Updated: Feb 2, 2022
By Robert Hicks | Media Composer
For Film Makers, Composers & Creatives
"Why I Love....My Laptop" published in Sound On Sound magazine January 2022
For a long time, it has been possible to engage with many admin duties on the laptop, sat somewhere nice like a café or in a garden. More recently however, increased power in our technology has meant more demanding creative duties can be run straight from the laptop, and this has liberated many from the confines of the windowless studio.
Yes, studios remain completely necessary. After all, they’re controlled spaces tuned to the needs of video, editing, recording and audio engineering but, do you have to do everything there? I suggest the answer is often no. Of course, the studio can be an inspiring place, but let’s face it, due to COVID-19, most of us are currently occupying that space in our home usually earmarked for sleeping, storing cardboard boxes and offcuts of carpet.
It made me wonder, do we instinctively associate the art of creativity with traditional studio spaces with vast amount tech-gear with their LED’s idly glowing in the background? I suspect we probably do, and that association may dictate our workspace design.
The reality these days is that most of us build our studio around a computer. For me, the laptop became my principal choice as part of a strategy to migrate to a largely ‘In The Box’ setup. Of course, you still need some outboard gear, but armed with a mobile rig I was thinking that I could perform a significant amount of my creative tasks from anywhere.
Why escape the studio? Well for me, as a composer, it’s infinitely more inspiring to write for Natural History whilst sat in the garden.
A view over the neighbouring fields, the sunshine enhancing the vivid colours, bees going about their pollen collection, birds arriving and departing. A solid garden table, a fresh cup of coffee. It’s a great place to be. Until it rains…
OK, it’s true. If you’re a professional creative, you still need a dedicated environment with certain pieces of kit always on hand, but, once you’ve collated those video reels or recorded those guitars, why not edit and arrange them in the garden, park or balcony?
For me, it’s important to regularly change the location of my working space. It keeps my ideas fresh and can often lead to clearer thinking and inspire alternative paths, because, sometimes having a dedicated room/studio can lead to a mental association with ‘work’ or ‘isolation’.
If you can, maybe this article will serve as a gentle reminder to get outside whilst the sun shines. You might be surprised how inspiring and liberating it can be.