Sometimes it is hard to be productive when you work at home. Primarily when your office or home studio location is in your bedroom. But there are things you can do to battle that bug. Welcome to BEDROOM MUSIC STUDIO: ERGONOMICS 101
To get work done, you have to set specific goals to achieve by the end of each recording session. You also have to arrange your workspace and get the right tools that are ergonomically designed to increase productivity.
WHAT IS ERGONOMICS?
Ergonomics is a science of designing the workplace to fit the capabilities and needs of the worker. A workplace should be designed to increase productivity and decrease fatigue.
THE PROPER MINDSET
First of all, ask yourself, why are you recording music? Is it a hobby or a business? Whatever music means to you, you do not have to pressure yourself that much.
Whatever the reason is why you are doing what you are doing, try to separate your work from what you usually do at home. Even though your workplace shares the same space as your home, it doesn’t mean you can’t separate them. You need the proper mindset.
You don’t need to be strict about your rules. You can work at a pace that you are most comfortable with.
You can try mixing it up and try different work schedules. And go with whatever works best for you.
IF YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO, NOTHING CAN STOP YOU
You love music and recording music. Whether it’s your passion, your business, or both, loving what you do is inspiration already to be productive.
SETTING YOUR GOALS
Before starting to work on anything, write down what your goals for the recording sessions are. This way, you won’t stray down a path to the abyss and lose track of what you are trying to achieve.
Now that you have the proper mindset, it’s time to move on to the fun part.
DESIGNING YOUR WORKPLACE
THE RIGHT TOOLS
There are a lot of factors that may affect your productivity. In recording music, here are a few aspects to consider.
Your bedroom is your workspace. Try re-arranging your bedroom where the bedroom part of the room does not interfere with the studio part of the room.
Pick out the right furniture that is designed ergonomically for what you are doing. For a music studio, pick a desk with the right height and a chair that fits you comfortably.
Your equipment placement should be where it is easily accessible from where you are sitting. The gear that you will be using the most should be the closest.
- USER-FRIENDLY COMPUTER SOFTWARE
Productivity can be affected by the Digital Audio Workstation software that you are using. Try to look for software with a user-friendly interface that is designed to make work easy.
Whether you are just starting to make a bedroom studio, or you already have one, you’re going to have re-arrange everything.
PICK A SPOT
Chose the right spot in your room that is away from any distractions. The reflection of light on your computer monitors is a small disturbance that can affect your workflow.
The decorations of your bedroom studio may help ease your mind and boost productivity. A simple painting, office plants, or even hanging your favorite guitar on a wall mount can inspire you to continue working.
FIND YOUR CENTER
Symmetry is vital in the workflow. If you find the center of your space, that would probably the best place to put your computer monitor. You are going to sit on that spot for hours, so make sure all your gear is within reach effortlessly.
Considering you have a simplistic music studio in your bedroom, I imagine having all of your gear in reach would not be a problem.
Some producers and sound engineers tend to switch from the computer keyboard to the midi controller while working on a project. Consider getting a desk that has a sliding deck for both types of equipment to be easily accessible in the center of your desk.
FIND THE RIGHT ANGLES
The angles or the positioning of your gear is a huge factor that affects workflow. There is a certain angle that works best when you position your computer monitors and keyboard.
Find the angle where when you are working, does not affect your posture. Frequent body movement will cause fatigue and will eventually cause under-productivity due to being tired.
Purchasing the right furniture like the desk and chair is the number one solution to this problem.
Here are examples of products that are ergonomically designed to help improve your workflow:
VERSADESK POWER PRO- ELECTRIC DESK RISER
This is a height-adjustable desk converter. The height adjustment feature will help you find the right angle that is suited for you. The cool thing about this desk is that it is electrically powered. Meaning you can adjust the height with a press of a button. The height is adjustable up to 20 inches high.
It has two large tiers. The top one is for your laptop or desktop monitors and speakers. The bottom layer is wide enough to fit your mixer, midi controller, or keyboard.
It has computer monitor mounting holes so it would stay in place.
The quality of the desk looks durable. It is made with a carbon steel frame and a high-density fiberboard surface. The product can hold up to 80 lbs.
They come in a variety of different sizes, the 30, 36 and 40 inches wide. You can choose which one can accommodate all of your gear.
(Please note that this is not a desk. It is a desk riser. You can place this on top of a surface and convert it into a desk.)
ELETAB DESK CONVERTER
This is a cheaper alternative to the VersaDesk if you are on a budget. Although this desk converter is not electronically powered, it has the same features of height adjustment.
It also has the pull-out keyboard tier and a wide tier that could fit two monitors. The maximum height can be adjusted up to 19.7 inches.
The maximum weight it can hold is 33 lbs.
It is made with high-grade steel with sturdy construction. When you purchase this product, it comes with a 3-year warranty from the manufacturers.
This is a neat product if you have a minimalistic recording set up. This is a multi-functional lap desk, which angles your laptop to view it more conveniently.
It has built-in wrist support for typing or programming audio tracks. The minimal and straightforward design is an excellent space saver too.
When you purchase this item, you get a 5-year warranty, and a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
PWR+ LAPTOP TABLE STAND/ ADJUSTABLE RISER
This is another excellent product for laptop users. It is affordable and helpful. You don’t have to buy the electric rising desk converter if you already have a good enough desk.
This is a lightweight, durable aluminum laptop tray. You can position your laptop at different angles, and even rotate it up to 360 degrees.
It will lock in place when you find the desired position. It also features a quiet USB-powered laptop cooling fan.
KT1 ERGONOMIC KEYBOARD TRAY
This under-desk computer keyboard tray is an adjustable keyboard tray you can raise, tilt, swivel, and slide to the desired position.
