Recording and Production in the News
Mandy Parnell uses her Prism Sound 'Box Of Tricks' to pull Björk's Biophilia togetherCambridge, UK: Björk's new Biophilia album, which was released in October, is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious music projects to be released for years. Not only does this album prove that Björk is still at the cutting edge of music, but it also takes the delivery of her talent to a new level by combining music, installations, live performances, digital media and apps.
Björk's new Biophilia album out now
The apps, which are targeted at the iPad market, include 10 separate apps housed within one "mother" app. Once this is downloaded, the Biophilia app unfolds on screen into a galaxy of ten stars that allow users to explore, understand and interact with each of the tracks on the album. Lyrics and detailed musical analyses are included and users can even remix the song themselves, thus making the line between art, performance and audience even more indistinct. Of course you can also simply listen to the song and enjoy a colourful visualisation as you do so.
The making of Biophilia was a long process that took Björk a number of years to complete.
Mandy Parnell, who has been nominated for numerous Grammy and Tec awards for her engineering and mastering work, was drafted onto the project in September when Björk decided she wasn't happy with the mastering she'd had done in New York. Just one month before the album's release, the date was pulled back due to conceptual issues on the album. According to Björk, the album needed to have more 'live feeling' and a more determinated 'body' than the versions on the apps.
"I initially got a call in London asking if I could re-cut the vinyl," Mandy says. "Then I got another call asking if I could re-do the entire CD, then another call asking if I could fly out to Reykjavik in Iceland for a playback with Björk and possibly master out there. She wanted me to master the album out there so we had access to the mixes and other rooms if we needed to. She was also in preparation for her live shows, and my being out in Reykjavik meant she could still do that."
A firm advocate of Prism Sound Technology, Mandy put together a 'box of tricks' that included her trusty Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire Computer Interface and the latest SADiE 6 software. She took this with her and set everything up in a Pro Tools equipped studio belonging to mix engineer Addi 800, who kindly loaned his studio Ö&Ö, part of a facility called E7, for a few days.
Mandy says. "I'm a massive fan of Prism Sound conversion - their converters are an integral part of my sound - and everything I do goes through them. I also took a Monster Controller to feed into Addi 800's Barefoot MM27, using my Orpheus as my conversion back into SADiE 6 software, which was also used for editing. The whole process worked really well. This set-up is one that I have put together with the help of the Prism Sound team, who have always been really great whenever I've needed their assistance."
Mandy arrived in Reykjavik late on Saturday and was in the studio first thing Sunday morning for the album playback with Björk. Björk had just spent a couple of weeks working on the foundation of the album with Leila Arab, a long time friend and collaborator. They were working on the concept to take the album more into the sonic direction she had envisioned. Björk also brought an assistant engineer, Curver, who had been involved with the project for a few months. He assisted Addi 800 and Mandy.
"That first day we spend seven hours going through every track on the album so that Björk could explain the concept and the emotional intention, what type of sound she was looking for and how she envisaged the end result. Then I spent another five hours on my own mastering just one track. I delivered two versions to her house and she was very happy with the mastering but wanted some changes made to the mix, so it was back to the studio to tweak the mix. We then spent the next couple of days going through all the mixes, tweaking them during mastering and revisiting them to tweak again if Björk felt we needed to.
"We ended up stem mixing, comping vocals and pulling in material from her live shows. All of this was done against the clock because she had recalled everything from New York and needed to deliver a finished product by the end of that week."
Mandy says the entire experience is one that will stay with her forever because it was such an exciting few days - and because Björk was such a great artist and producer to work with.
"She's lovely - really interesting and someone who knows exactly what she wants. I was thrilled to be part of this project and although it was a chaotic four days, I wouldn't have missed it for the world."
Biophilia is Björk's eighth studio album and since its release in October it has garnered massive amounts of press from reviewers who have variously described it as 'mesmerising', 'amazing' and 'wholly unique'. It is certainly one of her most ambitious projects and, thanks to the tie in with iPad, it is sure to excite technology fans as well as those who follow her simply for her music.
|Prism Sound Appoints cma audio As Its New Distributor
he move will introduce new customers to Prism Sound's high quality audio converters and interfaces. . . . (7th March 2019)
|Prism Sound Updates Titan and Atlas Audio Interfaces With Dante Networking and New Control App
These new upgrades bring the very latest digital audio networking capabilities to Atlas and Titan audio interface users. . . . (10th January 2019)
|Homerecords Founder Michel Van Achter Invests In Prism Sound Conversion For His Belgium Studios
This highly respected musician and producer has bought three Atlas and three Titan Audio Interfaces for his recording, mixing and mastering rooms in Liège. . . . (13th November 2018)
|Prism Sound CALLIA wins Best DAC in Sound+Image's 2019 A/V awards!!
CALLIA wins "DAC of the Year" in the Australian 2019 Sound+Image Awards. . . . (6th November 2018)
|Prism Sound shake up Audio Test at AES New York 2018 with full-featured high performance audio test solutions from only $3395!
On show for the first time will be the very latest dScope M1 audio interfaces for Prism Sound's dScope Series III audio test & measurement software. . . . (10th October 2018)
|Producer Mark Maitland Buys British To Equip His New Studio
UK manufacturers Prism Sound and PMC have both played an important role creating Mark Maitland's new recording and mixing studio. . . . (9th October 2018)
|Prism Sound's Titan Audio Interface Give Composer Sacha Puttnam Peace Of Mind
Titan at the heart of his recording set up, this highly respected musician says he has the space he needs to focus on his performance. . . . (10th September 2018)
|Prism Sound Enhances The SADiE User Experience With A New SADiE 6 Software Upgrade
Expanded functionality and much improved latency figures are just some of the benefits delivered by SADiE V6.1.13 . . . (30th August 2018)
|Prism Sound behind-the-scenes with Del Amitri on tour via Headliner Magazine
Learn how the Prism Sound ADA-8XR is implemented into Del Amitri's live setup in the latest issue of Headliner Magazine. . . . (15th August 2018)
|Prism Sound inside FLYNT's state-of-the-art studio via Headliner Magazine
Prism Sound Music and Recording products, the ADA-8XR and Orpheus are discussed in the August 2018 issue of Headliner Magazine. . . . (15th August 2018)
Subscribe to this as an RSS Feed
See Also: News Archive