Meet DJ Swivel
After graduating from Full Sail, Canadian producer and engineer, Jordan 'DJ Swivel' Young, cut his production teeth in New York City, working as understudy to revered mix engineer and label owner, Duro, out of Jungle City Studios. His audio journey began in hip hop - his first love - but over the years that followed, he also made great strides in the world of pop and dance music.
Swivel now works out of L.A., and has two Grammys to his name for his work with Beyonce and The Chainsmokers respectively. He's also clocked plenty of studio hours with the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rihanna, and most recently, Japanese K-Pop stars, BTS, who are creating Beatles-esque waves across the globe.
One on One
Swivel talks to us about his musical journey: from playing as many instruments as he could at high school, to taking his mum's sound advice, and nurturing a successful career in music production.
Coast To Coast
DJ Swivel on Studio Monitoring
Starting a project is pretty simple, really. Once I have the files, I load up the session, listen to it once, and then start going; all of that becomes intuitive. I'll know exactly what I need to do right away; perhaps the drums don't sound right, or I need to adjust the vocals.
I was introduced to Genelec speakers at my first internship with [eight-time Grammy-winner] Duro in New York City, as I learned how to mix a record. So my ears were attuned to Genelec, and that room was the best sounding room I had ever been in. At that point, I had fallen in love with the speakers, and am still using them today.
As the studios began to close in New York, and I was spending more time working on music from home, it began to pose a bit of a problem, as most of our rooms and homes aren't acoustically treated. Several years went by, I moved out to Los Angeles, and discovered that Genelec had introduced SAM technology for caibrating studio spaces.
I tried Genelec's 'The Ones' - the 8351 model - and tuned them to my room using Genelec's GLM software, and it fixed so many of the problems that were there before, so for me it was a no-brainer to stick with them. As a general rule, the GLM Software will try to tune them as flat as possible, and every room has a different shape and sound, of course; now, no matter what room I go to, if I use the 8351s and I tune them to the room, I am going to have nearly an identical sound in just about every space that I work in. That is just invaluable, especially in this era, when mixes are all happening on a laptop.
The workflow is easy: a couple of ethernet cables, into a small USB box that plugs into your computer, then plug in a little mic, put it right in front of your face, and hit the calibrate button! In about one minute or so, it'll sweep the monitors, and it's done. You then have the option of editing it further, which is cool: maybe you like more brightness, or low end, or just more overall volume? Make those final adjustments, and you've got a tuned room.
Throughout my whole production process, the one piece of gear that is always relevant is the speakers – they translate what happens in the box for my ears and brain to interpret. I have always had an affinity for the shape and sound that comes out of Genelec monitors, and that translates the best for the music I make, and the artists that I work with.