RSI (Repetitive strain injury) is the disorder caused by making music with a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) PC. They call it ” RSI ” for the generality, but it is actually called a-specific ”CANS”. CANS stands for ‘Complaints of Arm, Neck and / or Shoulder’ (arm, neck and / or shoulder complaints). As you know, I started making music a year ago. Producing, mixing and editing, and what comes with it if you want to make a product complete is video and photo editing for clips and cover art, not to mention promotion, as far as my network reaches. And now you have to imagine how many clicks it can be. They are not just mouse clicks, they are stressful clicks waiting for the moment where the crucial edit should happen. In the picture below: I am not myself but my son, but in the place where it all happens. I am usually a lot of judge, but that did not protect me against RSI.
At work I have to do monitor work on average 16 hours per week. And that in the most justified ergonomic layout, I can at least adjust everything to electronic desk height, so I do not think that my work cous it. But last year my studio has grown from nothing into a monstrous dehydration in the middle of the living room, and all the hardware I use every dayly is built around me with shelves, wallpaper trestle, polystyrene foam and duck tape. It is not really ergonomic, but it is choosing or sharing and also a lack of space, let’s say that if. I would make that place really ergonomic, I would lose more money than all hardware and software together. That place is fine for normal use on a PC, but on the other side is a PC specifically for video and photo editing that I do in between when the DAW PC is busy, and a unloading laptop for the DJ controller lying around in places that is still available at that moment. In principle, I have arranged the entire production process like a walking belt to get things done quickly with the least loss of time.
Loss of time! Loss of time had become somewhat of an obsession and bottleneck to carry out all my ideas and creativity that I have in mind, once you are in a creative and concentrated flow, you do not want to interrupt it. I work from 8 to 5, so it has to be done in the evenings and weekends and to limit the time loss to the minimum I have also reduced my social life to the minimum.
It must be meaningful! Okay, it’s a hobby, but when I do something it has to produce something tangible that others can also enjoy, not for the money. I have never had the illusion that I will ever hit a hit and my music is not there, and to be able to peddle and dance with my music on a stage I am too old, so just say the boat missed. My goal is to create a somewhat professional sound and find the niche that my music can appreciate as I make it, and see it visibly on statistics on Spotify or iTunes, this is my goal. And everything that results from it is simply taken away.
If I slept 4 hours a day it was already a lot. Was so in my musical drift that I ignored all the symptoms of RSI, it started with a callousbubble at the Ulna it started to ignite because I leaned all the time, bought special mousepads and mice and the calluses were gone, so keep going. Then my fingers began to tingle and feel dull, then my wrist occasionally got locked, shake with a hand and it was gone again. The tingling and stitching also started in my upper arm, but I just kept on going, until I got a muscle knot in my shoulder and my neck felt burning and the pain could not be kept, and even pointing at the mouse did not work anymore, until my poor in total paralysis. Then just call the doctor, and in a consultation by the physiotherapist explain what kind of exercises I should do. After practicing the exercises daily for a few months, it is now as good as it is about, only I can not play in a row for so long without the feeling coming back slightly. And that is extremely frustrating for me not to be able to do so many things while my head is full of all kinds of sonic experiments.
So, out of necessity, I have draconically adjusted my method of making music. The production process partly automated with the Roland DJ-808 and a few large sample packs purchased for EDM producers, so I have to cut a lot less, paste and multiply and have a track ready faster. The downside of the fact that I record a lot less own sounds is that it sounds a lot less original, although I have to admit that sound technical sounds a lot tighter. Making music on a DAW with ready-made samples is just playing with Lego, but then slightly more abstract. Nevertheless, it still leaves a lot of shifting and clicking with the mouse to keep everything in the right direction, also my social media activities have to pay for it. But fortunately I have organized the production process in the way that a train, once it has started, is hard to stop it 😀