Kim Lajoie's blog

Video: Performance vs cleanliness

by Kim Lajoie on April 14, 2014

Well, this was an interesting challenge. Hand-held SM57 for vocals. Trying not to make it sound like trash. There’s a lot of suck at around 7-10kHz. Took it down with EQ and added back some air on top. Used a de-esser to bring the dynamics back into check. Couldn’t do much about the plosives though, […]

How (not) to take the pressure off your vocal recording session

by Kim Lajoie on August 7, 2013

Björgvin Benediktsson: Sneak in a vocal session at random times. Some interesting advice here, although I think it reflects a sense of helplessness on the part of the producer. One of the most important roles of a producer is to get the best performances out of the musicians on the session. I’m of the firm […]

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 […]

Dimensions of the voice

by Kim Lajoie on May 26, 2012

When I’m working with a vocalist, I usually need to give directions to help her/him adjust the performance to best suit the creative direction of the song. When I do this, I think of the human voice as a three-dimensional instrument. It’s actually a three-dimensional instrument in two ways: emotionally and technically. Emotionally, the human […]

Monitoring with reverb

by Kim Lajoie on May 18, 2012

No, not that monitoring. I’m talking about feeding a reverb-processed version of a singer’s voice back into her/his headphones as s/he is recording. Don’t do it For years I’ve preferred to give singers no reverb in their headphones. The intent is that they can clearly hear the details in their voice and thus deliver a […]

Workflow example: Dance music and vocals

by Kim Lajoie on March 21, 2012

Satoshi Tomiie: When I work with a vocalist, I tend to provide the basic rhythm and melody of a song so they have something to build on. However it’s important not to overdo the production beforehand, so as to leave enough space for the songwriter to come up with ideas. It’s always interesting to read […]

Does your arrangement suit your singer?

by Kim Lajoie on March 13, 2012

Sometimes I work with low-pitched singers. Low-pitched singers can have lovely voices. They can be deep, rich and expressive. They often have a very ‘personal’ sound – one that makes the listener feel as if they’re the only person in the room and the singer is performing directly for her/him. For a producer or engineer, […]

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 […]

Editing manually – don’t let the computer do it for you!

by Kim Lajoie on January 20, 2012

Joe Gilder: Inevitably the automagical software will try to “fix” things that don’t need fixing. Or it will stretch the audio and leave noticeable, audible artifacts [sic]. Read the whole post. Don’t just hit the magic ‘fix’ button and hope the software knows what’s best for your music. Joe writes about manual editing in the […]

Bob Ludwig’s tips for mixing vocals

by Kim Lajoie on January 18, 2012

Bob Ludwig (Via Bobby Owinski): The vocal is everything to the success of a song. Make it loud enough to be able to hear the lyrics. The problem is, if the vocal level is too high, all the energy of the track disappears, if it is too low, you can’t understand what is being said. […]