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Are their any protocols for recording big name rappers?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Lanstar0, May 28, 2004.

  1. Lanstar0

    Lanstar0 Guest

    I have a session with Young BloodZ tomorrow (http://www.youngbloodzatl.com/) but have never recorded rap, let alone big name, national acts!

    I was wondering if their is a protocol to use for recording a major label rap group that has experience in much bigger studios than the one I'm working at? We are using an HDR96 and an Otari Concept 1 console. For vox, probably a BLUE Kiwi through a Manley VOX BOX.

    What about "ad libs" as i think they call them, when members of the group are overdubbing talking/shouting/or just doubling individual words? Do they all want to stand around the mic at the same time to do those parts? (I know, that's a stereotype, but I don't know how true they are).

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!
  2. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Your in for a treat. There's some things to expect upon arrival of this brigade...and it's going to be a brigade.

    #1: There will be a lot of people who probably have nothing to do with the session hanging around. It's typical of rap clients to bring their possee into the session and it's ok. Don't freak out...just let em wander around and do their thing. A playstation is almost necessary. If you don't have one find a way to get one...and provide a nice couch to sit on...even if you have to borrow someone's. Providing these guy's with somewhere to chill will prevent them from hanging out in your control room annoying you. Also make sure they have a smoking area....they will smoke..and smoke a lot..so just provide for that...it's ok.

    #2: Don't try to fight with anything they want...just provide it....you don't want any tension...it could get ugly if you know what I mean. I'd highly advise getting a runner for the session. They're going to need lot's of food, blunt's, and such.

    #3: Get a back-up drive and make frequent backups. You don't want to loose a session with a client like this...

    #4: Just have a good time and be prepared for anything. Try to be relaxed and flexible.

    Be prepared to have to rent a mic and or pre for the session...if you can't get the sound they want then renting a mic would be a great idea....the word no dosen't exist anymore.
    Also make sure the files you record are .wav files and document everything you do...

    Ad lib's are an addition to the normal vocal track. What they'll do is on a second track they'll double some of the words....not all of them...just empahasize some parts. This is normal when doing hip/hop and most everyone will want to do it. So always provide for an ad lib track. They might also want to do spontanious type of tracks...where they will say things in the background like there's a crowd around commenting on the rymes...some do this and some don't.

    I'd recommend testing all of your gear before the session so there's no supprises. Have the mic's and cue set-up when they get there...so you don't have to dink around...

    I wish you my best...have fun!

    Also don't forget to make sure the label know's who all was there and what they were doing. This way the engineer and assistants if any get credit on the album.
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Good advice.
    Also Blunts, 40's and in addition to the runner, a couple of assistants to keep an eye on everyone so that things don't grow legs and walk away.
  4. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    Randy covered it all.

    When they do 'libs and doubles I sometimes have three or even four mics, one in each corner of the studio for individual 'libs by multiple people, so they can get the group vibe they're looking for and then be able to pick and choose what they like later. I've always used Pro Tools or Digital Performer, done endless takes and comped them later on.

    Make sure you have a figure 8 configuration mic for group takes.

    MOST IMPORTANT!!! Find out immediately who has authority, i.e. the producer. Everyone in the posse, right down to the squeezes and the drug dealer, is going to want to throw in their opinion, so find out right from the start who you have to listen to and who you can safely ignore.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. Lanstar0

    Lanstar0 Guest

    Thanks for the info, even though I'm reading this after doing the session! :)

    I'm too drained to talk about it right now, but it went pretty well ... not the smoothest session, but I think they were happy with the product.

    2 main things I didn't do are 1) "Also don't forget to make sure the label know's who all was there and what they were doing." and 2) Remember who the producer was. I still to the moment don't know which of the 12 people in the "posse" was the producer!!!
  6. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Central Copenhagen
    How about insisting that they take their shoes off before entering the studio, don't curse, talk hiplahop, drink beer, smoke or talk loudly?
  7. Mediaguru

    Mediaguru Guest

    Fortunately (or unfortunately) I've recorded HUNDREDS of rappers. Here's my guide to recording rap.

    First you need to learn how to communicate with them. So here is your vocabulary list:

    Dope..... Good
    40 (pronounced foetee)..... 40 ounce beer
    Ho or beeatch..... Female
    Nigga or negro..... Buddy (even if they are white)
    Word..... I understand
    Dank, dope, weed..... Pot
    Bust a nut..... Have sex
    Pop a cap..... Shoot a gun
    Coppa..... Police officer
    Funky ass beat..... A song with good groove
    Bad..... (dual meaning) Can mean bad or good
    Yo..... Hi
    Wutup?..... How's it going?
    Bank..... Money (i.e one who stacks bank is rich)

    You can use these words in combination. Here is a typical rap lyric combination:

    "Smokin' dank & stackin' bank"
    English translation: Smoking pot and counting money.
    "Bustin' nuts in beeaatches & poppin' caps in cop's asses"
    English translation: Having sex and shooting police officers.

    See? It's not too hard.

    The nice thing about rappers is they ALWAYS pay in cash too!

    I remember the first time a rapper said "word" do me.... I looked at him confused and said "tree." I just thought he was asking me for some random word. Tree was the first word that came to my mind....

    When I used to get home from work, I'd say to my wife "Hi, how are you?" Afer recording rappers all day I get home and say "Whuttup beeatch?"


  8. Paanther00

    Paanther00 Guest

    This is the most hilarious post I have ever read... But its all true...
  9. johnwy

    johnwy Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Smithtown, NY
    Home Page:
    I depends on if they repect you or not.

    If they do not respect you (as a person, friend or as an engineer) and you ask them that question, you would probably be hit with a 40 ounce bottle, staring down a barrel of a 9mm or both. The ones that I figured that did not respect me were the ones that still called me "Mr. Engineer", after I would tell them my name at least three times.

    If they respect you you can ask them just about anything. I know engineers that would chase them out of the control room when they were mixing or ask them to take it to the lounge.

    I have also worked on my fair share of hip hop sessions (good and bad) and, for instance, even though the studio had a no smoking rule in the control rooms it was a very relaxed rule. The ones that respected you and the studio were the ones that would ask or they would see the sign and go to the lounge and smoke whatever they were smoking. (I was constantly on a contact high when ever they sparked up!) I only asked them not to blow smoke into whatever microphone I was using at the time whenever I was recording vocals.

    hey Mediaguru, you fergot "Chronic" as another word for pot!
  10. you didn't let sean get anything to drink during the session did you?
    its hard enough understandin him, he so damn country. its all good.. they my boys..

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