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Best engineered hiphop albums of all time
Old 6th February 2007
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlotto View Post
the process back then: 2", ssl console, mix to 1/2", record in big rooms with great mics and great outboard w/ Great Budgets! they used akai samplers, sp1200, mpc3000, & analog hardware synths, etc.

.

I believe Bob Power recorded & mixed on a Neve 8068 @ The Firehouse on the Tribe & Roots joints back in the late 80's / 90's, where also the debut Wu lp was made..

But back to the programme - my personal engineered favourites are :
Pete rock & CL - Never coming out ep / PE Shut em down remix/Main Ingredient
Jay Z - Blueprint
Slum Village Cd
Old 6th February 2007
  #32
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Edge's Avatar
 

Most of the album put out by Rap-A-Lot early days were my blueprint for engineering
Mike Dean baby!

Snoops albums are very well mixed also DJ Quick is a mastermind on the boards of course Dre

Patchwerk Studios in atl is turning out great Rap mixes
Old 6th February 2007
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illynoise View Post
What about "the low end theory"? ATCQ stuff still sounds great. The Roots first couple........
Way up there for me ... also "Fear of a Black Planet" probably dating myself but those inspired awe for me
Old 6th February 2007
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack P View Post
I believe Bob Power recorded & mixed on a Neve 8068 @ The Firehouse on the Tribe & Roots joints back in the late 80's / 90's, where also the debut Wu lp was made..
Firehouse never had a Neve. They had a large Peavey AMR mixer with a lot of outboard. Everyone hated the Peavey(i know i did). It just made you work harder to get a great sound.
Old 6th February 2007
  #35
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what about Missy E So Addictive... some of the drums on that sound HUGE

i'd also say 36 Chambers, and I don't even rate that as lo-fi, everything sounds perfect on there
Old 6th February 2007
  #36
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Best engineered record.... There is no best, only good, and not so good.. I think as a whole Dre 2001 set a standard for hip hop mixing. But, you could make the same case for the first Chronic or any of the stuff mixed for Timbaland by Jimmy Douglass, etc.
Old 6th February 2007
  #37
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yeah man. enter da stage sounded quiet horrible. but i think it is still a very important and cool album.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brainmeat View Post
Doggystyle and Ready to Die are two of the best.



I think 36 Chambers is good lo-fi.


Black Moon's Enta Da Stage is horrible lo-fi or maybe "mixed-fi". It's bad though. The beats are so poorly mixed and the levels and sonic clarity vary from song to song. The vocals are recorded and mixed adaquetely but then comes the occassional crappy reverbs. That album gives me a headache. I'd nominate it for worst engineering on a notable release. Not to be negative or anything.
Old 7th February 2007
  #38
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azwun25's Avatar
 

****...if i had the $$$ my mix chain would go something like this...


bob power (or tommy uzzo)---->Herb Powers---->the manufacturing plant of my choice
Old 7th February 2007
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brainmeat View Post
Doggystyle and Ready to Die are two of the best.



I think 36 Chambers is good lo-fi.


Black Moon's Enta Da Stage is horrible lo-fi or maybe "mixed-fi". It's bad though. The beats are so poorly mixed and the levels and sonic clarity vary from song to song. The vocals are recorded and mixed adaquetely but then comes the occassional crappy reverbs. That album gives me a headache. I'd nominate it for worst engineering on a notable release. Not to be negative or anything.
Ready To Die is definitely a great sounding record but they mauled the so called "remastered" horribly. Enta the Stage doesn't sound good...true..but...its a classic record.
Old 7th February 2007
  #40
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emkay's Avatar
 

Any Urban Species Album.....
Old 7th February 2007
  #41
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OneUp Ent's Avatar
 

A couple of my favorites are:

"The Infamous" Mobb Deep
"Low End Theory, and MM" ATCQ
and of coure most of Dre's stuff.

