Kim Lajoie's blog

Are you making these five mistakes when mixing bass?

by Kim Lajoie on January 16, 2012

This post was originally published on Audio-Issues, arguably with a better photograph. Mixing bass isn’t easy. It’s one of easiest ways to tell the difference between a lousy mix and a great mix. If you don’t know what you’re doing, your bass will sound boomy or hollow or tubby or messy or indistinct. In a […]

6+ ways to get bigger bass

by Kim Lajoie on October 31, 2011

This is about basslines, not (necessarily) the frequency range. The bassline is the harmonic foundation of a track. A solid mix often needs a solid bassline. So how do you get there? How do you stop your basslines from sounding weak or flabby? Here are some techniques to consider: EQ. This is the big one. […]

Examples of using group busses

by Kim Lajoie on September 19, 2011

Group busses are a versatile and useful mixing technique. They’re often used in a variety of different situations: Distorted guitar stacks. It’s quite common to layer or doubletrack (or tripletrack or quadrupletrack) distorted guitar parts in order to make them sound bigger. Sometimes the layers are all recorded with the same setup (same guitar, same […]

How to get the right amount of bass in your mix

by Kim Lajoie on May 9, 2011

Just a quickie today… Getting the right amount of bass in a mix seems to be a common problem that a lot of inexperienced mix engineers have. People often have too much or too little bass in their mix and don’t actually realise it until they get an outside perspective. If this is you, try […]

What it takes to write a killer bassline

by Kim Lajoie on January 17, 2011

Ever had trouble coming up with a bassline? Maybe you’ve got a beat going, or maybe you’re starting with a chord progression. Maybe you’ve already got the start of something going, but you’re not quite satisfied and you want to take it to the next level. Generally speaking, there are three main aspects to laying […]

Masking

by Kim Lajoie on August 17, 2009

Masking is a little-understood concept that is important to composers and mix engineers. Essentially, masking is what happens when one sound makes it difficult to hear another sound. An obvious example of this is two instruments playing the same note, with one instrument sounding much louder than the other. This can happen with notes or […]

That pumping effect

by Kim Lajoie on May 20, 2009

So you’ve probably heard enough of that pumping effect by now. Yes, that pumping effect where the whole mix ducks to the kick. Or at least ducks in time with the music. Or at at least some instruments in the mix. Or something. If you still think it hasn’t gone out of fashion yet (or […]

Processing Bass: Layering

by Kim Lajoie on April 23, 2009

Strictly speaking, layering is not really a method for processing, but it’s a common approach to take when designing a bass sound. Layering is an additive approach to designing a sound, because you’re building it by adding different elements together. By contrast, a subtractive approach (such as subtractive synthesis) works by starting with a big […]

Processing Bass: Saturation

by Kim Lajoie on April 21, 2009

So, we’ve addressed two important processing tools available to a mix engineer – EQ and compression. Next up is one of my favourites – saturation. How can saturation be useful for bass? Saturation can do a number of things simultaneously – it can reduce the headroom requirements of the track, it can make the bass […]

Processing Bass: Character and body

by Kim Lajoie on April 20, 2009

Watch your levels! While EQing your bass, another thing to keep in mind is equal loudness contours. Put simply, we (as humans) are more sensitive to upper-mids (1kHz-5kHz) than to lower mids (100Hz-1kHz). We’re least sensitive to the extremes at each end (less than 100Hz and greater than 5kHz). When EQing bass, this means that […]