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Any suggestions for Home Studio furniture to house all my doo-dads in? I visited Omnirax and they have the Prostation and Prostation JR M/C models shown under their Keyboards section. Problem is that they will not accomodate two 19" monitors. Any other home studio furniture manufacturers I should be made aware of? OR Any suggestions for a different approach? Can I get buy with just a single 21" monitor? Should I forget about my 88 key controller and purchase something smaller that will free up space?




SonOfSmawg Tue, 05/14/2002 - 21:57

Hehehe ... I have my puter systems set-up on 2 long, rectangular kitchen tables, the likes of which could be found at just about any Salvation Army for under $50 each. LOL. Just make sure you get the ones that include 2 leaves! ROTFLMAO.
Actually, I've been thinking about building a new unit so that my puters and gear don't take up as much space. I figure for about $200 worth of 3/4" plywood, 2x2s, wood putty, stain, marine varnish, and woodscrews, I can have an awesome workspace. Just "borrow" the ideas for the features you like in the units that are sold, and include them in your design. You can design it and build it in a few days, and end up with something you'll be proud of, will best suit your space and needs, and won't break your pocketbook. Just another point of view for you...

knightfly Tue, 05/14/2002 - 22:30

Hey Eddie, considering the tools and experience you mention, SOS has a really good idea. Plagiarize the ideas you like from all the various units, then build your own. That's my plan too - consider this: None of the units I've seen (haven't checked Opus' link yet, but I will) actually put things at the right height for extended working sessions. I have tried having a monitor up high, between nearfields - can you say excruciating neck pain? My design (still in process) has a 4 x 8 sheet of 1-1/8 waferwood flooring with the tongue and groove removed, as the tabletop. It will rest just far enough off the floor for comfortable knee room, no more. There will be tilt-out racks each side for support pedestals. They will be wired in the tilted out position, then all cables dressed past the hinges so they can be opened without removing a single cable. the fronts will tilt back enough for better viewing of the front panels, with a small blind rack panel at the top. The monitor bridge will be another piece of flooring - I'm using waferwood for the lower resonance. The monitor bridge will be supported by two splayed vertical pieces of flooring, oriented so you only see the front edge from the listening position, and spaced to allow one monitor between the two uprights and one on either side. The bridge will be just barely high enough to allow clearance for the 21" monitors, and only wide enough for left/center/right nearfields in a 60 degree pattern. This will allow a larger TV monitor at each corner of the desk that is larger/taller than the bridge. (Everything that can be BEHIND the plane of the speakers, WILL be) By keeping dimensions to no more than necessary, I will have the video at a comfortable slight down angle, just clearing the top of the mixers - this lets the nearfields sit at about 1" above ear height. If I tried to do this with pre-built furniture, I'd have to seriously modify anything I've seen to date. All visible surfaces will be laminated with pebble grain formica. There will be a 2x6 spine running the full 8' of the desk, under where the monitors sit, for strength. It will be let into the splayed lower rack supports, far back enough so as not to be a knee-killer. Everything will be glued/screwed for minimum buzz and resonance. I use a dos-based CAD program for all my drawings.

Try to get into the position you think you'd have to assume in order to use the furniture you think you want. Now, imagine maintaining that posture for 8 hours. Not a pretty picture? Build to suit YOU, not 1000 other guys.

Next advice: Budget about $700 for a chair. No, I'm not smoking any of Opus' stuff, I'm serious. If you look at the mags you've been reading, check out nearly ALL the pix of serious studios. Note that nearly every one shows the same semi-space age ventilated chairs(s) - These are made by Herman Miller, and I got mine at Costco for $600. They are usually more. My back was killing me before, now I spend more time in the chair and have NO back pain whatever. These babys have adjustable lumbar support, adjustable arm height and width, rear tilt lock, forward tilt lock, back tension, plus the usual air height adjustment. They breathe, and they allow you to walk away without pain after a full day in the sweet spot. Had I known about them earlier, I could probably have written at least 20 more songs and felt better at the same time. Just do it... Steve (with less Aleve)

Guest Wed, 05/15/2002 - 10:42

I'm liking the DIY furniture approach myself. For me the problem is I want to have computer keyboard/mouse, an 88 key keyboard controller, and a mixing surface all ergonomically optimally placed both horizontally and vertically. Sliding shelves for some would be nice. Add in correct monitor heights (computer and near field), and rack spaces for patchbays and select gear and you end up with a unique configuration that is hard to find ready-made.

