Technology has always had a big impact on music. From how it sounds, the processes through which it’s made and performed, and also how its distributed. Once thing I really like about having a laptop is that it’s now possible to take your studio anywhere. This is really useful when fitting production in around a full-time job.
Austin Kleon has a great post on working on your art everyday.
Building a body of work is all about the slow accumulation of a day’s worth of effort over time. Writing a page each day doesn’t seem like much, but do it for 365 days and you have enough to fill a novel.
Having a portable DAW and some headphones means I can fit in 15-20 minutes of production on my commute as well as on my lunch breaks. With technology like Solid State Drives it’s even easier. If Im sitting on a platform with 10 minutes to spare then I can pop my laptop open straight away and kill a bit of time with some productivity.
Personally I still find I write the best melodies when Im jumping around behind my MIDI keyboard at home, but train time is great for things like arranging, editing and sound design. If you don’t already take advantage of these snippets of time then I’d really recommend it.
Unfortunately producing music isn’t quite as location friendly as writing a novel because there is background noise all around us.
This isn’t the end of the world, especially for tasks like arranging but because Im at it everyday I do like to use some Etymotic earphones which have earplug style tips. They can be a bit of a pain to put in but they do block everything out for sure. Alternatively there’s a wealth of noise-cancelling headphones around which Im sure would do as good a job if this was something which bothers you.