboard

BOSS Legend Series: FBM-1 Despite the name, Fender’s famous Bassman amps have long been more popular with guitarists. First introduced in 1952 as a companion to the newly introduced Precision Bass, the Bassman line has seen many generational changes throughout the years that greatly affect its sound. But it’s the tweed-covered 1959 model that’s the most iconic, delivering a […]

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The Compact BOSS Loop Station Family

Powerful Creative Tools for Performing and Practice For every musician, looping is a great way to enhance your creativity and have more fun making music. The ability to record yourself on the spot and play along opens up a world of possibilities for not only solo performing, but also for developing ideas and improving your […]

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