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

  • Introduction 0:20


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

  • The Drop 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.

  • Recording Hardware Synths 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.

  • Groove is in the Nudge 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

  • Basic Mix Pt. 1 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.

  • Basic Mix Pt. 2 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.

  • Basic Mix Pt. 3 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.

  • Arranging the Track 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

  • Vocal Overdubs 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.

  • Editing Vocal Overdubs 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.

  • Vocal Mix Pt. 1 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.

  • Vocal Mix Pt. 2 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.

  • Vocal Mix Pt. 3 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

  • Intro, Bridge & Outro 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.

  • Drops, Breaks & Transitions 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

  • Final Mix for Mastering Pt. 1 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.

  • Final Mix for Mastering Pt. 2 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.

  • Deliverables to Mastering 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.

  • The Top - Mastering 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

  • Making the MPC Loop 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.

  • Working with a 2-Track 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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