I'm also a fan of some of the early Pete Rock produced stuff. I worked with Pete's engineer Jamie Staub at Greenstreet a lot in the mid 90's. He mixed "Freak Like Me" for me. He told me a lot of trix he used on Petes stuff. The metalic snare sound was the thing back then and he had a trick of triggering a gate on a sine wave with the snare that gave it a "metalic" twang. Antonio Smallious did some great work with Mobb and ATCQ. I was working on a project at battery studios when Tribe was working on "Midnight" in the A room. They had Elec Relaxation rocking when I was in the hallway and I was blown away. I think the Curtis Mayfield snare from the song "We Got the Jazz" was the best metalic snare of the time.
Old 7th February 2007
  #42
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Besides the obvious Dre, Jimmy Douglass, Bob Power, & Mike Dean mixed albums, I really think some of Outkast albums were mixed well. Especially Stankonia & Aquemini.
Old 7th February 2007
  #43
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kinda difficult cause there's so many sounds or subgenres but these come to mind, no particular order though:

"accept your own & be yourself (the black album)" no i.d.
"the love movement" atcq
"midnight marauders" atcq
"things fall apart" the roots
"project funk da world" craig mack (the easy mo bee stuff at least)

bassy, punchy not overly clean or squashed to death.
Old 7th February 2007
  #44
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JohnnyPraze's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggum, Ralph View Post
Besides the obvious Dre, Jimmy Douglass, Bob Power, & Mike Dean mixed albums, I really think some of Outkast albums were mixed well. Especially Stankonia & Aquemini.
I thought Aquemini sounded amazing...
Old 8th February 2007
  #45
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No Way Out

Chronic 2001


Threshold.stike
Old 12th February 2007
  #46
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yo yo illynoise what the ****??

u say late reg sounded o.k.?? what cd's have u worked on cuz??

ok.
Old 12th February 2007
  #47
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soundeq's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike dean View Post
u say late reg sounded o.k.?? what cd's have u worked on cuz??

ok.
yah mike, I 2nd that one hahaha
Old 12th February 2007
  #48
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Best hip hop album that is engineered and sounds the worst...or an album I would like to hear remixed?....Master P-Ghetto D. You know what sounds kinda decent, even though they probably didn't even try...was three six mafia-the end. Also, in my randomness I would like to say, who cares how a hip-hop album is mixed...most of the people listening to rap are deaf by now from their sub woofers, and loud speakers...or they're downloading the MP3's on the internet....they're not going to know the difference. In closing I would like to say that if I was personally going to ref a mix I was doing to a current album it would have to be the new Jeezy record...because I think it sound incredible.
Old 12th February 2007
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azwun25 View Post
Ready To Die is definitely a great sounding record but they mauled the so called "remastered" horribly.



agreed, i don't know what they were thinking with that remaster but it sounds awful compared to the original.
Old 12th February 2007
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
Best engineered record.... There is no best, only good, and not so good.. I think as a whole Dre 2001 set a standard for hip hop mixing. But, you could make the same case for the first Chronic or any of the stuff mixed for Timbaland by Jimmy Douglass, etc.
Did u notice that records like the second petey pablo record, and Bubba Sparxx deliverance were almost not really mixed like rap records? If you listen you'll hear way more of a full range of frequencies than you generally hear on rap records. Like it's not all bass and treble. Like the samples are less filtered, and the drums are fuller. It's also possible it was the beats timbaland was making at the time that caused this particular sound. But I sure liked it.
Old 12th February 2007
  #51
For me nobody touches Tupac Shakur!!
Old 12th February 2007
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIEL View Post
For me nobody touches Tupac Shakur!!




to each his own i guess...pac's records never really sounded great to me. they're still great records though.
Old 12th February 2007
  #53
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t.dizzle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
to each his own i guess...pac's records never really sounded great to me. they're still great records though.
I think that many (most) people confuse great songs for great mixes. You can't really have a great mix without a great song, but you can absolutely have a great song without a great mix.
Old 13th February 2007
  #54
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J Epic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle View Post
I think that many (most) people confuse great songs for great mixes. You can't really have a great mix without a great song, but you can absolutely have a great song without a great mix.


Really? There are alot of the albums listed above that I feel have good mixes but not good songs.

One

j.e.
Old 13th February 2007
  #55
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t.dizzle's Avatar
 

I said great, not good. But even then music mixes are totally dependent on the song.
Old 13th February 2007
  #56
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A great engineer can do a great mix of a song that isn't so hot... Spike Stent has done some great mixes of some less-than-great Britney Spears/whoever pop tracks. Also Tony Maserati has made some remarkable mixes of songs that were nothing to write home about... That's why these guys are great engineers.
Old 13th February 2007
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khameln View Post
Also Tony Maserati has made some remarkable mixes


you can say that again. i love his mixes.
Old 13th February 2007
  #58
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t.dizzle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khameln View Post
A great engineer can do a great mix of a song that isn't so hot... Spike Stent has done some great mixes of some less-than-great Britney Spears/whoever pop tracks. Also Tony Maserati has made some remarkable mixes of songs that were nothing to write home about... That's why these guys are great engineers.
Seriously, man.... What do you know about what makes someone a "great" engineer???

