First of all, it’s really cool to see this thread still going strong after over two years!
It’s always inspiring and interesting to see different approaches, and how other people have solved the various problems that come from just having a small corner in the house devoted to music making.
Over the years my music desk, grew a little bit. From being a small table, to, well, a slighly bigger table But it’s still complicated sometimes.
Sometimes having to write down one’s thoughts (like when posting on a forum like I’m doing now) can be very useful. Also I’m very interested to hear if anybody else is in a similas position.
So, giving it a bit more thought, I realized that the issue is mostly how my workflow relates to the physical space. I basically have 3 phases in how I like to make music:
- This is what I would call “noodle and collect” phase. Here I mostly just play around with things. Sometimes just for the fun of it, sometimes in a more focused fashion, because I want to make a track out of it. In this phase I mostly like to play with very tactile, hands-on instruments. But I also like to have something to record at hand. Whenever I feel there’s something interesting coming out, I hit record.
- The editing phase. Where I try to make sense of all the snippets and random recordings, and build a track. This is mostly done in the DAW, but I sometimes like to send things out to an external effect, tape machine or the modular and record it back in.
- the polishing phase. This is where I fine tune the tracks and do the mixing. It’s 100% being done in the DAW.
To make things more complex, I do not like to have too much stuff around, it distracts me. And I like to have enough table surface free. So if I have an idea and want to try something, I don’t have to first make some room for it (instant inspiration killer). Also I do need to keep the modular accessible, even if I sometimes go for weeks without turning it on, because I need it for work.
I would basically need 2 desks. One for phase 1 and one for phase 2-3. Because I feel like the more creative phase needs a very different mindset and approach than the others. Plus phase 2 and especially 3 need decent monitors and require me to sit in the sweet spot. There’s a whole series of ergonomic aspects, deriving from this, to take care of.
Of course this would all be nice and dandy, if there wasn’t a bit of overlap between the phases for the equipment needed. The modular can be the main source of sounds for phase 1 but also something to add or process sounds with in phase 2. Norns can be used to create loops or to process things, etc. This means that either one has multiple devices/instruments of the same type, or one has to drag things around, redo connections etc. This can be quite a deterrent if one only has small breaks in which to create.