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My custom built production desk with a sliding 88 key controller Other Controllers
Old 22nd September 2009
  #1
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My custom built production desk with a sliding 88 key controller

So, I just built this desk because nothing like it exists on the market.

I'm a producer, songwriter and composer, but also do a lot of mixing. I don't need my weighted 88 key controller keyboard in the way while I'm just mixing or editing, and I was tired of having to turn to a keyboard set 90° to the speakers. Yes, it's all about the 88 key weighted piano controller... In my case I've got the CME UF-80. I looked for a long time for an already-built solution to the problem, bet never found it. So, I just designed and built it.

Does something like this interest anyone? I've had a couple people tell me I should look into marketing the thing... I'm certainly not equipped to build them in bulk, but I might be interested in talking with some manufacturers about it. Obviously this is a pretty "cheap" version (I probably spent $140 including the drawer slides and rack rails), and I'd love to see it built "right", but I needed to see if it even works well. And there are a few things that I'd probably suggest for something mass marketed that I couldn't accomplish on my own.

Thoughts?






Last edited by Stick; 20th February 2012 at 07:20 PM.. Reason: fixed pic links
Old 22nd September 2009
  #3
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Virtuoso's Avatar
That looks great! There must be a market for these but they are so hard to find. It took me AGES to source one and I ended up importing it from Germany. This is a Maxxstation from Music Store, pictured here with a 73 key M3, but it will take a full 88 note keyboard on the sliding shelf:-

Old 22nd September 2009
  #4
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kafka's Avatar
Great job to both of you. Maybe someday I'll get off the folding plastic tables myself.
Old 22nd September 2009
  #5
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

Great job done! I wonder if a Fantom X8 would fit as well.....?
Old 22nd September 2009
  #6
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Wow, very nice. I am actually looking to order a desk today. Always been shocked I could never find something like this. Seems so obvious a need for the pullout keyboard.

I'll hit you up if I don't find something I like.
Old 22nd September 2009
  #7
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Cover'd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtuoso View Post
This is a Maxxstation from Music Store, pictured here with a 73 key M3
And very nice it is too Andy!



Loving your set up as well Stick - nicely done!
Old 22nd September 2009
  #8
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Thanks guys...


Football... I'd love to see it if you find something. I sure couldn't.

MPCist... that's the main thing that would be tricky in mass marketing this thing... every controller is going to be a little different. Width isn't too hard... just make it as wide as the widest one. But, setting the height should ideally be adjustable, so that if you have a "thin" controller, you can get it up closer to the desktop. Mine's actually tilted too, to make up for the slant in the top of the UF-80, to leave the most clearance for my knees as possible.
Old 22nd September 2009
  #9
dude, you should build me a desk. im using a kitchen table right now. totally not helping the workflow.


reaching over the midi keys and the comp keys and the mouse pad all the way to the right of that to pull some faders is getting OLLLLD

and then having the monitors next to the mixer on either side instead of over the top, as well as the comp monitor to the left hand side. ollllld


wonderfull work!

is that a tannoy ps115 off to the right?
Old 22nd September 2009
  #10
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I hear you. Been there done that. Even the way I last had it was too far to reach.

If I didn't have a couple record projects to do, I'd think about building a few desks. Now that I've got it figured out, the biggest pain is putting the finish on them. I'm just not really set up to do it right. That's why it be cool to find a manufacturer that'd be into building them for me.
Old 23rd September 2009
  #11
here's mine.

friggin' claustrophobic!


ive been giving some thought to building my own too. i just don't have the woodworking tools. i wanna have the console sunk in the desk, and two sliding drawers, one for the keys and one for the comp utilities. a spot for the monitor station also sunk in with a riser for the monitors and some rack space. i also got a patchbay to think about. place for pens/drink.

i need a wood shop.
Attached Thumbnails
My custom built production desk with a sliding 88 key controller-hpim0487.jpg  
Old 23rd September 2009
  #12
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Yikes. You do need a desk.

I built mine with a skil saw, a jig saw and a couple cuts on a table saw that I borrowed. Oh, and the little hand sander thing... that thing rules.
Old 23rd September 2009
  #13
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WOW!!!

That's exactly what I need! I hate the 90 degree turn, esp. since I've bought a decent controller (Yamaha KX88)...

My dream is a desk that has the 88 key monster sliding out like that, with room on top for my keyboard/mouse, euphonix controllers (just have a MC Mix right now, but one day I plan one two Mixes and a Control), maybe fit my microkorg on there too...

All without pushing the LCD monitors back too far for my crappy eyes...

