On her new album, Home, Irish singer/songwriter Wallis Bird sought to broaden her creative horizons, not only playing most of the instruments herself, but also producing the record.
The album is billed as a thank you letter to her muse and partner, and most of it was recorded at the Berlin home studio that we asked Wallis to photograph and describe.
You can watch Control, Wallis’s new video, below, and over the next week she’ll be playing dates across the UK, tickets for which are still available.
“This is my home studio. I'm lucky with the space. It's a very clean little setup as I don't like to complicate recording because I record on the road as well as statically in my studio. Because it's simple, I can be more spontaneous. A lot of my style of producing is not to overthink and just capture the performance. Passion and ‘off-the-cuff’ is what I want, so I've mostly narrowed my gear down to what I know well and what moves freest.”
MacBook, Logic Pro X and RME 800 Fireface
“I'm using Logic Pro X on my MacBook. 'Betty', my computer, has gotten me through four full album productions. Nowadays she's pretty tired, but I'll take the weight off and upgrade next year.
“Being mobile with my music has changed my life. Logic is simple, excellent value and of a professional standard, so it does he job well for me.”
“Betsy is my RME 800 Fireface. She's my workhorse! I've had this great interface for about ten years now and I've used it constantly and never had trouble once with her. Fair play! I really do tap her every now and again when she's been working for 16 hours and I’ve not had a peep outta her!”
“I got the Gibson five years ago. I admit I bought it for the look (AC/DC kid crush!). But thankfully it's versatile, sturdy as fuck and has become very much my sound on this last record. I modified it to make it a left-handed guitar with right-handed strings.
“I've been endorsed by Lakewood acoustic guitars since 2006 and they are the backbone of my first four albums. They have holes in them from years of playing!”
Nord Stage 2
“What a machine this is. It's great craic! It's my gateway drug into investing in synth hardware. I was always a folk instrument type so having a keyboard that has really beautiful and super-realistic sounds that you can blend with synths all in one place, I find myself smiling while messing around on it. It's a very inspirational instrument.”
Focal Alpha 50 Speakers
“Love these bad boys! They're 'unmassaging', extremely clarifying and pack a hell of a punch in the low end! They shaped my sound when I was recording and made me record way more carefully and create more space in my mix.
“I'm over the moon with them. Friends come over to check their own productions on them which makes me happy; that helps me get to know them better through other people's work too.”
“Everything makes a sound so therefore can make music - I'm happy bashing away on pots and pans as well as percussive instruments. I also mic the room and stomp my feet and use handclaps a lot - with the right miking and compression I can get some funky shit goin'. I like drumming on my chest - that makes a nice natural beat. Mic that shit up!”
Beyerdynamic MC930 mics
“These condenser mics are my pride and joy - they've been on almost every song I've recorded! They sound wonderfully spacious and huge and also extremely close up give an almost binaural feel to a vocal. I love them, and they’re surprising me all the time.”