In the house
DJ, producer, label owner – house music maestro Chris Lake certainly likes to keep himself busy. Previously based in Scotland, these days he works out of his London facility, and that’s where Future Music magazine recently caught up with him.
Lake’s current pride and joy is his Dave Smith Prophet 08 synth, which he describes as “One of the best buys I ever made”. Explaining why, he says: “It just sounds so good, so expressive and fun to use. I’m using this quite a bit on all of my upcoming records”.
The rack, part 1
Like many producers, Chris has an Access Virus in his rack but, surprisingly, he says that it’s “possibly the least used synth I have”. He continues: “I just don’t end up using it that much even though it’s very versatile. I think I just need to dedicate more time to it.”
The rack, part 2
A Nord Lead Rack unit sits above a Moog Voyager: “What a sound,” says Chris. “It’s a shame it’s monophonic, but it is great for really warm standout leads, basses and effects. It got my attention though, because it lights up blue!”
Chris’s main set of monitors is a pair of JBL LSR43000s: “They just work for me nicely and the sound correction is pretty cool too,” he says. Above these sits a pair of Genelec 6040s, which are used “to make sure my mix has not gone sideways on the main monitors”.
At the record label’s request, Chris ended up adding a vocal to 2006 release Changes, which went on to be a big hit in the dance charts. “[Adding a vocal] was probably the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make regarding my career,” admits Lake. “I wanted to keep artist integrity and I suppose my ideal would have been to release the instrumental as a chartable record. But label pressure meant that they wanted a vocal.”
Chris is a big fan of Ableton Live, but he’s also a Logic user. “I decided to get Logic 8 on the Mac and I think it’s brilliant, especially for when I’m recording vocals. The feature to comp vocals in Logic 8 makes it so easy to quickly find the best parts of a take. This alone sells the software for what I need.”