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ThatMan
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#1
25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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Uk - USA

Hi - i'm new here - i've been researching alot on these boards .. they're really cool..some really knowledgeable people around..anyway.. I am a UK producer and to me - the difference between UK productions and US productions ( hip/hop / r&b / pop ) is pretty spectacular. Vocals sound clearer, drums hit harder, sounds seem fresher etc when listening to alot of the US productions. I wanna come to the US maybe for a few months and try and get some experience with the American cats..i want to know if this would seem a viable idea to pursue..im thinking of coming to New York for a while - i just want to learn as much as i can to improve my own production.....

Any help / advice would be wkd..?

I'm just not sure whether this is going to be a step forward - guess it has to be experienced before i know whether it will benefit me or not!!

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#2
25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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i really love the uk stuff
when it come to innovation
uk kicks it but think the main
problem in uk is that hiphop
is still restricted to ungerground
and therefore those acts dont get
xs to the exepensive outboard stuff.
take dizzees 1st album , was completely
mixed on powercore (sounds awsome anyway)
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25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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I understand what you're saying but it's not just UK Hip-hop - its pop and r&b as well (stuff that is at the top of the chart and which is recorded and produced in top studios) - sonically speaking it just doesn't sound on par with anything i've heard from the US - there are some great artists from the UK im by no means saying there isn't - im just talking about production.
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25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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can you name some acts/albums ?
just curious
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25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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Ok - compare an act like the Sugababes ( especially their first album ) with an American equivalent such as Destinys Child - or any other American pop .. Fergie / Nelly Furtado and tell me you can't hear a difference in production...some of the Sugababes stuff is really good - there are some great English producers - but just listen on a decent set of speakers and you'll see what i mean.
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25th February 2007
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would call sugababes hiphop or rnb
anyhow read that their album was completely
produced itb , that was like 2 years ago , dont
know if they released anything since then .
i bet furtados album was produced on a ssl with
batteries of pultecs , ureis etc
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25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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ha!--you ever SEE the difference between US television and UK television??---uk always seems to have a certain "blur" to it--- thats what the mixes sound like to me---but as far as artists go, Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Corrine Baily Rae, even natasha beddingfield---REALLY good stuff coming out

Also, i do notice a certain mindframe with a lot of british producers---they often seem to think, or should i say OVERthink when it comes to mixing---i see a lot of those dudes really buying into the whole "well if the signal goes thru THIS preamp, its gonna sound GREAT.." i feel like there's more emphasis on making a mix "proper" then actually just paying attention to how it feels... does that make sense?? not trying to offend, just my experience
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25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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Well - the Sugababes have released singles within the last few months - anyway many wicked US hits are mixed in the box - so it's no big deal - another example - compare Mike Skinner from The Streets with Dre or Timbo - ok ....
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25th February 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freshmints View Post
would call sugababes hiphop or rnb
anyhow read that their album was completely
produced itb , that was like 2 years ago , dont
know if they released anything since then .
i bet furtados album was produced on a ssl with
batteries of pultecs , ureis etc
ha! see there's my point---ssl has NOTHING to do with it.. i bet furtado's album was itb...i'm sure someone round here could enlighten us
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25th February 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatMan View Post
I understand what you're saying but it's not just UK Hip-hop - its pop and r&b as well (stuff that is at the top of the chart and which is recorded and produced in top studios) - sonically speaking it just doesn't sound on par with anything i've heard from the US - there are some great artists from the UK im by no means saying there isn't - im just talking about production.
I'm from the UK, and totally understand what your'e saying. I think it tends to fall into one of 2 camps, if the artist has major label backing or at least a label that know what it's doing and is prepared to put a decent budget on the table, then yes the production can be tight. There are definately tracks and albums that sound good sonically that are totally home grown (names escape me right now)

Unfortunately though I do here a lot of (crap) songs, and good songs which are sometimes poorly produced and bad sonics. I think this is down to the bedroom producer mentality. I deal with a lot of rappers who don't really give a shit about quality, so when I'm sitting there tweaking away for hours trying to ensure the mix and DIY mastering is good they don't get it.

I think it's less to do with high end equipment and more to do with high end attitudes. This forum has helped me greatly in really knowing what kit is good to get quality sounds (not that I can afford high ebd yet), but more so the priciples of what I should be aiming for. So as far as you going to the US to learn this I think you'll learn most of it from the right attitude, proactice and Gearslutz
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#11
25th February 2007
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it's true. the uk has a certain 'underproduced' sound.

put on corrine bailey rae, then put on an india arie album. the shine is just NOT there on uk productions.

i think it's just the way we're wired in, and the way we think of bass. we have less high end sparkle here, and more bass. i am thinking this is partly down to the uk 'sound' but perhaps part of it is simply down to budget?

there are times when i really think the corrinne bailey rae album would have benefited from a shinier, more beautiful mix - the music is supposed to be 'beautiful' so why doesn't the mix reflect that? if mixing is supposed to be conveying the artists vision to the audience i don't think that was achieved as well as it could have been

with regards to 'underground' hiphop in this country (isn't nearly all the hiphop underground here?), most of it is underproduced/mixed because there is no budget for it, and it's being either mixed on shite outboard equipment, or a dodgy copy of cubase sx3 downloaded from limewire. it's too underground, as mentioned already. people don't understand why things need to be mixed, or why on earth they should pay (shock horror!!!) a mix engineer to sort their crappy mixes out.

