Home Studio Ergonomics
An article by Todd Simpson - Original Thread
You may have noticed, maybe not, that a LOT of Studios have a TRACKBALL instead of a MOUSE for controlling the computer in the studio. Certainly not all. But a LOT of professional studios have a trackball sitting on the console or below the computer monitor. It's usually the same model as well. It's either one of two Kensington units. Either it's the "EXPERT MOUSE" (the black ball)
Or it may be the "SLIM BLADE" (Red Ball, which is what I use as it allows you to scroll web pages by simply rotating the ball which is very handy, and the click response requires very little effort thus reducing hand fatigue).
Sometimes it's the wireless variant. These units run about $100 typically. Some consoles have a track ball built in such as in this pic. Which also has a track ball on the computer control stand (expert mouse)
The reason is simple. Performance. Once a user gets used to using the trackball, it's just flat out faster and in a studio time is money. Also, they reduce strain on the wrist which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome/repetitive stress injury. That's why I first switch to one. I used the computer so much I injured myself. I was practicing too much as well. The trackball helped. As a bonus, I got way faster than I ever was with a mouse. Here is a video about the trackball with some interesting factoids. Anyone else out there a trackball user?
As long as we are on ergo stuff for the studio, here is a new keyboard that is being done through crowd funding for gaming that would be great for a studio imho. I think I'm gonna get one!! It's a "split" keyboard which reduces hand strain/fatigue. The mouse is more important imho for studio use as we spend more time mousing than we spend typing when working on music. This has some great features on it.
Personally, I've been using a wireless IOGEAR wireless multimedia keyboard for years in my studio. It's got laptop style keys which I find helps with speed/reduces fatigue as the push pressure is very small, and it's got a built in trackball!!! So that If I'm leaning back in my chair and can't quite be bothered to reach up for the big trackball, it's fine. These run about $45 on amazon