So I’ll probably write a few of these posts as I learn more about producing on the road. What I do know is that it certainly makes the time go faster!
Firstly lets start with Trains
The first bit or work I did while on a train was a short 45mins express from London’s Victoria station to Gatwick Airport. The good thing about express trains is, you don’t need to worry about missing your stop when your destination is the only stop on the trip! This went really quickly and there actually wasn’t much to see out the window other than some bare paddocks that back of some housing estates and a few trees – if you’ve been travelling for a while, the novelty of different trees wears off after a while so staring at your laptop making music instead seems like a pretty good alternative.
The longer inter-city trips in Germany are a bit different. Many stop along the way and you need to pay attention to where your stop is and get prepared in advance. In Germany its unlikely you’ll understand what the PA is saying so keeping one eye on the little electronic screen at the end of the cabin is a good idea so not to end up somewhere unplanned.
I carry my laptop in my smaller backpack with my headphones, so its easy to whip out and get right into a session. I get some interested looks from passers by staring at the Ableton on my screen and AIAIAI production headphones and wonder if I’m trying to hack into the trains mainframe.
Having a seat with a table is definitely an advantage over a small fold out tray (especially if you’re 192cm tall) you can spread out and not get a sore neck from looking down as steeply.
Producing Music On Planes
You’ve probably seen Instagrams and tweets or Facebook updates from famous producers in their private jets with their Macbooks working on tracks in between gigs as they fly across the world. Well I wanted to try this (minus the private jet). Obviously your laptop needs to be off during takeoff and landing but if you’re flying half way around the world like I was (Australia to London) you have about 20 hours or so do pump out some tunes while the plane cruises at altitude. Again you get some weird looks, and you need to make sure you have some good headphones as not to disturb your neighbour when you’re crankin out some electro while they’re drifting blissfully off to lala land. But most decent headphones are pretty quit for everyone except yourself.
Producing in Hotels
Hotels are great you have unlimited power, room service and usually a comfy desk and nice chair and once you’ve done your days sightseeing you can settle right in to working on your latest track with no disruptions at all!
Free wifi to listen to your favourite artists for inspiration is also a plus!
1. Always have your laptop fully charged! You never know when you get a burst of inspiration only to find you’ve got 5% battery left and now power to charge!
2. Find a seat with a table (on trains) so you don’t get a sore neck.
3. Get some good headphones so that you don’t disturb those around you.
4. Remember your samples!
5. Back your files up to Dropbox as soon as you are in a position to do so.