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From Drop to Top - Producing Hip Hop

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21 Videos | Length: 5hr 0min 10sec
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Chapter 1 : Getting Started

  • image description 0:20

    Introduction

    DrFord welcomes you and lets you know what to expect from the series.

  • image description 14:42

    The Drop

    A brief talk on the benefits of multitrack audio and DrFord's DAW preferences. The first pass of drums and keyboards are then recorded.

  • image description 7:16

    Recording Hardware Synths

    Learn DrFord's method for syncing up several recording passes of audio from his external hardware synths and aligning them to the grid.

  • image description 13:42

    Groove is in the Nudge

    Discover how to use the nudge function to adjust the timing and groove of your recorded audio.

Chapter 2 : Basic Mix and Arrange

  • image description 14:09

    Basic Mix Pt. 1

    See the beginning process of mixing the recorded audio using stock plug-ins and some easy to follow guidelines. Explore working with the kck and bass, and how they interact with the other audio tracks, as well as editing audio regions to perfectly match up with the groove of the track.

  • image description 16:02

    Basic Mix Pt. 2

    Watch the editing of the shaker and hi-hat tracks to better sync them with the other tracks creating a infectious groove. Once edited, mixing concepts for the percussion elements using compression and EQ are explored as well as working with the main sample loop, and layering / mixing it with the other synth elements.

  • image description 12:11

    Basic Mix Pt. 3

    In this video we complete the basic mix using compressors, volume, EQ, and reverb. The elements then work together forming a solid base in which to better arrange the track.

  • image description 15:59

    Arranging the Track

    Discover one of the most common pop formats for arranging songs, and how to do a basic mix down for the artist / rapper to write over.

Chapter 3 : Hip Hop Vocals

  • image description 17:50

    Vocal Overdubs

    Explore what to do to prepare for a vocal recording session. See an introduction of our rapper 'Maccnifasent', and a video of his recording session. Also included are what DrFord typically records from a rapper and why, proper labeling and priority of recorded vocals, improved workflow and the first steps of treating vocals prior to their mix. DrFord then shows you his exact method for aligning vocals, removing plosives and de-essing by hand, which paves the way for that 'radio sounding' vocal mix.

  • image description 18:30

    Editing Vocal Overdubs

    Watch DrFord edit the vocal overdubs so they are aligned to the verse's main and doubled vocals. 'De-essing' and 'De-Plossing' is further shown.

  • image description 18:08

    Vocal Mix Pt. 1

    See the use of already taught methods on the chorus and overdub vocals to tighten and polish them. Basic panning ideas based on what was recorded are shown, as well as proper labeling and naming of tracks to improve workflow. Use of Melodyne Editor to quickly tune vocals and print tuned vocals to preserve processing power is also demonstrated.

  • image description 14:42

    Vocal Mix Pt. 2

    See the use of EQ, Compression, and Reverb to complete the chorus vocal mix, utilizing the 'CLA Classic Compressors' and 'Vocal Rider' plug-ins from Waves Audio.

  • image description 15:56

    Vocal Mix Pt. 3

    In this video DrFord applies the methods taught in video 12, to the vocals in the verse sections. Review of section transitions to smooth out the volume of the main vocal over the whole song is also demonstrated.

Chapter 4 : Arranging

  • image description 19:47

    Intro, Bridge & Outro

    This video covers mixing and editing of the Intro, Bridge and Outro sections of the song to create a more complete arrangement. Use of the 'Speakerphone' plug-in by AudioEase is shown to effect the bridge as well as the application of a room tone.

  • image description 17:05

    Drops, Breaks & Transitions

    DrFord shows you how to use drum fills / breaks, instrumental drops, and transitional noises to help emphasize the lyrical content and make the track more exciting.

Chapter 5 : Final Mix, Master and Delivery

  • image description 16:53

    Final Mix for Mastering Pt. 1

    DrFord demonstrates some of his favorite vocal FX chains, and how to build them from scratch. Also covered is the use of reverb to 'marry' the vocals and music.

  • image description 14:19

    Final Mix for Mastering Pt. 2

    This video shows you how to complete the final mix for the vocals and track, using tape saturation FX and compressors to 'glue' your mix together. Using a 'sub-master' stereo aux track for writing a mix-out, as well as choices to make when 'Bouncing to Disk' are also included.

  • image description 4:52

    Deliverables to Mastering

    Discover which mixes go to mastering, and the most common mix requests. Using VCA faders and or the Trim plug-in to adjust overall vocal levels is also shown.

