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Old 08-27-2010, 03:34 PM   #1
mabian
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Default PDF with lots of cool articles about song producing

Hello,

I have collected many cool articles about songwriting, mixing and producing (everything taken from Kim Lajoie's "Lifesigns from studio" amazing blog) in a PDF document.

Details here: http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=295853
Direct download link: http://www.errepici.it/web/download/KLBD.asp

(Of course I have permission from the blog author).

Enjoy, this is awesome info imho.

EDIT: last update on Jan, 17, 2016.

- Mario
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Last edited by mabian; 01-17-2016 at 03:32 PM. Reason: update
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:40 PM   #2
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Thanks Mario, downloading now ...
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:06 PM   #3
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Muchos Gracias Senor.
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Old 08-28-2010, 04:03 AM   #4
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Thank you.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:22 AM   #5
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Oh no! I just finished reading the PDF version of Why Do Your Recordings Sound Like Ass and now I have something else to read. A quick scan of this reveals that it's worth a closer look, though. The more perspectives I can get on this stuff the more confident I'm getting in my abilities to actually make my stuff sound good.

Thanks for sharing this great resource. Now all I need is more time in my life...
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Old 08-28-2010, 12:01 PM   #6
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Kudos.
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Old 08-28-2010, 12:04 PM   #7
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Just d/led, Mabian. Thanks. That's awesome. Quick little reads on highly relevant topics.
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Old 08-28-2010, 12:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabian View Post
Hello,

I have collected many cool articles about songwriting, mixing and producing (everything taken from Kim Lajoie's "Lifesigns from studio" amazing blog) in a PDF document.

Details here: http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=295853
Direct download link: http://www.errepici.it/web/download/KLBD.asp

(Of course I have permission from the blog author).

Enjoy, this is awesome info imho.

- Mario
Just downloaded, looking forward to it. Thanks, Mario!

-Susan
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:52 AM   #9
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Wow, seeing the number of downloads you guys are enjoying it

I will update this post as new blog articles are added to the document.

Cheers!

- Mario
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:48 PM   #10
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Ciò osserva molto buona.

Smusso l'attesa per leggerlo.

Grazie molto.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:36 PM   #11
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Thanks Bro!
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:49 PM   #12
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File updated!

- Includes latest articles up to 2010 Sept 6.
- All paragraphs are now justified - should be less "fatiguing" to read
- Many layout refinements - consistency and so

Download links are the same.

Thanks,
Mario
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:16 PM   #13
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Perfect. Thanks. There's gold in that there text.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:50 PM   #14
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Wow, very nice!

Took a lot of effort to get it organized this way I guess!

Thanks!
Antoine in Montreal/qc/ca
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flukester View Post
Wow, very nice!

Took a lot of effort to get it organized this way I guess!

Thanks!
Antoine in Montreal/qc/ca
Actually it ended faster than I thought - 3/4 hours to do the most - mainly thanks to OpenOffice style handling.

The document has been updated again today, same download link:

Lots of typos fixed, content up to date to today.

Enjoy,
Mario
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:45 PM   #16
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Wow... just wow.... there's GOLD in that doc.

That's going on my 'EVERYONE must read' list!
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:50 PM   #17
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Reminds me of Yep's threads minus the bitching and moaning.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:37 PM   #18
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Once again, Mabian, thank you very much for your efforts to offer this information. It's very useful.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:41 PM   #19
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a BIG THANKS from me also... very good of you to do this!
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:45 PM   #20
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New update available!

Download link on first post.

Content up to date to today, a few minor layout adjustments.

Enjoy,
Mario
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:46 AM   #21
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bravo Mario, bel lavoro

grazie
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:29 PM   #22
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Yes, thanks to your looking out for quality content. I read the new stuff right away. Short, sweet and insightful.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:01 AM   #23
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Bump! Updated again with content up to end of 2010.

Happy New Year to all the music makers around!

- Mario
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:20 AM   #24
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this is awesome!
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:06 PM   #25
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Wow this is great. A handy reference with all the common (and some uncommon) questions that you may or may not have even known to ask. Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:19 PM   #26
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There's something I don't understand that Kim says to do when mastering.

He says:

"Select two or three other songs that you think represent a similar genre to your music. The more similar (in genre, instrumentation, and overall sound), the better. The more well-known, the better. This is your reference.
You should find a way to be able to switch quickly between the references and your mixdown. Personally, I do this by starting a new project in my DAW and loading my mixdown and my references each on their own track. By working with SOLO mode on, I can switch between tracks as fast as I can press the up or down keys to switch to the current track.
Resist the temptation to immediately slap a limiter or mastering toolbox on your mixdown and turn it up to match the references. Instead, turn the references down to match your mixdown. Don’t use meters – use your ears. Make a note of how much you turn them down.

