Kim Lajoie's blog

The most powerful tool

by Kim Lajoie on January 13, 2014

Gain (volume) is the most important and powerful tool available to the mix engineer. Each audio track is processed through a mixer channel and there are generally two points at the mixer channel where the gain can be adjusted: Input gain – before any effects or other processing is applied. Usually this is controlled using […]

Using guitar pedals (and other odd hardware) for adding texture

by Kim Lajoie on February 23, 2012

Jon Tidey (with audio examples): The direct guitar signal goes into amp plugin, then to the master output. The signal from this track is also going to the delay track. It then goes into the insert plugin, out the interface, into the delay, (set to 100% wet, no clean sound) and then into the interface and […]

Ways to create interesting mixes

by Kim Lajoie on January 10, 2012

Audio-issues has a new post up with a few good ideas for creating interesting mixes. They’re pretty straightforward, and mainly focus on adding new elements (including pads) to a song. Personally I’ve used all those techniques and I’ll continue to do so. To add to that, I’d also suggest using unconventional processing. For example, in […]

The role of pads

by Kim Lajoie on January 9, 2012

Nope, not the switch on your microphone preamp. Pads are generally soft sustained notes in the background. Most synths have a preset category for this. They often sound impressive (or silly) when playing big two-handed chords. They’re most commonly used to support the current chord and fill out the harmonic (and spectral) texture. For example, […]

Everything louder than everything else

by Kim Lajoie on March 14, 2011

Are you trying to make everything louder than everything else? Maybe you’re constantly frustrated that all your sounds aren’t coming through with the clarity that you want. Or you can’t decide what level each sound should be at. Or maybe you sometimes feel like you’re chasing your tail: Turn up the drums. Now the bass […]

How foreground sounds shape the character of the mix

by Kim Lajoie on February 28, 2011

The character of a mix’s foreground elements shape the overall character of the mix. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Clearly, the sounds that are loudest and most prominent in a mix will contribute the most to the overall sound of the mix. Likewise, the sounds that are quietest won’t contribute much. In practice,  what this means to […]

Why you need direction and focus in your mix

by Kim Lajoie on February 7, 2011

Every mix needs direction and focus. Like almost everything else in life, you need to have a pretty clear idea of what you’re about to do *before* you do it. You have to go into it knowing what you want. If you don’t know what you want, how are you going to get it? A […]

Six ways to get bigger beats

by Kim Lajoie on September 13, 2010

Who doesn’t want bigger beats? Well, maybe your neighbours. But maybe you don’t like your neighbours. Who am I to judge? I just supply the tools. It’s up to you to use them ethically. Here are some quick tips: Depth. Separate your drums into two groups – main foreground drums (kick and snare) and secondary […]

Five ways to make space in your mix

by Kim Lajoie on April 5, 2010

Running out of space in your mix? Want to add more parts without being buried in mud? Simply want a clearer, cleaner sound? Check out these techniques: Reduce the mids and low mids. This area will add a lot of mud to your mix if you have a lot of instruments. It’s not necessarily that […]

The secret to full-sounding mixes

by Kim Lajoie on March 1, 2010

This applies to all the composer+producer+engineer types out there… Have you ever felt like your mixes were empty? That they sound a bit incomplete? Perhaps you’ve compared your music to your favourite commercial references and realised that they somehow sounded thicker and fuller? You’ve got all the obvious parts in your mix – kick, bass, […]