Kim Lajoie's blog

Category Archives: Technique

More about Mid/Side EQ

by Kim Lajoie on July 14, 2014

Mid/side processing is a different way of processing two audio channels. Most processors modify a stereo sound by applying the same modification to the right and left channel simultaneously. Some processors can have different settings for the right and left channels. Mid/side processors, however, work on the ‘mid’ and ‘side’ channel instead of left and […]

What is sidechain compression?

by Kim Lajoie on June 30, 2014

Sidechain compression is a special variant of regular channel compression. A normal compressor adjusts the output level of the audio based on the input level. Sidechain compression, however, adjusts the output level of the audio based on the level of a different audio channel. This means that the volume of a channel reacts to the […]

Microshifting

by Kim Lajoie on June 16, 2014

Microshifting is a way of using a pitch shifter to thicken a sound. The pitch shifter is set to shift by a very small amount (usually less than a third of a semitone). Usually the pitch shifter adjusts each side of a stereo sound by a different amount – for example, the left channel might […]

Pitch Correction Vs Expressive Control

by Kim Lajoie on June 9, 2014

Pitch correction is a funny thing. Sometimes it can improve a vocal recording. Sometimes it can make it worse. For me, the key to this is in understanding the interplay between pitch and emotion. For many inexperienced vocalists, pitch correction often improves their recordings. Their poor control of pitch results in performance expression that is […]

Saturation – transient sounds vs sustained sounds

by Kim Lajoie on June 2, 2014

Saturation is what happens when audio is turned up too much – so much that the next device in the chain can’t handle it. The result is that the loudest parts of the sound are distorted and the quieter parts of the sound are left unchanged. This dynamic behaviour is similar to a compressor, except […]

Give yourself an unfair advantage

by Kim Lajoie on May 26, 2014

It’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Technically, professionally and personally. On a technical level, you might consider areas such as musical styles, particular instruments, approaches to production and aesthetic. For example, my strengths include composition, keyboard, guitar, drum programming, mixing and mastering, clean to aggressive aesthetics, etc. My strengths don’t include recording large […]

When to use delay instead of reverb

by Kim Lajoie on May 19, 2014

Delay is, in essence, a very simple effect – it delays the audio so that you hear it later. When mixed with the original, you hear two versions of the audio – the original and the delayed version. Delay is often useful when set up on a send, similar to a reverb. Delay can sometimes […]

Think before you pan

by Kim Lajoie on May 12, 2014

I’ve been thinking a bit about panning and stereo field lately. I’ve previously dismissed panning as an effective mix tool, yet I myself use panning for many mixes. It’s really a question of how we use the stereo field. Panning is one common tool, but it’s by far not the only. I’ve written before about […]

Mastering for loudness. Don’t do it. Or if you have to, try this…

by Kim Lajoie on May 5, 2014

While mixing is the process of making sure the sounds in a mix are clear and well- balanced, mastering is the process of making sure each song on a release is clear and well-balanced with the other songs on the release. The tools available to a mastering engineer are similar to those used by a […]

Acoustic treatment – soundproofing vs absorption

by Kim Lajoie on April 28, 2014

To some people it’s obvious. To many others, it’s a bit more hazy. Acoustic treatment is not the same as soundproofing. Not even a little bit. Yet, often I see the terms being used interchangeably. Or one term used when the other’s meaning is intended. Acoustic treatment is about controlling how sounds behave inside the […]