The LA-based engineer has developed a minimalist tracking setup that allows him to record modern rap vocals anywhere. A Mac Mini, a Universal Audio Apollo Twin interface, and the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 are all he needs. With a no-nonsense approach that always puts the talent first, Jason keeps cranking out chart-topping tracks at breakneck speed. Watch him deconstruct his philosophy to record rappers such as Rich The Kid, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, and BEAM in our latest video:
"In a time when you feel like everything's been done, there's something exciting about technology advancing." - Jason Goldberg
Inspired by the current trend to record modern rap and pop vocals in the control room and on-the-go, Jason developed a mobile setup that he travels with. Turning everything from tour busses, Airbnb lofts, and hotel rooms into makeshift studios, recording in actual studios is an exception. The setup allows Jason to cut professional records with the utmost flexibility. His streamlined recording rig gives him the consistency, speed, and quality that his clients demand.
"If we listen to the evolution of where modern rap is going, it's very processed. And these tools allow me to capture audio in a way that fits that really well" - Jason Goldberg
Jason tracks with the UA Console in record mode to print the sound of the Neve 88RS Unison preamp, and the Townsend Labs Sphere plug-in. His favorite choices for mic models are the LD-800, BP-251E, and the BP-67 (both from the UAD Bill Putnam Collection). But he also loves the 414 models based on the iconic condenser mics from Austria.
Like a Boss
The setup with the Sphere L22 was instrumental in capturing the vocals for Rich The Kid's latest album 'BOSS MAN.' For several months, Goldberg traveled around the United States, following Rich The Kid's busy schedule. In the video, Jason recounts the session with Rich The Kid and YoungBoy Never Broke Again for the song "Racks On."
"Rich likes being out of the booth, and that comes across. It's exciting, it's new, and it's different - all of the time." - Jason Goldberg
Flexing and finessing with Sphere
Despite the fast-paced workflow session, Jason still puts Sphere's advanced features to excellent use. Working with the artist BEAM in an acoustically challenging room, Jason experimented with the pattern control to reject more of the unwanted room tone. On yet another Rich the Kid tune, "Money Talk," Jason drops in a fresh verse cut with Sphere's LD-800 model on a track initially recorded with an original Sony C800G. Can you hear a difference?
"When you have a microphone that's affordable and so versatile [like the Sphere L22], and now you slap a $10,000 price tag on it? That is special!" - Jason Goldberg
The Evolution of Rap
For Jason Goldberg, his tools allow him to capture vocals that fit the hyper-processed sound of modern rap really well. Arguably more importantly though, they facilitate a workflow that is fast, consistent, and ideally suited for the jet-set lifestyle of artists like Post Malone, Travis Scott, Future, and so many more. Watch this replay of our recent Live Q&A session with Jason to dive in even deeper:
- What's the process like working with modern rap artists
- Recording on the go with a minimalist setup
- How Jason is able to track with low latency natively
- Gain-staging with the Apollo and Pro Tools
- What are your favorite mic models in Sphere?
- How to sound like Drake's vocals
- Mic placement tips for vocal recording
- Working with the Kaotica Eyeball and Sphere
With Sphere you now can:
- Record with a world-class microphone collection of 34 stunning-sounding mics
- Change mic type, polar pattern, and other microphone characteristics, even after tracking!
- Audition the sound of different microphones without tiring the artist
- Reduce coloration and room ambience in challenging spaces in combination with popular isolation filters, such as the sE Reflexion Filters, Aston Halo, Kaotica Eyeball, and more.
- Record in stereo from a single microphone
We invite you to install the free, fully-featured Sphere plug-in for all major platforms and DAWs. Try it now and reimagine our library of pre-recorded tracks.