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zircon

Anyone have any recommendations for hip-hop?

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Vinnie: Actually I'm not using any swing... but check out this revamp:

http://www.zirconstudios.com/music/wips/HH%20Track%204.mp3

I dunno, I'm ready to get crunk. The only problem is that the bass is pitched so low I can't hear it on my computer speakers... :(

Radiowar: Awesome links! Thank you. The J.D. track is particularly excellent.

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Found ALOT of classic material from YouTube!

A little more Primo up in here. Try to make some without sampling:

(love the grit and crunch)

Some Alchemist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spXeDKFX-nc

There's also some great dark classic stuff right here from Canada, holdin' it down from Red Deer, here's Invectrum!

http://www.youtube.com/user/invectrum

If you can pull something off like some of these beats, I may even request to rap over one.

Cheers,

AA

EDIT: How in the world can I forget my favorite? This is a track to get the party wild! Who wants THE REALNESS?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMZfdLKaVqA

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Vinnie: Actually I'm not using any swing... but check out this revamp:

http://www.zirconstudios.com/music/wips/HH%20Track%204.mp3

I dunno, I'm ready to get crunk. The only problem is that the bass is pitched so low I can't hear it on my computer speakers... :(

Radiowar: Awesome links! Thank you. The J.D. track is particularly excellent.

Oh awesome, that's definitely an improvement. Maybe pronouncing the kick more was all it took. It still has a zircon flavor to it, which is cool.

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Wow! Just got a chance to listen to some of your stuff, zircon. I'm lovin' Track 1 even though it's more of a jazz kinda flavour. Track 2 is kinda more early 2000s-ish. Very neat.Track 3 has a nice meaty West Coast vibe to it (I particularily dug the rides that came in where the full beat officially pops in). But if track 4 would be where the money is, that's not bad too. Just keep it unique, homes!

I'm out,

Double A.

PS The reason I posted those DJ Premier links is to give a little more inspiration to how things are still fundementally done in the streets. There are still heads who want to keep the battle loops and raw in-yo-face feel to rap that's been drowned out by crunk and snap.

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Just from what I've listened to, track 4 just seems a little too sequenced, and the bass isn't quite what it's supposed to be at first. It comes in a little better later, but when its not the middle section it lacks oomph.

Also, while drums are meant to be repetitive I feel like the type of drums you're using aren't quite fitting for hip hop type stuff. Even the set you're using could work, but if you're going to emphasize on it the way you are then it needs to be a little more dynamic. With instrumental rap in my experience (and I'm sure everyone will come up with a counterargument) starting with just the drums usually isn't the way to go unless you're going to make them sound really good, and with the drumset you're using there's just not a ton to it. You might think about sampling the drums as opposed to using a drumset, a lot of hip hop producers do that to good effect.

Not that I don't like the direction you're going, but I don't want you to have an inflated opinion of your work if its not truly A+ material. Its a good start but there's some nuances to be understood as well.

EDIT: The beasties track is good though. i like that. sometimes with rap simple is better.

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I'm not sure what you mean by sampling the drums. All the drums I'm using are sampled. 100% of them are either drum machines sampled to vinyl/tape/MPC and exported back to digital audio, or acoustic shots ripped from vinyl. I don't use any multisamples or kits at all. As for track 4 sounding too sequenced, it's funny, because Palpable said the opposite. That to me means I'm doing it right. :P

Speaking of, track 4 is supposed to be the same kind of beat as this;

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what i mean by sampled is that instead of using the instruments individually, people pull a full drum loop from an old jazz tune or the like and use that as a base sound, and then chop up the loop if they want to mess around with it.

anyways, the drum composition isn't bad, and the samples aren't bad either. but i feel like its neither realistic enough for me to believe someone's playing it, nor is it synthed up enough for me to just look at it as a synthy set. the best way i can think to describe it is as the uncanny valley of percussion; the samples and the unfiltered sound is just realistic enough that you expect it to sound like a real drummer, but it doesn't.

something to try, i've been trying to figure out what's wrong that's giving me such a hard time with this, and i think it's the hi-hat staying out so long. if you compressed that sample so it didn't stay out as long as it does (like you do later in the song, but maybe even more so) i personally think it would sound better. i don't know if i agree with the hat where it is but if you like it there then that would be something to try.

also the wood blocks are kind of too creative. in a minimalist drum setup it seems to sit at odds with what you're trying to accomplish. once again, its not like you did it wrong but it just doesn't fit with the final goal.

i'm not disagreeing with you just to be the guy who goes up against zircon, i just want to make sure you do it right and its not quite right yet.

