Kim Lajoie's blog

Tonality in composition

by Kim Lajoie on October 20, 2014

Tonality refers to the harmonic language used in the music. This is about the way notes are chosen and how they’re combined. Tonality is a complex topic, but a good way to approach it is to look at two ways to express tonality – major/minor and consonant/ dissonant. (The following explanations are deliberately simplistic – […]

Considerations when choosing sounds for loudness

by Kim Lajoie on September 22, 2014

At its simplest, composition is the process of choosing sounds and arranging them in time. This process might vary depending on what kind of music you’re making, what instruments you’re using, how many people are involved, etc… but the fundamentals of composition are the same for everyone. When choosing sounds for loudness, you have to […]

Rate of change

by Kim Lajoie on September 8, 2014

Rate of change can be understood along the continuum between sudden change and gradual change. Rate of change in music refers to the way the music moves from one section to another. More broadly, it refers to the breadth and depth of the changes in a piece of music. Sudden change is what happens when […]

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 […]

Energy in music

by Kim Lajoie on January 27, 2014

Energy in music is a relatively intuitive concept to grasp. We can usually identify when a moment in a piece of music has a high energy level or a low energy level. Generally, high energy is a combination of several of these factors: Fast pace (not necessarily tempo!) Dense instrumentation (many instruments playing at once) […]

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 […]

It doesn’t have to be good, but it does have to be something

by Kim Lajoie on November 20, 2012

Why aren’t you making more music? Actually, why aren’t you making any music? Don’t get bogged down in the technical stuff. Sure it’s fun to explore synth settings or audition presets or jam on your guitar. It’s actually important to do that stuff. It’s called practice. But you’re in trouble if you’re spending all your […]

Bare Toes Into Soil – Sarah [video]

by Kim Lajoie on October 29, 2012

I didn’t write this song. (if you like it, download the song here) This is a cover of a great song by local (Melbourne) electro-folkers Brightly. Creatively, this was an interesting project. Even though the song is a cover, we approached it as if it were one of our own. Obviously, the instrumentation and creative […]

Masculine and Feminine sounds

by Kim Lajoie on July 19, 2012

In my ‘Emotion in Music’ guide, I explore eight different types of emotions that you can use to organise the sections in a song or the different kinds of sounds in a track. While that’s rather involved (and beyond the scope of a single blog post), there’s a also simpler way to approach it. Rather […]

What if I want to make a song longer?

by Kim Lajoie on July 17, 2012

Erik Magrini: I think in general, if you’re going to go for a longer song, the the biggest thing to keep in mind is that you need enough material in the song to keep it interested to the average listener for that amount time.  A lot of times as producers we like to think that […]