Kim Lajoie's blog

Quick question – long long does it take you to mix?

by Kim Lajoie on April 5, 2012

I know I haven’t been around much lately. Sorry about that. I’ve been busy. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about efficiency and productivity a lot. And I’ve been thinking about why we do things like optimise our workflow and find ways to waste less time. So I’ve got a blog post or two coming up very soon […]

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 […]

Tuning the kick drum to the key of the song

by Kim Lajoie on June 7, 2010

It’s sometimes said that it’s important to tune the kick drum to the key of the song. While it’s commonly said in relation to electronic music, it’s certainly not restricted to that genre. Drummers tune their acoustic drum kits, no matter what genre they play. Often the individual kit pieces are tuned together so they […]

Five secrets to making your mix louder

by Kim Lajoie on February 22, 2010

Don’t dismiss this post yet! Even if you’re in the ‘more dynamics’ brigade, these tips will give you clearer mixes that suffer less in mastering. That means better-preserved dynamics and higher fidelity! For those of you who really do want your mixs SUPER LOUD, this tips will let you push more volume without your 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 […]

Composing for Kick Drums 2

by Kim Lajoie on July 16, 2009

Sparser Kick Drums In general, sparser kick drum patterns will be less energetic. As with the First and Third pattern, a sparse approach is generally useful for leaving space for other instruments. Taking this approach, the kick typically only emphasises the first beat of the bar, and sometimes a secondary beat (secondary in importance – […]

Composing for Kick Drums 1

by Kim Lajoie on July 15, 2009

Kick drums. Where would we be without them? They are the foundation of the rhythm section. In most dance music, the kick drives the rhythm and groove of the entire song. Even in other genres, the kick drum provides a grounding. It marks the most important beats in the rhythm pattern, it helps us understand […]

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 […]

Compressing kick drums

by Kim Lajoie on May 4, 2009

Just a quickie to say that the choice of compressor you use for kick drums is more important than the actual settings you use. Kicks are a fickle beast – a few ms or a few db can make a huge difference in how the sound is perceived. This is also where a lot of compressors […]