Kim Lajoie's blog

Parallel Compression on the Whole Mix… why?

by Kim Lajoie on December 19, 2013

Well this is interesting: We use parallel compression on drums. We use it on vocals. We use it on really anything and everything. So why not on the whole mix? [...] The pros are that you can get a little bit of extra thickness, movement and color in a fairly transparent way. It looks like […]

5 Compression Mistakes That Keep Even “Smart” People Stuck

by Kim Lajoie on March 2, 2012

Joe Gilder: 1. Waiting until the end of the mix to add compression to the mix bus. This is the easiest way to unravel a great mix. If you want to compress the entire mix (which is totally fine to do), make sure you add the compressor to your mix bus EARLY in the process. […]

Audio examples of bus compression

by Kim Lajoie on February 24, 2012

Sam O’Sullivan: Buss compression is certainly not a new concept, however, it is an effective and reliable engineering tool and its basic principles are vital considering you are affecting multiple voices. When approaching buss compression, there are two essential tools at your fingertips: Attack and Release – these two tools, when properly utilized, will have the […]

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 […]

Five compression mistakes and how to avoid them.

by Kim Lajoie on January 11, 2010

Compressors are complex tools and, like most other audio engineering tools, there are more ways to set them up ‘wrong’ than there are to set them up ‘right’. If you’re careful though, you won’t fall into these common traps: Too much gain reduction. You know you’ve done this when you’ve got tons on gain reduction […]

Sweetening your mix bus, and why you shouldn’t wait for mastering to do it

by Kim Lajoie on January 4, 2010

There’s a case to be made for ‘sweetening’ your mix bus.  Many mixes can benefit from some subtle processing to bring out the best qualities of the tone of the mix and to use dynamics to give the mix a more compact, controlled sound. To bring out the best qualities of the tone of the […]

Reverb on the mix-bus

by Kim Lajoie on October 7, 2009

Under most normal circumstances, using reverb on the mix bus is no different to using a send on every track, with every send set to the same level. Usually this it not a good idea – it’s better touse sends to apply reverb in different levels to different tracks. Some sounds can ‘take’ more reverb […]

Mastering versus mix-bus processing

by Kim Lajoie on August 24, 2009

It’s a murky world, this mastering. Mastering is a process by which a mixdown is prepared for distribution. Traditionally, this has been performed by a dedicated mastering engineer with specific skills and equipment. The esoteric skills and expensive equipment gave the mastering engineer a sort of mythical status. No-one outside the mastering studio really knew […]

Monitoring gain staging

by Kim Lajoie on June 18, 2009

The reason the commercial references are so loud is that they have very little headroom – the average level is so high that there’s not much room for the peaks (which have been squashed down). When mixing, however, you shouldn’t worry about headroom on the mix bus. You need to give yourself enough headroom that […]

Multiband compression

by Kim Lajoie on June 16, 2009

Multiband compression is a complex and subtle tool. Compression itself is one of the most complex single processes commonly applied in mixing. Multiband compression multiplies that complexity because it applies several compressors in parallel, each processing a different frequency range of the audio. Because of the way the audio is split by frequency, multiband compression […]