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Creating the most comfortable work environment...
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Amber
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#1
14th January 2013
Old 14th January 2013
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Creating the most comfortable work environment...

I hope Narcoman doesn't mind me putting this in here. Reason I feel it belongs here is I guess most composers are sat in the same place for long periods of time, whereas other studio dwellers move around more often, changing mics, etc.

I'm getting various aches and pains. In the back of my neck, my right wrist (from my mouse!), my eyes, calfs etc.

I've bought a small Apple bluetooth keyboard copy (£11, no much different to my girlfriends £60 one), my hands feel better being flatter to the desk. I've realised that my mouse is too far the the right (due to the cable going around my USB keyboard controller) so maybe a bluetooth mouse or Apple Magic Trackpad will help this a lot.

I'm thinking of buying a proper music desk(the £100 one from Thomman), have the keyboard and mouse on the lower pull out tray and then my USB controller keyboard on the main desk. My monitor is too low now and I'm bending my neck down all the time. The desk I was looking at has a higher shelf which would raise my monitor up.

Speakers will be going on stands in the next month instead of the desk.

I've also started looking into changing the colour of my DAW (Logic in this case) I've noticed a few people change the background to white instead of the dark grey. I can't make up my mind if this is bad for my eyes or better.

Any tips on what else will help? Does anyone lower the brightness of their screen? I did this with my last screen as it seemed to make my eyes ache but I have a better screen now after the last one died and I 'think' the brightness doesn't affect me the same way.
#2
14th January 2013
Old 14th January 2013
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Take frequent breaks. Instead of (for ex) working from 12-5 without a break, work from 12-5:30 with two 15 min breaks, at say, 2 and 3:30.

Exercise. Lift weights. Do calisthenics. Stretch. Go for a walk (at least 1 mi.) If you are getting aches and pains, that could be because you are not drinking enough water. Drink more. Eat more meals that are smaller, rather than fewer that are bigger.

All of these things will help.

Cheers.
#3
14th January 2013
Old 14th January 2013
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The big cue ball sized trackball!!! I do not know how I lived with a mouse before this. I can use a mouse just fine for normal "office" style computing, but for automation, DAW stuff, the trackball is the only way to go.

For you eyes, take just a few seconds every 15 minutes or so to look away from the screen and focus on something closer or further away. That exercises your eyes and keeps them in good shape instead of looking at the same distance all day long. A top end monitor helps a lot as well. You may not notice it, but if you have just an "average" monitor and swap out with an incredible monitor, your eyes will be grateful.

Other than that, it's just getting old.
#4
15th January 2013
Old 15th January 2013
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#5
15th January 2013
Old 15th January 2013
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The perfect chair?

I'm looking for the perfect chair.

I've been really lazy about making a decision and been using a superior IKEA chair for 10 years .... realising that this is not the best solution and hours turn into days turn into weeks that I'm sitting here at my DAW!

Does anyone have any recommendations? (I'm living in the UK but guess many of these items are internationally available)

Thanks
#6
15th January 2013
Old 15th January 2013
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I remember reading research years ago that hinted a great deal of the issue being keeping your feet firmly on the floor and knees/legs at right angles (approx). Also not having too high or low a desk.
#7
15th January 2013
Old 15th January 2013
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Re: Chair. Aeron chair. Best office chair I've ever used. Wish I could afford one for home use
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16th January 2013
Old 16th January 2013
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Used F.lux last night. It's a huge help!
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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thinking of getting to Presonus faderport to put to the left of my typing keyboard (or maybe right of mouse). Think it'll help my workflow.

I had a Logitech trackball mouse a few years ago (big red ball on top) and felt it slowed me down. I've tried my gf's Magic Mouse and it's quite nice but not worth £60.

I see Might mouses on eBay for £10. Worth a try? Was looking at the magic trackpad but looks like it'd be fiddly with a lot of things.
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Kensington Expert Mouse Pro trackball.... couldn't live without it. Hate most other mice I've tried. I've bought this thing 10 years ago. It broke once around year 2 and they sent me a new one for free. Going strong ever since...

I also HIGHLY recommend taking walks daily. It helps with so many things physical but also helps my creativity. Get writers block? Take a walk.... or a nap.
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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#12
28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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#13
28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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i love my magic trackpad and highly recommend it.

also a good chair is important, proper lightning, exercise, and a mini-fridge isn't a bad idea either
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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I've heard people say the magic trackpad is fiddly in a DAW. You feel okay with it?

