In the world of Jean-Marie Riachi, a Lebanon-born composer and producer, all that matters is the music. When making the decision to start his own Beirut-based space, JMR Studios, Riachi wanted to keep his options open and tackle a wide range of projects including movie soundtracks, post-production work and recording musicians.
"I started JMR Studios because music has always been my passion. It was and still is my passion to produce music and make my own music," says Riachi. "I was very interested in making music for film soundtracks and to work in the movie industry. I have also shifted my aim to working on commercials and working with artists and producing music for others and myself."
Starting out at home in 2001, Riachi worked to create a recording space for himself while also visiting other studios around the world for inspiration. Through his travels, the composer/producer informed his views on how to create the optimal studio set-up for what he wanted to accomplish. When he decided to upgrade his space, he reached out to our team and began working with Jeff Leibovich and Mike Nehra on securing some of the audio gear he was looking to bring into his studio.
"Vintage King is like a consultant more than it is a sales platform and they've worked with top producers worldwide," Riachi states. "I loved when Mike asked me for samples and when I was advised on how to use vocal chain and drum chain."
Leibovich, who worked with Riachi closely to select gear for JMR, is quick to point out just how much the producer/composer cares about his space. "Jean Marie is always on the cutting edge and putting his clients needs first," Leibovich says. "He's constantly working to capture the best sound and improve workflow with the right gear."
Curating a long list of items he wanted for his studio, Riachi worked with our staff to bring home a treasure trove of impressive gear to Lebanon. Among the incredible pieces that were shipped overseas from our warehouse were a Retro Instruments 176, GML 9500, Dangerous Music Master, Empirical Labs Distressor EL8X-S, Antelope Audio Isochrone Trinity, Tube-Tech CL1B, Barefoot Sound MM27s and Telefunken Elektroakustik E LAM 251 E microphone.
Perhaps the biggest addition made to JMR Studios from Vintage King has been a Shadow Hills Industries Mastering Compressor. Although it was initially intended to be put into the mastering facilities at JMR, Riachi fell so hard for the piece of gear that it hasn't left it's original spot.
"When I received the Shadow Hills Mastering comp, it was before my mastering room was ready," Riachi says. "I installed it in my own mixing room and it has been there ever since! I love it."
When not working as a music producer on the Middle East Broadcasting version of "The Voice," the buildout of JMR Studios has led to Riachi working with a plethora of international stars including Fairuz, Nancy Ajram, Ragheb Alameh, Youssou N’Dour and John Legend. He continues to stay inspired by his recent work on a project for Land Rover called Sahara Al Arab, but needs no more than to turn his radio on to find that spark to start working on his next job.
"Whenever I have the radio on and I hear a good song I get motivated to compete and do better, even compete with myself," Riachi explains. "The same happens when I hear a bad song too!"