  • image description 24:35

    The Top - Mastering

    Engineer Derek Jones is invited to help master the track. His choices are explained and demonstrated which add volume, punch, and excitement to the mastered project.

Chapter 6 : Bonus Videos

  • image description 9:04

    Making the MPC Loop

    In this video DrFord does a top down view of his MPC 1000 showing you how he chopped up the main string sample and programs them in his pattern.

  • image description 14:08

    Working with a 2-Track

    See how to work with instrumental stereo mix downs, finding their tempo and syncing them to the grid. Also see how to enhance the instrumental track by pulling out elements and adding compression, EQ, and Reverb.

Product Overview


This is it. If you're looking to get into the Hip Hop producer game, DrFord is the man to watch. Featuring the track 'Toast To This' with rapper extraordinaire Maccnifasent, DrFord shows you how to complete a full, professional 'radio sounding' Hip Hop production with vocals and mastering from the ground up, propelling your Hip Hop productions from 'wannabe' to pro.

DrFord has cut his production teeth in some of the biggest studios in Nashville and Los Angeles, and has toured nationally as a keyboard player with numerous Country and Pop acts. His tracks have landed on MTV and VH1 reality shows 'Making The Band 4', 'Pimp My Ride', 'Rob & Big', 'Punk'd', 'My Super Sweet 16', 'Next' and many more. In addition to being Pro Tools Certified, DrFord brings his own flavor to production work, which he shares in full in this awesome new series.

Shot in Pro Tools, but compatible with any DAW, you'll learn basics such as production session setups, recording and aligning external hardware synths & drum machines, nudging audio until it 'grooves', to more advanced topics like mix & arrange tips and techniques, creating tight 'radio sounding' Hip Hop vocals, DIY mastering, file preparation for artists and 3rd party mastering and much more. The Pro Tools session files from the tutorials are also included and there's even 2 bonus videos, one showing you how DrFord made the main sample in the track with his MPC, and the other demonstrating a solution to a common scenario that hip hop producers face.

After applying what you've learned from this series, your productions will stand on their own, giving you a better shot at the top. Get in the Hip Hop production game today, get 'From Drop To Top - Producing Hip Hop'.


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boss music
Submitted 3 months ago

greatful

all thing good


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

DJScrappy
Submitted 2 years ago

Very Helpful

Dr Ford is able to articulate what he does and why he does it very well. His purpose driven approach tracking, mixing and mastering will help prevent the pitfalls of acquiring unwanted sonic and digital artifacts.

I am a: Semi-Pro, Professional, Musician, Producer, Beat Maker, Audio Engineer, Sound Designer, Sound for Film/TV, Ableton Live, Logic Pro



Zack
Submitted 2 years ago

Most In-depth behind the scene of professional production technique

This is most in dept production video I have ever seen on any music production training site. I have messaged Dr Ford on Facebook and he always reply with more explanation


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

jamescoats57
Submitted 2 years ago

Should have been taught at my audio engineer school.

This is a must see for any Hip Hop, (hell Pop, Techno, EDM, R&B, etc.) engineer, producer, beatmaker or artist. I just recently completed an "audio engineering' school where most of the students could care less about what a mic or mixer does,,, LOL! They were there because of this genre and this series of videos works perfectly to that intent. The bonus video on sprucing up a two track is worth the price of admission in itself. One million Kudos to Dr. Ford for this excellent series of videos.

I am a: Professional, Musician, Producer, Beat Maker, Audio Engineer, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Studio One


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

rocwatson
Submitted 2 years ago

Good presentation

I enjoyed material. I just wish I had realized it was done in pro tools rather than logic before my download.

I am a: Semi-Pro, Musician, Producer, Beat Maker, Audio Engineer, Sound for Film/TV, Logic Pro


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

oznerol
Submitted 3 years ago

Well done

Concise and clear! Great run through. Easy to understand.

I am a: Semi-Pro


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

boss music
Submitted 3 months ago

greatful

all thing good

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

DJScrappy
Submitted 2 years ago

Very Helpful

Dr Ford is able to articulate what he does and why he does it very well. His purpose driven approach tracking, mixing and mastering will help prevent the pitfalls of acquiring unwanted sonic and digital artifacts.

I am a: Semi-Pro, Professional, Musician, Producer, Beat Maker, Audio Engineer, Sound Designer, Sound for Film/TV, Ableton Live, Logic Pro


Zack
Submitted 2 years ago

Most In-depth behind the scene of professional production technique

This is most in dept production video I have ever seen on any music production training site. I have messaged Dr Ford on Facebook and he always reply with more explanation

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

jamescoats57
Submitted 2 years ago

Should have been taught at my audio engineer school.

