The road, as they say, is a fickle mistress. Between high-decibel gigs, mind-numbing travel and a perverse sleep schedule, staying on top of production, remixes, and other creative projects while touring is no easy feat. That said, the technology exists to do so when needed, and in today's 24-hour business cycle the pressure is always on. So what's the trick to staying ahead of the curve?
Keep Your Batteries Charged
Both literally and figuratively, this is essential. Getting at least an operable minimum of sleep won't always be possible '" especially on travel- and gig-heavy weekends '" but if you want to take advantage of the inevitable downtime in airports and airplanes, you'll want to be rested (and of course you can always try to sleep on the plane if necessary, but that's not the point of this article). In addition to getting a reasonable amount of sleep, you'll want to be getting proper nutrients into your system so you have the energy to get quality work done. Besides trying to keep a balanced diet, taking a high-potency supplement such as Spirulina tablets can help keep your immune system and energy levels intact despite the rigors of the road.
Now to the literal: make sure your devices are charged before you leave the hotel. Try to remember to plug them in before you crash so they'll be at full power for the next day's travel. While some airlines have USB and other power sources in their seating, many don't '" so you'll want to keep an eye out for power sockets at the airport if you plan to make headway on your remix or other projects while waiting for your row to be called for boarding; this way you'll still have full battery life for the plane. If you're working with mobile devices, there's some great resources online for optimizing battery life; usually centered around disabling automatic updates and communication for apps, the techniques vary depending on your operating system, so you'll want to search for what's most relevant to your device.
Headphones: A DJ's Best Friend
Without the benefit of studio monitors, headphones will have to do in transit. Many DJs opt for headphones that are built specifically for DJing with over-emphasized bass response and high-mid-range transients '" which can be rather misleading when attempting a mixdown. As with any monitoring system, the most important thing is to understand how mixes 'should'