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Mastering Hip Hop

For mastering Hip Hop you have found the right mastering engineer to take your hip hop tracks to their full sonic potential. The first 12 inch release I  bought when a teenager was Boogie Down Bronx by Man Parrish. The first album was Street Sounds Electro 1 and as time went on Big Daddy Kane and of course Public Enemy.

Denise Chaila – Go-  2020 RTE Choice music prize – Album of the year award, mastered here.

Wounded Buffalo Beats mastered here.

1 Track £30.00 | 4T EP £112.00 | Album £230.00 (10-12 tracks) no tax added

Today there are many styles of hip hop, funky breakbeat styles, heavy styles, 808 infused trap, spaced out glitchy beats, conscious rap, backing beats and everything in between. Mastering R&B and Mastering Trap are also in a similar sonic space. Key to many styles will be the rapping and vocal elements. As a mastering engineer with 22 years of professional audio engineering experience I am well placed to enhance your music for maximum impact and sonic potential when released.

I have recorded many rap artists in broadcast studios for session for BBC 1Xtra and BBC Radio 1 when I worked in an audio production/broadcast facility based in London. For the last decade I have dedicated to being a mastering engineer. Mastering hip hop requires focus on the audio spectrum from top to bottom. In the acoustically treated room I have PMC IB1S full range monitors powered by Hypex amplifiers, they go to 25Hz in room so I can hear high definition sound through the entire audio spectrum.

A short video on mastering Hip Hop :

When mastering hip hop I will be able to make dynamic, tonal and stereo image adjustments to ensure your music plays out at its full sonic potential, accurate bass response ensures the right translation to all systems. In the mids and highs I will bring out clarity and details without harshness. All these small adjustments add up to a sum greater than their parts.

Inclusive in my hip hop mastering is a free mix appraisal if requested (or required) once a mastering job has been paid for and is proceeding. If there is anything that will get in the way of a good mastering end result you will receive concise remedial advice.

The studio uses both high end analogue and precise digital tools to get your music sounding as good as possible before release. I use a Manley Massive Passive, Summit DCL-200, HCL Varis Vari mu and a Sontec Clone EQ along with Crane Song Solaris Quantum DAC and Mytek ADC.

Whether you are a label owner or an artist or beat producer get in contact today for high end mastering at a great price. 0044 (0) 7810 271371 (safeandsound123 at at being @)

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I require 24 bit mixed stereo interleaved files with no clipping or limiting on the master output. You can send files using

The FAQ page covers many questions and answers :

Some pro tips for recording hip hop rap and vocals:

The most critical of all is to avoid distortion and vocal popping/plosives. Record at 24 bit and do not clip your mic pre amps, test record before doing a take and leave headroom for any assertive vocal expression, avoid distortion at all costs. At 24 bit you need only peak at no more than -12dBFS, this leaves plenty of room below 0dBFS so the recording does not clip. Ensure there is good headroom available in your mic preamps whether it is a mixer preamp or stand alone mic preamp. Distortion is very difficult to remove (often impossible) so ensure it never makes the take.

For rap vocalists you want a close mic’d direct sound (without pops or plosives !!) without too much room acoustic making its way onto the recording. So in short, the more dead the acoustic the better.

How to record rap vocals :

Ensure vocal pops do not get into the recording by using as many pop shields as necessary. Pops are not always easy to remove so make sure they are not in the recording in the first place. True 1 inch and larger diaphragms will tend to pop more than smaller diaphragm mic. (As basic examples a Rode NT1-A 1 inch vs an Audio Technica AT-4033 0.75 inch so check the specs of mic diaphragms.) In any event use at least one good quality nylon mesh pop shield (metal grid ones tend to be less effective) and do not hestitate to use 2 pop shield or a foam one as well, whatever it takes to avoid pops. (Yes you may lose a little high frequency transparency with 2 pop shields but this compromise is worthwhile to avoid difficult to remove pops.) If you really have a pop problem you can position the mic slightly off to one side facing the vocalists mouth. (You can put a dummy mic directly up in front for vibe for the vocalist, but do a test recording first)

The K&M 23956 popkiller dual layer fabric mesh pop killer is recommended, use 2 of them without hesitation if need be with 1-2cms spacing between them.

Bonus tip: And finally when your break beat’s end for an instrumental section check for nasty clicks right at the end if the break abruptly cuts off. (apply a tiny fade or de-click it). If your tracks have vinyl crackle effect please let me know when you send your music through.