Kim Lajoie's blog

I turned quantise off

by Kim Lajoie on July 14, 2013

Some of you know I use Maschine. Mainly for electronic and pop drums. Some of you might also know that I have a custom groove quantise template in Cubase. Something like [0,+20,+10,+20], so 16th notes move from [0,30,60,90] to [0,50,70,110]. It looks pretty heavy to write it like that, but it’s not so bad. It […]

Crunch your drums

by Kim Lajoie on January 25, 2012

Just a quick tip: If your drums are feeling a little weak, sometimes more compression/EQ/saturation/magicfix isn’t going to work – especially when your drums are already heavily processed. Instead, try creating a parallel bus and sending your drums to that. On the parallel bus, use an amp simulator. Set it up for a crunch sound […]

Get more out of your phaser

by Kim Lajoie on January 23, 2012

You’ve probably got a phaser somewhere in your studio. Maybe several. They can usually be found lurking in your workstation keyboards, your plugin folder, your sampler or maybe your stompbox collection. And unless you’re into trance or psychedelic rock, you’ve probably tried one out, heard a silly whooshing noise and then decided to never use […]

Do something different with rhythm

by Kim Lajoie on October 3, 2011

Break out of your usual rhythms. Think about all the usual assumptions you make when you’re programming drums and rhythms for other parts. People often speak of breaking the rules… what happens when you break your own rules? Take the kick drum for example… do you only ever place the kick drum on quarter-notes? See […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why ‘randomising’ is not ‘humanising’

by Kim Lajoie on May 17, 2010

How often do you see the terms ‘humanising’ and ‘randomising’ being used interchangeably? Or maybe you’ve seen someone ask how to make something sound more natural or human, and someone else suggests adding random variations to timing and/or velocity? Perhaps you’ve tried adding random variations yourself, only to end up with something that doesn’t sound any more […]

The case against compressed drums (articulation vs texture)

by Kim Lajoie on August 12, 2009

Don’t overcompress those drums! When drums are compressed, the body of the drums is brought up in level (relative to the transient). This creates the perception of longer sustain, making the drums sound bigger. By bringing up the level of the audio between the transients, there is more sound overall. This makes the drums sound […]

Composing for Kick Drums 3

by Kim Lajoie on July 17, 2009

Variation Like for any other part, adding variation to the kick drum pattern adds interest and scope. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of variation – changing the timing of notes (keeping the same density) and adding/removing notes (changing the density). These variations are most effective when a regular pattern has been established (repeating for […]