Mixing is this most exhausting and time consuming part of music production. It can be the most exciting part too. Finding the right frequencies, balancing levels, brightening vocal, and so on. The either process is somewhat subjective and way to long to explain. To be honest there are far more qualified and experienced engineers (shout out to Big Yo in Atlanta) that could do a far better job explaining it than I. I'm just going to gives you my top 3 go to pluginsthat help me achieve the sounds I desire.
1. Waves one Knob Phatter.
2. Izotope vocalsynth
Damn Izotope is right here
3 .Waves NX
Damn Nx is here
These are some of our top picks. We'd love to hear what works for you. Email us and give us your top picks.
Before jumping right into this, I thought I should explain what a punchline is.
(For those who don't know), A punchline is a bar or 2 that is usually so witty or funny that is has you rewinding just to make sure that yes indeed, that just happened,
I'll give you 1 of my own as an example of what a punchline is.
"For you lying rappers I came to bring the pain b*tch,
So the only "ice on your wrist" is after I sprain it."
Get the idea? Well then let me introduce you to 5 rap artists I consider punchline kings. Remember this isn't any top 10 list, I'm just naming 5 of the rappers (in no particular order) that I listen to when I'm out to hear some new punchlines that will make me rewind.
1.Crooked I aka KXNG CROOKED
He is now working with Shady Records and is a member of the 4 man rap group "Slaughterhouse".
Example 1: "If you are what you eat how come I'm not pussy."
Example 2: "Better pull that constitution out read it and weep,
Look at the first amendment man it says freedom of speech"
2. Rhyme Asylum
Example 1: "Create panic when I run amok, punch you till my knuckles cut, with my straight jacket still buckled up"
Example 2: "Punch the Hoover dam with my titanium fist, and stand in the tidal wave to wash away all my sins"
Example 1: "watch how you talk to me man, before you get smacked with the dark skinned side of my hand"
Example 2: "Why you rapping to the feds man? When the only coke you hold is soda in a red can"
Example 1: "Them moves premeditated, plan it (planet) like Pluto"
Example 2: "You would've thought he swallowed cement the way I had him shitting bricks"
5. Big L
Ok, Big L could very well be the ultimate punchline king. He is a hip hop legend from Harlem whose career ended too short when he was shot to death. Apparently the shooter was out to get his brother and shot him over mistaken identity.
He was gonna be the next thing, no doubt. And if I'm right he was one of the first rappers to never buss rhymes if they weren't multi syllables. If he was still alive he would be crushing these other rappers.
My favorite rapper is either Royce da 5'9 or Big L. I really can't choose.
Example 1: "breakin' in cribs with a crow bar, I wasn't "poor" I was po' I couldn't afford the "o-r"
Example 2: "I knocked out so many teeth the tooth fairy went bankrupt"
So you think you're the best rapper in the world? That's good!
I'm sure you've heard the saying, "you are your own competition". Yea that's bull. When you're an unknown artist everyone's your competition. With this in mind, it's important to put your best foot forward. Here's three tips to help make you better rapper.
Practice your lyrics out loud.
You maybe be into mumble rap, you maybe a screamer (like me), you maybe a fast spitter like tech nine. It doesn't matter, you need to practice your lyrics out loud before recording. This is because there is no real way to gauge timing in your head. Everything sounds great while rapping it in your head. Practicing your lyrics a loud gives you a chance to see where you run out of breath, words that may need to be edited out, and clean up your overall delivery.
Write to a beat.
Ok, this should go without saying but 60% of your project is the beat. It's great to have an library of prewritten lyrics you can go to, but each beat has its own life. It's better to craft you words around the beat and not the other way around. Think of it as an tailored suit versus buying of the rack. The tailored suit will always fit better. Craft your word suit to the body of your beat.
Music gives you freedom to explore any of your wildest dream. It's a playground limited only to ones imagination. So be fearless. Use every tool available to you and think of different ways to use them. Try changing your delivery, look up new words and invest in a good thesaurus.
I remember Dj'ing at live shows and concerts in Memphis where new talent would open up for famous acts. Hopeful up and coming artist would showcase their new songs in front of crowds of people who've never heard their name nor their music. I remember many times artists being jeered, booed, and heckled or the crowd just plain being uninterested in the performances. I can also recall seeing many performers getting visibly upset, curse out the crowds over the mic, walking off stage and express their feelings about the bad reception they received. Every performer has had to face the icy stare of the crowd. Every performer has a bad show including myself and my group. Let me tell you, cursing out the crowd and walking off stage is pointless. As an unknown artist, it's part of the trade-off in making a name for yourself.
Booing comes with making headway. Every time you perform it's an opportunity to spread your music. Keep in mind everyone is not going to like your music. Nor does the crowd owe you their attention. When you are on stage you are king (or queen! lol). It's your job to grab their attention and keep their attention. Once you insult the crowd you lower yourself and your stage presence. Nobody likes to be booed or worse ignored, but each show is an learning experience.
You have to ask yourself, why didn't the crowd react well to my last show? Were the songs that I performed exciting and engaging? Did I give it 100% during my performance? Did I put in enough practice for my show? What's my draw and appeal? Something I do before and after every show is approach a few people, buy them a drink, and find out what are their musical interests. This can really help you improve your overall show.
In conclusion, stay cool. Focus on your show and what you can do to make it better. You are in control of how you react to criticism. Always remember even a bad show is not a waste of time if you learn from it. Good luck..
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.