Archive for the ‘ Announcements ’ Category

Why are you still here? My blog has moved!

Didn’t get the memo? My blog’s now at blog.kimlajoie.com. Go there.

-Kim.

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My blog has moved!

Ok, I’ve finally done it. I’m closing my blog here on wordpress.com and continuing it on my own website:

http://blog.kimlajoie.com

New directions

I’m going to keep writing about technique and maintaining the blog as a reference for composition, production and engineering tips. I’ll also be writing a bit more about my own projects and experiences. Hopefully this will illustrate some of the more practical aspects of the techniques I write about. There might also be some surprise goodies coming in the future.

What you have to do

You’ll have to resubscribe. Sorry.

Email subscribers: I can’t take all your email addresses and sign you up for something new. Not allowed.

RSS subscribers: I can’t reach into your reader and reconfigure it. I can only perform miracles on sound.

Fortunately it’s pretty easy to resubscribe. Head over the the new blog site and check the right-hand side. If you like email, use the ‘Subscribe by email’ section. If RSS is more your style, check out the ‘RSS feeds’ section just below. It’s pretty easy.

So, what are you waiting for? Head over there!

Also, there’s a new blog post about why I bought a new iMac and installed Windows on it.

-Kim.

 

Free guide for email subscribers – Texture, Dynamics and Structure

Just a quick heads up to my email subscribers – next Monday/Tuesday (depending on your time zone) you’ll be receiving another free guide and asking a favour from anyone in London or Berlin.

The guide is called ‘Texture, Dynamics and Structure’, and covers a *lot* of ground:

  • Texture
  • Harshness / Smoothness
  • Denseness / Sparseness
  • Heaviness / Lightness
  • Stability / Instability
  • Foreground / Background
  • Intensity
  • Dynamics
  • Structure
    • Exposition
    • Development
    • Recapitulation
  • In Use
    • Variation
    • Contrast
    • Buildups
    • Excitement
  • Taking It Further
    • Contour
    • Development
    • Momentum
    • Expectation

    As with my other guides, the content is not a simple rehash of my blog posts – it’s been written as a whole, designed to go into more detail than these blog posts and link the various concepts together.

    -Kim.

    Another interview

    My old friend Mr Tunes interviewed me for his podcast ‘Wobble Tech’.

    I talk a bit about project workflow, collaboration and producing artists. I also get strong-armed into talking about some of my mix plugins too.

    Mr Tunes also plays a prerelease single for one of my upcoming projects and I talk a bit about the project team.

    Check it out here:

    http://mrtunes.ca/blog/544/wobble-tech-4-kim-lajoie-talks-shop

    I come in at about 7 minutes.

    -Kim.

    Interview with me on The Home Recording Show

    For anyone who thinks my Aussie accent is funny, listen to me talking about music production here:

    http://www.homerecordingshow.com/2011/02/show-106-interview-with-kim-lajoie/

    The interview starts at about 15 minutes in, and goes for about an hour.

    -Kim.

    Who wants my feedback on their song?

    Hey hey.

    This year I’m relaunching the Kitchen. It’s basically the same service as before, but now the price and results are a bit clearer. You can read about the details here:

    http://kimlajoie.com/site/kitchen.html

    To promote the Kitchen, I’ll be giving away ten free consultations to ten people (each consultation is a third of what you’d get for $50). That means ten people will receive my analysis and guidance for one of their songs.

    The track and my written response will be posted here in public – one per month for 2011. I can keep you anonymous or provide a link to your website, it’s up to you. Obviously, paid consultations will be conducted in private.

    If you’re interested, simply send me an email to [kitchen at kimlajoie dot com]. There are only ten places available, and they’ll be given to the first people to email!

    -Kim.

    The best of 2010

    Phew. That was a busy year! Just while I’ve got a few moments to pause and take a breath, I thought I might take a look at the top posts, comparing my favourites with yours.

    Your favourites:

    Five secrets to making your mix louder

    This was an interesting one. I remember starting to write this as a joke – Everyone seems to be publicly denouncing the Loudness Wars, but secretly wanting to make their mixes louder than everyone else’s. So I thought some really good link bait would be some actual real tips to making louder mixes. I called them ‘secrets’ because most of the tips are actually the opposite to a lot of free advice being given out.

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

    This was another interesting one. I haven’t seen much written about this – people seem to be either applying massive processing to their masters or on their mix bus (or both!). I wrote this in response to a change in my own personal workflow. I found a way to use compression and EQ on the mix bus without destroying a subtly-balanced mix, and without corrupting the purity of the actual mastering process. That ‘purity’ in the sense that I treat mastering primarily as a technical process, not a creative one.

    Five ways to make space in your mix

    No surprise here – just a nice neat collection of a few good concepts to keep in mind when mixing.

    The secret to full-sounding mixes

    Here’s another one-of-a-kind. Most of the advice I’ve seen about ‘full’ mixes are all about using multiband sidechained mid/side compression to get massive drums and subsonic bass (or so it seems). My advice is the opposite – the secret to full-sounding mixes is all about paying attention to the smallest sounds. You can’t fill a jar using large stone alone – you need to add smaller stones, sand and water too!

    Four ways to use mid/side EQ

    Some more good, simple advice. Often people talk about using mid/side EQ, but rarely do I see actual practical advice on what mid/side EQ can do for a mix.

    My favourites:

    The preproduction series

    Ok, so it’s not a single post, but I couldn’t fit them all in otherwise! Seriously, preproduction is really important – no matter what kind of music you’re making. Unfortunately it’s all too easy to forget about putting the time and effort into preproduction when fun and exciting gear calls! Preproduction isn’t sexy, and I think it doesn’t attract much attention and discussion. It could also be because it doesn’t rely on gear, so gear manufacturers aren’t drawing attention to it in the same way they do to more gear-heavy activities such as mixing or playing live.

    Don’t make better mixes. Make better music.

    Cranky Kim came out here, and while the tone was a bit acerbic the message was true. There’s so many different aspects to making music, and so much discussion seems to be about just a small slice of it. It’s important to remember that there’s a lot more to it, and to think about some of the aspects that you might not have been paying much attention to lately.

    Development and momentum

    A lot of composers and producers need to improve here. Structure is much more than regular forms (intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-doublechorus-outro, or intro-beat-melody-breakdown-build-melody). It’s about the subtle balances of all the elements that make up the music and the structure. Two songs could have the same rough structure, but have very different feels and listener experiences. It’s not an easy topic to get your head around, and I’m trying to make it easier to understand – and more importantly, put into practice. In fact, email subscribers will be getting some more PDF guides this year focussing on structure…

    How to get out of a rut and rediscover inspiration

    Not much to say here – just a great collection of tips and advice to get back to work when everything seems to fall apart. My favourite is the first tip (“Don’t take a break”). Seriously, if you want to produce great work, you have to work. Taking a break is a great way to stop producing great work (or any work at all).

    Your tools are not your competitive advantage

    This one seems to have flown under the radar (no comments – really?). Maybe it’s because it was a bit too long, or because it wasn’t about which compressor makes the biggest kick drums. Maybe both. Seriously though, check it out if you haven’t already read it. Read it again. And then quit squabbling over who’s got the biggest subbass, or pretending that the reason you’re not successful is because you haven’t discovered the right limiter yet.

    Thoughts:

    Seems all your favourites are about practical advice for mixing. Seems all my favourites are about why there’s more to life than mixing. Notice anything? I’m trying to show you something. Hang around this year and we’ll both achieve amazing things.

    -Kim.