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The Beginning of Hip Hop: Who was there (Engineer)? Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 4th September 2008
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jermaine View Post
I mean, the Sound on the CD was still dirty and not only because of the "12Bit Samples".. it seems that some mixes have only lows and mid-lows!
I know exactly what you're talking about with that comment. I think as a result of the loudness wars, you don't hear finished product that has dynamics, where if listening softly the lows and low-mids predominate, and in order to hear the mids and highs, you need to turn it up.

One note - one poster mentioned Hank Shocklee. I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture for the 25th anniversary of Nation of Millions at NYU a few years ago. Hank was not the engineer, he was the producer. Hank was going through the records, making the beats, getting the performances right. The engineer who worked on the album was in the building that day, and he talked about Hank making the beats on the SP1200, with the midi out triggering an Akai sampler (S900 or S950). There were no live instruments on that album, except for possibly a bass guitar sampled into the SP1200 (unlike some of the Joe the Butcher tracks - another great golden age engineer BTW).

On Nation of Millions, each verse/chorus/bridge had different samples coming in on the same channels, so the mixdowns were like walking a tight rope - live, straight to tape, four people on the board at one time, all panning and fading in and out simultaneously. I'll take that over an automation curve anytime, you hear it on a subliminal level when you listen to those mixes IMO...
Old 4th September 2008
  #32
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I think I see computa at :33 into this vid:


YouTube - Biggie in the studio talking with a story to tell.......
Old 5th September 2008
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Actually alot of the early 80's electro records were cut at the old Vanguard studios by Mark Berry and Andy Wallace.

This would include all of the early productions by Arthur Baker/John Robie like-Soul Sonic Force (Looking For The Perfect Beat), Planet Patrol (Play At Your Own Risk), Awesome Foursome (Funky Soul Makosa), New Edition (Candy Girl), Jellybean, Arthur Baker, Freeze (AEIOU), Eddie O’Loughlin (Next Plateau), John Robie, C-Bank (One More Shot), Tommy Silverman (Tommy Boy Records), Importe 12 Records, Man Parrish (the groundbreaking Hip Hop Be Bop) and many more.
are we talking mastering or engineering? Check Herb Powers credits on DISCOGS:

Herbie Jr

he is credited with mastering: Planet Rock (Soulsonic Force), Play At Your Own Risk (Planet Patrol), I.O.U. (Freeze), Awesome Foursome and many others including electro classics ET Boogie (Extra T's), Light Years Away (Warp 9), Al-Naaafiysh (Hashim), Electric Kingdom (Twilight 22), lots of stuff for Profile, Magic Wand (Whodini) No Sell Out - Malcolm X (Keith LeBlanc).

Mark Berry engineered plenty of electro - and superb disco such as Players Association - but I was talking about mastering. Sorry if that was confusing...

KD
Old 5th September 2008
  #34
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First of all: thanks for the great answers!

But I DONT MEAN MASTERING!!! I mean the process, when a beatmaker like pete rock or the bomb squad from public enemy, enters the studio with mpc or sp full of dirty, messy 12Bit samples and said: "okay, this is my beat. what are you doing with this?"

Old 5th September 2008
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jermaine View Post
First of all: thanks for the great answers!

But I DONT MEAN MASTERING!!! I mean the process, when a beatmaker like pete rock or the bomb squad from public enemy, enters the studio with mpc or sp full of dirty, messy 12Bit samples and said: "okay, this is my beat. what are you doing with this?"

yes, I understand Jermaine - my mastering comments were aimed at Thrill's reply to one of my posts.

I would say however that your thread title is a little confusing - as the period you are referring to cannot be called 'The Beginning of Hip Hop". Hip Hop has been around since the days of Enjoy, Sugarhill, Paul Winley, etc - in the late 70's.
Old 5th September 2008
  #36
When I first started engineering I worked at a small place in Bayside Queens called Interface that later moved into town. But in my first few years I did all of the records by a small rap label called Tuff City Records with a producer called Pumpkin "King of the Beat" He was a fascinating guy, he played a bunch of instruments and programmed his ass off, he had all these cool extra chips for the Linn. We would even do live hip hop tracks with Pumpkin playing drums and the rapper in an iso booth. I learned alot, used to do alot of razor blade editing. I think the guy who owned the label made out later on with
a lot of his releases being sampled.
Tommy Uzzo is an excellent engineer and all around good guy, it's a shame about his place in town....
Rod Hui once mixed a tune of mine at Greene Street on that APC 1000. Watching him was like going to engineering school. What ever happened to him?
Old 6th September 2008
  #37
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yes, that is true. the titel is confusing.. sorry guys! i mean the golden era, of sample based rap music (early 90s)!
Old 6th September 2008
  #38
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It wasn't me

If you'd like to hear stories from "bagginnadey," you should check out the interviews that Terry Gross did on "Fresh Air" (NPR/WHYY). This link is from a series called the History of Hip Hop, but Terry Gross has done interviews with musicians, producers, singers and songwriters from all genres and all eras. It's a real treasure trove.

