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How much deskspace is an electronic musician supposed to have Desktop Synthesizers
Old 12th October 2017
  #1
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How much deskspace is an electronic musician supposed to have

Just had a closer look at the Rytm mk2. After Novation Peak and DSI OB6 its the 3rd piece of kit during the last year, i would be seriously interested in but can not take due to them being not rackable. Its a shame really. These are serious gear companies, What are they thinking?

How much deskspace is an electronic musician supposed to have anyways?
Mine is completely occupied with mixer, mouse, keyboard, monitors, midi keyboard, pad controller for drums...

Please dont tell me shelves were a solution. There is a standard shelve available. It has 19''.

Companies ignoring industry standards suck and no one should buy gear from them.

Old 12th October 2017
  #2
I agree. It's a shame the 19" format is being abandoned. How hard is it to make them 19" wide so you can rack them as an option.

Virus TI is a perfect example of how this should be, right down to the inputs and outputs which can be adjusted towards the back or to the bottom of the unit.
Old 12th October 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plaid_emu View Post
I agree. It's a shame the 19" format is being abandoned. How hard is it to make them 19" wide so you can rack them as an option.

Virus TI is a perfect example of how this should be, right down to the inputs and outputs which can be adjusted towards the back or to the bottom of the unit.
Another great example is Waldorf Microwave XT and Q racks. Each are 5 rack spaces but the rear where input/outputs are is recessed for easy access. I love 19" standard racks. I only have so much table spaces. Already went vertical 3x 3x 3x, and my cat needs space.
Old 12th October 2017
  #4
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the answer is: as much as you need for the tools you use
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How much deskspace is an electronic musician supposed to have-studio1.jpg  
Old 12th October 2017
  #5
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Let's look at some info and see what we come up with.

Elektron is a maker of desktop devices. It's what they do and is what should be expected from them. Even the Analog 4 and the keyboard version of the Monomachine could be considered desktop devices. So, the first question we might ask is WHY does Elektron keep making their devices in the desktop format versus a rack mount format. I think the answer lies in the way the devices are designed to be used.

Elektron instruments are meant to be interacted with quite a bit. They have pads, buttons knobs and screens, all of which are much easier to access and use in a desktop format versus being vertically mounted in a rack. Their instruments are not of the "set it and forget it" variety. Usability is likely the driving force behind them utilizing the desktop format. Think of all the videos you've seen featuring their devices...there is always knob tweaking and button pushing going on. Who wants to do that sort of thing in a rack under their desk?

Elektron devices all have a similar (if not exactly the same) form factor and that makes design and manufacturing at least a bit easier as well as helps with brand recognition. Just from the shape one can tell that the device is something from Elektron. This is likely "by design" and intended moving from that can disrupt things.

I'm all for options. A product with many options can make it more versatile, usable, convenient and give it the ability to work in many different environments. But I also understand that there are well considered factors involved in product design and the designers usually weigh the pros and cons and come up with what they think is best for their product.

All that said, there is an option here, that seems simple. Elektron could create rack ears for their instruments. So the question is why doesn't Elektron do that?

Whatever you do...DO NOT GOOGLE "ELEKTRON RACK EARS"! Also, do not look for anything like rack shelves (static or sliding). In other (non-sarcastic) words, your solution exists and is only a online order away.

Last edited by pr0gr4m; 12th October 2017 at 08:57 PM..
Old 12th October 2017
  #6
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while it's good utilising space in your studio for gear, sometimes i see studio photos like blinky's above as being completely unergonomic. i often see i most studio pics with desk being up one end of the studio and the equipment down the other end. in a home studio setting you want all your gear as close to the mixing desk as possible, if not based all around your desk. the U-shaped setup is the probably the most ergonomic.

i would probably say to to the OP get yourself a jaspers 3 or 4 tier stand, and put boards on them and attach a small ledge on the boards and you can put your gear like desktop modules on them.
Old 12th October 2017
  #7
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
Just had a closer look at the Rytm mk2. After Novation Peak and DSI OB6 its the 3rd piece of kit during the last year, i would be seriously interested in but can not take due to them being not rackable. Its a shame really. These are serious gear companies, What are they thinking?

