Sugar Hill Records

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noun

Sugar Hill Records

Pioneer rap recording label, launched in the 1970's. Artists included The Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and The Sequence.

Early recordings were made entirely acoustically, the sound being collected by a horn and piped to a diaphragm which vibrated the cutting stylus. Sensitivity and frequency range were poor, and frequency response was very irregular, giving acoustic recordings an instantly recognizable tonal quality. A singer practically had to put his face in the recording horn. Lower orchestral instruments such as cellos and double basses were often doubled (or replaced) by louder wind instruments, such as tubas. Standard violins in orchestral ensembles were commonly replaced by Stroh violins which became popular with recording studios.

Contrary to popular belief, if placed properly and prepared-for, drums could be effectively used and heard on even the earliest jazz and military band recordings. The loudest instruments stood the farthest away from the collecting horn. Lillian Hardin Armstrong, a member of King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band that recorded at Gennett Records in 1923, remembered that at first Oliver and his young second trumpet, Louis Armstrong, stood next to each other and Oliver's horn couldn't be heard. "They put Louis about fifteen feet over in the corner, looking all sad." Gramophone record