The ideal mobile setup

Contrary to popular belief, musicians, and in particular electronic music producers, do not spend most of their time on stage or in the studio. Travelling from city to city, country to country, these experienced travellers mostly juggle carpooling, train stations, airports, hotel rooms and other AirBnb. And honestly, it can be quite depressing.

What to do with this extraordinarily long and boring time? Some people read Alain Damasio latest book or catch up on their sleep. Others bask in a few episodes of the very good Arte Soundbreaking series. As for the most creative, they prefer to use this transit time to prepare their next DJ sets or, for the most motivated, to compose. MAO has the wonderful thing about it that it can be practiced anywhere. Kind of like yoga. On condition that you choose the right equipment to pack in your suitcase to optimize your creativity in these “degraded” conditions. A short guide for the nomadic producer

The minimum setup: Computer + DAW + Closed Headset

There’s no need to try to fit an MPC or Yamaha DX7 in your suitcase to make sound on the road. With a simple laptop, compositing software (DAW) and headphones, it is possible to do great things. Ableton Live, FL Studio, Cubase… The DAWs are almost all equal. As for the headset, it should be chosen closed and at low impedance, in order to have sufficient volume while avoiding disturbing its neighbours on high-speed trains or aircraft.

Zicplace choice: Beyerdynamic DT 770 pro 80 Ohms – €117

Where El Buhó is smart, it’s because he never comes out without an external hard disk full of sample banks carefully collected by him or downloaded from the Internet. An ideal way to create interesting sounds and not to reuse the basic synthesizers of your software for the umpteenth time. To a good hearing. 

However, it is easy to understand that some musicians may find this setup a little frustrating. Keyboarder, synth-nerds, singers or field recording enthusiasts will therefore need a little more equipment to enjoy themselves while travelling.  

To go further 

  • A small USB 25 keys midi keyboard to play anywhere

Zicplace choice: Akai Mpk 225– €251

  • A portable battery-powered recorder to collect samples or record at the hotel

Zicplace choice: Zoom F8N – €880

  • A Groovebox 

 Zicplace choice: Roland TR-08 – €300

  • Un synthétiseur pour doper sa créativité

 Le bébé : Teenage engineering Pocket Operator – 100 euros

El Padre: Moog Mother-32 – €600

  • An effect pedal

Zicplace choice: TC-Electronic Flashback X4 – €200

You will have understood it, no more excuses from now on not to take advantage of this time to start a new song. And why not embark on a real musical project? 

Alexis Tytelman

Novembe 2019   

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