(As for your question about who was there at the dawn of hip-hop, I swear, it wasn't me. I was at home with the kids.)

NPR: Search Results
Old 6th September 2008
  #39
Dor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
When I first started engineering I worked at a small place in Bayside Queens called Interface that later moved into town. But in my first few years I did all of the records by a small rap label called Tuff City Records with a producer called Pumpkin "King of the Beat"
Did you mix Lakim Shabazz & the 45 King albums? Tuff City was one of my favorite labels back in the days.

D
Old 6th September 2008
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
When I first started engineering I worked at a small place in Bayside Queens called Interface that later moved into town. But in my first few years I did all of the records by a small rap label called Tuff City Records with a producer called Pumpkin "King of the Beat" He was a fascinating guy, he played a bunch of instruments and programmed his ass off, he had all these cool extra chips for the Linn. We would even do live hip hop tracks with Pumpkin playing drums and the rapper in an iso booth. I learned alot, used to do alot of razor blade editing. I think the guy who owned the label made out later on with
a lot of his releases being sampled.
Tommy Uzzo is an excellent engineer and all around good guy, it's a shame about his place in town....
Rod Hui once mixed a tune of mine at Greene Street on that APC 1000. Watching him was like going to engineering school. What ever happened to him?
I know Aaron Fuchs of Tuff City very well.
I just saw him two weeks ago.
Great guy.
Old 6th September 2008
  #41
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Thank you dcharrison, great post! really great post!
Old 6th September 2008
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
When I first started engineering I worked at a small place in Bayside Queens called Interface that later moved into town. But in my first few years I did all of the records by a small rap label called Tuff City Records with a producer called Pumpkin "King of the Beat" He was a fascinating guy, he played a bunch of instruments and programmed his ass off, he had all these cool extra chips for the Linn. We would even do live hip hop tracks with Pumpkin playing drums and the rapper in an iso booth.
wow - that's great. Pumpkin is a hip-hop legend. "King of the Beat" and "Here Comes That Beat" on Profile Records were both electro classics... he also played drums on many of those early Enjoy rap records.

Tuff City was a great label: Cold Crush Bros, Spoonie Gee, Davy DMX, etc.
Old 6th November 2008
  #43
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Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by westward728 View Post
Eddie Sancho (DJ Premier), and Michael Patterson (Puffy, Biggie, etc...)...i assisted Michael for a long time and learned a great deal from him. People don't give him the credit he deserves but lets not forget "Life After Death" and how amaazing it sounded....and yes i know others mixed on it as well but he did the majority.....kudo's to him!
Daddy's House was the center of the world to me and to hip hop from 96-99.
There was no better place to be making records and I am so happy I got to be a part of it.
For the record the people I looked up to in hip hop were Tony Maserati, Bob Power and Paul Logus.

Michael Patterson

Ariel,
Thanks for the props. I check out your site and it looks like you are doing some cool stuff.
We should chat. Hit me up on PM.
Old 6th November 2008
  #44
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Does anyone remember Jay Burnett who recorded and mixed Planet Rock over at Intergallactic on the east sise??
Old 8th November 2008
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jermaine View Post
Hello Geraslutz-Community,

I asked myself serveral times, what thought the Engineers in the late 80's and early 90's, when a Producer (like Pete Rock) or a Crew (Bomb Squad, etc) came to the big and expensive Studios with there Turntable and 12-Bit Sampler and present that muddy-dirty sound of allready mixed sounds (samples)?

What have they done with that material? Yes, I can imagine: the put eq', compressor on it and put it on studer-tape. But to be honest, I don't know!! I mean, the Sound on the CD was still dirty and not only because of the "12Bit Samples".. it seems that some mixes have only lows and mid-lows!

For example: does they use Reverb for depth-scaling, or whatever?

It would be very interesting for me, to hear whats going on back in the days in the studios, when the rap-kids came up, with the muddy sounds?

Thank you guys!
-Jermaine

well it depends - you'd have already made your track at home, so you'd only go studio if someone picked up on the track. Then you'd argue for the label or management company NOT to spend money on studio time, but they'd usualy insist it be transferred to tape - that was older-skool music biz people not really getting midi mixes direct to master

all sorts of scenarious might happen including syncing old home studio 8 tracks to studers or mtr's, and as for what gear you'd use or what effects etc? that would be decided on the day in the mix, you dont plan those things. youd get house engineers in top london studios saying they never saw such a complexed mix in their facility and how the hell is stuff routed etc, but you just create as you go basicaly, so there's no plan as i said.

one thing that used to happen alot was the house engineer scrapping their proposed plan to use akai s1000 once they heard the emax sampler. The emax always sounds better
Old 9th November 2008
  #46
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Back in the day...

