New album – Recording vocals and bass

I’m very proud and excited to announce that I will be releasing a new full-length solo album in 2019! You can follow the whole process – the writing, recording and mixing of the album right here on my web site. I’ll post news updates, in-depth written features and video clips from the studio.

At last! I’m finished recording the new album! There’s only a couple of guest appearances left but everything else is done. It’s always a strange feeling. You live inside this bubble on every project and it’s so incredibly consuming.

It’s a feeling of never wanting to let go and just hoping it will soon end. Strange feeling indeed.

Bjorn Riis - New album 2019

I did most of the bass tracks myself. I always play bass on demos. Both my own and Airbag’s but I’ve never felt comfortable with being a bassist. You can hear how safe I went with Lullabies and I wish I had someone better to do the bass. On Forever I felt that I managed to do a fairly decent job, which gave me more confidence to do the bass for this album.

I’m using an Epiphone Thunderbird. Hardly what you would call a high end instrument but it does the job and I think it sounds pretty cool. I like that fat edgy tone and the neck is really easy for a novice like me to play.

I tend to stick to the stuff that I grew up listening to, like Kiss, Sabbath and all of that classic rock stuff. I can hear a lot of that in my playing and perhaps that provides a nice contrast to the other instruments. And I’m a pick guy. Never really understood fingers on a bass. Unless you’re ripping it apart like Geezer Butler.

I record the bass at home. No amp. It’s fed straight into a Universal Audio Solo 610 tube preamp, which really makes a huge difference to the sound. I like a lot of grit and fuzz, especially on the heavier parts, so we’re re-amping using a UA Ampeg plug-in that sounds amazing. It’s all over Forever and it will be all over this album too.

Kristian Hultgren (Wobbler) has been playing with me for a while and I wanted him on one of the tracks. He has a very aggressive attack, which I think fit that song very well. We recorded using the UA 610 and one of his mid 60s Fender P guitars.

Bjorn Riis - New album 2019

All of my vocals are recorded in my home recording studio. I guess that’s the only place I feel comfortable and confident to lay down the tracks and try new things, which I think I have on this album.

I’m using a Rode NT2-A into the UA 610 preamp, which is for the most part set with a pretty high input. I love those close in-your-face vocals and there are lots of them on this album.

Next time we’ll go deep into how I recorded the guitars for this album. Stay tuned!

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New album – Recording acoustic guitars

I’m very proud and excited to announce that I will be releasing a new full-length solo album in 2019! You can follow the whole process – the writing, recording and mixing of the album right here on my web site. I’ll post news updates, in-depth written features and video clips from the studio.

This weekend I recorded all the acoustic guitars. It’s a fairly easy process and I’m always most comfortable with recording them in my home recording studio. Still, there’s always the challenge of mic placement and of course – being able to perform well and record quality tracks!

Bjorn Riis - New album 2019

I have a Yamaha LL16 that I’ve been using for a few years. It’s featured on all of my solo releases and Airbag’s Disconnected. Nothing over the top or super fancy but to me it has a really comfortable neck, it’s easy to play and it sounds great. It’s perhaps a slightly darker sounding acoustic but I’ve never been a fan of something that’s too crispy and bright.

I use Elixir 11-52 gauge strings and Dunlop Tortex .50mm and Jazz 1.00mm picks.

Bjorn Riis - New album 2019

The guitar is recorded with a Rode NT2-A condenser mic. I usually have two setups. For the darker single track sounds I place the mic about 5-6 inches away and for the lighter stereo stuff, I like it to sound as airy as possible and often sit a meter away from the mic.

The mic is fed into a Universal Audio Solo 610 tube pre-amp that sounds really nice and warm. It’s set very gently, with just a touch of the input gain or compression, but it makes all the difference and the tracks are very easy to mix in later on.

Acoustic guitar has always been important for me and my music. I mainly write on acoustics and I often build a song around that initial idea or demo. Hopefully that translates to the finished mix as well.

Next up is bass guitars. Stay tuned!

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New album out 2019!

I’m very proud and excited to announce that I will be releasing a new full-length solo album in 2019! You can follow the whole process – the writing, recording and mixing of the album right here on my web site. I’ll post news updates, in-depth written features and video clips from the studio.

Ok, so if you’ve been following me on my Facebook page I’m sure you’ve already seen me posting a couple of pics of me recording something new this summer.

Bjorn Riis new album 2019

The Coming Home mini album got released in February and I started to write for a new album and the follow-up to Forever comes to an end soon after.

The writing process for this album was a bit different compared to Lullabies and Forever. Lullabies was very much me wanting to finish a lot of the stuff I had laying around from not having used them with Airbag. Forever started out with the title track that was written while I promoted Lullabies and that sort of grew into a new album.

This album was written really fast, over a period of 2-3 weeks, and all of the songs are new. There’s no left over material or ideas that’s been laying around. I knew I wanted to make a new album and I pretty much picked up the guitar and started writing.

Now this might sound cocky but over the years I’ve developed some techniques that allows me to put down new ideas really fast. Ideas for a song can pop up at anytime and I use my iPhone a lot to write down lyrics, ideas for an arrangement or record a couple of chords and riffs.

When I get home I can pop into my home recording studio and within 30-60mins I’ve recorded a very basic draft of what might end up as a song.

I wanted to do things slightly different this time. I wanted to keep a lot of the initial ideas and recordings because they often have that nerve and spontaneity that’s often lost by trying to make everything perfect on the 54th take.

I wanted to have the feeling of a band and although I record everything separately with either myself or additional musicians, there’s something about not overdoing things. I’ve arranged the songs with the band in mind and what we’ve been doing live.

Is it possible to translate this song to the stage? That’s sort of been my goal but certainly no rule. Limiting yourself often generate new ideas and ideas that perhaps wouldn’t have emerged if you have too many options and tools available.

OK, so I think I’ll leave it with that for now. Be sure to stop by once in a while and keep your self up to date with all the latest news on my Facebook page.

We’ll record drums this coming weekend so see you then!

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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.

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