How much deskspace is an electronic musician supposed to have anyways?
Mine is completely occupied with mixer, mouse, keyboard, monitors, midi keyboard, pad controller for drums...

Please dont tell me shelves were a solution. There is a standard shelve available. It has 19''.

Companies ignoring industry standards suck and no one should buy gear from them.

Yeah, it's a problem, but I see why Dave Smith made the OB-/Prophet-6 the size it did. To save money in production costs for the two different versions. I'm just happy they did do modules, as companies that just do keyboards are way worse, IMO. How many keyboards are you supposed to own?

We may bid on a condo soon that won't have a dedicated room for me. It's not going to be easy, but I'll figure out a way, because this is what I do. I don't even feel I have an option to stop. Luckily, there's a fairly decent amount of compact gear available, and the hard truth is, I could easily continue with a lot less. Using ITB solutions can be a good substitute for a small desk space.
Old 12th October 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 View Post
while it's good utilising space in your studio for gear, sometimes i see studio photos like blinky's above as being completely unergonomic.
are you saying my studio is not laid out well? i am confused by your comment.

Old 12th October 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post
are you saying my studio is not laid out well?
basically yeah!

Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post
i am confused by your comment.
why are you confused?

it's a bad workspace, and so is other studio setups i have seen on GS. i always believe the mixing desk or computer (if you are ITB) is your central point. i don't think i would like to constantly move between a synth or module down one end of a studio and back up to a mixing desk at the other to adjust levels, eq etc.

sorry but your workspace is unergonomic, although not just yours, but many others as well.
Old 12th October 2017
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pr0gr4m View Post
Also, do not look for anything like rack shelves (static or sliding). In other words, your solution exists and is only a online order away.
This brings up a good point. I really wanted my old Korg Electribe in the rack with my other synths, so I bought a rack-mountable sliding shelf. Takes 3U total with the Eletribe on it. Slides out easily and provides a sturdy surface.
Old 12th October 2017
  #11
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I don't understand why companies don't give the option for both like Virus or Nord Lead. It seems like they are automatically excluding a certain % of customers, doesn't make sense to me.
Old 12th October 2017
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 View Post
sorry but your workspace is unergonomic, although not just yours, but many others as well.
the photo was submitted with regard to the OP's commentary on deskspace. i have a desk with tons of stuff on it. are you gonna ask how i use it since there are no wires or power cords?

Old 12th October 2017
  #13
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
Just had a closer look at the Rytm mk2. After Novation Peak and DSI OB6 its the 3rd piece of kit during the last year, i would be seriously interested in but can not take due to them being not rackable. Its a shame really. These are serious gear companies, What are they thinking?

How much deskspace is an electronic musician supposed to have anyways?
Mine is completely occupied with mixer, mouse, keyboard, monitors, midi keyboard, pad controller for drums...

Please dont tell me shelves were a solution. There is a standard shelve available. It has 19''.

Companies ignoring industry standards suck and no one should buy gear from them.

I understand your dilemma, as I've been struggling with this same problem for years. The thing is though, is that I also hate using rack-mount synths due to usually having to bend in awkward positions to use them, depending where they are in the rack. Hopefully next year if the finances allow I will be building a new custom desk in a U-shape, as to maximize desk-space and ergonomics.
Old 12th October 2017
  #14
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Personally I couldn't stand having a hands-on machine like the RYTM stuck in a rack. That sounds about as fun as having a qwerty keyboard attached to the wall.
Old 12th October 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pr0gr4m View Post
Elektron instruments are meant to be interacted with quite a bit. They have pads, buttons knobs and screens, all of which are much easier to access and use in a desktop format versus being vertically mounted in a rack. Their instruments are not of the "set it and forget it" variety. Usability is likely the driving force behind them utilizing the desktop format. Think of all the videos you've seen featuring their devices...there is always knob tweaking and button pushing going on. Who wants to do that sort of thing in a rack under their desk?
+100. And this above applies to pretty much all desktop gear.
Rack imo is mostly meant for fx, sound processing, amps, recording, etc.
Old 12th October 2017
  #16
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Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Yeah, it's a problem, but I see why Dave Smith made the OB-/Prophet-6 the size it did. To save money in production costs for the two different versions. I'm just happy they did do modules, as companies that just do keyboards are way worse, IMO. How many keyboards are you supposed to own?

