Thousands of songs later

Written by HQ on . Posted in News

Iceland's main cultural export is undisputedly music. Both established and emerging artists have entered the global scene with a storm, and everybody can probably agree that a small nation like Iceland can be proud of the immense output of high quality music produced there. 

Most of you will know at least a handful of Icelandic artists, have heard of the music festivals and fantastic concert life. 

But good recorded music does not happen by itself. It's almost always a collaboration of artists and skilled technicians that help make a good songs into a pleasant and moving listening experience. A lot of that important  work happens behind the scenes, far from the spotlight. 

And this is where we find Addi 800, one of Iceland's most sought after and experienced recording and mixing engineers. He has had a final hand in an amazing amount of significant Icelandic music projects as well as many global releases, ranging from albums, films, documentaries, 5.1 concerts and commercials.

From his state-of-the-art studio ROOM 313 in the old fish-packing district of Reykjavík - which in recent years has become the home of the creative industries of Reykjavík - he churns out music of every conceivable genre and style.

The music industry has changed a lot in the recent decades, and it's safe to say that the recording process has been made easier, more accessible and a lot cheaper for bands and artists. Gone are the times when music labels habitually rented big expensive studios for months to work on albums, and the studio business has hit hard times globally.  

But Addi says that this has not changed much for him, because when it comes to the final touch, the putting together of all the elements, be they recorded in big historic studios or in small bedrooms, the final process of mixing is usually left to dedicated mixing engineers, and for a good reason. They are specialists that focus on improving all the separate musical elements and then making them work together. This process can make or brake a song. 

He adds that despite the strange times the music industry is going trough, he has actually never been busier than these last years, and with the help of technology routinely mixes albums for foreign clients, sometimes without ever meeting them. This is a result of both his own rising reputation and the generally positive vibe around Iceland as a birthplace of good music. Online mixing is here to stay.

Standing in his studio, gazing at all the fancy equipment, one would be forgiven to think that technology was also a major factor Addi's success, but those in the know will tell you that the most valuable equipment in a mixing room are always the ears of the engineer, combined with his experience to make other people's music sound as good as it possibly can.