Let’s pretend for now that you have two reference tracks, and you turned them down by the same amount: 18dB.
Now you have your mixdown playing at the same overall loudness as the reference tracks. First listen to the dynamic range of your mixdown compared to the references. Are the quiet sections too quiet? Are there any loud bursts (not transients – but whole notes or sections) that are too loud? If so, you might find a compressor useful. Use it to subtly reduce the dynamic range of your mixdown. Don’t use it for “colour”, or to adjust transients. Typically I’ll start with a fast attack, medium-long release, low ratio and medium-deep threshold. If your compressor has an RMS (or similar) sensing mode, use it. It might take quite a bit of fiddling to get this right. Remember to bypass te compressor regularly to make sure you’re doing no harm. Also remember to keep the overall level of the mixdown the same. Resist the temptation to push it all louder at this stage. Typically you won’t have to do much to adjust the dynamic range of your mixdown.
Once you’ve got the dynamic range right, it’s time to look at overall level – the distance below 0dBfs. Right now your mixdown is the same loudness as your references. However, the peaks on your references are at -18dB (that’s how much you turned them down), and your mixdown might be peaking around -9dB or higher. This is where the limiter comes in. What you need to do is bring the peak level of your mixdown to -18dBfs without changing the loudness as you hear it.

Adjusting the peak/average level ratio this way will make it easier for you to hear when you are doing damage to your audio. The typical method of “pushing up” the level of the mix makes it difficult because you’re changing two things at once – the peak/average ratio and the overall level as you hear it. Not only does this complicate the hearing process, but it also makes it easy to ignore audio damage because the more damage you do, the louder it gets (and as you know, humans tend to perceive louder music as “better”).

Unfortunately, most limiter plugins are configured for the above behaviour, sporting an easy-to-abuse “input level” control. To get around this, you should insert two gain plugins, so your chain looks a little like this:
gain1->limiter->gain2

Set the limiter to limit at 0dBfs. When you switch it on, you should hear no effect. Then slowly increase the level of the first gain and simultaneously reduce the level of the second gain by the same amount[1]. Do this 1dB at a time, and listen carefully to what you’re doing to your sound.

If you get down to -18dB (or whatever your references are at) without reducing the overall level of your mixdown as you hear it and without doing too much audible damage to your sound, then WELL DONE! YOU WIN THE GAME! Turn your speakers down, remove the second gain plugin, and render it!
If you couldn’t get down to the level of your references, you need to adjust the settings on your limiter, or use different tools. Unfortunately I can’t give much advice here, as it depends entirely on the kind of damage the limiter is doing to your sound, and what kind of damage you’re willing to tolerate. Sometimes you might need to reduce the bass with EQ (why it’s important to match the spectral/EQ response to your references before you try to match the dynamics). Sometimes you need to add some more aggressive clipping to retain the overall level as your reduce the peaks (particularly if your reference are as loud as commercial pop). Sometimes you might need to use a compressor beforehand to bring a “spiking” element into line (such as the kick drum in my track Horse Head). I’ve heard of some people using a series of several compressors or limiters, each reducing a small amount (personally I haven’t needed to try it, it sounds far too complicated to control effectively).

If you’ve done well, you should have your mixdown at the same overall level as your references (as it has always been), but also with the peaks at the same level as well (-18dB in this example). When you’re happy turn your speakers down, remove the second gain plugin (which will pop your mixdown up to 0dBfs), and render it!

-Kim.[1]Unnecessary technical note: What this effectively does is move the 0dB point inside the limiter plugin! This is a cool trick to do with any other dynamically-sensitive plugin, such as compressors or distortion! Blue Cat’s free gain plugins can be linked in reverse, allowing this kind of two-way gain adjustment to be done quite easily."

If you have two gain plugins on a track and you raise one and lower the second, aren't you effectively doing nothing?

What's the difference between adding a gain plugin and just increasing the fader on the track?
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:22 PM   #27
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gain is generally before all other plugins, so can alter behaviour of compressors and so on. fader is post fx.

- Mario
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:07 PM   #28
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Thank You, Mario.
Thank Kim too!
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:39 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
Reminds me of Yep's threads minus the bitching and moaning.
yeah, i kinda felt like this was a "better" version of the yep threads
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:27 AM   #30
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great post, thanks very much for the heads up!
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:19 AM   #31
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thanks here as well.....so nice of you to take the time.....downloaded the PDF and subscribed to the RSS. Can never get enough info!
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:33 PM   #32
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New update ready including all posts up to today.

- Mario
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:15 PM   #33
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Hey mabian, thanks for taking the time to do this. Amazing stuff!
Cheers mate!
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:38 AM   #34
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Shiny! Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:32 PM   #35
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Great blog! Been reading it for a while! Thanks!
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:40 AM   #36
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Cheers Mario!
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:48 AM   #37
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Ciao Mario,

Grazie per il blog dump.

Lots of useful stuff in there --- many thanks also to the author for being so generous.

Cheers
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:19 PM   #38
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Just updated again

Enjoy!

- Mario
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:16 AM   #39
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Thank you so much
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:08 PM   #40
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Awesome. Thanks.

Mark
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