Every music style has its own hallmark sound. One defined by the influence of previous artists and the tools that helped to shape it. That’s why recording studios, engineers and producers have always been taken as reference for their workflow, just so we could replicate the soundscape created on their flagship records. Nowadays with modern digital recording and in-the-box processing, getting these textures is easier than ever. You only need an audio interface and a laptop to reproduce them, but sometimes without any guidance it can be tricky to find the right processing to get those classic sounds.
Whether you produce pop, rock or hip-hop, at Antelope Audio we want to make sure that you have the same professional tools available that have inspired so many artists throughout music history and most importantly help you to shape and create your own sound. All with the highest audio quality available in the market. Our Synergy Core effects cover a wide range of dynamic processing, equalisers and analog emulations that include industry-standard and rare hardware equipment. In this post we want to recommend a list of effects to use to achieve three classic music styles. Let’s get to it.
Modern pop music is all about vocals. They need to have presence, breathe and be in tune. All at the same time. To achieve these qualities you might want to have a look at these three effects: Opto-2A, MG4+ and Auto-Tune Synergy.
The Opto-2A emulates one of the most used vocal compressors in the industry. Based on the gear originally produced in 1965, this optical valve-based compressor has been used in hundreds of records, including artists like Shakira or Alanis Morrisette. It is also great for bass processing or smooth drum compression.
If you want to EQ vocals there is nothing better than the MG4+ equaliser. Heard on thousand artist’s vocals like Madonna or Celine Dion, this effect captures the magic behind this musical EQ including its sky band, which provides an unprecedented presence and clarity.
Finally, modern pop music will be nothing without Auto-Tune. The plug-in has been used in uncountable records and producers like Finneas O’Connell or Fab Dupont swear by it. Custom-built for our Synergy Core interfaces, Auto-Tune Synergy offers the core functionality of professional Auto-Tune with a sleek interface and extremely low-latency, which provides real-time pitch correction and vocal effects without stressing your CPU.
Drive, warmth, power… these are words used to describe rock music and are normally related to analog saturation and harmonic distortion. Especially the ones obtained through three pieces of vintage equipment that you can certainly find emulated in our Synergy Core effects library.
If you are looking to thicken your guitar sounds and get the characteristic tone from Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin records the UK-69 equaliser is perfect for you. Modeled after the classic EQ unit found in studios like Olympic in London, this Synergy Core effect will provide transparency and give three dimensionality to your tracks.
If on the other hand you are looking for a “larger than live” drum sound, then you probably want to check out our BAE-1073. Emulating one of the most beloved EQ units in music history, the BAE-1073 will add punch, texture and life to any source passing through it.
At last, rock would not be the same without compression. Especifically the compressión and saturation from the most well known fet compressor: the FET-A76. Super versatile and musical, this compressor works wonders on vocals, bass guitars or drums and the all-buttons-in mode it’s perfect to use as parallel compression effect in your session.
If you produce or mix hip-hop then the VEQ-4K-Black EQ is for you. Used by artists like Kanye West or Jay-Z, this equaliser is modeled after the module found in the classic British 4000 series consoles and it is well known for its transparency and flexibility. Its fully parametric 4 bands and filter sectión can sculpt the sound of your tracks in any way you want while keeping them clean.
Hip-hop vocals need to be aggressive and musical. And what better way to get that combination than by using the warm saturation of valves. The VPA-76 emulates one of the most beloved tube preamp units in music history. Just add it to your vocal track and dial in the amount of saturation that you desire.
One of the challenges when producing and mixing hip-hop is to blend samples, loops and beats and make them work together in the song. Thankfully we have one final ace under our sleeve. Our Synergy Core tape emulation Reel-To-Reel can give character, colour and glue to any production. With full control over speed,noise, wow & flutter or tape formula you can dial anything from a subtle tape compression to a Lo-Fi effect or everything in between. No more sterile sounds in your mixes!
We hope these recommendations inspire your future productions. But no matter the style of music you work on, remember to experiment and play around with different processing until you find the sound that works for you. That’s what artists and engineers have always done: They started from their references to begin with and then took them one step further. Bare in mind that there are no rules on what you can use when mixing or producing any particular style of music. Ultimately trust your ears. If it sounds good then it’s right. Happy mixing!