May 28, 2007

It's that time again...

by Chris Randall

I've outgrown the "producer's desk" I made a couple years ago, and I'm of the opinion that there are many things I'm good at, but finish carpentry is not among them. That being the case, I'm going to purchase a new producer's desk, one that is expandable as needs must.

I'm thinking of either the Middle Atlantic system or the Raxxess system. They are essentially the same thing, but the Middle Atlantic ones seem to be LAN shit that has been a little bit reformated for music needs, while the Raxxess system is purpose built. Does any of my fair readers have experience with either of these desk systems? If so, what are the pros and cons of either one?



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May.29.2007 @ 5:40 AM
i got a studio builder/carpenter to design and build my racks and tables, after many years of using premade (and some custom) stuff...

really, it's infinitely more important and useful than drum machines (fun as they are!) and well worth the additional expense..


May.29.2007 @ 5:48 AM
for just under US$200 I built my own from a large pine slab, pre-made table legs that screw in place to mounts and a sliding keyboard tray done from another bit of pine and some shelf/drawer rails. Built it with just a cordless driver and it dissasembles if I ever have to move it.

May.29.2007 @ 7:25 AM
I'll be picking one of these up after work- link []">link []

I'll let you know what the quality is like.


May.29.2007 @ 8:40 AM
Musicians and producers face the worst ergonomic struggles because we have tons of large, flat pieces that need to be placed 'just right': mouse+keyboard, control surface, keyboard all need to be at aprox the same level. Then you also need to take into account monitors, displays, etc... We haven't even got into rack gear yet, which, thankfully, doesn't need to be tweaked all that often.

It boggles my mind that all the current offerings have plenty of places to stash rack gear, but does nothing for managing piles of 'big flat stuff'

Why, oh, why, can't someone make something like the

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Offi Pocket Desk for musicians - this thing has a long, flat sliding shelf that you can tuck away. It locks into place. AND, you can't see it from the photo, but there is a HUGE cable bay in the back that tucks all your cables away. It is big enough for multiple hard drives and USB ubs and whatever else you don't want to look at.

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This is my work setup (messy, I know) I'm busy. Give me a break.

This thing costs an arm and a leg and it still isn't ideal. (simplicity is expensive, it seems) I'd like something big enough to hold a 76 key controller, and even as is, I had to replace all the knobs on the controller with lower profile versions so it would tuck inside.

Also of note is the

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Herman Miller Scooter

I use this for a bluetooth mouse and keyboard and it also scoots away under the desk (or elsewhere). Why can't anyone make anything like this for musicians?


May.29.2007 @ 9:03 AM
professor ned
"I went with Middle Atlantic stuff. I am not over the moon with the desk i am currently using but i really like their side racks with the overbridges. They are tough and stable. i have a DM3200 sitting on top of one."

I also have an MA side rack, and it is pretty stable. Since it's built for video, though, it's best suited for rack gear you don't plan to be accessing the front panels of, like, ever.

The build quality of Raxxess is somewhat inferior to that of the furniture you might find at a local K-Mart.



May.29.2007 @ 10:03 AM
meeglosh it is:

link []">link []

I know it doesn't look like much from the pic, but I came by this desk after nearly a year of research. It's the best deal out there.


May.29.2007 @ 11:02 AM
That KK desk looks like MDF, heavy and flimsy. It could sag inside of a year with heavy monitors and displays on it. Then again, I guess most of the desks out there are MDF, including Argosy. Their stuff looks the part, but it is huge. It makes the big TASCAM desks look tiny. MDF should be OK with good bracing. The one you have pictured (Raxxess?) does not appear to have good bracing and will sag like Barbara Bush.

May.29.2007 @ 11:51 AM
Chris Randall
Yeah. I'm _very_ anti-MDF. I managed to excise it entirely from our house, and refuse to buy anything made out of it for furniture; I don't see why I should change that because it has to hold up gear. As far as I'm aware, the only MDF in my entire existence is the speaker cabinets for my Adam A7s and those little Avantones.

I think the logical recourse is to have something built out of birch plywood that fits my needs. The form factor of the KK Guitar Center model is right; just need to get it built out of proper materials. That shouldn't be too hard to accomplish. Birch cabinet-grade plywood isn't that expensive (in some applications it is cheaper than MDF), is readily available, and makes for a much nicer finished product.

It's worth noting that hardwood is quite cheap here (Oregon's #1 export is wood, of course), so I could actually maybe get something made out of oak or whatever without just shitting out money, too.



May.29.2007 @ 11:56 AM
Chris Randall
Oh, and:

"We haven't even got into rack gear yet, which, thankfully, doesn't need to be tweaked all that often."

Well... Actually, what started all this is that I'm tired of getting down on my hands and knees to program my Eclipse. (a) I'm old and it hurts, and (b) I can't hear what the hell is going on. I wanted something like I had made where the rack spaces are right in front of me.


"This is my work setup (messy, I know) I'm busy. Give me a break."

I don't trust people with clean work environments. Anyone that has more time to clean than work isn't doing something right.



May.29.2007 @ 12:14 PM
cr, i think you made a mistake by not getting the UW version. Aside from the live resampling feature, which turns it into a completely different machine, the upgrade is useful for storing a few of your favorite non-MD kicks (esp. x0x)

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