So far, I have been using a combination of home-made oak rack/monitor station with a Rube Goldberg-esque configuration of Ultimate Support tubes and connectors. But I'd love to redesign a better looking and more compact integrated system at some point.

knightfly Wed, 05/15/2002 - 16:12

Yeah, LD, been trying to design that combo for about a year now. Can't get there from here, so I decided to make the mix position the priority. I have an Ultimate Apex key stand with two normal and one long clamp/bar set, so I can put the 88 controller, XP-50 and DX7-II on that to the left of the main mix table, then put my Roland V-Custom set to the right of the mix table. That way, I can keep the keys and E-drums behind my ears when mixing, so as to avoid early reflections. I have a Yamaha P2200 amp and a pair of 15" 2-way wedges that I use when not trying to be quiet, just to get the "gut-thump" on the drums that usually helps performance. I'll mount a second pair of nearfields up and behind the keys, to be turned on when playing. Maybe a flatscreen too, so I don't get a stiff neck when laying down tracks. When you try to get everything in the right place ergonomically AND acoustically, it really makes you wonder if you can live with cans. If you've noticed, all the furniture makers show their stuff with the nearfields 6 or 7 feet apart. I don't know anybody with 5 foot long arms, which is what it would take in order to sit in their version of a sweet spot. Hell, a foot more and the client could be in the sweet spot without making me nervous, although he would have to tell ME what it sounded like, since I would be AHEAD of it, so far off axis as to wonder what was playing...

Think how much easier life would have been if I hadn't bought any of those F. Alton Everest books, or at least been smart enough to just put them on the shelf for looks and not actually READ them... Steve

knightfly Wed, 05/15/2002 - 22:46

No, no, you had the right idea - I've been reading them for 15 years, and the only thing I'm now certain about is that I'd have to back up to go crazy... If you have any of those books still in your posession, you must bind them in silver chains, lock them with consecrated locks, sprinkle holy water into the lock mechanism until it rusts shut, wrap them in sheet block, seal them in true zip-lock bags making sure that the seal turns green, and never, never burn them. Even the fumes can be mind-numbing and will cause the inhaler to spout gibberish about flutter echo, QRD something or other, oblique yadayada's, etc. - Hopefully you waited for my answer aboout reading "them" - at least one soul may escape the evil, never-ending barrage of foreign, un-decipherable concepts and buzzwords meant only to torment the weak and deny practice time to fingers eternally stained with printer's ink and callused only by incessant page turning into the wee witching hours, while the drooling maw hollowly drones on in a dazed chant, "703, 703, 703," This is the NEW number of the beast, for 666 cannot so much as lift its head in the presence of the one true evil...

knightfly Fri, 05/17/2002 - 01:41

SOS - Other extreme, caused by too close proximity to transistors, some of which are ALSO bi-polar - quote - "Steve, please write a book."
Answer: I just did. You read it. You liked it, even though it was short, cause you said so. Fuck off. I'm sorry, that was rude. Fuck off PLEASE. (Yes, I am kidding, yes, that was in poor taste, and no, I didn't mean it. When there's no one asking questions I can answer, I try to entertain.)

Bi-Polar mode off...

Gee, SOS, thanks! Glad you liked it, and I HAVE considered doing just that, only I couldn't think of what I wanted to write about. Maybe I could do like Seinfeld, and just write a book about nothing. Corny as I get, I could call it Steve's Non-Adventures in Nothing-Ham. 'Cept I hate wearing green, so that'd have to change. Oh, and I'm a terrible shot with a bow and arrow, so I'd have to learn to split one bullet with the next one, but that's do-able, and then there's the... Hmmmm, maybe I should change my little slogan to "If yer ain't learnin' or laughin', yer losin'..." Later... Steve

knightfly Sat, 05/18/2002 - 12:34

Hey, SOS - you didn't take any of the preceeding post seriously other than this part, didja?

"Gee, SOS, thanks! Glad you liked it, and I HAVE considered doing just that, only I couldn't think of what I wanted to write about."

'cause all the rest was just my normal off-the-wall-ness quotient rearing its ugly head -

Warning label: Not for serious perusal by humans. Please do not try this at home, especially if loved ones are trained in the use of weapons. Plausible deniability statutes apply. Squeamish personnel please Delete Before Reading. Objects in Mirror may be Uglier than they appear. Carpe Beer. Spill wine, dig that girl, but clean carpet first. Never ask an Ogre if he's hungry. Always put the seat down. No, no, AFTERWARD, dammit...

