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My 8 hour screen job kills my hobby
Old 4th November 2020
  #1
My 8 hour screen job kills my hobby

Hi friends,

I would be interested to know if there are people here who, besides an 8 hour screen job, produce music on the screen as a hobby.

It's kind of getting on my nerves to sit down after work and I'm constantly feeling unable to do so, so I'm in the process of completely outsourcing the production and only recording, composing and making music. I also have children, so I always get to them late.

It's a bit sad and unsatisfying because I'm an artist and write my own songs, but I can't produce them myself, even though I have the finest equipment lying around and I'd like to.

I've already thought about changing my job, away from screen work. But this is easier said than done as a skilled software developer.

Are there any fellow sufferers here? Any advice?
Old 4th November 2020
  #2
Back in 98/99 when buying my first gear I went for hardware based partially on liking the MPC workflow and looking at screens most of the day at my job - which at the time involved a lot of LabView software programming day after day. There are plenty of options available to you. I make Hip Hop so as is sample based I went for an MPC plus a Roland SP808 sampling workstation back then and still use the MPC but now with better console and outboard processors and still occasionally find a use for the Roland. I do a final bounce to a DAW just to get my master into computer world to pass on to the vocalists.

There are plenty of digital hardware or ADAT recorders around and dirt cheap now so if working with live instruments that kind of set up can work for you. The only downside is the cost of hardware compared to plugins but that's never bothered me as I still have hardware 20 years later that doesn't require constant updates or is lost when not compatible with a new DAW or operating system so swings and roundabouts to some extent.

My advice would be to stick with software engineering as that is a good employment sector to be in nowadays and use hardware for music. I know plenty of dudes that do the same thing for the same reasons with varying amounts of DAW involvement so do what you're comfortable with.

Making music should be enjoyable not a chore so anything that improves enjoyment is a good thing be it surrounded by a stack of nice hardware in a comfy chair or a laptop and headphones in your local park.
Old 4th November 2020 | Show parent
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfantastic View Post
Back in 98/99 when buying my first gear I went for hardware based partially on liking the MPC workflow and looking at screens most of the day at my job - which at the time involved a lot of LabView software programming day after day. There are plenty of options available to you. I make Hip Hop so as is sample based I went for an MPC plus a Roland SP808 sampling workstation back then and still use the MPC but now with better console and outboard processors and still occasionally find a use for the Roland. I do a final bounce to a DAW just to get my master into computer world to pass on to the vocalists.

There are plenty of digital hardware or ADAT recorders around and dirt cheap now so if working with live instruments that kind of set up can work for you. The only downside is the cost of hardware compared to plugins but that's never bothered me as I still have hardware 20 years later that doesn't require constant updates or is lost when not compatible with a new DAW or operating system so swings and roundabouts to some extent.

My advice would be to stick with software engineering as that is a good employment sector to be in nowadays and use hardware for music. I know plenty of dudes that do the same thing for the same reasons with varying amounts of DAW involvement so do what you're comfortable with.

Making music should be enjoyable not a chore so anything that improves enjoyment is a good thing be it surrounded by a stack of nice hardware in a comfy chair or a laptop and headphones in your local park.
Thanks for the answer. It is always nice to hear a few fellow sufferers.
The job as a software developer is not bad - that's true. You don't destroy yourself.

I'll see if something like an MPC Live can help. Apart from that I have already equipped myself with devices for recording. This works really great with the hardware recorders.

Something like vocal editing, pitch correction always gives me a hard time. It's hard to imagine that this can be done without Screen for example.
Old 4th November 2020
  #4
I'm not sure what can help with vocal editing as I only deal with instrumentals that are sent away for the addition of vocals. Maybe some kind of mixture of hardware and DAW so you can use the DAW for that kind of thing but use hardware for everything else is what you need.

I've heard a few comments over the years of people looking at screens all day and then while doing music outside of their job getting eye strain so glad I chose the hardware route.
Old 4th November 2020 | Show parent
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfantastic View Post
I'm not sure what can help with vocal editing as I only deal with instrumentals that are sent away for the addition of vocals. Maybe some kind of mixture of hardware and DAW so you can use the DAW for that kind of thing but use hardware for everything else is what you need.

I've heard a few comments over the years of people looking at screens all day and then while doing music outside of their job getting eye strain so glad I chose the hardware route.
Thanks, I'll see what works. Maybe have a few things done externally.

I think sometimes with the 8 hours a day, it can't be good in the long run and I'll get a brain tumor sometime. I have to make sure that you take a break more often.

I still notice the next day at work, if I was sitting at the screen in the evening the day before. That quickly becomes too much, you have to take care of your body.
Old 4th November 2020
  #6
Yeah I figured the same luckily before investing any time and money into a PC based set up. Really glad I did now looking back. I could perhaps have saved some money but not have had as much fun as hitting buttons. Hope you work it all out
Old 4th November 2020
  #7
Here for the gear
I suffered from "sequencer neck" back when I started doing audio editing as a hobby in 2004. I would get so involved in the work I wouldn't even notice it until it was very painful. In fact I had to go to the Dr and get a cortisone shot once.
I keep that at bay now.
Old 4th November 2020
  #8
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Old 4th November 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaem View Post
Any advice?
Get the crappiest 4-track cassette deck you can find, a guitar and some bongos and see what you can do with it. Get away from the screen for a while.
--scott
Old 4th November 2020 | Show parent
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
Get the crappiest 4-track cassette deck you can find, a guitar and some bongos and see what you can do with it. Get away from the screen for a while.
--scott
I already do that, except that I use a digital multitrack recorder. I am also getting quite far with it and I am very satisfied. The rest of the editing is just hard to do with hardware alone, I think.

I give it to a producer from that point on. But I would rather do the rest myself.
Old 4th November 2020 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaem View Post
I already do that, except that I use a digital multitrack recorder. I am also getting quite far with it and I am very satisfied. The rest of the editing is just hard to do with hardware alone, I think.

I give it to a producer from that point on. But I would rather do the rest myself.
Get an Ampex and a standalone CD recorder, then. Maybe an RNC too.
--scott
Old 15th November 2020
  #12
Gear Nut
 
Hi, I am also a software engineer. I understand what you mean. After a day of solving complex issues and writing algorithms, your brain is sometimes too tired to be creative. The key is to feel free, to know you are not limited by time. This is why I would recommend to stop any screen from 6 to 9pm, do some sport, eat, take time with your pet/friends/family/wife/etc. and then, from 9Pm, go back to your keyboard with a fresh mind. But usually, I do most of my work during the weekend, and do the finition during the week.
Old 19th November 2020 | Show parent
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donedeal0 View Post
Hi, I am also a software engineer. I understand what you mean. After a day of solving complex issues and writing algorithms, your brain is sometimes too tired to be creative. The key is to feel free, to know you are not limited by time. This is why I would recommend to stop any screen from 6 to 9pm, do some sport, eat, take time with your pet/friends/family/wife/etc. and then, from 9Pm, go back to your keyboard with a fresh mind. But usually, I do most of my work during the weekend, and do the finition during the week.
Thanks for your message. It's okay sometimes, if you pull yourself together and the working day wasn't so exhausting. But all in all I don't get into the flow as much as I used to when I sat 8-10 hours straight in front of it when I still had school and studies and it's gettin harder with the age.

I'm trying to concentrate more on my performance and its recording at the moment. So I'm already working to full capacity with that and I can easily get more out of 2 hours. The rest I let do externally as a trial.

I have to see if I like the external productions of my recordings, or if I can work on them further. Sometimes it only needs a little support to get ahead.
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