Me in my studio: Chris Green
18th Jul 2012 | 10:30
Chris Green, aka Blurred Edge is an acclaimed British media composer and sound designer.He mainly works in computer games and advertising and has scored games and adverts for companies such as Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, HSBC and Renault.
In this gallery he kindly takes us around his studio and shows us the gear behind his unique hybrid of manipulated real-world instruments, sounds and soundscapes.Chris is currently writing the music to upcoming AAA game Need For Speed: Most Wanted.To check out his latest news and music, head over toblurrededge.co.uk
In the studio
"This is my North London based studio, which lives in a converted spare room in my flat. The main system is a 8-core MacPro, Fireface 800 and PMC TB2S-A active monitors.
"The Fireface 800 has been a brilliant core interface over the years, but sadly is about to be retired for a new Apogee Symphony system."
Main control station
"The main DAW I use is Logic 9, which I find quick, artistic and very powerful for creatively editing and processing recordings and sounds; especially using the new Flex Time, which can create some lovely artefacts when pushed to the extreme.
"In the background you can see the high recommended and transparent FMR Audio RNP8380 Really Nice Preamp and SM Audio M-Patch passive monitor controller.The keyboard is a StudioLogic full size 88-key MIDI controller with weighted, hammer action keys for a 'close-to' piano feel, which is pretty responsive and good for converting pieces composed on the piano to the DAW."
"I grew up playing the piano and recently have been lucky enough to get a beautiful (and very heavy) Bechstein Model B grand piano for the studio.
"It's amazing the difference having such a gorgeous sounding instrument to compose and record on makes and a lot of my pieces start life as basic chords, melodies and progressions on this piano. I'm not sure my neighbours completely appreciate it though!"
"The guitar is such a emotionally powerful and versatile instrument which I always like to try and record and incorporate into my compositions.
"Here you can see my Ibanez electric, Yari acoustic and nylon guitars. Also reminds me of my days of teenage angst, trying to be a rock musician."
"Never underestimate the power, skill and emotional performance of a real life musician over samples.I always try and record as much real performances and instruments as I can find and afford for each project.
"After the recording you can take these performances into your DAW and process them in interesting way to add extra edge and textures, but you always retain that musicality of the live performance. The microphone you can see in this picture is a Shure SM7B, which is a brilliant all-round dynamic mic and the super talented session violist Phoebe Fullbrook."
"Here is my collection of random instruments and percussion, which I constantly use to add extra life and variation to pieces.
"As mentioned in some of the other 'Me In My Studio' articles, it might be an extra bit of time and hassle to record in percussion, but in my opinion it definitely pays off in giving your pieces extra groove and movement. The microphone here is a AKG C414 and the various instruments include a Djembe, Tibetan Singing Bowl, Music Box, Zither, Jews Harp and Indian Ektara."
"The staple of electronic music, the Virus TI Desktop, not sure what to say about this that hasn't already been said, great sounds, lots of starting point presets, and it looks really pretty on your desktop."
"Here is a screenshot of some of the main plugins I could not live without, and go into every studio I work in with me, on my iLok.
"The main package is the complete Soundtoys Native Pack, one of these plugins normally appears on everyone of my sessions and there are countless tips and tricks for each effect. One of the best I recently read was to use the FilterFreak to add an analogue edge to digital synths, now I use that on pretty much every digital synth track! Also using the Decapitator to add a subtle analogue tape distortion to your mix can really help glue problem mixes together.
"The other main plugins is the amazing convolution reverb Altiverb, Speakphone which is great for adding real-world effects and spaces to instruments and the all-round channel strip URS Strip Pro."
"I get incredibly frustrated trying to mix and tweak sounds using just the very unintuitive mouse and have found I needed a more hands-on method of controlling my DAW and moving multiple parameters at once.
"After trying out a few MIDI DAW controllers I came across the Euphonix Artist Series and found their responsiveness, feedback and accuracy prefect, and the brilliant integration with Logic greatly speeds up my recording, mixing and mastering."
"This is my Olympus LS-5 which goes everywhere with me and is always ready to catch those unexpected sounds and soundscapes that you here is everyday life.
"I'm currently onto my forth one, after three got destroyed in various locations, such as the Sahara Desert, a Moroccan mountain and an Irish lake. But, luckily the memory card and dying recording survived in each case."
The little things
"Finally are a few little things that I couldn't live without and help the whole creative process flow more easily.
"First, I am very lucky to live right next to Highgate Wood, which is a welcome and beautiful distraction to clear the head when ideas for pieces are hard to come by.Secondly the core of any successful studio a high quality coffee machine and freshly ground coffee beans thanks to Square Mile Coffee and lastly my turntable and vinyl collection, to keep the inspiration coming."