Hiphop

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Hiphop

  1. 1. Name: Shirlon Charles<br />Date: April/ 13/2011<br />Topic: Music Sampling in Hip Hop<br />Introduction: <br />To understand sampling in hip hop you must first understand what hip hop is and the history of hip hop. Hip hop is a culture or a way of life. When most people hear the term “hip hop” the first thing that comes to mind is music; mostly drums with a heavy baseline with the addition of a few keyboard notes mixed in every so often with someone talking in rhymes or “rapping” in timing to the beat, but hip hop is much more than that. Hip hop is art, dance, and fashion and of course music. <br />History: <br />. Rap was born as an incestuous inter-cultural phenomenon of New York's poor suburbs. Rap music was an evolution of Jamaica's dub music, whereby the rapper would record his voice over a pre-recorded base of percussions, bass and horns. In 1975 a Jamaican immigrant living in the Bronx New York named Clive “Hercules” Campbell or DJ “kool Herc”as he was also known as. Kool Herc was already familiar with “toasting” a reggae artist talking in rhymes over an instrumental section of a record. Playing at block parties in the Bronx, Kool Herc experimented with the toasting but this time, instead of reggae instrumental he used music from James Brown, Marvin Gaye and other soul, jazz and rhythm and blues recording artist. <br />Kool Herc", started making that music with two turntables out of breakbeats (the instrumental breaks of a song that focused on the rhythm section, the favourite part of the song for most dancers), while another young man of the Bronx, Theodore "Grand Wizard" Livingstone was accidentally discovering "skratching". Skatching is a DJ or turntablist technique used to produce distinctive sounds by moving a vinyl record back and forth on a turntable while optionally manipulating the cross fader on a DJ mixer) sound of a turntable. The technical foundations of rap and hip-hop music were laid by these two people. (www.wikipedia.org/DJtechnique)<br />The precursors of rap were disc-jockeys, or "spinners", who used the technique to comment on the song or to incite to the crowd to dance. The idea of altering the instrumental score originated from the need to provide non-stop dance tracks, but it evolved as disc-jockeys began to pronounce more pretentious slogans that became the equivalent. In hip hop this is where “sampling “started. (Taken from an unidentified online source through a www.Google.com search).<br />Sampling: <br />In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a different sound recording of a song. <br />This is typically done with a sampler, which is a hardware or software device that records an analogue sound signal as digital information, and offers detailed ways of processing and reconfiguring this recorded sound. Samplers are connected to other instruments in the studio via MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), a specification developed by synthesizer manufacturers in the early 1980s that, put simply, allows digital instruments to exchange information and operate in sync with each other. In most electronic music studios, a MIDI sequencer and/or multitrack recording device are used to arrange samples with other audio components to make a complete track or song.<br />Sampling is also possible with tape loops or with vinyl records on a phonograph. Often samplers offer filters, modulation via low frequency oscillation and other synthesizer-like processes that allow the original sound to be modified in many different ways. Most samplers have polyphonic capabilities - they are able to play more than one note at the same time. Many are also multitimbral - they can play back different sounds at the same time. Prior to computer memory-based samplers, musicians used tape replay keyboards, which store recordings on analog tape. When a key is pressed the tape head contacts the tape and plays a sound. The Mellotron was the most notable model, used by a number of groups in the late 1960s and the 1970s, but such systems were expensive and heavy due to the multiple tape mechanisms involved, and the range of the instrument was limited to three octaves at the most. To change sounds a new set of tapes had to be installed in the instrument. The emergence of the digital sampler made sampling far more practical. The first digital sampler was the EMS Musys system, developed by Peter Grogono (software), David Cockerell (hardware and interfacing) and Peter Zinovieff (system design and operation) at their London (Putney) Studio c. 1969. The system ran on two mini-computers, Digital Equipment’s PDP-8s. These had 12,000 (12k) bytes of read-only memory, backed up by a hard drive of 32k and by tape storage (DecTape). EMS equipment was used to control the world's first digital studio.<br />The first commercially available sampling synthesizer was the Computer Music Melodian by Harry Mendell (1976), while the first polyphonic digital sampling synthesiser was the Australian-produced Fairlight CMI, first available in 1979. The E-mu SP-1200 percussion sampler progressed Hip-Hop away from the drum machine sound upon its release in August 1987, ushering in the sample-based sound of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Akai pioneered many processing techniques, such as crossfade looping and "time stretch" to shorten or lengthen samples without affecting pitch and vice versa.<br />During the 1980s hybrid synthesizers began to utilize short samples (such as the attack phase of an instrument) along with digital synthesis to create more realistic imitations of instruments than had previously been possible. Examples are Korg M1, Korg O1/W and the later Korg Triton and Korg Trinity series, Yamaha's SY series and the Kawai K series of instruments. Limiting factors at the time were the cost of physical memory (RAM) and the limitations of external data storage devices, and this approach made best use of the tiny amount of memory available to the design engineers.