This is a must see for any Hip Hop, (hell Pop, Techno, EDM, R&B, etc.) engineer, producer, beatmaker or artist. I just recently completed an "audio engineering' school where most of the students could care less about what a mic or mixer does,,, LOL! They were there because of this genre and this series of videos works perfectly to that intent. The bonus video on sprucing up a two track is worth the price of admission in itself. One million Kudos to Dr. Ford for this excellent series of videos.

I am a: Professional, Musician, Producer, Beat Maker, Audio Engineer, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Studio One

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

rocwatson
Submitted 2 years ago

Good presentation

I enjoyed material. I just wish I had realized it was done in pro tools rather than logic before my download.

I am a: Semi-Pro, Musician, Producer, Beat Maker, Audio Engineer, Sound for Film/TV, Logic Pro

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

oznerol
Submitted 3 years ago

Well done

Concise and clear! Great run through. Easy to understand.

I am a: Semi-Pro

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I vividly remember the beginning of the 4th grade, being asked if any students were interested in learning music. Without a pause I volunteered. At the time, and I can't tell you why, I asked if I could play Bass. At this point in music education, this specifically meant Concert or Upright Bass. I was measured, tested for Rhythm and Pitch, and given the OK. I was so excited that I ran home that day and told one of my sister's what I had done. If you knew my sister Jessica, it wouldn't surprise you that her response to me was, "You don't want to play the Bass, you want to play the Drums." Jessica has actually always wanted to be a Drummer, but in the late 70's, girls played instruments like the Flute. So she decided if she couldn't do what she wanted, I would do what she wanted. 20 plus years later, I am just glad that I had encouragement to and the opportunity to study music in school regardless of what instrument. In my Senior year of High School I sat first chair in the Jazz Band, played Timpani in the Orchestra, in secured the lead role in the school's musical theatre production of "Anything Goes." Along the way, as most young groups of friends do, I picked up the Acoustic Guitar so that I could strum with my friends outside the local coffee house and on the beach. I studied Classical Guitar Community College, and knew that music and education was both my passion and my career to be. I continued my music education at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, and earned a Degree from their Keyboard program. While there I also completed their 6 month Recording Engineer program, "R.I.T." I look back on my time at M.I. as some of the best times in my life, and I wish I could start my studies all over again.

2. What training have you had?

Most real studio training is done under a mentor, on the job. I was lucky enough to find two. Ronnie King is a famous Los Angeles session player, and his studio keys can be heard on albums from Tupac Shakur to The Offspring. What was great about working with Ronnie was his ability to switch genres on the fly, whether he was producing Punk Rock or Pop ballads. He is very talented, and taught me a great deal about instrumentation and arranging. Ronnie introduced me to my first real Engineer mentor, Robi Banjeri. Robi is a fantastic engineer who I worked with and trained under at "The Mint." "The Mint" is a famous live music venue in Los Angeles, but what most people don't know is that it has an amazing vintage recording studio hidden behind the stage. In fact, the equipment housed in that studio was purchased from Daniel Lanois (U2). I would attend M.I. during the morning and daytime hours, and then head to "The Mint" and study with Robi for a few hours. Robi would leave around 7pm, and I would work with clients until usually 2am producing and engineering. Even now, I remain great friends with Ronnie and Robi, and I have even picked up a new mentor and friend in Derek Jones (Megatrax,) who truly deserves the name Engineer. Every time we talk he teaches me new things about electrical engineering and mixing. Generally I feel honored these great engineers and producers feel like keeping me around.

3. When did you get into recording?

My first foray into recording was during the late 90's. Growing up in San Francisco during the 90's, House music and Techno was emerging and Raves were "the thing to do." Naturally I was transfixed the first time I watched a DJ spin Vinyl and complete captivate the crowd. I decided I would DJ, saved up money from my job at a local Burrito joint, and bought my first real piece of Audio equipment, two Technic 1200 turntables and a Gemini mixer. My bedroom was beginning to look more like a band rehearsal room than a place to sleep, and that suited me just fine. At that time, if as a DJ you made your own Vinyl records, it was really an accomplishment. So I asked other DJ friends of mine, and was recommended to a local Producer / Engineer named Bill Williams. Bill was sort of a Bay Area legacy, as he had his hand in creating early SF dance music. I bought studio time, and began my studio journey as a DJ / Artist. After a year of weekly sessions with Bill, I decided to buy a Pro Tools mBox1 and a Mac computer. Not long after I moved to Los Angeles and attended Musician's Institute.

