With five billion streams and 30 million singles sales to his credit, it is hard to believe that this time last year songwriter, producer and DJ Jonas Blue – aka Guy Robin – was still making music in his dad’s garage.
One year on and that situation has completely changed because Robin is now creating his chart topping global hits in a ‘dream studio’ – a brand new recording and mixing facility designed by Chris Walls of Level Acoustic Design, built by Studio Creations and featuring, at its heart, a pair of award-winning PMC MB3 XBD-A monitors and an SSL AWS 948 console.
“I always wanted to build a dream studio and I knew that when I had the opportunity, I wanted PMC monitoring,” Robin says. “I used to go to a studio owned by a mix engineer friend of mine and he used PMC religiously. I always loved the warm, pleasing sound that came out of those monitors and I knew that one day I wanted PMC to be a part of my set up.”
Built onto his home in Essex, Robin’s new studio consists of a control room, live room, synth/writing room and a reception/chill out area. What makes this studio unusual is that Studio Creations has incorporated a credenza in the middle of the control room, which is actually part DJ booth on attenuating arms for height.
“With this set up I can use the Crestron system in the studio to go into “club mode”,” Robin explains. “This means that during any part of the process of music making I can export what I am working on, load it onto the decks and test the song out as part of a DJ set. It also allows me to turn the control room and live room into a nightclub, which is highly different and like nothing I’ve seen before in a studio.”
The addition of a dedicated synth room also speeds up Robin’s workflow because all his synths are permanently set up and ready to go – there is no need for patching.
“I chose Studio Creations for this project because I had heard about the company through various different producer, including Steve Mac and Fraser T Smith,” Robin explains. “After speaking to Justin [Spiers – Studio Creation’s owner] and describing exactly what I wanted to do, he made me feel that anything was possible and I knew they would be the right company for the job. Working with Studio Creations has been an absolute dream and they have all made the process so easy.”
Guy Robin’s studio is for his own use only, which means all the equipment choices have been made with his preferences in mind. This includes the PMC MB3 XBD-A monitors, which were not only chosen for their transparency and clarity, but also because they fitted perfectly within Studio Creation’s specifications for the control room.
“Justin’s team said they would be perfect for my room and they really are,” Robin says. “I absolutely love them and finished my debut album Blue on them. The sound they deliver is quite incredible.”
With an armoury of platinum plated hits to his credit, not to mention four BRIT nominations, Jonas Blue/Guy Robin is gathering plenty of good reviews for Blue, his debut album that features 21 guest artists, seven of his previous hits and eight brand new tracks
“The idea behind Blue is to take people on a journey,” Robin says. “Some places they know, most they don’t. How the two mix was part of the fun of making the album.”
He adds that on Blue he delved into different genres and tried out new songwriting techniques.
“I worked with some incredible vocalists who inspired me in ways I hadn’t expected. There are several collaborations that I don’t think anyone could have seen coming,” he says.
With the studio completed and Blue released on Positiva and Virgin EMI, Guy Robin is now working on new projects, including a couple of ‘huge’ collaborations with two other high profile DJs that he can’t name just yet. He is also using his PMC monitors to record and mix different versions of the album tracks and some new Jonas Blue singles for next year.