Joe Dukes x Inkfat Collabo, old track dug up from the depths of one of my old hard drives. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Inkfat she is a really talented MC/DJ whom I met back in the day on Myspace when she was part of a local Bay Area hip-hop group called Group Therapy (I still bump the track “Pain on My Left Side" to this day). Ink and I wanted to work on an album together back in the day but it never materialized due to a lot of the normal life occurrences that happen as the years go by (me having my 2nd kid, Ink starting her DJ career, etc). Fortunately though we did get some tracks recorded (peep the Soundcloud) that are now seeing the light of day.
This is one of the rare tracks I have worked on where I am pretty satisfied with the vocal recording/mix. For those of your audio recording/analog gear geeks (like myself admittedly) the vocal chain I used to record the vocals for this track was as follows:
Shure SM7b -> Aurora Audio GTQ2 Preamp -> Empirical Labs Distressor, 2:1 comp, Attack 3-4, Release 3-4
Pretty much used the preamp to boost the gain for the SM7b (great mic, needs a lot of gain though so you need a good preamp where you can boost the gain without raising the noise floor), and the comp to just catch the peaks of the vocals. I didn’t comp that much recording into my laptop (Macbook running Apple Logic).
Did the rest of the mixing on Apple Logic, nothing too fancy, just some delay/reverb on the vocal using Soundtoys Echoboy, some light compression on both the beat and vocals using URS Classic Console Strip Pro, and then light compression on the mixbuss using the really underrated Cytomic “The Glue” compressor. That’s pretty much it. If I weren’t so lazy I would have done some panning of the drums and added some reverb to the piano and Rhodes sample that is the main backbone of the beat. If I ever work on the compilation album (comprised of all the dope MC’s I have met throughout the years that I have wanted to do ever since I started making beats) I would put a little more work into this track: add an intro, clean up the vocals a little bit more, etc. Otherwise for a rough draft-song I am pretty happy with how it turned out.