Getting Comfortable With Your Environment

I’m back in Sydney for the lead up to Christmas, and using the last months of 2016 to try and turn some ideas into finalized tracks.  Today was my first day working in my ‘other studio’ (i.e. the spare room of my families’ house)… and although I’ve bought all my key pieces of gear with me (PC, audio interface, mic, Volca synths, etc…), I’m back to using my old monitors, and ofcourse in a different room to what I’m used to.  These two things are fairly fundamental differences on their own, but what surprised me working today, was how much smaller differences can disrupt your inspiration and workflow when you’re used to working in a routine process and environment.  Looking back, when I left Tokyo last week, I’d been working in the same physical place, and developed a routine over 6 consecutive months.  It surprised me today how much I missed small routines that make up the working day producing… going to the convenience store to get a coffee, going for a quick break at a cafe etc.  The options for a lot of these breaks and routines outside the studio are very restricted when working in the outer suburbs of Sydney as compared to the centre of Tokyo… for example (as I found tonight) finishing work at 9PM and expecting to go around the corner for a quick beer is not an option.

I was surprised also, how used to and comfortable with my monitors and room sound I had become in Tokyo.  I’m back now with my old monitors which have a significantly different frequency response, and a room which is unfortunately square-shaped and has some really serious null points in the bass frequencies.  I had developed a lot of confidence for trusting my ear, especially when applying EQ… but found today that I had to make changes very cautiously.

But, a change of environment is not all bad.  I’m a big fan of using natural percussive ‘found sounds’ as part of my tracks, and after one day of being surrounded by new, random objects which could become a percussive sound source, I’ve already got several objects I want to sample, and ideas for how to build tracks around them.

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