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Need Advise : Tracking Rap/Hip Hop Vocals
Old 27th April 2005
  #1
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joseph's Avatar
Need Advise : Tracking Rap/Hip Hop Vocals

Dear all master.......
May 2nd, I have a rap/hip hop vocal session. My studio mic : CAD VX2 Tube, U47FET, Neumann U89, 414B Uls, Shure SM57...we also have gobos...
Anyone can help me about tech, tips, tricks, mic choice etc....?

Thanks Alot
Salam
Old 27th April 2005
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

What kind of pre's are you using? What is your recording media?
Old 27th April 2005
  #3
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joseph's Avatar
pre & media

We have Avalon VT737sp, ISA110, UA 2-610, we also have distressor, dbx160a, focusrite blue comp. I'm using ptools HD3 with 192/10
Old 27th April 2005
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Looks like you have everything you need to record some good vocals.
Look in the High End section, someone just posted about vocal hints that should help you also.

FWIW- With all that gear.......... what seems to be your problem?


heh
Old 27th April 2005
  #5
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BradM's Avatar
I do a lot of rock recording, but this past weekend I ended up recording some hip-hop vocals. I have no experience working in this genre of music, but I think I was able to fake it pretty well using a Soundelux U99, a Great River ME1NV, and a Distressor. I didn't seem to really do anything different than I would do for any other style of music. I just set my levels and adjusted the compressor so the vocals sat well in the track:

www.littleredwagonstudios.com/TheProphet2.mp3

But what do I know...I'm not a hip-hop guy.

Brad
Old 27th April 2005
  #6
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paultools's Avatar
 

Best tools for this job are the 414 thru the 737 with no eq. only knock off 3 to 5 db with a fast compressor setting.
This is the most common set-up and will allow the artist to duplicate the sound from studio to studio, which happens all the time in this genre.

also, use 2 pop filters, cause they WILL creep up close to the mic!
Old 27th April 2005
  #7
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kennyd03's Avatar
 

I usually use a little heavier compression settings to tape with these guys and record them pretty hot to tape as their average level is usually pretty consistent. Rap vocals seem to almost always be super compressed in the final mix.

-KD03
Old 27th April 2005
  #8
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paultools's Avatar
 

TAPE?????

My supplier told me to tru EBAY!!
Old 28th April 2005
  #9
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I do a lot of hip-hop but I never compress any vocals on the way in for any genre. As someone mentioned though they're usually really squashed during mixing. But even in hip hop there are those rare times when automation works better than compression. It doesn't happen often though, I usually squash the hell out of it.

Here's a sample of a raw mix, no mastering. I produced a music track for it which was a little different from what you'd expect in rap. BTW, I can't stand gangster rap but this song (while using some profanity) was not violent.

http://www.garageband.com/song?|pe1|S8LTM0LdsaSkZFSzam8

Comparitively speaking there's not much profanity in it but don't play it around children. tutt

A pop filter is a must for the obvious reason and also because the spit from those rap lines will damage your expensive mic enventually if they get too close.

I often track hip hop vocals (rapping that is) from about 1-1/2 feet away. Probably different.

Lawrence
Old 28th April 2005
  #10
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joseph's Avatar
Lawrence,
I visit the site and :
OOPS
"The band has disabled MP3 downloads of this song."
Old 28th April 2005
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph
Lawrence,
I visit the site and :
OOPS
"The band has disabled MP3 downloads of this song."
You can't download it. That's one thing I like about the GarageBand site, you can disable downloading (if you want) but people can still listen. heh If someone wants a copy they have to record it or ask for one via email.

You have to play it from the page using the player there. Just click on the little green > button next to the song. It'll play.

Lawrence
Old 28th April 2005
  #12
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Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

See if you can get some a capellas of similar artists for references. A lot of times, there are a capellas at the beginnings of rap/r & b songs. Also, Jay-Z did a caps of The Black Album.

If you're in Indonesia (like your sig says), you may/may not be working with people whose voices will sound the same as your typical mainstream (American) rapper, so that is a consideration when referring to outside recordings. Some people are born with richer, thicker voices than others.

Doubling is important and yet VERY misunderstood. NO SINGLE DOUBLING 'RECIPE' IS RIGHT FOR EVERY SITUATION! Typical doubling strategy involves a single lead, an 'emphasis' double (once or twice per line, NOT always at the end of a line!), and an ad-lib (this track is a 'vibe' track and does not involve doubling the lead at all. "Whoo" and "Uh-huh" are typical elements of an ad-lib track).

Some people can double the entire rap word-for-word before doing emphasis and ad-libs. It's not as easy as it sounds -- the timing and the pitches (yes, pitches!) must match -- in fact, if any double is matching, the track and the double will flange (phase interference) slightly in headphones or in the speakers. This is how the artist can tell that his/her doubles are 'on.' Unmatched pitches will sound messy (maybe this is what you're going for -- 'crowd' vibe?) -- and sometimes it's difficult to communicate with a rapper anything concerning note/pitch information that's happening in a lead. This is when you make a mental note to mix the double WAAAAAAAAAY down...
Old 28th April 2005
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

I rap...and know all about doubling with the correct pitch. If I want to sound more hyped...I normally pitch myself harmonically. So I will do the double track a few notes above the lead. It can still manage to sound harmonic and 'hyped' rather than just messy and noisey. Very hard to perfect tho.

By the way, when I double, I always flange because I can do carbon copies of the lead. So I try to throw the adlibs slightly out of sync...but what mostly works...is if I pitch adjust it a few cents down. Thickens the double takes.
Old 28th April 2005
  #14
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7161's Avatar
 

the actual atmosphere of the session is very important i reckon - a good dancehall or hip-hop or 'grime' session will be with about 10 or 20 guys (posse) present, more like a party, with extensive weed smoking going on etc etc, and the vibe is there full-on!... more important than the gear i reckon, get an MC in that situation with everything cooking and no sterility, and even with a dynamic mic', hand held, if the vibe is right on, it makes the session come alive imo
Old 28th April 2005
  #15
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Hip Hop vocal session:

Make sure you have Hennessy and alot of good weed....everything else will full into place
Old 28th April 2005
  #16
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7161's Avatar
 

lol - 'Hennessy' - lol - or Courvasier

heh... you've been there then
Old 28th April 2005
  #17
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Charlie-O's Avatar
 

For rock make sure you have alot of crystal meth, coke, and dumb blondes.... instant hit lol. (not)
Old 3rd May 2005
  #18
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STARSKI's Avatar
 

i would say a good LDC some low cut eq pre comp then about 5dbs of comp on the way in with a good comp like a CL1b etc. Dats how i get DOWN!!
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