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Jamie Brown
Jamie Brown
Jamie Brown
Jamie Brown in the studio

Jamie Brown

Producer and Mixer
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JBJ Studio

Jamie Brown has been producing and mixing records at the top level for a decade. He's worked with many high profile musicians like Will Heard, Lucy Rose, Razorlight, Bloxx and Scouting for Girls, and producers including Chris Potter, John Mitchell, and Ed Buller. Just don't annoy him in the studio – he has a good aim…

Will Heard, Two Door Cinema Club, Lucy Rose, Razorlight, Scouting For Girls, Freeman, Bloxx
Jamie's Aston Gear
Spirit
Origin
Halo
It's better to receive than give

It all began back in 1998 when my parents bought me a Tascam Portastudio 4-track tape machine. I became obsessed with the idea of multi-tracking and manipulation of sounds. I studied various different courses, all of which were a bit of a waste of time. I then sold a pair of NS10s to the guy who was head of engineering at Abbey Road and ended up becoming friends and generally hanging about up there a fair bit. I then joined a band that had a deal and we worked out of some insane studios with producers such as Ed Buller, Chris Potter and Alan Moulder. I realized pretty quickly that I was a) much more interested on being at the desk side of the glass and b) much better at getting performances than giving them.

We've got an SSL AWS console at JBJ Studio. Other gear includes a George Massenburg GML 8200 parametric EQ, Studer A80 tape, Thermionic Culture Phoenix compressor, API 3124 mic pre, SSL 4000 compressor, Trident 80b stereo EQ, DW Fearn VT2 mic pre plus Neumann, Brauner and Aston mics. Recently Pro Tools is getting utilized less and less. We record into it and that is it. I mix on the SSL and once we’re done my assistant feeds the mix out to the Studer and we generally hit that pretty hard and then import it back into Pro Tools for the clients to reference.

Hit me with your Aston mic. Hit me. Hit me. Hit… me

Originally Chris Potter was recording some drums on Richard Ashcroft stuff and he had a Spirit on the kit which sounds frankly unreal. I was intrigued but opted for the Origin. I loved it. It's a solid sounding mic without any cheap hyped type of top end which I hate. Then I took the plunge on the Spirit. Loved the top end extension. It is natural, smooth and detailed but honest. It's not cheap and, dare I say, Chinese sounding. There have literally been sessions where we have opted for the Spirit over Neumanns ten times the cost.

I recently put the Spirit up in the toilet and recorded the singer double tracking but about six feet away from the mic – it was a really natural sounding reverb. I mixed it with the close mic and didn’t need to use a digital 'verb as it was so much more natural sounding. Then I got my hands on the Halo which is, frankly, my favourite product of the lot. It's magic, and it's made in the UK, so it's bound to be good. I also once used the Origin to bash a punter over the head it sounded even better after.

[Note from Aston – we're not sure if that is true and, while we think our microphones can handle just about anything, we don't recommend hitting people over the heads with them. Or any part of the body come to think of it.]

Bloxx head

We used the Origin with Bloxx, on the lead singer Ophelia, and we also used it as a room microphone on the drums. With Freeman, again we used the Origin on vocals. I do love it as a vocal mic and do prefer it over the Spirit to be honest with you. I do realise that that is an uncommon opinion – most people tend to favour the Spirit – but I love the Origin. It's quite natural sounding and it responds really well to EQ.

With Bloxx we also had the Halo again which made a big difference. I think it's amazing, I absolutely love it. When I first heard about it I thought it was a bit gimmicky, to be honest with you, but now I absolutely love it, it's brilliant. I should also say we did some live stuff with Lucy Rose and the engineer had the Spirits on the drums as overheads.

I love the fact Aston are British. The Brits have a history of making excellent audio gear and Aston are no exception to that. Solid, honest, sexy and British. Also James and the team are so into it, they really do try to create seriously good products, and as far as I'm concerned they’re nailing it.

Out-takes

Q. If you weren’t working in music what would you be doing?
A. “I'd be sailing in my boat.”

Q. What would your fantasy mic be?
A. “One that takes me back in time to sit in the studio during a John Lennon and Phil Spector session. Ouch!.”

Q. What are the 4 words you’d chose to describe Aston, or your experience with the brand?
A. “Classy, Rugged, Reliable, Caring.”

Q. What was the first song that made you cry?
A.  “Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. My dad was a Huge Floyd fan and my mum and dad were going through a Messy divorce… That sounds so cheesy.”

Credits

“My favourite artists include Tom Petty, The Smiths, Radiohead, Paul Weller, The Beatles, The Verve, Longview and Idlewild.”

Bloxx

Freeman

Lucy Rose

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Made in UK
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