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Tips From The Top – Kito


Currently on tour in Australia and New Zealand, Kito’s productions alongside vocalist Reija Lee have caught the attention of A-listers like Skream, Diplo and Annie Mac. And rightly so…

She’s kindly taken time out on this busy tour to speak to Heavyweight Bass and give us some productions tips. You lucky so and so’s!!!


“I thought I’d concentrate on vocal processing as people often ask me about this! I feel like I’ve had a lot of practice with my Kito & Reija Lee project – I know Reija’s voice reeeeally well. I could probably EQ her voice by just yelling instructions at someone else like “bring her down at 500hz!” or something.”


“These are just some things that I do – it may or may not be helpful to you. I learnt as I went – no one told me the right way to do things (or if they did I probably didn’t listen!) but I kind of think there isn’t a right or wrong way of doing things when making music. I stick to only this rule – if it sounds good: roll with it.”


1. Vocal Processing

“This is something I spend a lot of time on. Whenever I record Reija’s vocals I make sure I have 3 good takes of the main vocal. I pick the best of the 3 to be the lead vocal and get that one sounding spot on. I use Melodyne, EQing, compression + limiting, sometimes a bit of chorus or some type of modulation. I use sends for delay and reverb – usually I leave the lead vocal quite dry. For the other 2 main takes, I generally stick with a similar process but add more delay and reverb and pan each of these left and right and leave the lead vocal centered. Reija is pretty good at doing different takes almost exactly the same – so when they’re playing at the same time they should match up perfectly. If the vocals don’t all match up, you can either edit the audio so that it lines up, or use a plugin like vocAlign.” 

“I always side chain the vocal to the drums a bit so they cut through. Your ear never really picks up on this but the drums will sound cleaner and won’t be competing with frequencies in the vocal. Even the busses with your reverb and delay you can solo and EQ separately as well as side chain. Bussing will make your life seeeew much easier. Also colour coding. My vocals are almost always pink. Drums: blue, synths: purple etc. Just makes life easier when you can easily recognise what’s what in your project!”


2. Cross referencing

“I aaaalways cross reference! I have a separate Logic project set up where I cross reference versions of the track I’m working on; and also cross reference against another track of my own that has a mixdown that I’m really happy with – and maybe someone else’s that I know well and really like. I stick a low cut eq, high cut eq and a spectrum analyzer. That way you can compare the low end, mids and high end of your track. Sometimes it just gives you a better perspective. Also it can help see if your vocals are sitting too low or too high or if the S’s need more de essing or if they’ve been lost in the mix. I kinda think vocals are better too loud than too quiet. And I hate when people pver deEss a vocal. Thoundth like you have a lythp.”

3. Tips and Tricks

“Layeeeers. And FX. Fuck with the ad libs! When you’re recording make sure you get loads of ad libs, doubles and harmonies etc. These are so fun to mess with and will make your track THAT much better. Use weird FX plugins and bounce stuff then bring it back in. Reverse a bit of audio, add loads of reverb, bounce it, bring it back in and reverse it again and then line it up underneath the main vocal. Chop the big reverse sweep in thing you get from that. Can sound really cool. I have so much of this sort of stuff in my tracks. It just adds cool layers to your vocals and ties the track together really well. And it’s FUN.”


Kito and Reija Lee on Facebook

Kito and Reija Lee on Soundcloud


You can catch Kito and Reija Lee on the remaining dates of the Australasian tour:

Friday 24th Oct – Zhivago – Adelaide

Sat 25th Oct – The Factory – Sunshine Coast

Sun 26th Oct – Sunday Funday – Limes Hotel, Brisbane


 Don’t forget to stop by the Heavyweight Bass Facebook page and give us a LIKE !!!