5 Top Mix Engineers You Should Know in Hip Hop!
Here are some of the Top Engineers mixing Hip Hop music today. If you don’t know these guys, that’s fine. That’s why we decided to do this post, to familiarize our guests and members on the subject. Off the bat, I want to make it clear, I am very aware that these engineers mix many, many genres. By no means are we saying with this article that these engineers only mix hip-hop. We decided to include these engineers in this category because they’ve either mixed some of the most recent hip hop hits or they’ve worked with some of the genre’s biggest artists. Here are 5, (not necessarily the top 5 ) engineers you really should find out more information about if you don’t already know them. Be sure to check out our first installment in this series that covers engineers in pop music.
Ever heard of Pharrell’s “Happy” song? Well it’s a little diddy that’s getting a lot of play nowadays. Leslie Braithwaite was behind the boards on that one. He’s done a lot of work at Patchwerk in Atlanta, and if I’m not mistaken, is very well known around the Dallas Austin circles in Atlanta (he used to work at DARP). He’s mixed everything from 2 Chainz to Toni Braxton and has gotten great results all over the map. Of course he’s a Grammy winner and also a Full Sail University Grad. He’s been branching out in music production as well.
Mix engineer extraordinaire, and mixer of one of Kanye West’s biggest hits, Daft Punk assisted “Stronger”, Manny Marroquin has had his hands on everything. He had a great episode on Dave Pensado’s “Pensado’s Place” and has mixed everything from 2 Pac to Miguel’s album “Kaleidoscope Dream”. He’s based in Los Angeles, but like many of the mix engineers on this list I’m sure he mixes in a lot of places. Manny was honored by the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles with a mixing exhibit in 2008 and he’s often one of the featured engineers in the “Mix With The Masters” sessions in Paris, France.
A favorite of Sean “Puffy” Combs, and Lil Wayne among others in the Hip Hop genre, our next engineer is Jaycen Joshua. You’ll see his credits on records from Marsha Ambrosius to Jay-Z, and he had an odd journey to becoming one of the most sought out mix engineers of today. His mentor is the great Dave Pensado who is also on this list and Jaycen is based at Larrabee Sound Studios in North Hollywood. Jaycen Joshua is a three time Grammy Award Winning Engineer. He’s definitely an engineer worth learning more about and in particular his start to the engineering side of the business is very unique.
Mixed by Ali
The chosen mix engineer of TDE. The label behind Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and others on the label, Derek Ali’s been a longtime cohort of the crew and has had his own episode on “Pensado’s Place”. One of the biggest reasons to keep your eye out for Derek (@MixedbyAli on twitter) is the fact that “Good Kid M.A.A.D City” was one of the biggest albums to hit hip hop in the last few years.
One of the most accessible engineers in music today, Dave Pensado is hailed among the novice engineer community as one of the greats. Yes he mixes much more than Hip Hop, but he’s had a lot of great Hip Hop work. He’s the lead in “Pensado’s Place” interviews, but he’s also had a great history of responding to questions and giving tips. His “ITL” series on pensadosplace.tv is example #1. One of the greatest accomplishments of Dave Pensado is the fact that his assistants have gone on to be great award winning engineers in their own right. I already mentioned Jaycen Joshua in this article, but also Dylan Dresdow and Sylvia Massey are big names you should know that studied under Pensado. Dave is still based in Los Angeles at Larrabee Sound.
**What are your views on these Mix Engineers and some of the other top engineers in this genre? Let us know in the Forum**
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