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Nas - It Was Written Plugin Bundles
Old 28th December 2010
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
liotta soda's Avatar
 

Nas - It Was Written

i've always wondered how the Trackmasters got that sound to it

if you listen to the album it has somewhat of a soft gloss coldness sound to it

it's noticeable alot on the hihats

but that gives the album a certain feel

Does anyone know how to achieve this?

Did they use certain gear or could this be from the mastering?
Old 28th December 2010
  #2
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 

Nas - It Was Written

I'm not really sure what you're referring to exactly. But I love this album. Probably one of my all time favorites. Vocals, beats, mixing, etc., are all on point.
Old 28th December 2010
  #3
Gear Addict
 
mintyfreshbeats's Avatar
 

great album
Old 28th December 2010
  #4
Gear Nut
 

The trackmasters were some of my favorite producers of the late 90's. I know the sound you are trying to describe, but really couldn't tell you how they did it. They were especially good at creating a nice sense of space within their drum programming. The sound was probably achieved by using some of the best engineers in the best studios of their time.
Old 28th December 2010
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
liotta soda's Avatar
 

Nas - It Was Written

Rickrock, listen to it closely and youll see what i mean

Pay attn to the hats

Im thinkin its mastering

Live squad production and trackmasters show it most

Its not as prominent on the primo and les beats
Old 28th December 2010
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
liotta soda's Avatar
 

Nas - It Was Written

Also nas topped illmatic with iww

And silent murder was on my tape but not cd
Old 28th December 2010
  #7
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laboso's Avatar
 

I think it comes down to the reverberation if I correctly understand what you mean. Find out which reverb they used on this album and there you go Alltime classic album indeed...
Old 28th December 2010
  #8
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laboso's Avatar
 

Sounds alot like any yamaha SPX series, what do you guys think??
Old 28th December 2010
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liotta soda View Post
i've always wondered how the Trackmasters got that sound to it

if you listen to the album it has somewhat of a soft gloss coldness sound to it

it's noticeable alot on the hihats

but that gives the album a certain feel

Does anyone know how to achieve this?

Did they use certain gear or could this be from the mastering?
if i'm not mistaken, i think you mean 'it was written' was more 'soft glossy' compared to 'illmatic'; correct? if that's what u meant, then i think it MIGHT have to do with the (possible) fact that debut album was mostly done on machines like mpc/s950/sp1200 and recorded to tape. the majority of sounds used were also samples. it had a markedly 'dark' feel to it (in the same way that cypress hill's first album had)..illmatic received critical acclaim, but at the time it wasn't considered a commercially successful album. coupled with the fact (according to questlove) that biggie won source lyricist of the year award, nas changed direction.

it was written, i think, reflected a bit of an aesthetic shift and change in direction, musically, especially. the album also contained a lot more live instrumentation and if feels as if it was mostly recorded to pt or some other daw..


perhaps this might shed light a tad more for folks who know more:

Nas - Illmatic (CD, Album) at Discogs

Nas - It Was Written (CD, Album) at Discogs
Old 28th December 2010
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
liotta soda's Avatar
 

Nas - It Was Written

Ur right, but im not speaking on the comparison to illmatic

I'm speaking on the sound in general of the album

Like i said u can hear it mostly in the hihat and cymbals etc

Its like a smoothcoldness or sumthin

Its gotta be something with the gear or mastering
Old 28th December 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liotta soda View Post
i've always wondered how the Trackmasters got that sound to it

if you listen to the album it has somewhat of a soft gloss coldness sound to it

it's noticeable alot on the hihats

but that gives the album a certain feel

Does anyone know how to achieve this?

Did they use certain gear or could this be from the mastering?
I was there for that entire project. There was nothing out of the ordinary used in that project. MPC3000's, Hardware synths, 2" tape, mix down to 1/2", thru SSL console with outboard, great engineering.

Quality in> thru Quality gear> mixed by Quality engineering on Quality Gear. That sound that you heard on Trackmasters stuff was very par for the course around that time. They were an extension of the "Bad Boy" sound that was an extension of the "Teddy" Riley sound.

The R Kelly stuff and Mariah stuff that was done by Trackmasters in that era was some of the most amazing sounding recordings I have ever been apart of.
Old 28th December 2010
  #12
Gear Addict
 
laboso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PopularDemand View Post
I was there for that entire project. There was nothing out of the ordinary used in that project. MPC3000's, Hardware synths, 2" tape, mix down to 1/2", thru SSL console with outboard, great engineering.

Quality in> thru Quality gear> mixed by Quality engineering on Quality Gear. That sound that you heard on Trackmasters stuff was very par for the course around that time. They were an extension of the "Bad Boy" sound that was an extension of the "Teddy" Riley sound.

The R Kelly stuff and Mariah stuff that was done by Trackmasters in that era was some of the most amazing sounding recordings I have ever been apart of.
Can you remember which reverb unit they used..?
Old 28th December 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laboso View Post
Can you remember which reverb unit they used..?
Songs were mixed by different engineers in different studios. Just from what was available at sony, soundtracks, hit factory at that time Lex, Yamaha, Alesis, EMT were on the list.
Old 28th December 2010
  #14
Gear Addict
 
bonusbmusic's Avatar
 

my fav nas album by far. i love those havoc beats
Old 29th December 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 
jbrown1music's Avatar
Nas - It Was Written

This was before the software age so its probably just good ole mpcs and trinitys or tritons and roland jv sound modules bounced to a reel to reel
Old 29th December 2010
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liotta soda View Post

if you listen to the album it has somewhat of a soft gloss coldness sound to it
reel to reel saturation?
Old 29th December 2010
  #17
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 

Nas - It Was Written

Quote:
Originally Posted by PopularDemand

. MPC3000's, Hardware synths, 2" tape, mix down to 1/2", thru SSL console with outboard, great engineering.
I guess the 2" could be the smoothness you're hearing, especially on the hihats and cymbals. I really like what tape does to high frequency material like that. Really smears the harshness right out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PopularDemand
The R Kelly stuff and Mariah stuff that was done by Trackmasters in that era was some of the most amazing sounding recordings I have ever been apart of.
Absolutely, great sounding records.
Old 29th December 2010
  #18
Gear Addict
 
Jenre's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liotta soda View Post
Also nas topped illmatic with iww

And silent murder was on my tape but not cd
Illmatic is 10x better album.

it was written has some pretty rubbish songs on it, tbh
Old 29th December 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
 
madehumble's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenre View Post
Illmatic is 10x better album.

it was written has some pretty rubbish songs on it, tbh
I wouldn't say that but Illmatic was a better album.
Old 30th December 2010
  #20
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atma's Avatar
**** i didn't even realize havoc produced on it.. haven't heard it since it came out.
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