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Pioneering DJ Roni Size chooses PMCs for home studio

His studio, which on the top floor of his Bristol house, was transformed with the help of engineer Dave Amso, to accommodate the PMC BB6-XBD-A monitors

UK DJ and producer Roni Size, a former Mercury Prize winner, has installed PMC BB6 XBD-A monitors in his studio in Bristol where they are being put through their paces across a number of projects. After a two-year spell out of the limelight, Size says it is great to be back in the studio making music and credits his PMC monitors for his creative resurgence. 

His studio, which occupies the top floor of his house, was transformed earlier this year with the help of engineer Dave Amso, so that it could accommodate the PMC BB6-XBD-A monitors.

Size says the monitors deliver all the muscle any drum and bass aficionado could want. During a quick demo, the bass was so powerful that two boxes of Danish pastries jumped off the coffee table and onto the floor, he said. But the decision to install them wasn’t just about power, he adds.

He explained: “It’s got much more to do with quality and precision. With these monitors I can hear everything on the track with exceptional clarity. They are amazing. When PMC brought them into the studio for a demo, we all knew very quickly that they were never going out again – and not just because it had taken such a lot of effort to carry them up the stairs.”

Initially, Size placed the top monitors on a stand, but he quickly added XBD subs so he had the whole stack.

He continued: “I wanted to recapture the vibe of the studio I used to have at Barton Hill, which had an SSL console and was a fabulous room with great energy. I now have two rooms – the main studio and a separate writing room, which gives me all the space I need to put out all the equipment I’ve accumulated over the years.”

He added: “I’ve got 60 analogue outputs, a summing mixer, a Rupert Neve A/D converter and lots of cool outboard gear including SSL compressors, Pure Path EQ and Tube-tech, all of which are routed through a patchbay. I have no desire to install a big desk because it would take up too much space and in any case I like the set up I have – it works really well.”

To get the best out of his monitors and ensure a peaceful relationship with his neighbours, Size installed plenty of acoustic treatment and insulation throughout the studio.

“Initially, I just enjoyed listening to the PMCs and figuring out what they were capable of, but I knew the room wasn’t quite right,” he said. “I did a couple of mixes that didn’t translate in the car, so I knew it was time to fix the acoustics, get more soft furnishings and install Trinnov digital room correction. Once I did that, the room was perfect, and I am now so happy with the sound. Everything I do in this rooms is just awesome, thanks to these speakers. I just have to remember not to fire them up too late at night because they really are loud.”

As a musician, producer and DJ, Size has been involved in everything from Bristol youth club parties, to rave, jungle and drum and bass, as well as underground electronic music. He has performed at major events such as Glastonbury, Boomtown, Secret Garden Party, Blissfields, Outlook and many more, as well as undertaking extensive live tours worldwide. His drum and bass group, Roni Size / Reprazent, won the Mercury Music Prize in 1997 with its debut album New Forms.

He concluded: “I had this room with these incredible speakers, and I couldn’t just leave them there. My whole studio was built around them because they were the monitors I’ve always wanted, ever since I first heard them at Metropolis Studios in London. Having a pair of my own was my life goal and now I’ve got them my life goal has changed to making great music with them.”