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Teddy Riley On His Studio Setup

Published: Thu June 06, 2013  News Feed

Teddy Riley On His Studio Setup

By Hugh McKenna

Teddy Riley Playing Mininova

 


From inventing New Jack Swing to co-producing Michael Jackson's 'Dangerous' Teddy Riley has been at the fore front of RnB and pop production for decades. How does he do it? With a little help from Novation and Focusrite.

Check out Teddy laying down a cover of his RnB supergroup Guy's 'Teddy's Jam' to see that his keyboard skills are just as impressive as his song writing and engineering.



It's the sound quality of the Mininova that drew Teddy in, particularly the vocoder. Being a big part of his signature sound he likes to make sure he has the biggest and best selection of vocoders and the Mininova meets his criteria. You can also see it's vast potential as a performance synth with Teddy merrily tweaking and making adjustments on the fly.

Another key part of the studio is the Novation SL MkII controller which is at the core. With keys, controls, transport buttons and Automap there's no need to venture near the mouse when you're in full creative flow.

When it comes to mixing Teddy prefers to remain hands on right to the very end. He automates using the Focusrite 2802 faders to get the vibe and then draws in finer adjustments and corrections later. There's also the Buss Compressor which he loves for the final analogue character and mix punch.

As we've covered in a previous article Teddy likes to use Presonus Studio One, again it chimes with his straightforward, hands on philosophy. You don't want complexity to drag you down when it's all happening in the studio.

Speaking to Focusrite about how it all started Teddy said:
"I didn't make up the name new jack swing," says Teddy. "It was given to me Barry Michael Cooper." Cooper co-wrote the screenplay for the film New Jack City and was a prominent music journalist in New York in the early ’90s. "He did an interview with me and asked me how I would describe my music. I said 'sophisticated bubblegum R&B'. He said 'that's too long, you should call it new jack swing, because you're the new kid on the block that's swinging it.' So I give credit to him for giving me that name. I ran with it and everybody joined the movement. Bobby Brown, Kool Moe Dee, Guy, Blackstreet, Boyz II Men, Bel Biv Devoe, New Kids On The Block, N Sync, Backstreet Boys - they made my genre big. And that feels great, for so many musicians and artists to be a part of such a strong movement. We all are still doing New Jack Swing."

Be Inspired, Be Fast And Make It Sound Good
Novation SL MkII
Novation SL49 MkII

£319
Complete control of you DAW. Faders for mixing, transport controls for recording, pads for beats, keys for virtual instruments plus knobs and buttons to tweak them all further. Sound complex? Not to worry as Novation's unique Automap software takes the hassle out of setup and play.
 Focusrite Forte
Focusrite Forte

£339
Teddy loves the character of his analogue/digital 2802 console. Get the Focusrite sound for less, the high end Forte is reduced by £60 until the end of July 2013. That's true analogue console character for your home DAW or location recording.
Novation Mininova
Novation Mininova

£299
A massive range of sounds (the same as it's big brother the Ultranova) and immediate control of performance parameters. The Mininova is a full studios worth of synths in one portable package.
Preonsus Audio Box Studio One
Preonus Audio Box With 'Studio One Artist'

£119
Everything you need to get started out at home. With Teddy's favoured Studio One in the box along with a number of virtual instruments & samples. Grab a MIDI controller and a mic your good to go.
 
 
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