two images, the first from when I settled on this arrangement last february or march. the other I took last night.
I’ve had more than a few arrangements in my 12 years in Brooklyn. If there is interest I’ll see how well I’ve documented them in pictures. We have a three room apartment and every room except the kitchen/living room has been “the studio” at some point.
I’ve never had the resources to have a Wow That’s Shiny Studio, but in general I’ve had a comfortable working space. the past year or so has been my first run without using monitors (Alesis Monitor One mk2 from 2002!). Having an output module has been helpful. we didn’t know what to do with the bikes (no storage in the building), but were reluctant to get rid of them, so they got mounted on the wall, above the space available for me to put a desk. I haven’t hurt myself. We are moving in two weeks so catch up with me in February for an all-new literally West Coast cramped corner setup.
In 2009 Anne & Richard & myself did a quick jaunt from Vancouver -> LA as Delicate Sen, and this exposed to me the hazards of a laptop-centric setup. Laptop/Virus/Keyboard was really good for me creatively for a long time, but I always found it awkward to gig with (usb! firewire! midi!), many points of failure that were difficult to compensate for in the moment. I spent 3-4 years finding ways to slim that setup down, remove structural weaknesses, and keep on track creatively.
This is how I got a first run MI Shruti kit, then the MFB Microzwerg and a Standuino (now Bastl) Microgranny mk1. I got a new bass guitar in 2012 and that was a good choice. Anne & I did a short tour as Fraufraulein where I just packed the bass (with a grip of preparation materials), MFB, Microgranny, and Strymon El Cap. super simple to setup and check, few points of failure, easy to “play.” There’s a fantasy gig I’ve never played where I just pack the MFB, Microgranny, El Cap and mixer.
As someone who has never had a driver’s license, much less a car, having gear that I cannot easily get in a taxi, subway, or overhead compartment is pointless. Expanding my eurorack beyond what I can take to a gig or a session doesn’t make sense to me. I see my synthesizer as an instrument I practice, I work through ideas, see where they lead, loop around on themselves or splinter off in another direction. While there are many differences between the synth and my guitar, I approach them the same way. It’s also much easier to just switch this system on and get going than it ever was to boot up Max, then Reaktor, make sure MIDI and audio interfaces are set up right, and get going. I don’t even use an audio interface, just recording from my mixer into my sony pcm-m10. (we have a sound devices USBPre that I should bother with but eh).
the most recent recording I’ve made available on the web is this:
this is from the beginning of October (2017) incorporating some field recordings I made in the large, empty house we were being put up in while Anne played a recorder in a kayak in a flooded quarry upstate. this was recorded in more or less the configuration pictured, iPhone playback of recordings instead of microgranny, and a configuration of eurorack that isn’t quite either of what is in the pictures. There will likely be a few releases featuring recordings from this setup under the bikes.
I edit on my bed now.
I’m unsure how to address “how does the space affect the music” - I’m certain it does, but I can’t really articulate it, I’ve been working in less-than-ideal “studios” my whole life. The more direct my access to my creative practice is, the better.