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  • Writer's pictureJinx Chin

Keeping The Work Tools In Good Shape

This is a subject that doesn't really rank at all in the list of glamorous aspects of being a composer, but it is rather important, and that is....making sure your computer is in good shape. You know us musicians, we always obsess about new and shiny music gear, instruments, effects, microphones, and the list goes on. But hardly anyone talks about keeping the air vents of your laptop free from dust.

She goes wherever I go

While I do have desktop workstations in my studios, since I travel a fair bit, and since my clients are from around the world, I tend to rely on my laptop computer for my work. I have to admit, I don't give it as much love and credit as it deserves, but I should. It has been with me for the past 3 years and it has been quite rock solid in its performance, despite some of my projects being quite large. That being said, since quite a lot of my projects are commercials, they don't get as large as say, movie projects, but I also make sure that I am judicious in my use of effects processing and virtual instruments, to ensure that I minimise the possibility of my computer choking.

Wherever this composer travels, the work goes with me

I think ideally, the laptop should be cleaned from accumulated dust every month so, and this can be done using a small computer vacuum (like those used on computer keyboards) but I just go ahead and use my regular vacuum cleaner, with my makeshift attachment.

And probably once every 6 months, your laptop should be disassembled and the dust in the internals of the laptop should be wiped off.

Check out the dust in the fans! I am definitely not a fan!

Here's a closer look at what needs to be cleaned big time!

Be careful here though, because you don't want to screw up some of the delicate parts of your laptop. This is when you wanna take a little time to be a little more meticulous in your cleaning. Toothpicks and cotton buds are quite helpful here. Once you kind of loosen the dust off your fan blades, fire up the vacuum cleaner again to suck up all the loosened dust and gunk out of there. Then reattach the bottom covers and rest assured with the feeling that your laptop is not gasping for air any longer!

This is more than just a mere laptop computer...this is really the main part of my mobile studio, which is the main part of my profession, so I better make sure it is always ready to jump to work, just like me, whenever projects arise, which can happen at any time. Like the saying goes, "Time waits for no man", "Music projects wait for no composer".

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