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Dissecting J Dilla and Black Milk Style Mixing Techniques

HOW TO: Matthew Weiss deconstructs some of the ingredients that make J Dilla and Black Milk beats so special 

Accomplished Mixing and Mastering Engineer Matthew Weiss (!llmind, 9th Wonder, Dizzee Rascal) breaks down three classic tracks, Slum Village's 'Call Me' produced by Black Milk; Slum Village's 'Climax (Girl Sh*t)'; and Common's 'It's Your World', both produced by J Dilla. 



In part one Weiss analyzes the frequency ranges of where the drums and the bass sits in each track and their relationships to one another.

He also takes some time out to break down J Dilla's kicks and their attacks.  This will be of particular note to some beatmakers who think that a kick drum must be excessively 'sharp' in order to 'knock'.  Written down, this may not make much sense, but it will do when you watch the video.

Another interesting point Weiss raises is just how much of the original sample Dilla often left in his productions.  

In part two, Weiss takes a track from beatmaker Cymantiks ('Redemption', which can be enjoyed in full here.) and makes it sound 'Dilla-esque'.

Weiss correctly states that 'no-one will ever do J Dilla as good as J Dilla'; and also points out that the Cymantiks track did not start out trying to mimic J Dilla's sound.

However, this video does a great job in breaking down the techniques that beatmakers and mix engineers can use in their quest to pay homage to the man that many hold as the greatest hip hop producer of all time.



I have been watching a lot of The Pro Audio Files videos recently and found them to be a great resource.  Like all good teachers, Weiss and his colleagues are able to relay very technical information in a way that is neither too jargon-rich, nor patronizingly over-simplified.

If you like these videos, be sure to check out The Pro Audio Files youtube channel here.


If you have been making beats or mixing for a few months and really want to increase your skill set, buy The Pro Audio Files full length tutorial courses below:


Affiliate advert: If you have been making beats or mixing for a few months and really want to increase your skill set, buy and download The Pro Audio Files range of full length tutorial courses below.  



Buy and download The Pro Audio Files range of full length tutorial courses below.  

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