Oh, yeah - chairs are cool (now we're back on topic) I HATE having to remember where to write stuff, diarhrea of the demented mind is soooo hard to aim, there's so many orifices for it to extrude from... (guess)

anonymous Sun, 06/09/2002 - 14:31

Back to the topic of furniture...
I found a very useful workstation desk at office max that accomodates a majority of my core gear and computer and is very ergonomical... Hey I found a pic of it! It isn't as nice as omnirax but it was $159 not$1599... It even has moniter stands!
Sorry, guess I don't know how to put a hyperlink in...
Good luck!

knightfly Sun, 06/09/2002 - 19:04

Hey Chris - welcome to the menagerie - I've been taking my pills lately, so I'll probably be semi-rational... Thanks for the link, cut and paste will probably work. The way I do a link, is to open a second page in my brouser, go to the page I want to link to, click in the address bar, do a [CTRL]C, change to the place I want to insert the link, type [CTRL]V, and there it is... Kinda like this -

Cool looking setup for that little bread, BTW - You might have to beef it up a little if you run into buzzes; a swept sine wave into your monitor system at 8-10 dB louder than you expect to listen should uncover any nasties without having to find them the hard way on your first CD... Steve

Doublehelix Mon, 06/10/2002 - 17:39


The KM Studio stuff looks pretty any prices? Are they just custom built "one-offs" or do they make a standard line too??

Looks awesome! I want! "Kimberley???" (my wife) "Can I have my allowance so I can go buy some more stuff for my studio?" "What do you mean, 'Can I spell "DIVORCE"?' Sure...D-I-V... HEY Wait a minute!!! hehe... lol!

Oh did that part about the DIY plywood table go again???

anonymous Tue, 06/11/2002 - 12:53

Thanks for the cut and paste info Knightfly... I tried that although I utilize the right click more often... But in the preview it didn't hyper link. Oh well, I may have smoked my lunch that day... HAHA. I'm kinda lost on the monitor part though... You mean interference from the computer monitor? I use alesis active 1 monitors and don't have any trouble... How would I beef it up?

Doublehelix: LOL... No shit, I'm not even married and I have to deal with the same thing. CHICKS! They just don't get it... I've had to resort to buying soft synths so she doesn't see another piece of equipment!

knightfly Wed, 06/12/2002 - 22:32

Hey Chris - I wasn't referring to interference between speakers and computer monitor - most newer nearfields come already magnetically shielded these days, so that usually isn't a problem. What I was referring to with the computer-style desk you linked to was the likelihood of less-than-rock-solid construction of a lot of PITYS furniture. (OK, that stands for PutItTogetherYourSelf... most of the time, if you put a piece of that kind of furniture into a room with audio signals bouncing around, you find that the piece of furniture has certain resonant frequencies, ones that cause the item to vibrate or buzz. If you don't notice these "sympathies" they may end up affecting your room sound to the point of screwing up otherwise good recordings, and you may or may not notice them until you go to mix down, by which time it may be too late to re-record.

The way to ensure that this doesn't happen to you is to "sweep" the room. You do this by hooking up an audio oscillator to your monitoring system, turning up the volume to several dB louder than you will normally track or mix, measuring the level with your Radio Shack Sound Level Meter (you DO HAVE one of those, don't you?)and adjusting the frequency of the oscillator slowly all the way from 20 hZ thru 20khZ, while listening for non-sinusoidal (not pure) tones, such as buzzes or rattles. This will usually find several other things in your room that should either be duct-taped down or removed. In the case of inexpensive PITYS furniture, one way to lessen the chance of this resonance is to ignore the normal instructions for putting it together, and instead glue and screw each piece of the desk together so it can't rattle. Other things, such as your favorite art print that "has to be there" just for the vibe, can be padded with stick-on foam "camper tape" or "weather stripping" - each "buzzer" will need to be handled in its own way, depending on whether it has to be in the room or not.

