Tutorial Overview: Mixing Hip-Hop
Levels, equalization, compression and everything in between, mix engineer Matthew Weiss shows you how to get the absolute best sound out of all your hip-hop productions in his Mixing Hip-Hop tutorial series.
Hey folks, Matthew Weiss here. I’m here to tell you about my three-part tutorial series: Mixing Hip-Hop.
As far as Hip-Hop goes, I’ve amassed quite a list of credits. Everyone from Snoop Dogg, to Murs, Gorilla Zoe, Arrested Development, 88-Keys, Juicy J, Dizzee Rascal, Joel Ortiz. Producers like !ll Mind, 9th Wonder, KO, Sonny Digital, Stoop of Jedi Mind Tricks, and more.
I’m gonna share my techniques, understanding, and learned approaches with you.
In part one it’s all about the vocals. Mixing rap vocals. I’m breaking this down into four basic concepts. The first is cleaning the vocal up. The second is controlling the dynamics. The third is enhancing the vocal, making it larger than life. And the fourth is constructing an ambience around the vocal, giving it depth and dimension. And there’s a bonus fifth part where I interview vocal coach Laura Zahn, who’s gonna tell you how you can get the very best performance out of a rapper.
Part two is all about mixing Hip-Hop production. First we’re starting with a subject that might seem boring at first, but when you get into it you realize it’s actually a lot of fun and it’s really interesting. And that’s setting levels. Believe it or not, there is an art to setting levels and a lot of people gloss over this, but in truth, the simple balances and relationship between difference elements in the mix, that’s the musicality. That’s the linchpin of everything. And I’m gonna show you some really cool things you can do with volume automation you might not have thought of. Then we’re getting into the low end. Hip-Hop you have to have a strong low end. It’s one of the most important things that you can possibly get out of a production. So we’re gonna go into detail. I’m gonna show you some tips, some techniques and approaches in getting that low end to feel big and strong. Alright, then we’re moving onto the snare drum. If the snare drum doesn’t have that crack, if it’s not sitting right, then it’s not Hip-Hop. Then we’re moving onto the leads, the peripheral elements, then we’re gonna finish it all off with a segment on mastering. How to finish off the overall production. And to make it even better, I’m throwing in the production stems so you can follow along with the tutorial, do what I do, figure out how I made it work and then experiment and make it even better.
Part three is Mixing Rap Vocals, the advanced techniques. This is very different than part one. It’s about my personal thought process. The things I do when I get a vocal and I need to make it work in a mix. So it’s not just going to be about cleaning up vocals and making vocals sound big. It’s going to be about making vocals sound musically appropriate for the record. It’s about refining the techniques in part one, knowing when to break the rules. I’ve got some really interesting vocalists lined up for it. I’ve got Snoop Dogg, Murs, Speech of Arrested Development and Juicy J. You’re gonna see what I do when I approach these huge name artists and how I make their vocals fit into a mix. And of course I’ve got some workshops worked in there as well. I’ve got a segment on multiband dynamics, I’ve got a segment on exciters, and then I’ve got a three part segment on vocal stacks, doubles, ad-libs and choruses.
It’s mixinghiphop.com. Check it out and as always, you can find me at theproaudiofiles.com or weiss-sound.com.