Bjӧrk Talks Mic Technique

Iconic Icelander Bjӧrk gave a lecture at the Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal this year, where she talked about her career and different recording processes.

As part of the talk, she touched on her unconventional techniques for getting vocals down, and Red Bull recently shared a snippet of it on Facebook.

The visionary artist explained that she has an “all or nothing” approach when it comes to recording, saying she often works in extremes depending on the dynamics and emotion she’s after.

She explained that she enjoys using a Calrec Soundfield microphone, which usually gets used by documentary makers to pick up field sound in immense detail, saying, “You’re not actually meant to record vocals on it, it’s the sort of microphone that you put in the centre of a room if you want to record a cricket in the corner over there.”

For one song, she explained, “I would just walk up to it, and then walk back in the corner, and treat it like it was taking in the whole room.”

She also discussed her love of the humble Shure 58 microphone, her DIY way of recording vocals at home, and what it was like in her early punk-band days when she’d have to blast her voice through a bass amp because her band couldn’t afford a PA.

She added, “I’m saying all of this sounding like a mic nerd, but actually I come from the punk headspace that it’s not about the gear. If you want something, you should make it with your voice. If you want intimacy - create it with your voice.

Watch the inspiring clip below.
You can also listen to a podcast of Bjӧrk’s full, hour-long RBMA talk here.