Producer and songwriter Jordan Riley has upgraded his private studio in London by installing a pair of PMC twotwo6 monitors, which he says have brought the fun back to his recording sessions.
“I came across PMC while working at (songwriter) Steve Robson’s studio,” he explains. “I found them so much fun to work on and when I got home all my songs sounded great. I wasn’t intending to replace my monitors but the PMC’s are just way more enjoyable and so much better than my old monitors that I can’t actually believe how good they are.”
Describing himself as a Geordie who is now adapting to being down south, Riley moved to London six years ago to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He already had a good grounding in music and music production having started out playing guitar in church bands, mixing live sound and working in local studios including Blast Recording Studios in Newcastle.
“At 17, that was like being a kid in a candy shop, and it trained my ear so much,” he says. “I was awarded a BBC Arts fund grant and my mentor Sam Burt really pushed me to find my own musical voice. I then started making library music and getting some advert placements, which was cool for money but a pretty soulless job as I’d always dreamed of making pop music.”
Moving to London proved to be a crucial turning point as Riley began writing his own music and developing his skills in ASCAP writing sessions. After signing to BMG Publishing his professional career took off and he now works with a plethora of artists including Mabel, Ella Henderson, Zara Larsson, Paloma Faith, WENS, MNEK and Nina Nesbitt from The Vamps.
“I work in many different studios including my personal studio, which sounds great,” he says. “My set up is simple but high quality – I mainly use Logic Pro but also Pro Tools because the mix engineers I work with use Pro Tools and I like to prep songs and do final edits in there.”
His studio also incorporates high quality microphones, preamps, analogue keyboards and vintage guitars. “Using real instruments is important to me, and I hate being tied down to my laptop with presets that everyone else has,” he explains.
Riley believes that installing PMC twotwo6 monitors has brought a new dimension to his sound and made his life much easier.
“They sound amazing,” he says. “They are hifi but detailed, and the top end is perfect. I can really get the EQ bang on for the vocals and my rough mixes are coming together so quickly now. On my previous monitors I was always taking out hi mids as they were quite harsh. My job is all about speed because most artists I work with want to leave the studio at the end of the day with a bounce of the song we’ve made. Usually they’ll play the song to the label, so I want it to sound as close to finished record as possible. It’s an intense job.”
Riley adds that he was fortunate during lockdown because he was able to keep working, but he also welcomed the opportunity to slow down and relax.
“Lockdown was what many of us needed, to get a bit of downtime compared to normal and to refresh,” he says. “I’m feeling so creative after having a little bit of a break.”
PMC is a UK-based, world-leading manufacturer of loudspeaker systems, the tools of choice in all ultra-critical professional monitoring applications, and also for the discerning audiophile at home, where they provide a transparent window into the recording artist’s original intentions. PMC products use the best available materials and design principles, including the company’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass-loading technology, cutting-edge amplification and advanced DSP techniques to create loudspeakers that present sound and music exactly as it was when first created, with the highest possible resolution, and without coloration or distortion. For more information on our clients and products, see www.pmc-speakers.com.