My trusty but ancient chair has finally squeeked its last irritating squeek and I need a good replacement. For performing I've always favoured a piano stool, but for mixing I need something good that aids the posture. I was wondering what everybody here uses - I know so many of you spend day and night in front of the monitors and must have some great suggestions!.
You could always act like Walter Murch and set things up for working on your feet. I get the feeling that I would be more focussed that way, myself. But I might get too temped to leave the studio to sit down.
Another option is to get a large excercise ball and sit on that. The idea is that you keep moving just that little bit, but not enough to get fatigued. It might make noise on some surfaces, but you can get them for about $20.
Strange options for sure, but you never know what one might prefer.
Thanks for the replies guys. Yeah, I think Lee's right. Its a case of testing what will best suit my noble butt in a mass test fest. The exercise ball is an intruiging suggestion Jon, one that will help avoid the onset of piles!. I think I'd be afraid of falling off when operating the footswitches though.
You can get the Herman Miller Aeron with standard lumbar pad for around $600 if you take the time to shop around. The newer lumbar-contraption is supposed to be nice, but the basic pad design is also very good.
I can certainly vouch for the Aeron. These days, I have to be in the chair for 8+ hours. It is well worth the money to be in something which really treats you right.
Here are the things I really like about the Aeron:
The arms are nice, and go low enough to be useful without getting in the way. They have three click-stop angle settings.
It comes in three sizes (A, B, and C) to cover the gamut. I am 6'-1", and the B size fits me very comfortably. I tried a C, and it was too big.
The fabric (they call it Pellicle fabric) is a taut nylon which supports your weight with just a bit of give. It's not bouncy, but it is quite comfortable. It is excellent as far as temperature comfort is concerned...cool in the summer, nice in winter. There is no padding--the fabric itself provides the "cush."
The adjustments are great. The center of gravity in the seat adjusts as you lean back, so that your weight is always centered in the chair. This makes it feel very stable--you'd never tip this over, even when having a little hanky-panky fun. You can adjust the stoppage point on leaning back to fully-free, constricted to just past upright, or constricted to a very "good posture" slightly forward lean. The chair is supporting you no matter how you're sitting, though, so you don't need to necessarily lock it for good posture. There's a counterbalance spring to set up the resistance to your weight (set and forget). You can adjust the location of the lumbar pad. Of course, there's the standard pneumatic height adjustment.
I have an old back injury (thanks, Fender Rhodes). My old, basic task chair was pretty comfy, but my back was always a little sore after long days. The Aeron dramatically improved that. It's extremely comfortable for long periods of sitting, and the constant support forces you to be conscious of your posture.
The only minor beef--you need to vaccum the chair every couple of weeks, since the very open-weave fabric allows lint, etc, to fall right through on the metal parts. The salesman also warned me not to get crazy with plopping down in the chair, in order to keep the Pellicle fabric from pulling out, but I have had this thing for going on three years, and I have never babied it in any way whatsoever.
All in all, I would really recommend the Aeron. There are several chairs on the market which are as highly regarded as the Aeron, but none which are anywhere near its price range. It is about the cheapest chair of its calibre to be found.
Last, but not least, it's pedigreed--a nice piece of designer-grade furniture. People who know furniture will know what it is.
Everybody talks about "comfortable" while I learned that too much comfort makes your body weak. "Comfortable" will make you sit all day in a stationary position, like a statue holding a computer mouse. After one or two years of comfortable sitting you eventually end up with total muscle loss. You will even lose the muscles that support your body for the simplest of functions. Believe it or not, but watching TV or sleeping in bed will physically hurt you.
Move around as much as you can, folks. And if it is somehow possible then get up every 20 min. and do something else (like a small exersise, or walk the stairs, make some coffee, whatever!). If you can stand up while composing/editing/mixing, then so much the better. If your gear is set up like a cooking island where you have to walk around all the time, then you're already doing fine.
My warning message is meant for those who have a sitting life after their studio hours. Those who have a sports life, besides their studio life, do not need to worry so much.
Why don't they tell us that we should bend at the knees when carrying a usb pen drive from computer to computer?. I could have saved myself a hernia!.
I'm in my early 30s (does that still count as young?!) and I screwed my back up a decade or so back when I used to have to shuttle a Kurzweil K250 between gigs. Actually, my current MP9500 isn't too lightweight either. I reckon there's a few challenging bits of hardware left to punish the spine, at least until 2025 when we'll all be performing with sample orchestras using just the power of our mind.
Anyway, it looks like splashing out a bit of extra cash on a Herman Miller Aeron is going to be a sound investment so I'm going to follow them up. Thanks again to all for your help.
You can get another $200 or so off the price compared to that. You definitely want to get the "highly adjustable" vs. "basic." Their price for the basic is more than I paid for my "highly adjustable--lumbar pad" model B.