Uses This

1213 interviews since 2009

A picture of Jessica Curry

Jessica Curry

Music composer, co-director (thechineseroom)

in mac, musician

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Jessica Curry and I'm an English composer who writes music for games and unusual real world spaces. I spend a lot of time writing music that makes people cry. I'm also co-director of games company thechineseroom.

What hardware do you use?

I use an iMac which I love and I have two screens so I can compose to picture. The first is integrated into the iMac and the second one is "borrowed" from my brother-in-law and is a Technika 32 inch LCD TV. I also spend a lot of time on one of Dan Pinchbeck's (Creative Director of thechineseroom) many computers as I need a PC to look at the games we're making. His computer is a Novatech iForce. It is a big, black macho item and I tolerate it because I have to.

I have a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB audio interface that has never seemed to like me very much. Let's put it this way: it's moody. For monitoring I use my lovely little Genelec 8020's and I have to say that I'm really fond of them. Their size belies their ability. I don't have any microphones at home as I never record here in my small home studio - I always pay clever professionals who have lots of kit and know what they're doing.

I use Beyer Dynamic DT 770 headphones and I am really attached to them - literally as well as metaphorically as I get them trapped under my office chair about 300 times a day and then duly fall over. The other issue is that they are so noise-cancelling that when Dan taps me on the shoulder to get my attention I, without fail, jump out of my skull. He then always says, "but I was calling you for AGES before I tapped you."

I have a new RD-700NX Roland keyboard which is currently experiencing some teething problems. The keys are very loud when you press them and it's very distracting. I had an RD-500 for nearly twenty years and I loved it.

And what software?

I use Logic Pro 9. I've been creating with Logic for more years than I care to remember and I know it like the back of my hand. Actually, I don't look at the back of my hand that often so Logic 9 would probably win that contest. I think Logic is brilliant and I could never get on with Protools. Logic seems so much better suited for composers.

I also use Sibelius 6. When I first started using Sibelius I absolutely hated it. I would always be trying to use Logic shortcuts and methods and it never worked. I persevered and now I simply can't imagine my life without it. It saves me so much time and musicians love it because scores are so easy to read compared to handwritten manuscripts. It is a truly wonderful piece of software.

Our current game is being built in the HPL2 engine.

I am totally awed by Albion Spitfire samples. They are wonderful, fun to use and so, so well priced. They also provide brilliant tech support. I am less enamoured with Vienna Symphonic Orchestra samples - they're good but somehow I never end up using them.

I use Kontakt 5 and I really love my Imperfect Samples Grand Piano sample. Its warm and lush sound really appeals to me.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would be to have a person who sat in a corner of my studio and who could magically fix any tech problems that occur. I seem to spend at least 3 hours of my day trying to work out what's buzzing, why sound isn't outputting, why Logic is short on memory, why the beam on a certain crotchet is shorter than the rest... you know what I mean people! We could all do with that little genie in the closet I reckon.

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