Kim Lajoie's blog

Clicky keyboards

by Kim Lajoie on April 25, 2012

Shawn Blanc:

As someone who writes for a living it befuddles me why I never thought to research a proper keyboard.

As a computer-nerd-slash-writer, I am always looking and advocating for the right tools. But for years, I have always equated “writing tools” with “software” — I own more text editors than I have fingers to type with — but it never dawned on me until recently that a good keyboard could be equally as important as a good text editor.

I own a dozen different writing applications, a programming application or two, an email application, and a blog-posting application. And what do they all have in common? They all get typed into via a single, solitary device: my keyboard.

It’s a long post and it gets pretty esoteric, but the general message is clear: there’s so much noise about software (and, in our world, noise-making hardware) that it’s easy to overlook the less-exciting equipment. The equipment that might be boring or unsexy but we use every day. Some of this equipment we use more than any actual ‘studio gear’. I’ll bet you spend more time setting on your chair, touching your (computer) keyboard/mouse/trackpad and staring at your screen than you do using any individual software program or plugin.

Of course, the kind of keyboard Shawn is writing about is terribly inappropriate for our line of work (I actually quite like Apple’s current keyboards because they’re relatively quiet). But the same attention to detail applies to us. Think about your own studio. Are you still using a crappy MIDI/USB controller keyboard? What’s the lighting like? Is the room large enough to feel comfortable? Does your studio smell nice?

Ultimately, the work we do is creative. The fewer barriers to our creativity, the better work we can do. And the way we feel has a profound impact on how well we can tap our creativity.

Is your studio a place where you (and your artists) feel good?


3 thoughts on “Clicky keyboards

  1. Lo Mei says:

    I love my mechanical keyboard. I don’t mind the noise. The feel of it is the important thing. Same thing with my midi controller/stage piano. The sounds aren’t the greatest, and it’s noisy, but it’s a joy to play.

  2. Kim Lajoie says:

    “It’s a joy to play” – that’s the most important thing!


  3. Nigel Nason says:

    I remember when my turntables were out in the shed a few years back it was near impossible to get motivated to go out there, especially during winter, some nights my fingers would be so cold that I couldn’t even grip the vinyl. Seemed like a great move at the time but I’m so glad I brought them back into a nice warm cosy room. Even if the music must be a bit lower in volume its still worth it.

    One thing I find important for the studio is a good chair. One of the last things people want to spend money on but you could be sitting on it for 5 hours straight and not realise which is not good for you anyway but in a crappy chair you can get some bad back problems (as I’ve had). Decent midi keyboard is also a must for me.

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