Never thought about lighting. I see people have lighting behind their monitor. My setup is in a room with no overhead lighting so I've got a little lamp that hovers over my keyboard and mouse (but doesn't shine in my face)
#15
28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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#16
28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
thinking of getting to Presonus faderport to put to the left of my typing keyboard (or maybe right of mouse). Think it'll help my workflow..
Consider the Alphatrack. Of the two (I have both) I prefer the Alphatrack.
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#17
28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Consider the Alphatrack. Of the two (I have both) I prefer the Alphatrack.
The scroll/jog strip at the bottom looks really useful.
#18
28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Its the "knobs" (ooer) & display I find useful. Yes - I said it, I like to display a useful knob......
#19
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Consider the Alphatrack. Of the two (I have both) I prefer the Alphatrack.
Aren't those guys out of business? Careful with that purchase.
#20
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
Aren't those guys out of business? Careful with that purchase.
Dunno but the website is operative and copyright says 2013. I bought mine second hand and they've been great.
#21
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rompetigo View Post
If you work in the dark often or in a room without natural light check out f. lux it's an absolute lifesaver

f.lux: software to make your life better
Wow, thanks for this! Fantastic software.
#22
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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As mentioned earlier in the thread, good chair is worth its weight in gold. I was having all sorts of pain in my shoulders, back and butt, until I invested in HM Aeron chair. Within several days, upon the purchase, I felt better, and the work was enjoyable once again.

Another aspect of comfortable working environment, at least for me, is keeping the workspace and studio free of instruments, cables, microphones, stands etc. that are not used for that particular project. If not in use, I pack it up and put it in the closet.

I keep the desk free of "clutter". Except for the keyboard, mouse, paper pad, pen and a spill proof coffee/tea mug, there is no need for anything else to be on the desk.

Scented oil plugs/air fresheners are a must; I love scents, as much as I love sounds.
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29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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One thing I've now got on my desk is a see through Mini disc rack holder thing from Muji, about 3" wide and 12" long (ooer!)

Using it to keep things like my capo, USB sticks, random screws, bank cards etc.

I've love to get the HM chair but it's not a realistic expense right now.

Today I zip tied my multi plug adapter to the underneath of my desk to reduce clutter. I'm getting there!

Still not sure what to do with regards to mouse/trackpad/trackball.

Waiting for a cheap Alphatrack to pop up on eBay.
#24
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugus Maximus View Post
I'm looking for the perfect chair.

I've been really lazy about making a decision and been using a superior IKEA chair for 10 years .... realising that this is not the best solution and hours turn into days turn into weeks that I'm sitting here at my DAW!

Does anyone have any recommendations? (I'm living in the UK but guess many of these items are internationally available)

Thanks
I wouldn't bother with the Aeron if I was you. Maybe 10 years ago... But now It's very outdated and forces you to sit in a certain way. Look at the Humanscale Liberty. I use one in my studio, they're fantastic!! This one big time office website claimed it "The Aeron's Successor" - So there you go
#25
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
thinking of getting to Presonus faderport to put to the left of my typing keyboard (or maybe right of mouse). Think it'll help my workflow.
An iPad running Lemur may be more worthwhile! You can create a control surface that fits your workflow and has exactly what you need on it
Of course you don't have the physical knobs and faders of a traditional control surface... But the pros definitely outweigh the cons... And, we ARE in 2013 after all !
#26
8th February 2013
Old 8th February 2013
  #26
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I'll pitch in with my personal requirement.

90 degree angle with my knees from chair to floor, same for elbows. I like working more in depth on my surface area. I.e. Elbows from where The surface area start and not having to angle my hands while resting hand on mouse/keyboard/faders.
Monitors placed low so that I'm looking slightly down angle.

A good chair will also do wonders

If I'm not sitting like this I tend to arch slightly to The left which result in earlier tirement.

But each to his own I guess.
#27
9th February 2013
Old 9th February 2013
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I got a swopper some months back and love it. My back feels far happier. I've used aerons as part of an office-based job and thought they were a decent chair, but I personally prefer spending hours sat on a swopper rather than a 'traditional' chair. F.lux is a fascinating idea - I'm going to check that out now.
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#28
9th February 2013
Old 9th February 2013
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$699 and not available in the UK.

I think I need to lower my desk, my forearms are slightly raised.

Still can't find an Alphatrack on eBay.

Liking the idea of having Magic trackpad to my left and maybe a Kensington trackball on my right.
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