Letter From Egypt

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Today marks the release of Morten Harket's solo album "Letter From Egypt" in his home country Norway. Release in Germany will follow on the 30th of May.

We are very excited about this, as we lent a hand to three songs on the album. The single "Darkspace - You're with me", on which we worked, has already been 5 weeks on the Norwegian charts. We wish Morten and his management team all the best with the album, sucess would be deserved, as we know that this project is the fruit of intense work and almost unlimited passion.

We will post some anecdotes and details of our sessions here later. Unfortunately we didn't take a short moment off work to take pictures of the guys working together in our studio, instead we have for you the cover of the album:

Letter From Egypt

Check out Morten's homepage here.

Got Stylophone?

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When it comes to selecting producers for your music work, obviously the first question will always be: 'do they have their own Stylophone?'.

Well, as of today we can proudly say that Wömbin™, our production studio, now comes fully equipped with a Stylophone with fresh batteries.

As you can see here, the possibilities are endless. So, what are you waiting for?

Morten Harket - Darkspace

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Don Pedro and Addi 800 have been working on some songs for the forthcoming release of Morten Harket's new solo album 'Letter from Egypt'.

The album, produced by Kjetil Bjerkestrand and Morten himself, had been ready for a while, but some songs were sent around to various producers too see if improvements could still be made.

Addi 800 and Don Pedro had a shot at 2 of the tracks together, and as a result of that work, Morten and agent Sigurjon Einarsson came to Iceland to finalize a couple of songs with us.

The work includes some production work and final post-production, and was described by Morten himself as "giving the songs a haircut".

The album itself will be released in Norway on May 19th, and other international releases are to follow.

A new single, 'Darkspace' is being released this week. The single is mixed by Addi 800, and mastered by Syrland Studio's veteran mastering engineer Bjarni Bragi Kjartansson. Some electric guitars were tracked by Don Pedro at the Wömb™ studio and added to existing recordings.

We will bring you more news of our work with Morten as it progresses, but it has to be said that the process and the cooperation has been very satisfying, both professionally and personally, so we are all very exited about the project's future successes.

Check out .:Morten's Myspace:. for more info.

Everybody Present

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Arnar is putting finishing touches to the music to a film entitled “Everybody Present”, a forty minute documentary on a group of ladies who have been meeting up and dancing together for half a century.

The film is produced by Profilm, and is directed by renowned photographer Maria Gudmundsdottir from a script written by best-selling author Vigdis Grimsdottir. It is scheduled to premier shortly. We will have clips after the release.

Birth of a Song

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It can be fun to see what happens in the process of finding the right production for a song. Going trough files for backups and listening to the various versions of a song that was written, produced and recorded at our facilities, we got the idea of sharing an example of this process.

Let's call it a little "behind the scenes", if you will.

Client is Pall Oskar. Flamboyant dance icon in Iceland. He is looking for honest and catchy dance songs for his solo album. He asks for simplicity, and the production has to match other songs already made with another producer, or at least not stray completely away from that sound. He asks Toggi and Bjarki to team up and write and produce 2 songs for him.

Toggi writes a song, and sings a scratch vocal to it in The Wömb, our studio. Please note that the lyrics are something mostly made up on the spot, and remember that in all cases you are listening to unfinished work copies that we have not polished for you.

Now Bjarki goes to work, putting down the basic programming to make a dance song out of it, still using Toggi's scratch vocal...

Now Pall Oskar comes in and sings a scratch.

We often throw projects between us for inspiration. Don Pedro makes an alternative version. That version does not fit the overall feel of the album and is scrapped, but certain vocal and programming elements are merged with the original version.

Bjarki finishes the song with Pall Oskar, records the final vocal takes and sends to Addi800 for mixing. Here is the final result:

Story goes on. Hjaltalín, a very up and coming Icelandic band decide to record their own version of the song. It gains immediate popularity:

Next up is Retro Stefson, who do an impromtu cover of the song and release on YouTube:

Another incarnation of the song is 35 second acoustic version performed by Pall Oskar himself and produced by Don Pedro for Byr Savings Bank.

And finally, a classical version performed by Palli himself with harpist Monika Abendroth:
There are literally endless possibilities to how you can perform and produce a song. But the song is the core of every production, and it should shine trough it, no matter what style you put on it.

Preamp Porn

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Time for some Gear Porn. Normal people beware!

We are not fans of the time honored tradition of putting your studio gear list on the web, listing everything from your cables to your Behringer headphones, hoping to impress people who do not know about equipment with a long list of crap.

For most of you, equipment is probably not so important. And you are right. Equipment never wrote a hit song. Lots of great recordings were made with crap gear.

But we are nerds, and we care. 

Last year Vintage King delivered an 8 channel GAMA 8 preamp with 4 custom St-Ives transformers to us. It was one of the first purchases for our studio. Peter Reardon, the genious who designed puts it better than us:

The gama mic pre is an original design, based around a discrete opamp running at 24 volts. The di bypasses the input transformer injecting signal right into the opamp. Phase reverse flips the polarity of the mic input and the di. The output switch selects the output stage between "Nickle" (custom wound transformer based on an L.A. custom console.), The transformer is super clear and wonderful sounding. "Discrete" (transformerless output. Less gain but extremely clean and uncolored.), and "Steel" (custom wound to match a favorite 1970's american output transformer.) Nothing currently available was close to the original, so I had these wound exactly to my specifications. The result is an extremely versatile pre amp, than is world class in any mode. I made these without concern for cost and no corners are cut. The front panel is engraved, the knobs and switch tips are bakelite. The power supply is a custom designed discrete regulated supply and like the mic pre it uses no ic chips, or monolythic surface mount anything. It is 4 rack spaces and weighs 24 pounds! It sounds good too.

Our verdict: Well yes. It sounds beautiful. It has become the heart of our operation without any doubt. We use it on almost every recording. But not only that, it looks gorgeous, even people who are seriously gear challenged can see that it just oozes sex.

Check out Shadow Hills .:here:.