I moved over from a 16 track facility called "Northcott Studios" at 25 West 38th Street and spent half a year at Arthur Baker's "Shakedown Studios" a few blocks away. It was my first jump into the 24 track world but there was a really nice guy named Andy Wallace who walked me through the signal flow before my first sessions. I wound up recording Run DMC and The Beastie Boys (when they were a 4 piece group with a woman named Kate). I developed the 4 mic hypercardiod set up for them that someone else has since taken credit for.

It was a great community...I got to hang with Chris and Tom and Andy and everyone was very open and helpful about technique. Don't forget about D and D Studios!!
Old 11th November 2008
  #47
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unsung hero

doc rodriguez
Old 12th November 2008
  #48
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Additional mentions & shouts go out to:

Folks:

Tony Smalios
Carlos Bess
Tim Latham

Studios:

Battery, NYC
Platinum Island Studios
The Music Palace
Old 12th November 2008
  #49
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What about the Hit Factory????....

anyone work there? Have a story?

That place was nice.

I worked there with Chucky Thompson.

Place was FN ill!!!

Shout out to New Horizon Sound in MD. Juice was the head Engineer there.

He did some Jodcei work outta there.

and recorded DMX's 1st album "It's Dark and Hell is Hot"

56 Channel Mozart Console.
Old 12th November 2008
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justice View Post
What about the Hit Factory????....

anyone work there? Have a story?

That place was nice.
I'll assume you mean Hit Factory NYC where it all started. Well there were two buildings, 54th Btwn 8th and Broadway the "Old Building", and 54th btwn 9th and 10th, the "New Building". Both were great spots with a few great rooms. As a freelancer, it was kind of a home away from home for me and alot of people for a long time in the 90's. Sony Studios was right across the street.

I got some great stories from Hit. The first night we started recording "Seven Days" for Mary J Blige was in Studio 2 at the new Hit Factory. That room had an old Neve console at the time and sounded amazing. The live rooms wrapped around the control room and we had the lights really dark, and at some point, Mary thought she saw a ghost out of the corner of her eye walking thru one of the live rooms next to the piano. She freaked out and left. We ended up recording most of that song in that room, and mixing it in Studio D at the old Hit Factory. There's another version of the song that got released that we mixed in Studio 4 at the new Hit Factory. Oh, and we recorded George Benson for that song in the old Hit Factory, i can picture the room but cant remember which one it was. That dude drips music out of every pore in his body, it is more effortless than breathing for him.

I spent ALOT of time in those rooms, sad to see them go. Sony too.
Old 13th November 2008
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
I'll assume you mean Hit Factory NYC where it all started. Well there were two buildings, 54th Btwn 8th and Broadway the "Old Building", and 54th btwn 9th and 10th, the "New Building". Both were great spots with a few great rooms. As a freelancer, it was kind of a home away from home for me and alot of people for a long time in the 90's. Sony Studios was right across the street.

I got some great stories from Hit. The first night we started recording "Seven Days" for Mary J Blige was in Studio 2 at the new Hit Factory. That room had an old Neve console at the time and sounded amazing. The live rooms wrapped around the control room and we had the lights really dark, and at some point, Mary thought she saw a ghost out of the corner of her eye walking thru one of the live rooms next to the piano. She freaked out and left. We ended up recording most of that song in that room, and mixing it in Studio D at the old Hit Factory. There's another version of the song that got released that we mixed in Studio 4 at the new Hit Factory. Oh, and we recorded George Benson for that song in the old Hit Factory, i can picture the room but cant remember which one it was. That dude drips music out of every pore in his body, it is more effortless than breathing for him.

I spent ALOT of time in those rooms, sad to see them go. Sony too.

Very sad indeed...... That, in my humble opinion, was the best sound Hip/Hop & R&B had.

Lots of very talented engineers and producers. Not that we are not great now, but the emotion and depth was much richer.

Artist were still singing a lot les editing.

Even when we would replay samples it was so much easier to get closer to the original sound of the sample.

Good times Good times!
Old 15th November 2008
  #52
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Fans of this thread might be interested in a book by Brian Coleman. It was originally released as "Rakim Told Me" and I think later released as "Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip Hop Junkies".

You'd be surprised at the hits that were cooked up in a basement or bedroom and then put straight to tape with vocals and/or scratching being done live. The message is the same as the punk rock revolution--guts and inspiration is more important than gear and expertise.

Amazon.com: Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies: Brian Coleman: Books
Old 16th November 2008
  #53
vdz
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matt kelley at hyde street studios in northern cali
2pac - 2Pacalypse Now
digital underground and many bay area hip hop acts around that era
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