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Yes, that is the old-school hip hop sound. Several of the tracks I've posted use sampled breaks and drum loops in that style. I'm trying to make a variety though, and that includes the dirty, nasty, almost minimal style of drumwork used by artists like David Banner.

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There's definitely a huge difference between the style of hip-hop based on sampled drum loops vs. drum machines and sampled individual hits. The former has a smooth realistic flow, the latter a rigidness or even fakeness or tackiness. That's not a hard and fast rule and what sounds good, sounds good, but I think the aim with a lot of drum machine-style hip-hop is stark rigidness, sort of a lack of flow. A lot of what you hear on the radio sounds programmed rather than played, and intentionally so.

Though I understand Derrit's point about your songs getting "too creative", I think there is some leeway there in terms of minimalism and the woodblock/hi-hat trickiness didn't take me out of the minimalism.

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I do notice that some hip hop songs have a tendency to sound junky and non-fluent; unnatural. Any style of music sounds better with less cluttery drumming.

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Vinnie: Actually I'm not using any swing... but check out this revamp:

http://www.zirconstudios.com/music/wips/HH%20Track%204.mp3

I dunno, I'm ready to get crunk. The only problem is that the bass is pitched so low I can't hear it on my computer speakers... :(

Radiowar: Awesome links! Thank you. The J.D. track is particularly excellent.

I can see this turning into a Sonic 3 Sandopolis remix.

Nice work!

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Hm, the first thing I would've mentioned was UrbanizmMusic (urbanizmmusic.com) and particularly DCT (http://urbanizmmusic.com/artist/dct), though that's all already been brought up.

The latest revamp you posted and mention of Sandopolis zone got me thinking of a few other sources, like with French/Arab hip-hop. Though since you're focusing on the instrumentation, some of these might be of more or less interest to you:

Cheb Mami, K-Mel - Parisien du Nord

(Cheb Mami does rai, K-Mel rap; there's some mix of the two genres here)

Sniper (mostly Tunisiano), Leila Rami - Entre Deux

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4UyIYeLv5k

(more mix of Arab/hip-hop influences here)

Tunisiano, Zaho - Citoyen du Monde

(both hip-hop though I think Zaho is closer to R&B)

Sully Sefil - J'Voulais

Tunisiano - Je Porte Plainte

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnLw3Ghjym8

(these're more about lyrics though; the beat gets repetitive after the first 20-30 seconds)

For something completely different, there's Hime (Japanese hip-hop, one of the few female artists in the genre). Here're a couple that may interest you:

Ukina-

In the Rain-

Tateba Shakuyaku- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDiP1s0EexE

Hope this helps. I tried to focus on stuff that wouldn't normally come up in conversation, and might've overshot it. KF

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Inspired by the DJ Premier stuff, here's another one, this time with a much lighter mood. I threw a Beastie Boys acapella on top just to see if it would mesh :P

http://www.zirconstudios.com/music/wips/HH%20Track%205%20Beasties.mp3

This one is really fun, I like it a lot actually. Very clear melody and rhythm to follow and move to.

There is one track made by someone in this community that just screamed out hip hop to me when I was blasting it from my speakers, even though I'm not sure that was his intention. That track is Diggi Dis's Schala mix on Chronotorious. Maybe not as applicable past the intro, but the first minute evokes everything I love about hip hop:

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I didn't fully scan the thread, but here are a couple recommendations I didn't notice:

-Nomak

-Uyama Hiroto

-Emancipator

-Marcus D

A lot of these guys collaborate with each other, but they have distinct styles you should check out.

Substantial and Soul Position are a couple of good hip-hop artists who actually do feature lyrics, though I know you're not really looking for that. You should still check them though. Substantial in particular is pretty heavy on lyrics defining the song.

</opinion from person who knows nothing about music>

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Recently a collaboration album came out between North American and South American artists that I really enjoy listening to called N.A.S.A - The Spirit of Apollo.

Check out the related videos if you want to hear more.

I really enjoy the following...

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I didn't fully scan the thread, but here are a couple recommendations I didn't notice:

-Nomak

-Uyama Hiroto

-Emancipator

-Marcus D

A lot of these guys collaborate with each other, but they have distinct styles you should check out.

Substantial and Soul Position are a couple of good hip-hop artists who actually do feature lyrics, though I know you're not really looking for that. You should still check them though. Substantial in particular is pretty heavy on lyrics defining the song.

</opinion from person who knows nothing about music>

Dude, I just totally stumbled upon these people right before I came back into this topic wondering if anybody mentioned them yet. From reading the previous posts this time though, it seems the type of hip-hop we're recommending isn't the kind he's looking for unfortunately. Shame though, because what these guys dish out has definitely become my favorite type of music.

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