BRIT Award winner John Newman, who released his second album Revolve in October 2015, has chosen PMC twotwo.6 loudspeakers and a PMC twotwo Sub2 active subwoofer to provide the main monitoring for his new studio in London.
Based in London’s Tileyard Studios, which already acts as a hub for a number of artists and creative companies, the 24-track studio is equipped with an SSL X-Desk and X-Panda plus a wide selection of instruments, microphones, microphone preamps and outboard equipment.
Newman’s studio manager, Tom Willers, says: “Towards the end of last year we began seriously looking for studio/office space from which John could base his future endeavors. Although he had the capacity to have a studio at his home, he felt that separating his working and living spaces was the right thing to do.”
The decision to set up at Tileyard was coincidental and only came about after hearing through the grapevine that space was potentially becoming vacant.
“Fortunately the timing, price and room were all suitable for our current needs and John moved in at the end of last year,” Willers explains. “We are delighted with the space. We have two rooms – a control room and a live room – with access to another shared live room for same floor. Having the two room set up means we can be completely self-contained, or have set ups in both live rooms for larger scale recording sessions.”
Although the space was empty, it had been acoustically treated by Chris Walls and when the PMC loudspeakers were installed it became apparent that they perfectly suited the room.
“We had been considering what to use as main monitors for a while,” says John Newman. “We had demo’d a few different speakers through friends and in other artists’ studios, then PMC got in touch and invited us to their to headquarters to listen to some of their speaker models. it was here that the decision was made.
“PMC’s Keith Tonge and Ian Downs were great at advising us on the right set-up for the room. Originally we were going to have their IB1S monitors but they were too big and didn’t give us the versatility we were looking for. The logical solution was the twotwo.6’s combined with the Sub, which sound incredible. The synergy between these two pieces of kit is fantastic because you don’t even know the Sub is there. Sometimes you just have this huge, round and warm bottom end that you know is coming from somewhere.”
Newman was impressed by the ‘trueness’ of the sound and the speakers are now in use every day.
Newman, who still has a completely functional studio setup at home that he uses as a private writing room, developed a passion for audio equipment some years ago when he began hunting through charity shops and car boot sales to find equipment to make different and interesting sounds. He now has a growing collection of esoteric gear, which currently includes a WEM Copicat delay tape machine, an AKAI 4000D 1/4 inch tape machine, a rack Roland SRE555 chorus echo, a Fender Spring Reverb unit from an old amp, a few ‘weird old synths’ such as the old EDP Wasp and Brenell tape head units, that ‘are great for recording sounds to and from Pro Tools to add warmth and harmonic usefulness’.
Since moving into Tileyard, Newman has completed his latest release, Sigala’s Give Me Your Love, which also features Nile Rogers. This was premiered on Radio1 at the beginning of April. He is also working on other collaborative projects and solo material that is lined up for release later this year.
Newman is touring extensively throughout the festival season and will be appearing at V Fest in the UK. Any spare time is likely to find him in the studio, where he co-produces his own material in conjunction with a full time engineer.