The big thing here is what YOU consider to be "great" and what PROFESSIONALS IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS consider great. It's subjective to a point (where your personal tastes lie), but there are things that pros know and understand that others will never understand until they are actually in the trenches gaining experience working with incredible artists and a variety of music. Same goes for your definition of a great mix and a professional engineers definition of a great mix. There are just some things that nearly all pros will agree on.

Britney Spears has absolutely great production and performances. She also has amazing songwriters that get top $$$ for the work that they do. Just because you (and me) don't care for her music doesn't mean that the songs aren't great. There's a target audience for every artist, and her target audience is definitely not 20-40 year old males.

Do you really think that putting a good mix on a crappy song makes someone a great engineer? No way. A great mixer is someone who can take a good or great song and elevate it even further with the mix. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SONG!!!

Ever hear of the phrase "polishing a turd"? Nobody ever got a Grammy doing that.
Old 13th February 2007
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brainmeat View Post

Black Moon's Enta Da Stage is horrible lo-fi or maybe "mixed-fi". It's bad though. The beats are so poorly mixed and the levels and sonic clarity vary from song to song. The vocals are recorded and mixed adaquetely but then comes the occassional crappy reverbs. That album gives me a headache. I'd nominate it for worst engineering on a notable release. Not to be negative or anything.
the music was so good I didn't even notice personally.

I give the nod to Life After Death....cuz the sound was still clean but smooth compared to now
Old 14th February 2007
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle View Post
Seriously, man.... What do you know about what makes someone a "great" engineer???
A lot of things, everything from the basic technical stuff like quality of sound, depth and dynamics to the mixes, and the ablity to create and maintain interest, to other things like being able to take a song and focus it; to create a sound that is colorful, but still unified; the ability to always find the most important parts of the arrangement and bring them out in the best possible light; the ablity to make a mix really "flow"and develop; the ability to create an atmosphere that skillfully marries the artist and the song together into sometihng that's more than just the sum of its parts; The ability to make a mix be incredibly poweful and pack a punch, but still have it be pleasant to listen to at the same time. A great sense of what to touch and what needs to be left alone. Etc.

Also, it's nice how you assumed that I'm not a "professional in the music buisiness" (and therefore that my opinion is not valid, I guess?). I am. Am I a professional engineer? No. Am I in the trenches working with great artists? Yes. Do you have to be a professional engineer to hear a great mix? Do you have to be a professional football player to look beyond the stats and recognize a great player or a great game?

When I was a professional pianist before I was producing, I certainly wasn't arrogant enough to say that anyone who wasn't couldn't recognize a great performance. That's part of what makes them great; the effect even reaches people who aren't experts themselves -- they *feel* the effect and the difference even though they couldn't reproduce the details themselves. Because, isn't that who the performance is for anyway?

But back to the topic: Obviously this is subjective and everybody is going to have their own opinions... But to me it's the ability to combine technical mastery with a well-honed artistic ability to add life to things and take a record to a new level without getting in the way or ruining the original vision.

But that's talking about great engineers. We were talking about great mixes. Even someone that isn't consistent enough to be considered one of the "great" engineers can come up with a great mix at times when all the right variables fall into place. Great engineers are people for who it's the rule, instead of the exception. One great mix does not a great engineer make, but it's still valid on it's own as a great mix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle View Post
Ever hear of the phrase "polishing a turd"? Nobody ever got a Grammy doing that.
I agree partially; but there are plenty of great mixes that never won grammies. The Grammy awards are about more than that, and involve plenty of politics rather than sheer acheivement and technical merit.

And honestly, you can say what you want about Britney Spears' writers and such, but we're all heard plenty of lacklaster stuff from her in addition to the gems. You're right about how much her writers and producers get paid, but Big-budget is not always the same as "good".

All I was saying before, is that I've heard some of the more talented engineers we know make great mixes of some not-so-great songs. Doesn't make the *song* good, but a great mix is still a great mix.

A great mix with some creativity on the part of an enginner can take a track that isn't much to speak of and bring it to the next level of at least being adequate. May not make the song itself amazing, but it can be worth every penny nontheless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Epic View Post
Really? There are alot of the albums listed above that I feel have good mixes but not good songs.
I agree.
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