Sound engineer, Luke Isom, on tapping into his graphic design skills to create the look for Jungle’s new alternative production studio, Sister Sound

Designing A New Sound Studio: Jungle’s Luke Isom Ticks Off Another Intriguing Bucket List Item

In November 2019, Jungle Studios announced a new venture, run and designed entirely by its young engineers and bookings producers. Fronted by a fresh logo reminiscent of the labels found at the centre of vinyl records Sister Sound’s aesthetic was designed by sound engineer, Luke Isom.

Here, Luke delves into the incredible opportunity he’s had to help launch the new studio, why living in the sticks got him into music, and the shocking things he’s yet to tick off his bucket list.

Q> How would you describe working at Jungle?

Luke> When I’m first introduced to a new group of people, I sometimes struggle to come out my shell but coming to Jungle felt like home. Everyone was so welcoming and I settled in within a couple of days. I’ve been at Jungle for two years now and I’ve found that no matter how junior you are within the team, you’re given the chance to collaborate on so many amazing opportunities here. Sometimes you’re thrown into the deep end but that’s when you really thrive.

Q> What was it like to be given the opportunity to set up Sister Sound?

Luke> Being able to set up our new studio for young, new-gen producers with the same high quality, has been fantastic. It’s really helped that everyone here works so closely together because there’s a wealth of talent at Jungle who have been able to input their valuable opinions. Our transfer bay in particular is more like a communal living room, with engineers always circulating through it. People always stop to ask what you’re working on and show you new ways of doing things. There’s no particular hierarchy either, you can learn great things from younger people who may know a faster way of creating something.

Q> Have you always been into music?

Luke> I got into music because I grew up in a really isolated place. From the age of five, with not much else to do, I just started learning to play lots of instruments. I can now play around nine! It was only when I was a little older that I found out my dad had been a sound engineer in Soho and my mother a talent agent. The more my dad told me about what he did and the technical side of audio the more it intrigued me to get into recording rather than playing.

Q> What was it like moving to London for the first time?

Luke> Moving to London for the first time to study Music Production for Media at university was absolute insanity for me. My entire concept of life so far had been based around everything coming to a stop by 7pm at night. Arriving in this 24 hour city was bizarre at first but I love it now. I came to realise quite quickly that there were a lot of very ‘normal’ things that I had never done before and I’m still in the process of working through this bucket list, from riding in a black cab to eating a salad (I know, I know). A lot of it is to do with the fact that I lived in such a rural area in Hampshire; our nearest shop was about an hour’s walk away and we didn’t even have a post box.

At the end of my third year of university, I was luckily in the right place at the right time as an audio post production studio in London was looking for a new runner. The more time I spent in post and sound design, the more I realised how much I enjoyed it and I learnt a lot more as a runner than I did at uni.

Q> You were the designer behind the Sister Sound logo; are you naturally artistic?

Luke> I’ve always been quite creative and at college I was allowed to take an additional creative subject. Studying art, photography and graphic design was really enjoyable and I still practise in my spare time. A lot of it is self-motivated; I love taking pictures and then making them look really cool for absolutely no reason at all other than the fact that I want to. I was shown the basics of using the software at college but I learnt most of it from just watching a shit load of YouTube videos. I’ll happily sit there for hours learning.

Q> What was the idea behind the logo design?

Luke> When I was researching other studio logos, it seems like everyone has been going for a minimalistic, clean look which isn’t particularly inspiring. We wanted Sister Sound to stand out and to be different to that. While we’ve all had our input in every area, I’ve mostly been on the design, Hannah Webster has been on the aesthetic, Sean Mahoney spearheaded the tech side and Liv Endersby handling bookings and producing.

I’ve loved having the opportunity to brand everything for Sister Sound from scratch. The vintage feel and colours tie into the look of our studios and aesthetic: navy walls, orange sofas and exposed wood. There are hints of Jungle influences in Sister Sound’s studios but some differences like copper light fittings and hardwood floors instead of carpet to represent how we are our own brand.

Q> What’s been the most exciting part of the studio launch process so far?

Luke> Once we started receiving the physical items like sofas and branded merch, it began to get very exciting and real. Also, having the opportunity to work on online content such as ten second Instagram ads. They’re short but they have such an impact and look really cool. I love the challenge that comes with creating content like this.