4. People you have worked with/for?

I have been very lucky in the studio world, and have had the opportunity to work with some amazing artists, engineers and producers. At Studio Atlantis, I was able to assist Ronnie King on Tupac Shakur remixes and "new originals" by Johnny J, assisted sessions with 3LW, and was generally very lucky to experience working in a true "million dollar studio," which nowadays are rare. Studio Atlantis was recently purchased by "Rodney Jerkins" and is now his personal studio. After that I had the opportunity to work with the incredible Hip Hop producer Dj Battlecat, know for taking west coast funk, and morphing it into the music that created the Crypt walk. It was incredible to watch him work an MPC. Nothing was quantized ever, and he radiated an aura of cool. Just by being in the room with him you felt cooler by association. He critiqued my beat making, gave me tips, and even leant me the use his famous silver faced MPC 3000 customized by Bruce Forat. Since then I have had the opportunity to travel the united states working in studios, and playing live shows in several genres, from Country music in Nashville, to Pop Rock in Florida, and now back on the west coast I recently had the opportunity to engineer a session with Robben Ford, Jimmy Haslip, Gary Novak, and Mike Landau. Watching these professionals work is nothing short of amazing. I have also had the opportunity to work with some fantastic local talent, both in Los Angeles and every city I venture to. The best music doesn't always come from the Pro's, and the best learning experiences are the ones where you have time to make mistakes, fix them, and move forward. Up and coming artist sessions are just as important as pro sessions.

5. Why are you so good at training people?

Music has always been a staple of my life. It has been the driving force that brought me to my biggest life decisions, achievements and disappointments. Without music I wouldn't be a shadow of who I am today. For me it all goes back to the 4th grade, when I raised my hand to join the band. Being able to give others the opportunity to learn, is something I don't take lightly. Music has a huge impact on people's lives. It's proven that children who study music have better Math and Science scores, and show advanced thinking in abstract problem solving. I enjoy teaching because I want to pass along my passion, and become the mentors that took me under their wings without any consideration of payback. They taught me because I wanted to learn, with no ulterior motives. I have heard many people use the phrase, 'Those who can't do, teach'. I think this is bogus. My challenge to every professional out there is, 'Those who can do something well, should teach'.

Products by DrFord

  • image description
    tutorial video

    From Drop to Top - Producing Hip Hop

    This is it. If you're looking to get into the Hip Hop producer game, DrFord is the man to watch. He'll show you how to complete a full, professional 'radio sounding' Hip Hop production with vocals and mastering from the ground up and advance your Hip Hop productions from 'wannabe' to pro.

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Producing Modern Country

    Want to learn how to produce the radio-quality modern country music heard on today's airwaves? After watching this awesome series by DrFord, you'll know how to get that huge, kickin' sound out of your county productions. Also, you can apply what's shown to any genre of rock, so don't think this series is for country folk only.

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Producing Pop with the MPC Renaissance

    The MPC Renaissance is Akai Pro’s fully integrated hardware/software system, and super producer DrFord shows you how to use it to produce a complete pop song from idea to mix ready!

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Trigger Explained

    It's common knowledge that replacing "less than stellar" sounding drums in recordings is a popular practice in today's digital world. Arguably one of the most comprehensive tools for doing just this, enter Steven Slate Trigger. Studio guru DrFord takes you through this powerful and downright amazing studio tool to get your drums sounding like a million bucks, fast.

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From Drop to Top - Producing Hip Hop is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 6 .
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from greatful all thing good
Date published: 2019-03-26
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Very Helpful Dr Ford is able to articulate what he does and why he does it very well. His purpose driven approach tracking, mixing and mastering will help prevent the pitfalls of acquiring unwanted sonic and digital artifacts.
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Most In-depth behind the scene of professional production technique This is most in dept production video I have ever seen on any music production training site. I have messaged Dr Ford on Facebook and he always reply with more explanation
Date published: 2017-07-28
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Should have been taught at my audio engineer school. This is a must see for any Hip Hop, (hell Pop, Techno, EDM, R&B, etc.) engineer, producer, beatmaker or artist. I just recently completed an "audio engineering' school where most of the students could care less about what a mic or mixer does,,, LOL! They were there because of this genre and this series of videos works perfectly to that intent. The bonus video on sprucing up a two track is worth the price of admission in itself. One million Kudos to Dr. Ford for this excellent series of videos.
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 3.5 out of 5 by from Good presentation I enjoyed material. I just wish I had realized it was done in pro tools rather than logic before my download.
Date published: 2017-05-29
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Well done Concise and clear! Great run through. Easy to understand.
Date published: 2016-08-30
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