View Full Version : How important is sound quality in underground hip hop?

07-22-2009, 04:03 PM
Do you think that the quality of recording, engineering & mastering can ruin an otherwise good album????

Ghost In The 'Lac
07-22-2009, 04:07 PM
hugely important.

all albums should be sent to a professional engineering studio, to people who know what theyre doing.

this place is very good and has mastered albums like the Cold Vein (emily lazar)


Unfortunaly some people overlook this part. Like Raekwon. Who is getting BT to engineer his shit. smh.

-The A to the Z-
07-22-2009, 04:09 PM


With music, sound quality is obviously a massive factor, but to be honest, that can sometimes be overlooked in the mp3 age.

Ghost In The 'Lac
07-22-2009, 04:09 PM
she also did birth of a prince, another very well mastered album

07-22-2009, 06:28 PM
Nowadays it is very important, but back in the days(at least in hip hop) it wasn't a must.

07-22-2009, 07:33 PM
If the sound quality keeps it from sounding good then of course it is. What the fuck kind of question is that?

07-22-2009, 10:01 PM
I aint talkin about just some fuck soundin shit, I mean like somethin that sounds like 36 chambers vs. somethin like Mobb Deep Hell on Earth. One sound grimey, one sound clean but both are ill as fuck GOD ya feel me?

Lex Lugor
07-22-2009, 10:20 PM
LMAO wtf underground has nothing to do with anything
GRIMEY has nothing to do with anything
I want a cleaner version of 36 so I can play it louder without hearing mind numbing distortions.
And while rap music 'making your ears want to bleed' might sound cool, nobody means it literally.
I dont want to kick up no E-dust or nothing man... but thats a ridiculously stupid question, if I were a moderator, I would lock this thread for being offended on how serious, yet full blown ridiculously stupid it is.

anyway, to answer your ridiculously stupid question-
it was "grimy" as you kooky kids love to call it, but it sucks to listen to because it seems like he picked out the best songs on the cd to let a monkey master.

07-22-2009, 11:00 PM
Not really. If you have no talent, you're cleaning up and mastering the sound makes no difference. If you have major talent, your shit not being as loud or being slightly distorted really doesn't harm anything. In fact, I think modern sound's punchiness is less preferable to something warmer sounding.

But if your sound quality is such that you sound like you're recording four blocks away, yelling through a toilet paper roll, yeah, okay, that could mess up your cd.

07-22-2009, 11:27 PM
Actually noone seems to get the question Im asking & its not a stupid question at all. secondly I couldnt give a fuck less if this thread was locked & Im not a little kid Im a 31 year old man!!!

07-22-2009, 11:30 PM
Mainstream music just seems to have alot of high end & seems to be limited during mastering ALOT! Independent shit seems to have more low end & 12 bit crunch in the drums. Maybe I asked the question wrong????? I mean do you prefer the one sound over the other? GEEEZ

Lex Lugor
07-22-2009, 11:38 PM
ey lol
if thats what you meant you definitely asked the wrong questions
and noone said locking it would make you loose sleep
i was just expressing how this BLASPHEMY should not continue KIIIID
i suppose im used to standard ZAROOKA procedures

05-08-2010, 09:19 AM
yo Ill, I think I know what you mean, but I think it depends on the song/album. Kinda like what you said, if the album is grimey/nasty/dirty feeling, then it probably doesn't need polished sound quality. If it's real digital and more sugary-sounding, then ya distortions/blips/etc. are gonna drag it down. But then again, in mainstream music, either everything has to be recorded "perfect" or it's studio magic so all that shit is gonna sound high-end and polished and sugary. Underground relies on the strength of the artist, so as long as the artist can stand and shine, then it ain't gonna matter if the track sounds like it was recorded on a cassette recorder through a phone playing the song... the fans might just wish there was a better version ha.

05-08-2010, 09:16 PM
It is important in ANY music. I dont give a fuck about underground nerds that want shit to sound "grimey" if the vocals arent clear, the kicks and snares arent hitting hard, and the bassline isnt phat because of bad mastering the track is bullshit.

05-08-2010, 10:29 PM
I think the mix and mastering is important whether you're a consumer who does or doesn't have knowledge of those processes. I remember back in 93 being frustrated as to why my copy of Gangstarr's Step In The Arena on cassette sounded so low compared to my other tapes, and that's before I knew anything about audio.

05-09-2010, 02:34 AM
Above ground has the best mastering

Lex Lugor
05-09-2010, 02:56 AM
Wow that was me a year ago.
Anyway, I change my answer. Sound quality isnt important at all, and once again I'll reference great migration. As I so eloquently put it, it sounds like he let a monkey master it, but I still cant help but playing it every other day.

05-09-2010, 07:07 AM
^ i disagree, while i still love an album like "Ob4cl2" i can't deny i would like it even more if it was perfectly mastered and the audio levels were perfected. but "The Great Migration" that's on another level of bad mastering man LOL - at least if the CD/wax actually sounds like the early mp3-rip

05-09-2010, 07:51 AM
hell on earth is not ''clean''.

05-09-2010, 07:59 AM
For example many killarmy songs especially on dirty weaponry are poorly mastered and that is very notable besides that songs are dope you can feel that lack of mix quality

05-09-2010, 10:22 AM
^I remember that & feeling the same way about Killarmy's Dirty Weaponry, I thought the 3rd album was better.

I have some instrumental albums on vinyl that I wish were mastered better, but I guess the reason is that many of them were done on a limited budget

05-09-2010, 01:09 PM
a good mix can help the vocals be more clear to the listener and thats important but it also doesnt mean it has to take away from the "grimey" sound heads wanna hear.

but personally, i dont really care much, as long as its good music and the mixdown is decent and audible without heavy distortion, ill bump it

a good example is Born Like This - the mix was shotty across the tracks and levels were OFF! but damn was that album great, better then most with a good quality mastering

05-09-2010, 02:27 PM
It's very important but at the same time, it can sound raw as hell like Wu's first album or The U.N. album. Shit, look at Roc Marcy's album that dropped tuesday, he shit sounds like in a basement, THAT FUCKING GRIMY FEEL we all are missing. Best album this year so far besides Brotha Lynch Hungs.

My 2 cents

05-09-2010, 02:36 PM
sound quality is always important


some of my favorite albums sound like shit (ENTA DA STAGE) so i can't really call it.

05-09-2010, 02:47 PM
i dont know that id wanna hear a remastered version of "dah shinin", the minimalistic basement vibe is part of what made that album so raw!!!!!!!!!!!

on the flip side, chronic 2001 is the cleanest rap album ever recorded!!!!!!!!!! every verse, every hook, every instrument, was expertly mixed!!!!!!!!!!! the clarity had a lot to due with that albums greatness!!!!!!!

all depends what your goin for!!!!!

worst mixed album in recent memory... royce da 5'9'' - street hop... bullshit mix, vocals loud as fuck with a megaphone effect, dope album, hurt by a weak mix!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

05-10-2010, 07:23 AM
the first album that comes ,to mind when it comes to bad mastering is de la soul's the grind date... such a great album but because of the mixing i havent listened to it as much.