We may bid on a condo soon that won't have a dedicated room for me. It's not going to be easy, but I'll figure out a way, because this is what I do. I don't even feel I have an option to stop. Luckily, there's a fairly decent amount of compact gear available, and the hard truth is, I could easily continue with a lot less. Using ITB solutions can be a good substitute for a small desk space.
That does suck that you may not have a dedicated room. How much more does a condo with an extra room set one back in the Bay area- I shudder at the thought. My wife and I only have one child, like you if I remember, thus we seem to rarely use our dining room (we love watching TV and eating in the living room - ya, probably a bad habit). Perhaps if you guys also do not use your dining area much, you could use that space for your equipment.
Old 12th October 2017
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
How much deskspace is an electronic musician supposed to have anyways?
Mine is completely occupied with mixer, mouse, keyboard, monitors, midi keyboard, pad controller for drums...
Please dont tell me shelves were a solution. There is a standard shelve available. It has 19''.
Companies ignoring industry standards suck and no one should buy gear from them.
I agree with you but fortunately there are some manufacturers that take restricted space into account and make great synths. The MicroMonsta is one such example, it's tiny, sounds superb and doesn't even cost much.
If the MicroMonsta had been as large as an OB6 desktop I wouldn't have bought it for the same reason you complain about: lack of desk space.
Old 12th October 2017
  #18
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Thread Starter
Guys, stop looking for excuses for them.

The fact that the DSI and the Novation are not rackable are simply oversights during concept phase. Both manufacturers as much as admitted this personally to me.

The Rytm mk1 and softubes Console 1 were both supposed to be rackable but due to bad execution of the ideas (flat backside, so cables take rackspace..) it ended up the way it did. Again, both companies state this openly in their FAQs and in tradeshow talks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pr0gr4m View Post
Elektron is a maker of desktop devices. It's what they do and is what should be expected from them.
Sorry, i just dont agree. They sell in a market that has certain stadards. They should fullfill the standards. Everything you describe would be doable with a arackable version as well. Virus, Nordleads etc as examples.

Especially for live its really aweful to drag your stuff around not screwed into a rack. So many things can go wrong and damage the stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pr0gr4m View Post
Whatever you do...DO NOT GOOGLE "ELEKTRON RACK EARS"! Also, do not look for anything like rack shelves (static or sliding). In other words, your solution exists and is only a online order away.
Did that of course. You sir, do not even know my room and place and whats in there.. you dont know my problem, but you assume you can solve it better anyways? wow...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Yeah, it's a problem, but I see why Dave Smith made the OB-/Prophet-6 the size it did.
See above, no excuses. They can do it, they should do it. Anyway, Dave at least had the decency to explain it and ask for understanding. I am confident its wont eve rhappen to him again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silent5 View Post
Personally I couldn't stand having a hands-on machine like the RYTM stuck in a rack. That sounds about as fun as having a qwerty keyboard attached to the wall.
I beg to differ: This is the desk i have in the studio i am looking to implement the Rytm.. I am sure you could stand to use it right next to the mixer in hands reach to everything else, right?
Old 12th October 2017
  #19
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I agree, space is a concern. But I can't imagine that putting any of the above mentioned pieces of gear in a rack would be ergonomic or usable either.

Just a matter of prioritization (what gear is most important front center) and how much of your room you can dedicate to additional furniture to support other gear that you want.
Old 12th October 2017
  #20
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This thread is not about my individual problem... i can handle this just fine .. Its about companies that are not competent enough to put their gear in studio compatible formats... then call it desktop or performance oriented ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
I agree, space is a concern. But I can't imagine that putting any of the above mentioned pieces of gear in a rack would be ergonomic or usable either.

