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Tips on getting the tight pop sound on rap songs

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Sebabong, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. Sebabong

    Sebabong Guest

    Yo. Do any of you know how to get that tight sound like Destiny's Child or Justin Timberlake? I'm working on some rap tracks that I want to sound tight and clean. Also something like Xtina's "Dirrty" or Toni Braxton's "Wasn't Man Enough For Me".
     
  2. Since1980

    Since1980 Guest

    Your question is kinda vague, with too many possible answers. Are you talking about vocals, drums, overall track? Is there a particular issue that you are having? I could help you but you kinda threw me off when you said, "tight pop sound on rap songs". If I knew what you are referring to I could help. My only advice would be check out those producers' HipHop tracks(Timbaland, Neptunes, etc.) And see if that is the sound you are looking for. Sorry :(
     
  3. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    The mastering also has a lot to say on those tunes you refere to.

    Tight rap sound on "Destinys Child" and "Justin Timberlake"?
    Those albums sound very different from each other...?!

    When you say tight rap sound i think of Dr. Dre's productions together with Bernie Grundman.
    Dr. Dre get's his sound from an AKAI sampler, SSL mixer and a sony G8000 mic... + other stuff.
    All of this is used carefully and not "over tweaked".

    Best Regards,
     
  4. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    If it's REALLY rap, it should be DRY, DRY, DRY!!!

    Those tight snare drums are low pitched snare samples pitched way up on a sampler like the Akai SP1200 or the MPC3000. "Old Skool" stuff was pretty dense due to stacking multiple loops on top of each other, these days they seem to be very sparse.

    I don't listen to the artists you mentioned, but I hope this has been of some help.
     
  5. Since1980

    Since1980 Guest

    True...but Dr. Dre records are not as Dry as others. He is one of the few HipHop producers out there that enjoys using reverb. That why I believe his productions stand far and above other HipHop Producers(Sonically Mixed Wise).
     
  6. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Dr. Dre is the exception to the rule. Every time I try to use reverb or any effects at all when I'm mixing I get "Whu da f#*% is yuh doon?!!" On the flip side, when I'm mixing and no one is in the room, I use effects and when they show up I get "Sounds f#*%ing DOPE!!!"

    Go figure.
     
  7. Sebabong

    Sebabong Guest

    "Your question is kinda vague, with too many possible answers. Are you talking about vocals, drums, overall track? Is there a particular issue that you are having? I could help you but you kinda threw me off when you said, "tight pop sound on rap songs". If I knew what you are referring to I could help."

    Sorry, I'll try to be more specific. I'm talking about the overall tracks. When I listen to pop radio, the drums sound super gated and when I listen to rap radio, things (at least on the low end) seem to be bigger and take up more space (could this be a track count thing because pop uses so many more tracks?) The issue I'm having is my stuff sounds more like Nelly and Lil' John. I've got deep low end, but I want it to sound tight and punchy. I noticed the linear notes on the Dirrty track and Toni Braxton track I mentioned list Dave Pensado and Dexter Simmons. Does anyone know any of their tricks? Both seem to mix a lot of pop AND rap tracks.

    "Tight rap sound on "Destinys Child" and "Justin Timberlake"?
    Those albums sound very different from each other...?!
    When you say tight rap sound i think of Dr. Dre's productions together with Bernie Grundman. "

    I'm just talking about the tight, punchy character of those artists. I don't want the 'tight rap' sound (Like Dre or Swiss Beats), but more of a pop tightness, which to me is like hitting cardboard with a drum stick tight low end, but still bright on top. I hope you know where I'm coming from now. Thanks for all the suggestions!
     
  8. Since1980

    Since1980 Guest

    Hahaha...That happens to me all the time. That's why I don't like mixing with the artist or producer in the room.

    Alot of times I do a comparison: one dry and one with reverb & delay...95% of the time, the one with the reverb & delay is what the artist chooses.
     
  9. Since1980

    Since1980 Guest

    Ooh Ok Sebabong, I see want you want.
    You basically answered your question. If your stuff is sounding like Nelly or Lil John, I'm pretty sure that you are using alot of low end(sub frequencies). You basically want to stay away from that. Im not too sure but I assume that the kick drums in those pop tunes resides in the 100hz range, while in those hiphop tracks it's probably in 80hz-60hz range, with some (59hz-20hz) energy. Stay away from that. Also in those pop tracks the bass sits in its own range, while in the HipHop tracks the bass and kicks are usually around those same low frequencies. The bass in those tracks do not dominate the mix as would it in HipHop. When mixing look to create defintion with some low end in the bass, instead of just looking for low end. Also, make sure you have the right drum source. The most phattest drum that would work in a HipHop track wouldn't work in the case that you want.

    Just as you said, it all about controlling the low end. This can be done by using the correct compression & Eq. Look for definition instead of just pure energy. As far as the top end, alot of that could be taken care of just by the layering of the track as you said. Look to create depth and bigness in your tracks, by using individual short delay & short reverbs. Basically what you are doing is just opening up your mix.

    Mixing is an art not a science, so this is only suggestion and might not work in all situations.
     
  10. Sebabong

    Sebabong Guest

    Thanks 1980! When you say it's all about controlling lowend, what are some good techniques? Are you just talking about EQ? I've tried just EQ'ing and I don't seem to get the results I'm looking for. Is it a gear thang? I mainly use Logic, but use outboard when I mix.

    I try to think it's not the gear but the talent, but if I'm chosing the wrong gear, maybe I'm just making bad choices. I've been using Neve gear on bass and kick during the mixdown cause everyone tells me it's the $*^t. Sorry but, as you already now, I'm kinda a newbie to real studios. Any suggestions you have to get the Pensado sound I'll try until I find what works for me. Thanks a lot.
     
  11. Since1980

    Since1980 Guest

    Sebabong, you might just be in luck. A friend of mine had this engineering tips book, that I happen to look at yesterday. And they had an interview with David Pensado in it. He revealed some of his techniques, but of course not all.

    If you send me a PM with you email address, I will scan the interview for you.
     
  12. Sebabong

    Sebabong Guest

    :( I can't figure out the private messaging fuction here. I'm willing to buy the book. I looked for it on Amazon but couldn't find it. Could you post the title? He's the person I dream of having mix my stuff.
     
  13. Sebabong

    Sebabong Guest

    After searching the web, I found out Dave Pensado has his own forum at least for this month. That $*^t is phat. (Dead Link Removed)
     
  14. Since1980

    Since1980 Guest

    The book I mentioned is title, "The Mixing Engineer's Handbook". But by glancing at the website, I would say save your money, and use that forum. It's more informative.
     
  15. Sebabong

    Sebabong Guest

    Thanks for the info! I'll probably look for it at Barnes and Noble and thumb though it and see if it's what I'm looking for, although he already answered my question on his forum. The internet is ^#$%ing wicked awesome.
     

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