Hip Hop Mastering Service
What kind of hip hop do you specialize in?
We're use to mastering songs whose beats were made in Fl Studio or Reason, songs with tons of bass, snare rolls and dare I say "swag"? Songs that you would hear guys like this making...
Do you master hip hop songs?
We learned how to master working with all kinds of hip hop artists. Like all other established genres, hip hop has grown to include many sub-genres or micro-genres, each with its own conventions with regard to how a finished song should sound.
Most new hip hop listeners would find an album such as Wu-Tang's 36 Chambers album incredibly "muddy" sounding and unpolished. But guess what that's the point. Part of what made Wu so special was that their aesthetic of being grimy rappers translated into how their songs were produced, mixed and mastered. Many people falsely think that the Wu's rough sound was because they were lazy or had bad audio engineers. This is completely far from the truth: to make something sound rough and dirty yet listenable is a skill.
Do you know who mastered 36 Chambers? It wasn't Rza's cousin who never mastered an album before. It was Chris Gehringer, one of the pioneers in hip hop mastering. He's mastered albums for Kanye, Drake, Rick Ross, Kid Cudi and Nas just to name a few. He charges thousands just to master one song!
He knows what he's doing. It isn't a fluke.
While we don't charge the same rates as him, we feel like we know what we're doing when it comes to mastering rap songs for up and coming artists, who don't have that big budget but still want that label quality sound. We also carefully consider the style of the song to determine the best way it should sound. Believe it or not but there are some rappers that don't want to have that big shiny sound, because there style doesn't call for it. It wouldn't make sense for a song about being broke to sound as if it was a super bright LMFAO party record now would it?
Free Mastering Sample
The best way to see if we're right for your project is to let us do a free mastering sample of one of your best songs. We can't promise that you're going to sound like your favorite rapper, but we can promise it'll be quality. If you want the same quality as *insert rapper name* you're going to have to have the same vocal chain as them. Kanye's vocal chain costs $100k, does your home studio have $100,000 worth of equipment in it? Than it is not going to sound like Kanye. However, as long as you record on an average condenser mic (between $200 and $300) through a decent preamp (between $500 and $1000), you'll get some great results as long as you have a mixing and mastering engineers that know what they're doing.
How do I prepare my hip hop song for mastering?
(1) Turn down the f*cking bass. When we master your song, we'll make the bass knock. A good volume for your bass is to not go past about -14. If you find in your mix, your bass is -10 or higher that's way too loud and when we master your song it will completely drowned out your vocals.
(2) The loudest any point in your song should be is -3.0db. If it is peaking at 0db there's not a lot we can do to it without making it sound overly squashed. If you can send your mixes in so that the average peak volume is around -10db or less that would be ideal for the best sound quality. If you want to know how to determine your songs peak average value look at the final stereo out bus in your audio recording program (Pro Tools, Cubase, etc.) and look at the volume meter, if it goes past -5db than it is too loud.
(3) Make sure you've used a nice compressor on your vocals and that your vocals are loud. Thanks to artists like Drake, Kanye and Jay-Z vocals have taken center stage in hip hop mixing and it's important that they are loud and clear so that fans can connect with you. If your vocals are lost in the mix, guess what, no fans for you cause no one can hear you!
Can You Mix and Master My Song?
Yes. In fact, if your mix wasn't done professionally, it's probably a better idea to get your song mixed properly before you pay to get it mastered. You can do this easily with our mixing and mastering packages. Check out our mixing and mastering packages as well as an example of a recent hip hop mix we did.
Are You The Best Mastering Services For Rap?
Take a listen to our before and after samples and hear the difference for yourself.