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Gadgets for music producers on the move

iPad at the bus stop

Travel has a way of creating downtime when least wanted or needed. Combine that with being a music producer who’s in demand and that downtime makes things worse. It’s necessary to have the ability to create, think, and delegate on-the-go to maximize that downtime. Turning it into productive time means less backup, more productivity, and people getting things done while you’re in transit. Portable gadgets that stand alone or plug into a smartphone for saving and sending files keeps everything flowing. They’re invaluable for when the muse hits or a track needs something extra, or to provide feedback. Following are the best gadgets a music producer could want for travel.

Soundbrenner Pulse Wearable Metronome

This wearable metronome gives you both a visual and physical reference for setting the musical pace. The screen displays a pulse that represents a time beat. Turn the watch dial to set the metronome faster or slower. And if you can’t look at your wrist while working, there’s always the haptic feedback. Let your hands flow over the keyboard or frets while the metronome silently signals your timing without the need to look at your wrist.

High-End Smartphone

Modern smartphones have high-powered microprocessors, memory, and cloud storage that make working on the go a breeze. A phone like the Galaxy S7 on a powerful network like T-Mobile’s is a winning combination of speed and reliability. Plus there’s an incredible selection of music-related apps in the Play store that focus on single or multiple instruments.

Plug in your headphones, pull up the app, and take advantage of its features to create your next opus. Store the resulting file on the phone or in the cloud for later retrieval, or upload it to your studio for your co-workers to go over. A smartphone makes it much easier to get something done while maintaining privacy and minimizing interruptions from a fellow traveler.

Jamblaster

Jamblaster is a device that lets you crowdsource your music anywhere you have an Internet connection. Plug your audio feed into the unit, connect it to the Internet and play live with a musician somewhere else in the world. Watch the performance in real time and make your notes as it comes through. The unit connects to Windows and Mac computers and has a control panel app that works on iOS and Android phones. Upload video to YouTube and share them privately or share the audio with others to critique the tracks.

The only downside to the Jamblaster is the fact it needs a fast upload speed for playing live with others. High-speed uploads are hard to find on the road, but it’s still a viable tool to interact with someone who wants to share their latest idea.

Portable Battery Pack

Devices have a sneaky way of using up a lot of battery life. It seems like a full charge goes to 50 percent in no time flat. And there’s never an outlet when you need one. Avoid the low battery blues by carrying a spare battery pack or two with you. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re in the middle of your flow, your battery is about to die, and you can’t find an open outlet.

Battery packs are increasing in size and going lower in price quickly. You won’t run out of juice with a 10,000Kw battery pack at your side. And some have solar panels on them for trickle charging when you can’t plug into an outlet to recharge. Plus they’re small and easily carried in a pocket for quick access. Portable batteries are also allowed on flights as long as you keep them out for the TSA to scan during the security check.

These are just some of the handy gadgets a music producer can use while on the road. You never know where you’ll be when creativity strikes. Not getting caught out to write down a thought, play a series of notes or put together a chord is invaluable. The nature of memory is an ephemeral one, and you want to catch that thought when it’s hot.

Photograph by Incase

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