This is designed to optimize workflow and decrease fatigue in typing. You don’t usually type a lot of words when recording, but you could fit your midi controller on here and use it as the same function
Being comfortable will definitely improve your playing, so you don’t have to edit a lot of the midi placement on your tracks.
VIVO DUAL LCD MONITOR DESK MOUNT
A heavy-duty desk mount will not only save you space but will likely improve workflow. Having a neat and tidy desk puts you in the right state of mind for working.
I personally like working with dual monitors when recording tracks. It is suitable for multitasking and doing meticulous jobs like midi mapping.
The Vivo LCD mount can carry monitors from 13 to 27 inches, and the weight capacity for each mount is 22lbs.
You can easily clamp it on the back of your desk, and it is ready to use. The cable clips on the center poles of the mount are good for having a tidy workspace.
SMUGDESK ERGONOMIC OFFICE CHAIR
The SmugDesk Chair is a comfortable chair that is ergonomically designed to suit your needs. Having a chair like this is crucial for productivity.
It features lumbar support, breathable mesh back, a padded pillow headrest and pneumatic controls for more effortless height adjustment.
The armrests are perfect for long hours of being on the computer. When you are working on the desk, your arms must be rested and parallel to your keyboard to decrease fatigue.
Smugchair is another good alternative. It has a fully functional headrest that lets you adjust the tilt at different angles. The lumbar cushioning is enhanced to reduce muscle fatigue and pressure.
This chair is fully adjustable, from the headrests, armrests, and you can even tilt the chair back for maximum relaxation.
This chair has incredible quality. It is built with the finest materials to ensure its durability and sturdiness.
DURAMONT ERGONOMIC OFFICE CHAIR
This chair is quite pricey compared to the other on the list for several reasons. If you have money to spend you should go for this chair. Just by looking at this chair, you can feel how comfortable it is.
It features state-of-the-art adjustable features. The height and angle of the headrest can be adjusted to suit your height perfectly. You can also change the depth of the lumbar support that helps you keep good posture.
The Duramont Office Chair has a weight capacity of 330 lbs.
There are a lot more chairs you can buy, and these are just examples of what you need to improve the ergonomics of your bedroom music studio.
You can add a footrest to your arsenal; they are quite useful for supporting your legs when sitting down for countless hours.
You should get all the products you need to feel your best every day. You may spend a lot of money, but in the long run, you are saving money from protecting your body from the long-term effects of working all day.
Having a whiteboard in your studio can increase productivity. If you list down all your desired goals for the recording session, you will never lose track of what you are doing.
You can also do this on a piece of paper, but having a whiteboard looks more professional.
DO IT YOURSELF
If you are a little short on cash, there are a lot of other ways to improve the ergonomics of your workspace. You can adjust the height of your monitors by simply putting books under them.
If you have T.V., you can connect it to your computer for dual-screen multitasking.
Building objects yourself can also give you a sense of accomplishment. If you have the tools and skills, why not right?
You can build a specialized desk that fits your height and your equipment. Remember to be careful when using power tools, especially around children or your pets.
EQUIPMENT or GEAR
Proper gear management can increase productivity. What do you need and use for recording? Do you have unnecessary gear laying around that you hardly use? You can put that away or sell them if it just gets in the way.
- CABLE MANAGEMENT
Recording equipment could be messy sometimes. A ton of wires and cables hanging around can get in the way of things. Try reorganizing your cables so that they don’t get in the way.
If you have money to spend or you are just starting to build your bedroom music studio, go for Bluetooth connectivity.
Technology is your best friend when it comes to tidying up your space. BLUETOOTH EVERYTHING:
- Speakers and monitors
- Midi controller
You can purchase these items that feature Bluetooth connectivity. That is if you have the money to spend.
You don’t have to get Bluetooth items. You may want to manage your wires neatly, so your workspace looks tidy. You can buy zip ties for the extra-long cables.
Click here to read an article on how to set up a minimalist recording studio. It features a list of items with Bluetooth connectivity to get more information on that topic.
USER-FRIENDLY RECORDING SOFTWARE
If you are a beginner, try mastering the easy to use DAWs to make the most out of your time. By Mastering using your DAW, you can work effortlessly and not lose your train of thought.
Learn the keyboard shortcuts. It will make recording smooth and easy.
Here is a list of DAWs that I find to be easy to use to increase workflow:
LOGIC PRO X
Logic Pro X’s user interface is pretty straightforward. The tools and instruments are on one side, and the timeline is on the right.
With features like Smart Tempo, adjusting the timing of your tracks has never been this easy.
The Flex Time feature lets you sync all the tracks tempo easily. The feature auto-adjusts and synchronizes by merely matching the waveform of each track.
When perfectly quantizing tracks is one of the most frustrating tasks when recording. I suggest you get DAWs that auto quantizes for more productivity.
iMPC PRO 2
The iMPC Pro 2 is an easy to use DAW that features an MPC type of workflow where you load samples into pads and record.
Sequencing is more comfortable with the iMPC Pro 2. It has an iOS app so you can work on the go, then transfer the projects on your MAC for more thorough editing.
These are the DAWs I suggest you start with if you are beginning to learn the software. Most recording software has a one-week trial period so you can try what you think is best for you.
For intermediate producers, keep on working with your preferred apps and master every shortcut that is relevant to make your work easier.
Limber up. You may not be doing a lot of physical activity, but you will be sitting down for hours. It is good for you to stretch your muscles and exercise before work.
It will help your blood circulation and make you more productive the whole day.
Your body is as important as your mind when working. The tips in this article do not just improve productivity, but it also helps maintain your posture.
Who would’ve thought that something so simple as adjusting the height of your screen can have a massive impact on your productivity?
These simple things do not have to cost a lot of money. Just make way for these minor adjustments and get significant results in the long run.