<br />The modern-day music workstation uses sampling as the basis of its sounds, whether simple playback or complex editing that matches all but the most advanced dedicated samplers, and also includes features such as a sequencer. Samplers, together with traditional Foley artists, are the mainstay of modern sound effects production. Using digital techniques various effects can be pitch-shifted and otherwise altered in ways that would have required many hours when done with tape. <br /> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_(music)<br />Video tutorial of how to sample in music: ( I intend to add a youtube video here)<br />Video from youtube.com: In this video the guys explains sampling and the different machines or instruments that can be used. He uses turntables to demonstrate how looping and chopping is done. http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201101287<br />Legal Debate: <br />Most critics of on the use of samplers do not see sampling as a creative process and focus on the dissolution of boundaries between human-generated and automated musical expression, and focus on the copyright infringement issues surrounding sampling practices. With the increasing convergence of tools in software studios, as well as with synthesizer manufacturers’ continual development of multi-functional hardware instruments, it is often difficult to isolate the sampler as a discrete object in the studio. A producer with a software studio may, for example, use several different software programs for the sampling process, such as a dedicated software sampler in conjunction with a sound editing program and digital signal processing (DSP) effects plug-ins. Likewise, hardware samplers often perform multiple tasks in the studio: sequencing, synthesis, and effects processing as well as sampling.<br />It is well documented that sampling is not a new musical practice, roots of sampling extend throughout Afrodiasporic musical practices, including Caribbean ‘dub and reggae production techniques. However it has come more mainstream with the hip hip and has caused much a debate as to wether it is stealing or a creative process . The courts have ruled that Sampling music, unless in the public domain is illegal if permission is not given from the recorded artist or whoever owns the copyrights to the music.<br />The most talked about case is the ruling in 1991 by Judge Kevin Thomas Duffy in which ruled against the sometimes blatant unauthorized sampling that characterized some hip hop music; “Thou shalt not steal” the judge said in a case between The Grand Upright Music Ltd vs. Warner Bros. Records, a decision that many would hope would give some clarity the uncertain legal implications of sampling. The judge concluded that Biz Markie and his record label infringe the copyright in the Gilbert O’Sullivan composition that the rapper sampled without permission. <br />(http://www.lavelysinger.com/digital_sampling.pdf)<br />Hip Hop artist have taken the position that it is a context issues, because not every sample is a large part of a song. They may take a small insignificant sound from a record and then slow it down and add 30 other sounds on top of it .At this point it is not a recognizable sample .This is different then taking a huge part from a hit song that everyone knows such as the Biz Markie case where the whole song by Gilbert O’sullivan is used. - Beastie Boyshttp://wwwwired.com/wired/archive/12.11/beastie.html.<br />Hip hop artist see the sampler and other digital instsurments as new type of instrument to be learned and explored. The sampling process encompasses selecting, recording, editing and processing sound pieces to be incorporated into a larger musical work. With the increasing number of tools and software available it is difficult to to isolate the sampler as a discrete object in the studio. Samples themselves must be analysed as highly aestheticised digital bits with a specific musical function within the context of a particular sequence or mix. The historical and cultural circumstances of a sample’s source, and the politics of its reconfiguration into ongoing, evolving sonic environments (such as DJ mixes or remixed recordings) are likewise essential to how sample-based music is interpreted. They argue that sampling as a complex musical process ,, The gathering and manipulation of samples is one of the most time-consuming (and thus, central) aspects of electronic music production. <br />Prince Be Softly of PM Dawn has compared hip hop production with writing songs on a guitar, arguing that ‘it can take more time to find the right sample than to make up a riff’ (Rose 1994: 79). In addition, because there are many similarities, and even direct overlaps, between a producer’s sampling process and a DJ’s process of weaving together myriad audio components into an overall mix, it can be argued that any musicological inquiry into electronic music and digital culture demands a thorough understanding of the sampling process.<br />Sampling has become much more pervasive throughout all music genres, largely due to rap producers’ pioneering uses of the sampler in the 1980s and 1990s. Rose writes, ‘prior to rap, the most desirable use of the sample was to mask the sample and its origin; to bury its identity. Rap producers have inverted this logic . Many hip hop producers favour Akai’s MPC samplers for their touch-sensitive pads – a<br />unique feature that facilitates expressive beat programming (Rose 1994: 76–7; hwseq-list, 3 July 2000).<br />The repetitive gestures associated with making music on digital instruments<br />can even serve as a source of musical inspiration. <br />Conclusion: <br />Samples have a certain relatity, it does not just take the sound, it is the whole way in which it was recorded. What we see emerging is an ongoing interplay between a musician and machine where the goal is a mutual musical spontaneity that will articulate a ‘human feel’ through a digital tool. <br />Although the culture of hip hop was created to be different and original; hip hop music is anything but that. It has evolved from focusing principally on musicianship and performance into an auditory collage where no sound is off limits. From its origin, inventors used the music of recordings to create this dynamic force it is today. With that being said I think there are pros and cons to sampling in hip hop. Pros: It allows old music that has been created in the 50s, 60s and 70s that might not have being heard on mainstream radio or media to be brought to the spot light. It also allows the original artist or copyright holder to earn royalties on the music. Cons: It takes away the authenticity of the original recording and makes hip hop music even more unoriginal. It can end up being very costly. In my opinion sampling in hip hop will always be part of the music as more savvy electronic and digital equipment is developed.<br />References:<br /> http://www.lavelysinger.com/digital_sampling.pdf<br />http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201101287<br />(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_(music)<br />www.wikipedia.org/DJ<br />Boyshttp://wwwwired.com/wired/archive/12.11/beastie.html.<br />(http://www.lavelysinger.com/digital_sampling.pdf)<br />

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