This production technique changed me as a hiphop engineer forever. [Pultec for MASSIV


New member
I was in New York 8 years ago in a studio and an engineer showed me this technique on the studios original Pultec EQs. We were preparing a record for mastering.

Back then I guess my ears weren’t as they are now and I was definitely still learning and finding my feet. Also this was my first time in a real big big studio and my first time getting involved in the pre master.

It was a UK hip hop record in G Minor and it had this massive distorted 808 over this punchy kick. There was also a bassline. Aswe mixed the record up we start getting to the end of the session and he starts to push up the base bus into the kick. So I ask him… why man? Like now we cant hear that big kick and 808 do you not think that kind of takes the point out of the record.

He has this kind of mysterious chuckle and keeps going and im sitting there with my notepad like a proper schoolboy kind of feeling a bit unsecure and embarrassed at what I’ve said.

So we bounce the record out to WAV [in this studio the mastering was done in house] so he explains the mastering guy will add the compression but he himself is the “guy” that does this particular job.

We go over to the two Pultecs. These were original bits of gear. He says:

“do you know what the f*** these are mate?”

I’m like… Pultecs… but I don’t really know anything on them other than some of the mid boost stuff and sometimes I like to shape 8k on them for sibilance during tracking etc. [one is an EQP in stereo and he uses two EQP5s as a stereo pair]

It is like 3AM in the morning at this point and I am literally shattered!

So he patches them in… he runs the track through them. He sets the low end in the stero unit to 30 at equal high boost and high gain on both knobs and shows me his fabfilter.

All of a sudden down comes that bass in the mud and this kick just THUMPS! Like I mean it SHUDDERS! (you know when a moniter breathes air on you!!

And I’m like!!!! HOLY F****** S****. HOW. What just happened.

And there it was on the fabfilter… nothing moved at 30 where he dialled in, up at 80htz where the kick was and this damn SCOOP at 200ish!!!! He drives in more bass at the start of the chain and shapes out with a fabfilter at the end, pushing it even more!!!

HE then goes to the EQ5’s and dials in a 1k and a 2k!! big wide Qs!!! On both like 2dbish each! Then he ups the mids in the 10k WIDE by between 1 and 2 db on a plugin on screen!

Then F**K out comes the VOCAL!!!! Like listening to two separate bits of music through the same monitors!!!! Im remember sitting there like. WOW its 3AM and I feel so alive right now ha

He draws the curves out for me and explains

“mate… let me tell you something and take this back to London with you… you wanna be a hip hop producer: you up the bass INTO the mud, sticky till it sound almost YUK! you Pultec 30 it, you carve the shape into your spectrum! You pump up the mid shape TWICE and high end it! He explains that if you can perfect the technique you will get every hip hop artist wanting you to mix for you because the BUMP and the VOX is ALL they care about. CHARACTER CURVE BABY!!!!!!

We push it into a compressor and EVEN MORE!!! The GLUE on the record brings it all in and it sounds INSANE!

It was one of those moments in my career where I just dunno where I would be now if I hadn’t kind of been there and been shown it.

To this day I’ve been using the technique myself. I have a pair of Warm Audio EQP-1As that I run in stereo in my chain and I use the PSP Audioware Emulation for the mids and high!!!!

I made a video of me doing it in a mix with plugins for those interested in learning the technique!

[use your monitors]


I have linked the vid at the starting point and end point of me doing the technique only for you all.

Thank you for sharing! I was literally on a hunt for exactly what this achieves

After watching this video I went out and bought PSP NobleQ and WOW what a difference that trick makes. Thank you for this!
This gave me favorable results. My drums sound a little better. Not familiar with that EQ software, so I substuted the EQ from Focusrite. Following the specs.

Annotation 2020-01-26 133657.jpg

Have anything for female vocals? I want to make my niece sound like Taylor Swift, anything for that?
it is literally exceptional isnt it. It literally takes every other pultec clone to the cleaners.
PSP are a lil Polish company and i dunno if you have ever been to Poland but it has become an epicentre for rockstar developers in the last 5 years.
They have a lot of analogue emulation and under the hood stuff in their range.
check out their vintage warmer2. i stumbled on them this year and was absolutely shocked at how strong their range is.
their MB and their old timer comp is also fantastic.
This gave me favorable results. My drums sound a little better. Not familiar with that EQ software, so I substuted the EQ from Focusrite. Following the specs.

View attachment 105607

Have anything for female vocals? I want to make my niece sound like Taylor Swift, anything for that?

mate try this on the female vox and dial in mid range ratio 3 and find where its biting.
PSP oldTimer MB a vintage-style multi-band compressor!
alternatively this in the "biting setting"
FabFilter Pro-C 2 - Compressor Plug-In

for female dominent vox like taylor swift is all about the bite and crush between 750 and 5k. it will allow you to gloss the high end without it becoming disproportionate.

disclaimer though:
i am a PSP and a FabFilter fanboy :)