Kim Lajoie's blog


by Kim Lajoie on July 19, 2010

Contour is the overall ‘shape’ of a song. While structure refers to the order and length of sections within the song, contour refers to how those sections relate, how they react to each other, and how they flow. Contour  includes the rises and falls in energy level, the establishment and return to main themes, and […]

Expressing joy in music

by Kim Lajoie on April 21, 2014

‘Joy’ in music can refer to feelings of love or hope. This group of emotions are generally characterised by positive, uplifting feelings. In order to convey these positive feelings, focus on a stable musical material, with a tonality that is predominantly major and consonant. High energy is often useful too, but not always necessary. The […]

Musikbasteln – Tremo

by Kim Lajoie on March 25, 2013

(If you can’t see the player above, click here to listen to the track) Produced by Martin Finke What I love: The movement and momentum are really good here. I also like Martin’s approach to contour and development – the way the track builds and moves and turns through its four and a half minutes. […]

Moonphase – to Dust

by Kim Lajoie on March 23, 2013

(if you can’t see the player above, click here to hear the track) Produced by Guillaume Stordeur What I love: The balance and sense of space in this track is really great. I really like listening to the subtlety in the little percussive clicks and filtered noises in the background. Also, the contour is really well refined. […]

Explosions In This Guy – Surrounded

by Kim Lajoie on March 22, 2013

(if you can’t see the player above, click here to hear the track) Composed by Jon Tidey Additional guitar by Joel Adams Drums and Percussion by Eric Beam Contains CC Licensed samples: 171257__groovyrandomness__static, 14521__michaelbeijer__buffer-static, 84432__g-lowing__static 24 bit mix printed though Slate Digital Virtual Console Collection Brit4K Mixbus module, Waves C4 multiband compressor (just subs […]

Forget Tech, It’s About the Notes

by Kim Lajoie on January 24, 2013

Jeff Tolbert: Nobody writes their best work sitting in front of a DAW loaded with samples and plugins. O RLY. But, reading on: [W]ith the plethora of excellent sample libraries, effects and soft synths out there today, it’s easy to make anything sound amazing, even if it’s musically bland. When you write on piano, you […]

Changes to consultation

by Kim Lajoie on July 1, 2012

As promised, I’m increasing the base rate for consultations. Basically, every consultation involves a studio demo. What that means is that you give me stems for your track, I bring them into my studio and find ways to improve your music, and then I give you a mixdown and a detailed explanation of what I […]

Muscle memory and why workflow matters

by Kim Lajoie on June 19, 2012

Dalton Caldwell: What is fascinating to me is that Great creation stories all sound surprisingly similar. Something along the lines of “yeah we went in the studio and put down some tracks, and they sounded pretty good, and we had to redo a couple of things, and then when put out the album.” Disappointing, right? […]

About the guides

by Kim Lajoie on May 29, 2012

I’m a big believer in reading. I think it’s one of the best ways to absorb knowledge (not to develop skill though – that takes practice!). You can read as fast as you can. You can skim over the parts you already know. You can slow down and reread the difficult or enlightening parts. It’s […]

Practice (and perform) your parts – don’t just sequence them

by Kim Lajoie on March 9, 2012

This post is a sequel to this post: Automation and expression. It’s pretty easy to sequence. You’ve got a computer chock-full of samplers, romplers, synths, loops and other sound sources. You start every project with an empty timeline that’s as inviting as a swimming pool on a hot still day or an untouched carpet of autumn […]