Belfast house producer Jordan shows us around his studio. Contains synths and cats.
Jordan – My Studio
I’ve been very lucky to be able to set up camp in a number of different studio spaces over the past two years, since I had been living in a one bedroom rented apartment. Most recently, I had set up a studio above my friend Dave Lievense’s professional studio, affording me the ability to nick a load of his gear and melt his head on everything from cables to sound card settings.
I’m currently moving my setup into the spare room of my new place, but this is the most recent setup I have been operating.
As my DAW, I still use Cubase 6, as it’s the first software I began using seriously, many moons ago, after my initial forays into Fruity Loops and similar. I bought the education version of Cubase 6 when I was at university for my course and have never felt the need to upgrade, despite regularly losing my dongle.
Within Cubase, my go-to plugins would include the TAL U-No Juno emulator. Whack a touch of colour and distortion on that to add character and it’s as good a replica as you’re going to find in the digital world. I’m a big acid fan, and the AudioRealism Bass Line ABL2 is a user-friendly emulation of the TB-303. It’s really cleverly modelled on the original, and I’ll definitely be looking into ABL3, which is already out.
This was the most extravagant purchase I’ve made in my life, and definitely worthwhile, even if just to look at it. I had been introduced to the Moog in production via Arturia’s Minimoog soft synth, and then after that via a friend’s Little Phatty. I fell in love with its signature analogue bass sound, and when I went to make my first synth purchase I went balls-out and bought the top dog. I love the Sub 37 too and have had the pleasure of jamming on it before. My releases on Classic Music Company and my own Nocturne Music are made up of Moog jam recordings on the basslines.
Mackie HR824 Monitors
For monitoring, the Mackie HR824 give a ridiculously clean sound as well as a hefty bass reproduction, albeit renowned for being a touch lacking in the midrange. It might be worth mentioning that this room has no acoustic treatment, so can’t be treated as the ideal space to be monitoring music, however that’s where my Beyerdynamic DT770s come in, to cross-reference.
Mackie DXB Desk
I’d be lying if I said I knew the slightest thing about this bad boy, but when I was initially setting up my gear in this room, I had a little Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 sound card that was giving me endless trouble, probably due to being carted around and battered so much. Dave offered me a lend of one of his many desks as a temporary solution. From what I do know from my very basic usage of it, it’s a thing of beauty, with a touch-screen interface, optical faders and on-board VSTs. I have basically just been using the built-in compression on it and recording back to Cubase.
This stuff is like crack. I can’t stop eating them whilst listening to music, it’s that simple.
Roland TR-8 + Cat
Here’s an old throwback photo of when I bought the TR-8 and was trying it out in my apartment. See my cat attached, looking like some form of futuristic MIDI controller.