How does Sigur Ros get that sound?
April 16, 2005 1:47 PM   Subscribe

How does Sigur Ros get that sound?
posted by Tlogmer to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
which sound?
posted by iamcrispy at 1:54 PM on April 16, 2005

Monkeyfilter thread about Sigur Ros, just 'cause.
posted by goofyfoot at 2:11 PM on April 16, 2005

Whales humping.
posted by driveler at 2:13 PM on April 16, 2005

layers upon layers of sampled noise, is my guess.
posted by pinto at 2:17 PM on April 16, 2005

"That sound" is far too wide-ranging a question to answer, as it has no meaning. The two (popular) albums, Agaertis Byrjum and () don't sound the same, and while each album has an overall sound (the quick answer to "how" being, a combination of the instruments/arrangements used and the input of the producer and (above all) the mastering engineer) none of the songs actually "sound the same".

So, if there's a specific sound you want an idea of how it was produced, fire away. Otherwise, just accept that "that sound" is how Sigur Ros sounded when they recorded whatever it is you're listening to...
posted by benzo8 at 2:51 PM on April 16, 2005

What mrg said.

posted by rooftop secrets at 3:20 PM on April 16, 2005

Also lots of reverb and delay.
posted by rooftop secrets at 3:23 PM on April 16, 2005

See, Sigur Ros don't sound much like Led Zeppelin to me, but Jimmy Page used a bow on his guitar a fair amount. That is just one facet in their overall sound... rooftop secrets has hit upon one of the production techniques that helped () sound the way it did. Analogue pads and beds are a fair part too, as are the vocal sounds. It's still a very wide-reaching question...
posted by benzo8 at 3:27 PM on April 16, 2005

Remembered a good article from Sound on Sound which talked about a lot of the production techniques, instrumentation and arrangements which Sigur Ros have employed...
posted by benzo8 at 3:30 PM on April 16, 2005

Also they (he?) sings in a made-up language.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 4:03 PM on April 16, 2005

It's worth asking: which sound are you talking about?
Von? Ágætis Byrjun? ()? Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do?

Are you talking about the production or the style of the music?
Part of "the sound" is going to come from recording in their own studio (other tracks recorded there have a bit of the same feel to them, too), and part of it is the way stuff is recorded.

Probably a more concise answer: long-form songs, ridiculously layered instrumental parts, falsetto + pitch-shifted vocals, lots of reverb and delay.

(reloading this an hour after I started typing, benzo8 beat me)
posted by hototogisu at 4:09 PM on April 16, 2005

There's something distinct their reverb/ambience. It's noticeably different than the plugins and hardware reverbs I use. It often sounds like they're using a microphone at the far end of the room to pick up the reflections, resulting in a much more organic reverb sound.

Many sounds appear compressed post reverb as well, which brings the decay volume closer to the source.

And finally, they summon the spirit of the Twin Peaks Midget for vocal inspiration.
posted by yorick at 5:33 PM on April 16, 2005

My brother is a record producer; I can ask him. Holler to my e-mail in a week and I'll have his analysis if he's at all interested. If he's not, I won't.
posted by goofyfoot at 5:55 PM on April 16, 2005

Tape Op magazine had an article on Sigur Ros. They have a recording studio with a live room in the bottom of an empty swimming pool. That may explain the sound but, absent more information on what you're asking about, it's hard to say.
posted by stet at 8:57 PM on April 16, 2005

I once saw them play live in a small venue in Aberdeen (supporting God Speed You Black Emperor!) - they were set up on the same level as the audience and, despite the fact they sounded pretty much like they do in recordings, I saw nothing weird about their set-up other than a very large number of effects pedals and rack mounted units. The bow-played guitar and the falsetto voice are what makes the real difference I think.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:07 PM on April 16, 2005

I've heard some of their live recordings and I concur with thatwhichfalls about them sounding the same live.
posted by tommasz at 9:18 PM on April 16, 2005

I thought it was Mum that had the swimming pool recording studio. But since they are both from Iceland maybe they record in the same place.
posted by matildaben at 11:22 PM on April 16, 2005

Here's a great article in Sound on Sound, from when they were recording their second album, with tons of detail including specific equipment models etc.
posted by kersplunk at 9:04 PM on April 17, 2005

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