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So Much Better Sound in Argle Bargle Studio

  • Sound absorbing wall and ceiling panels.

NIVÅ Sound absorbing wall and ceiling panels

NIVÅ is a sound-absorbing contrast wall produced in cooperation with three designers – Camilla Tillberg, Gill Weibull and Maria Holmgren. The idea was to create a sound absorbent where the design...

Wow! It’s so good to be able to come to a studio that’s so relaxed, cosy and enjoyable to record in – or even just to be in. That is how Louise Hoffsten, who is currently featured on TV4’s music programme “Så mycket bättre”, describes the newly completed Argle Bargle. The studio is run by Stefan Örn and was arranged as an optimum workplace for the way music is created today. Modern music is no longer made in studios with gigantic mixers on spartan premises. Instead, there are higher demands in terms of comfortable, creative workplaces. Acoustic Magazine had the chance to talk to Louise about studios, music and how she works today.

Where do you get your inspiration from and what do you listen to today?

Sadly enough, I have to admit that it’s the same music I listened to when I was 17. I worked in a record shop that my dad owned, and we’re talking about a time when people didn’t have access to all music all the time. Led Zeppelin, blues, yes, there is a lot of music I don’t seem to be able to wear out.

How do your studio work and music writing happen nowadays?

The studio work used to be a lot more technical. In the studio there were expensive microphones and mixers that cost crazy amounts of money. I had to be really well prepared, because studio time cost so much. Today, a lot of the work is done on computers. In theory, any teenager with the right knowledge can record music that could be a hit around the world. So there are other things that are important in the studio environment. Nowadays, songs are even written in the studio. And it’s especially important to be able to cope with being there for a long time without tiring yourself out mentally. A good acoustic is part of that, of course. I’m also married to someone who can’t cope with distracting sounds without getting mental fatigue, so I like to have a good acoustic everywhere! I’ve even developed my own methods in the studio to help give birth to my music. I’ve had MS for a long time, so I can’t play the guitar any more. I sing and play snippets of audio the way I want it to sound for Stefan and other musicians. For singing, that has been my strength the whole time.

What does a dream studio look like?

Stefan has done an amazing job with his studio! It has such a great atmosphere, which makes me feel really comfortable. We recorded all the songs for the TV programme here, and at times there were a lot of us in the studio together. So it’s incredibly important for the studio to be a pleasant environment. There’s just one thing missing: history. I’ve recorded in famous studios in Memphis and Stockholm, like Polar Studios and Atlantis. The feeling that big artists have worked there means a lot. But Stefan is well on his way, so I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

Lousie Hoffsten

Do you have a favourite noise/sound?

I like that rougher rock sound, but as a singer I have to say “the human voice”. In Så mycket bättre, it was incredible hearing such different voices and what they sounded like. I’m just thinking about the sounds of Albin Lee Meldau’s and Linnea Henriksson’s voices! And the way they deal with quiet points in the music – that’s when it all changes and the contrasts really show! The voice is also the most sensitive instrument; you should know it was a nervous feeling singing other people’s songs. Think about it – playing covers when the original artist is sitting there listening!

Stefan Örn on the studio

“Argle Bargle is hidden from the world around it on Dalagatan in Stockholm. You come in through leafy courtyards and into another world – a music bubble,” says Stefan Örn. “The studio works really well for writing songs in, because it’s snug enough to feel comfortable in. And that’s where a good studio acoustic comes in,” continues Stefan. “While the studio was being built, A. M. Acoustics helped me produce a good basic acoustic using sound absorbents in the walls and ceiling. Then we added more absorbents to control sound waves at certain frequencies. “Something that really lifted the feel of the place was that I was able to choose the colours and shapes of many of the supplementary absorbents so that they were more visually prominent. There’s a really daring back wall with a 3D feel and matching curtains, as well as screens with a nice print motif that I can move around as needed. I also wanted to work on ergonomics, because there is a lot of sitting down involved in working with computers. And I really recommend OFFICE BALLZ by Gotessons; they strengthen the core muscles so you don’t turn into a typical couch potato technician,” concludes Stefan with a smile.

Facts LOUISE HOFFSTEN

Louise Hoffsten got her big breakthrough in 1993 with hit songs such as “Let the Best Man Win”, and in the same year she won the Grammy award for best female artist. This year saw the release of her twentieth album which deals with life in the shadows. In the 90s, Louise was diagnosed with MS. Today she is a role model for many people because of the way she has continued to work in spite of the condition.

Facts STEFAN ÖRN

Stefan Örn is one of Sweden’s most successful songwriters and producers, known for his successes in the annual Melodifestivalen music competition, where he worked with artists like Carola, Loreen and Louise Hoffsten. Stefan has also worked with Anders Bagge and made music for artists including Madonna, Janet Jackson, Céline Dion and Enrique Iglesias.

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