Another cure for "buzzers" is to zero in on the worst frequency for that item, then lower the volume until the buzzing stops, check the sound pressure level and if it's still louder than you intend to be, then forget it. I hope this clears up my too-concise earlier comments... Steve

anonymous Thu, 06/20/2002 - 19:04

Originally posted by ChrisStuckey:
Back to the topic of furniture...
I found a very useful workstation desk at office max that accomodates a majority of my core gear and computer and is very ergonomical... Hey I found a pic of it! It isn't as nice as omnirax but it was $159 not$1599... It even has moniter stands!
Sorry, guess I don't know how to put a hyperlink in...
Good luck!

Hey I bought this desk at "Sam's Club" in the states, for $99. Modified the upper levels to turn outward, instead of the way they are. Added L brackets under them, and they'll hold any near fields. That will aldo give you room enough between them for (2) 19" monitors. I have (2) 17"'s with plenty of room on each side.
I also Modified the lower pullout tray, with extra screws, and that holds my 76 note controller, no problem. This desk works great if you do all this to it.

anonymous Mon, 06/24/2002 - 13:10

OK, I see what you mean knightfly... No, I'm sorry, I don't have a sound level meter. I once thought of purchasing one to measure the db's on my theater setup but the ones that go high enough are too expensive. I'm pretty sure I can go above 130 db, and thats the limit on the radio shack model right? as far as recording goes my preoccupation with electronic/synth music negates any possibilities of ambient anomalies, since the only mic I use is for sampling and vocoding. Plus I'm not fortunate enough to have a whole studio room. I have to make do with a studio/ theater setup. Rattleproofing is a non existent thing around here anyway. The theater is driven by Mr. Carver's Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature amplifier at 405 watts rms per channel x 5 coupled with 2 Klipsch 15" 800 watt subs. There is no such thing as sound proofing! I would have to pad and ducktape the shingles on the roof! Not to mention the noize that the neighbors windows make!
But I know what you mean about the PITYS, but this unit actually seems pretty solid. The only thing that would have a chance to rattle would be the slider tray. I've shopped ALOT for studio furniture and this is by far the best that I've found short of paying $1000 or more for daw furniture.
And thanks for the idea dfloyd, I may turn my monitor shelves out too! That would free up some room for rack gear.
Has anyone thought of designing/manufacturing more affordable furniture designed for us?
Seems like everyone with any kind of setup is always looking for something more encompassing and ergonomic. I wonder how hard it would be to sucessfully produce and market well designed affordable studio furniture. Any ideas? I'm looking for a new career anyway!

knightfly Mon, 06/24/2002 - 13:34

130 dB in the same room with your ears? Save your money for 4x4 gauze pads - if you stuff them in your ears, you might not bleed to death... Speaking of which, are your neighbors already deaf, or just stoned? Seriously, if you listen to stuff that loud for more than a few minutes, the next investment should be a bone induction headset. I know it's sometimes fun, but take it from someone who works in an industrial environment; you WILL pay, sooner or later. Once those cute little wiggly things in your ears die, they don't come back no matter how much you plead. Nuff rant, I guess they're your ears...

On the furniture quest, if YOU can't rattle those desks I guess they are the deal of the century. Next time I'm near an Office Max I'm gonna pick up two of 'em. And yeah, I thought about designing a line of studio furniture since I've had zero luck finding just what I wanted, but I'm already struggling to find enough time for music as it is. Besides, if none of us is happy with what's out there, why would one of my designs fare any better? I figure we're each just different enough in the way we work that no 1, 2, or 6 different designs would please anybody. Sooo, I'm gonna build my own main desk and buy a couple of the Office Max thingy's, and that way I'll have the main mix center exactly as I want it, with a couple of keyboard/video editing desks that work.

BTW, if you ever decide to build an underground house near any known earthquake fault lines, be sure to warn the seismograph guys when you turn the theater stuff on, we wouldn't want any mass panic evacuations... Steve

anonymous Mon, 06/24/2002 - 14:44

Yeah, it is really excessively loud! But I just love to stand in the middle of the room and crank it as loud as it will go without fusing the speaker coils. And I know just where that is... It took 5 Klipsh drivers 2 horns and a tweet to have an ear for that perfect "right on the edge" level! It really gives quite a rush! But your right, not for long periods. I think besides it sounding sooo good, I get off on the feeling of danger and doing something your not supposed to do! Kinda like how long can I do this without getting the police called!But since I value my ears I keep that to a minimum!

And I stand by the desk! Two of them would be a great idea! I wish I had thought of it! I could use x2 width for sure. Thanks! My woman is gonna kill me! She was plenty pissed when I put the first one in!