i'm try to change some of this, but it's hard work trying to change attitudes! and also educate people... including myself
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25th February 2007
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part of the mentality of a lot of uk hiphop bores me too. dusty sampled loops and vinyl breaks made on an mpc are cool, but not EVERY fricking song. 70% of the uk is stuck in the early/mid nineties when it comes to hiphop production... i have met emcees who will 'never rap over that synthy shit' - and i mean anything without a sample and an old looped drum break. that's what real hiphop is to a lot of people...

when you're talking about the sugababes, i think that's mainly down to the 'uk sound', like it or hate it. i like the way the sugababes stuff 'sounds', especially the slightly older stuff. they are a lot more pop focussed now, i think, they lost the garage/rnb angle. that new chick is ringing my bell though, ahem.

jamelia... she's a tough one, she's really going for the US 'angle', and honestly, why would i (or anyone) listen to that when i could just listen to the real thing - beyonce et al? ok ok, jamelia does have a slight twist and a little more of a UK sound to it, and she is ****ing HOT, but it just comes across as an imitation of US stuff, but not quite as good, or big budget.

i think when the UK doesn't imitate and starts doing its own thing, that's when it does best...
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25th February 2007
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My experience with the US is that people are listening more with the heart than the brain so to speak - and that reflects clearly in the mixes too. It always fascinated me the way US mixers mixes the low end with lot of impact and heavy feeling BUT at the same time crystal clear.
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25th February 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommygee View Post
My experience with the US is that people are listening more with the heart than the brain so to speak - and that reflects clearly in the mixes too. It always fascinated me the way US mixers mixes the low end with lot of impact and heavy feeling BUT at the same time crystal clear.
you hit the nail on the head
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25th February 2007
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hey eric i dig your sound ,
you produced those tunes
on your website itb ?
sounds way better than the furtado album
sonicwise .
however theres alot of great sounding stuff
from the uk aswell just check out these :

spacek - curative
Lady sovereign - public warning
shystie - diamond in the dirt
Zero7 - when it falls
Adrian Sherwood - Never Trust A Hippy
Bloc Party - silent alarm
Nitin Sawhney - Philtre(!)
4Hero - basically anything
OneSelf - Children Of Possibility
Coldcut - Sound Mirrors
etc bla

why should everything sound the same ?
we dont go to mc donalds everyday , sometimes
you like chinese or pizza or whatever
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25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freshmints View Post
hey eric i dig your sound ,
you produced those tunes
on your website itb ?
sounds way better than the furtado album
sonicwise .
however theres alot of great sounding stuff
from the uk aswell just check out these :

spacek - curative
Lady sovereign - public warning
shystie - diamond in the dirt
Zero7 - when it falls
Adrian Sherwood - Never Trust A Hippy
Bloc Party - silent alarm
Nitin Sawhney - Philtre(!)
4Hero - basically anything
OneSelf - Children Of Possibility
Coldcut - Sound Mirrors
etc bla

why should everything sound the same ?
we dont go to mc donalds everyday , sometimes
you like chinese or pizza or whatever

hey thanx man-yea i produced and mixed all that itb.... i think a great mix has SO much to do with the master fader, and the eq of the vocal.... all i do is L1 limit the hell out of the mix, just this side of too much, then A/B my mixes with "fergalicious" (lately) and eq with Oxford EQ until the sound spectrum is exactly the same---i never print until i do this, and it seems to pay off--

and yea i agree i dont really mind the british mix sound---its got its own thing, its differentthumbsup
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25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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Hmmmm...I have to disagree guys. I had a chance to take a peek at the world famous Wisseloord Studio's, The Netherlands, and every big American, UK or Scandinavian act passed the tracks to get it mastered over there, so in HOLLAND... Simple Minds, Europe, Michael Jackson, 50 Cent, Def Leppard.....all kind of stuff.

Ofcourse, this is just a few compared to the stuff that will be done in the US, but it all depends on the gear + person + good hearing + feeling. Shouldn't have to do with the country I reckon
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#18
26th February 2007
Old 26th February 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freshmints View Post
4Hero - basically anything
Im a serious fan of 4hero...
What about Roots Manueva? Those dudes tear it up.

I think a lot of it boils down to where the music is from
HipHop and RnB are American forms and have a deep history and tradition here. granted there are some good Rap artists from other countries but its kinda like gettin fish n chips at burger king. The shit just isnt the same.
When I listen to some DnB, a UK form, I cant even comprehend some of the micro-editing those kats do, I know some good DnB kats ere but theres no Dilinja, RoniSize, JumpinJackFrost, DJ Hype over ere. Dieselboy? naaaaa, not even close...
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#19
26th February 2007
Old 26th February 2007
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I think the basic difference is that there is a history of black music production in the US is a lot deeper than the UK. A lot of the early hip hop was engineered in studios which had been previously producing disco and R&B and that knowledge was brought to bear on hip hop. For example, that first Eric B album was engineered by Patrick Adams, a well known disco producer.

Also, the size and importance of the black music market in the states meant studios could sustain themselves doing that sort of work alone which has never really been the case here in the UK.

Similarly, radio is different over here and I think the demands of US radio has a lot to do with the superior quality of hip hop and R&B production. Not only does this feed into the technical area but in terms of having strong hooks and the ability to marry street and commercial appeal we still lag behind. So Dizzee has suffered because he still hasn't been able to make a record which works on both these levels: in the same way as a 50 Cent or Game one does. Similarly, for the same sort of reasons, M.I.A hasn't managed to do what a Missy does.

Also, I think its also a confidence thing that with more pop acts like the Sugarbabes the records get fed to more pop orientated producers who just over-complicate the production and arrangement. With a Beyonce record it'll all be much simpler but every element will be done very well and be very polished. There's a basic confidence with the groove and melody.
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