Pioneering UK producer MJ Cole shows us around his studio.
MJ Cole – My Studio
Hello. Here is my studio.
The Crane Song Avaset II
The Crane Song Avaset II is a monitor controller designed by Dave Hill.
It comes with a big rack mount unit and a remote. The D/A (digital to analogue) converter inside is amazing and this is the last thing that converts from Logic to my speakers.
I’m also in love with the relay switches and the noises they make as you turn the dial. It has a separate out for the sub, you can mono stuff, phase reverse, mono the phase reverse and also it has really accurate meters.
Overall, its a great piece of gear but the main thing is the converters inside which I miss when I don’t have them.
Klark Teknik DN6000 Audio Spectrum Analyser
I’ve had one of these for 20 years, I think that this one here is probably about 20 years old. It’s a spectrum analyser showing you the frequencies from 25hz all the way up to 20khz.
This is another piece of equipment where I just love the look of it. There are better ones out there that show you more but this is just more of a friend in the studio. I know it really well so if I’m looking for a frequency that is sticking out I can easily identify it and it’s particularly great for looking at the bottom end in mixes and making good decisions when applying EQ to the low end.
I’ve actually got one of these at home as well…
ATC SCM 25A Pro
The ATC’s are my nearfield monitors which I’ve had for about three years. I have a big MK sub that I run with them. I’m kind of addicted to ATC speakers and have a pair in the studio and at home. You get used to certain speakers and for me sitting in the middle of the studio I know exactly what’s going on in this room. I just love them.
They are active so you don’t have to worry about any amps. I find them very clear in the midrange, true, honest easy to work with and with a lot of welly! I’m an ATC convert and they are made in England which is great.
Yamaha U-1 Upright Piano
This is on a load of records of mine and I’ve had it for about 4-5 years. I hired this to start with but I ended up liking it so much that I brought it. It’s actually from 1984 and came from Japan and even still has a book within it all written in Japanese that shows the history, previous owners etc.
I use it to write all the time and the track ‘Liquid’ on the EP was recorded using this piano. I use it with the cloth down all the time as I find without the cloth it’s very hard sounding but with the cloth down it’s great.
Dave Smith Instrument – Prophet 6
On the Foundation’s EP there is a track called “If Only” which started a from a selection of samples. It was not a traditional approach i.e to sit with a songwriter and write verses and chorus etc. It was tiny bits of sound and I found a loop that I actually copied and reverse engineered. After figuring out the midi notes I ran it through the Prophet 6 with a load of different patches.
I love the Prophet and it’s my go-to synth at the moment. I also have both the Prophet 8 and Prophet 12.
Fender Rhodes Mark I Stage 73
I bought this from an engineer at the old studios called Allen. It’s in really good nick and is all over loads of my records. It’s a Mark 1 with a slightly harder sound. I think it’s from 1976 and I’ve actually got 3 but the other ones are at home.
I just like having the piano and Rhodes set out so they are ready to play, record and write on. There is a very big difference between playing stuff on the Rhodes and then on the piano. They spurt out different ideas, feelings and creative ideas even when playing the same thing.
I run it with mono out, sometimes through the guitar pedals and it all goes through Neve 1073. Over the years I have created various channel strip settings for it also.
I don’t like to call it them drones. I prefer to call them quads.
I’ve always been into remote control toys and a couple of years ago I got really into building full FPV racing quads with the full Go Pro camera and goggles etc. I got really into it and was sourcing all the motors, ESC’s and controllers from all over the world.
This is a mini studio one I have and it’s cool to get out in writing sessions. I’ve got quite a few toys but this is one of the most popular ones and to annoy people with!