My home recording studio

Bjorn Riis - My Home Recording Studio

I write all my music and record the demos in my home studio. Most of Lullabies in a Car Crash was also recorded and mixed here. It’s a pretty basic setup in a small room but it serves its purpose. The simplicity of it allows me to focus on the important things.

In this feature I’ll let you into my home recording studio and share some tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years. I’m by no means a professional record producer. I’m constantly learning and I think what’s important, above anything, is to spend a lot of time experimenting and exploring the full potential of the gear you own. All sorts of fancy mics and plugins won’t make your songs better.

Please feel free use the comments field under the article for sharing your tips and experiences.

Read the My home recording studio feature now.

Lullabies gear guide

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I had great fun recording guitars for Lullabies in a Car Crash. I got to explore new sounds and write stuff for guitar that I hadn’t done earlier. Most of the guitars, both electric and acoustic, was recorded in my home studio. The bigger sounds, mostly the solos, were recorded in the Airbag studio, where I have the big setup. I also used a POD a lot. I don’t really care how I get the tones and long as I get what I need for that specific part.

In this feature I’ll share some insights from the sessions and you get to see all the gear used on the album. There’s also a detailed list of all the pedals and effects used on each song and part.

Read the Lullabies in a Car Crash gear guide now.

Live in Oslo, Norway February 27 2015!

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We’ll be performing Lullabies in a Car Crash in my home town in February! Can’t wait to get back to John Dee – a venue I’ve played at several times with Airbag.

The evening will be very special indeed, with the fantastic Oak (Norway) opening the ball and I’m also extremely excited to announce that there will also be a small Airbag “reunion” so DON’T MISS OUT!

Tickets are available through billettservice.no

Live in Helmond, Netherlands, April 11 2015!

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I’m really excited to announce that we’ll be performing Lullabies in a Car Crash in Helmond on April 11 2015! We’ll be playing at the wonderful Cacaofabriek – a venue I’ve had the pleasure of visiting earlier this year with Airbag.

Please note that there are no plans for a European tour. Although we are looking into other venues, Helmond might be the only place you’ll get to see us in Central Europe this year. We plan on making this show special so don’t miss out!

Tickets are now available through ticketlab.nl.

Lullabies in a Car Crash out now!

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At last! Lullabies in a Car Crash is out today! After a year of writing, recording, producing and waiting it feels awesome to finally being able to share the result with you! I’m exhausted, proud and very excited!

Although there are varying dates in some territories, the album is available word wide today – both physically and digitally. I urge everyone to spread the word and if there’s still record stores left in your city, be sure to demand that they stock the album! The album is also available here in my web shop. We can’t meet the prices of international retailers but know that this is the best way to support me and future releases. Here’s a list of a some of the other places you can order from:

iTunes (world)
Amazon.Com (world)
BurningShed.Com (UK, world)
Rockserwis.pl (Poland)
Platekompaniet (Norway)
Big Dipper (Norway)

I’ll be posting features on how the album album was recorded and in depth analysis of all the guitar stuff. Stay tuned!

Pre-order Lullabies!

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At last! You can now pre-order my new album, Lullabies in a Car Crash! The album will be out November 3rd but if you hurry, I’ll sign each and every pre-order. Head on over to the store now and get or CD or vinyl… or both!

I’m excited to announce that we’re now taking pre-orders, which means that it’s getting closer to official release! There’s a limited edition CD digisleeve (or vinyl replica) and a double 180g vinyl, with gatefold cover.

Lullabies in a Car Crash is produced with focus on old school mentality. Whereas albums today tend to be more about maximizing the volume, I believe that music should be experienced with the best possible sound quality and ideally with a pair of good headphones. For both the CD and vinyl, we’ve done what we can to maintain a headroom in the mix and also done the mastering on tape, which ensures a natural compression and warmth to the music.

Recording guitars for Stay Calm

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Bjørn Riis - Stay Calm recording session

Most of the guitars on Lullabies in a Car Crash were recorded either in my home studio or at the Airbag rehearsal/recording studio. For Stay Calm, I did all of the leads in the Airbag studio, with the big set up.

There are two solos on the track. One acting as a bridge before the break down and one at the end of the song. Both were recorded with an Electronic Orange Pig Hoof (red MkI) Big Muff clone straight into the amp. No modulation or boosting. I wanted a classic tone similar to David Gilmour’s tone on Animals’ Pigs (Three Different Ones) and what I did on Redemption with Airbag. A silicon fuzz could have worked but the Big Muffs is slightly smoother sounding and seemed to fit the track better.

For the first solo I used the Laney Lionheart L20 for a slightly darker tone and distinct mids scoop. The Muffs sounds aggressive but sort of mellow at the same time, with a fat low-end and crispy top. The second solo was recorded with the same Big Muff but with the Reeves Custom 50 for a slightly brighter tone and more mids. This makes the two solos sounds similar but yet different, with the last one being distinctly more aggressive and brighter sounding.

Listen to the full version of Stay Calm here:

The guitar is my main Strat, with a Seymour Duncan SSL5 bridge pickup. I’m using the Laney speaker cabinet, which is loaded with two Celestion V30s. I record all high gain parts with a Shure SM57 placed 1.5″ off axis and 4 inches away from the grille. This adds a slight natural compression and warmth to the otherwise bright sounding Big Muff.

The new album is finished!

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Lullabies in a Car Crash

I’m extremely proud and excited to announce that the new album, Lullabies in a Car Crash, is finished! At last! The final master sounds amazing and now it’s off to pressing the thing onto suitable formats. I can’t wait to get the finished product in my hands!

A year ago, almost to this day, I decided to go ahead with making a solo album. We hadn’t even released our latest album, The Greatest Show on Earth, but I had so much stuff lying around that either didn’t make it on the Airbag albums or I didn’t think the songs would suit the band. I had been considering it for some time but as our singer, Asle Tostrup, announced that he’d take a year off travelling the world, I knew that this was the right time to do it. There wouldn’t be a new Airbag album for some time.

That was last year and now Lullabies in a Car Crash is a reality. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience and to be honest a bit frightening too! There’s no one to blame but me this time! The upside though is that I don’t have to argue with anyone to get my ideas through :) I’ve had great support from the band, my manager JT, my engineer and not least my family. Even you, my fans and friends, have given me your generous support! I’m truly grateful!

I’ll shortly be doing features on how the album was recorded and a gear break-down for each song. We’ll also have a pre-order up very soon!

Welcome to my brand new web site!

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www.bjornriis.com

Welcome to bjornriis.com!

I’m releasing my debut solo album Lullabies in a Car Crash this fall and the site will be packed with all sorts of information on the album. We’ll have a pre-order up very soon and of course you’ll find complete lists of all my current gear. I’ll also be adding detailed breakdowns on previous recordings.

The site will grow with time and I count on your contribution. Please join in on the discussions, post your comments and please feel free to suggest features and things you want to see. I’m very much looking forward to hear from you!

– Bjørn