The Creative Power of Computing

Recent events have seen me in my mad scientist’s laboratory less, and working on projects in remote locations more and more. Not my choice, but that’s the way it is.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fancy myself an artist. Not a great artist. Not even a good one. I’m a dabbler.  Music, art, writing, whatever. I just like to make stuff. I think that that more I make, the more likely it is I might make something good, and I have fun with all of it.

I was just thinking how amazing it is that with a good laptop, some (potentially expensive) software, and internet access, you can remain creatively engaged in almost any circumstance. Add in a few tools like a point-in-shoot digital camera, a good USB microphone, an iPod, or some kind of small MIDI music controller, and you have an art/music studio in a backpack.

My mobile setup now contains:

  • MacBook Pro with Garageband, Audio HiJack Pro, iMovie, Audacity, Pixelmator, and Pages. Will be adding Adobe Creative Suite to it soon, as well as Ableton Live.
  • Audio Technica AT2020 USB microphone: for on-the-go good sounding voice work.
  • Shitty old Canon point-n-shoot digital camera. Old enough it doesn’t matter if I drop it.
  • Tascam DR-40 digital audio recorder.
  • mini tripod
  • iPod Touch.
  • Sometimes a GoPro HD Hero.
  • various cables and shit

With this I can do almost anything in the art/music/podcasting realm that I want to do. Adding Ableton Live and Adobe Creative Suite will make this a really powerful backpack setup.

But elimate all the peripherals, and the laptop, software, and internet access are enough to do some great work.

The iPad is also an incredible device for creative work, but still a bit limited. Since I normally carrry a backpack with me, it is just as easy for me to have a laptop around. But I can see the iPad eventually evolving enough to replace the laptop. It’s already great for quick and dirty creative work. In fact, so are the iPod and iPhone.

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