Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Jessica Curry

Jessica Curry

Music composer, co-director (thechineseroom)

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.