Just a matter of prioritization (what gear is most important front center) and how much of your room you can dedicate to additional furniture to support other gear that you want.
I assume you see a wall of racks.. thats not my situation tho... above i've linked to my desk, you 'll see what i have in mind putting drum machine and synths left and right to th emixer.. all ran from a master keyboard of course.
Old 12th October 2017
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
I agree, space is a concern. But I can't imagine that putting any of the above mentioned pieces of gear in a rack would be ergonomic or usable either.
Just because gear is rack mountable that doesn't mean it has to be mounted in a classic vertical rack. What it means is that it fits into any 19" rack receptacle and there are many which are slanted and can sit on top of a desk, ideal for knobby synths.

The advantage of the 19" rack format is simply that different synths fit perfectly together as the size is standardised and they can be mounted fixed, rather than just lying loosely on top of a desk with cables running all over the place.
Old 12th October 2017
  #22
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Originally Posted by tux99 View Post
Just because gear is rack mountable that doesn't mean it has to be mounted in a classic vertical rack. What it means is that it fits into any 19" rack receptacle and there are many which are slanted and can sit on top of a desk, ideal for knobby synths.
Exactly. The core of my point is, one can not put a Rytm, a Dreadbox Erebus, a Peak and a DSI OB6 into the same rack without enormous efforts.

In the 90's this problem didnt exist.
Old 12th October 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
This thread is not about my individual problem... i can handle this just fine .. Its about companies that are not competent enough to put their gear in studio compatible formats... then call it desktop or performance oriented ..


what was Yamaha thinking with the CS-80?
Old 12th October 2017
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
I beg to differ: This is the desk i have in the studio i am looking to implement the Rytm.. I am sure you could stand to use it right next to the mixer in hands reach to everything else, right?
Sure I could deal with that, but it still wouldn't be my preference.

I mean, I see what you're saying about industry standards when it comes to synth modules. Once upon a time synthesizers were either keyboards or 19" rack modules and that was about it. Nowadays it's either keyboards or seemingly proprietary desktop formats.

But this was never the case with drum machines. They've always been weirdly shaped boxes (or in rarer cases 19" sound modules with no sequencer). It just struck me as a strange complaint about a drum machine.

Also, holy crap your desk is already ENORMOUS. No wonder you're feeling frustrated. I couldn't even fit that thing in my room.
Old 12th October 2017
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post


what was Yamaha thinking with the CS-80?
You knw thats a keyboard synth, right?
Old 12th October 2017
  #26
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Thats a very valid point indeed. Thanks for pointing it out.

So now that the Rytm is excused, lets flame the rest

Quote:
Originally Posted by silent5 View Post
But this was never the case with drum machines. They've always been weirdly shaped boxes (or in rarer cases 19" sound modules with no sequencer). It just struck me as a strange complaint about a drum machine.

Also, holy crap your desk is already ENORMOUS. No wonder you're feeling frustrated. I couldn't even fit that thing in my room.
Old 12th October 2017
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
You knw thats a keyboard synth, right?

they don't really fit into a standard which was my point. they have all sorts of sizes, how dare they make them how they see fit. plenty of bands have toured with non-standard stuff. i think you started a thread to complain that you have too much stuff.

nice humble brag.
Old 12th October 2017
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 View Post
while it's good utilising space in your studio for gear, sometimes i see studio photos like blinky's above as being completely unergonomic. i often see i most studio pics with desk being up one end of the studio and the equipment down the other end.
I see what you mean, but I think Blinky's layout is just fine...its only a problem if you intend to use every single piece of gear in a project. Otherwise its fine to just set up the gear you're using near the desk, and store the others on stands/shelves/racks .

Saves electricity costs too, not powering up the whole studio every time. That's how I interpret those kind of layout decisions anyway...
Old 13th October 2017
  #29
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Blinky's arrangement looks great... reminds me of 90's basement studios I'd work/jam in with other local musicians. Islands-of-functionality with the mixer conveniently placed. Nice gear, nice setup!

I setup in the corner of a room so I stick with smaller gear mostly (bunch'o'rackmount and modules), there's a lot to pick from in small format these days. I tend to chill out more now so everything is closer and anything I use less is tucked away.
Old 13th October 2017
  #30
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Quote:
Bring back the rack!
<picture deleted by moderator - too edgy for GS>

Last edited by Reptil; 15th October 2017 at 10:03 PM.. Reason: nope
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