Kim Lajoie's blog

Category Archives: Technique

Video: Performance vs cleanliness

by Kim Lajoie on April 14, 2014

Well, this was an interesting challenge. Hand-held SM57 for vocals. Trying not to make it sound like trash. There’s a lot of suck at around 7-10kHz. Took it down with EQ and added back some air on top. Used a de-esser to bring the dynamics back into check. Couldn’t do much about the plosives though, […]

Using reverb in the mix

by Kim Lajoie on April 7, 2014

Reverb is a tool that’s easily recognised and often overused. Reverb is one of the best tools for enhancing the sense of space and depth in a mix. It works by adding a wash of sound – called the tail – directly after the original sound. This tail usually simulates the kind of sound heard […]

How To Know If You’re Doing A Good Job Mastering

by Kim Lajoie on March 31, 2014

Mastering is often seen as a dark and mysterious art. This is particularly true among junior producers and engineers who want to learn how do do it themselves. There’s a lot of different advice floating around these internets, some of it conflicting. It can be difficult to know if you’re taking the right approach. It […]

Using EQ for a louder mix

by Kim Lajoie on March 24, 2014

It is particularly in adjusting the tone and dynamics of each sound that the mix engineer controls the loudness of the mix. As you already know, sounds with a lot of upper midrange energy and with relatively flat dynamics have the most loudness. But unlike the composer’s freedom of choosing which notes actually make up […]

You don’t need contracts. You need trust.

by Kim Lajoie on March 17, 2014

I recently participated in an interesting discussion. A junior producer was working with a band on a recording and the band left partway through the project to do their recording elsewhere. And they didn’t pay. In the vernacular, the junior producer got stiffed. A couple of other people in the discussion suggested that an adequate […]

Stability in composition

by Kim Lajoie on March 10, 2014

Stability in music refers to how predictable or comforting the music is at any point in time. Any section or moment in music can be somewhere between the two extremes of absolute stability and absolute instability. Most good pieces of music should express a range – some stable moments and some unstable moments. Stability is […]

Reverb is not that important

by Kim Lajoie on March 3, 2014

Yes, I know I’ve published a lot of words about reverb. A lot. I quite like a lot of reverb. Chances are you do too. There’s something about reverb that’s much more magical than other mixing tools. Maybe because it’s the tool we use to bring back an illusion of reality (after sucking it out […]

A basic primer on EQ

by Kim Lajoie on February 24, 2014

EQ is the second most important tool available to the mix engineer. It is a powerful tool for changing the tone of a sound. As a basic example, think about the tone controls on a home music player (such as CD player or computer speakers). There might be two controls – ‘treble’ and ‘bass’. The […]

The shape of reverb

by Kim Lajoie on February 17, 2014

In my reverb guide, I cover the four elements of choosing and programming a reverb for a mix (dry/lush, short/long, shallow/deep and natural/unnatural). In the guide, I explain how to choose the reverb characteristics that will work for your mix, and how all the usual reverb parameters should be adjusted to create such a reverb.  […]

Headroom (and the difference between what we hear and what the equipment hears)

by Kim Lajoie on February 10, 2014

Headroom is not a property of sound – it is a property of the equipment that processes sound. Headroom is a measurement of how loud the peaks of a sound can go above the 0dB reference point before the equipment starts to distort. In digital systems, the headroom is usually exactly 0dB (unless you adjust […]