Looks like your desk meets all my needs!
Old 23rd September 2009
  #14
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Thread Starter
Yep. Those were my needs too. I'd love to end up with those Euphonics controllers... then the monitors could be much closer even! Of course, much closer than I've got them now and they'd block the speakers. HA!
Old 23rd September 2009
  #15
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So is that an existing desk you modified, or did you build it completely from scratch?
Old 23rd September 2009
  #16
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From scratch. It's make of 3 sheets of pretty cheap 3/4" plywood from Home Depot. And I built the 10 space rack out of the leftovers.
Old 27th January 2010
  #17
Gear Head
 

Jerker to the rescue

[QUOTE=Stick;4602253]So, I just built this desk because nothing like it exists on the market.

...holds mixers and 88 key controller...

------------
Hi - YES this interests me. Are you offering schematics?

At the moment, I'm CLOSE to my perfect setup. I have the IKEA Jerker desk. Bottom shelf holds 4 Mackie controllers and my Mac keyboard. 2nd shelf has monitors and Kore 2, top shelf is for stuff I don't need to reach often -- DVD player, Printer.

The Jerker also has 2 monitor "wings" for my NS-10Ms and BM5As. Also, each side has a pull-out mini utility shelf. Good for a mouse, TC K48 remote, UA DCS remote.

The Roland X8 is VERY heavy, so I have it on a Z Stand with felt gliders, so it slides easily under the desk when I need to be closer to the mixers.

I have a gear rack off to the side - but some integrated sloped racks would be nice. This is CLOSE to my ideal, APEX Electronics: Stands & Accessories but the top is too short for my two 22" screens, plus all speakers. Sadly, the monitor wings on the Apex don't sit level -- design flaw.

Omnirax costs a FORTUNE - maybe I should stop whining and enjoy my ALMOST perfect setup? (Maybe even make some music instead of rearranging my studio

Here's a look so far:
Attached Thumbnails
My custom built production desk with a sliding 88 key controller-jerker-z-1b.jpg   My custom built production desk with a sliding 88 key controller-jerker-z-2b.jpg   My custom built production desk with a sliding 88 key controller-jerker-z-studiob.jpg  
Old 27th January 2010
  #18
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Looks awesome man. Really nice work you did. IMO.

I built something similar last year. I'll try n make a photo of it.

And you are absolutely right. There is a HUGE gap in the market for stuff like this.


PS - Love the way you shaped it
Old 28th January 2010
  #19
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Thread Starter
Hey 25ghosts, thanks for the kind words. I'd love to see yours! (Taking a break from the DUC? heh )

Markalex: Yeah, nice job piecing it together like that. One of my original plans was to build the keyboard it's own sliding table, a lot like you did. I went the drawer slider route to try and keep it a little slicker looking. I used some sliders rated for 250 lbs so, in theory I could sit on my keyboard and there wouldn't be an issue. They're super sturdy.

I don't like my monitors up off the desktop at all. Traditional ergonomics say that your eyes should be about level with the top edge of your monitor. And the same thing applied to getting my mouse on the table level with the computer keyboard.

And, I didn't want the speakers on the same table, as I'm away from the walls enough that I can put my Focal Twins on their own stands. But, I'm sure my plan could be easily added onto to hold speakers.

I'll send you my rough sketchup files if you want. They're not at all exact. The measurements had to be flexible until the exact width of the keyboard drawer was determined. Then you know exactly how far apart the legs have to be to get the slides to work right. And I adjusted the tabletop height after it was built, as I got it a little too high.

Also, I'd opt for a little thicker top material. This 3/4" ply is flexible enough across the middle for a little sag if I lean on it. Something a little thicker or more rigid would be better. 1" Butcher block or something solid would probably be sweet. Maybe at some point I'll change it out.
Old 28th January 2010
  #20
I know there's a market for this (not that for my situation I need a desk with keyboard tray.)

Would you be willing to post up your rough sketchup? I'm trying to design a custom desk, but having issue building one with rounded corners.

Last edited by djgizmo; 28th January 2010 at 07:50 AM.. Reason: updated
Old 28th January 2010
  #21
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ankely's Avatar
 

Cool

Stick,

Sweet desk !!!
Old 28th January 2010
  #22
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KK Audio makes em, but not for $150 heh

Old 28th January 2010
  #23
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasprouch View Post
KK Audio makes em, but not for $150 heh
Wow, sure enough. I can't believe I didn't come across that one. The one thing that mine does better is that my keyboard drawer slides back under the top about 10" so there's more room for my knees while I'm just mixing or editing.
Old 28th January 2010
  #24
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Love it! Been thinking about the KK Audio Edit Desks, but can't afford the $1300+ it goes for.
Old 28th January 2010
  #25
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Really nice desks guys! Actually this is a topic that interests me. I modified a grey melamine business desk to fit a drawer-ed 88-key controller (by using a longer top and back) but one of the touchy issues is how high the keybed sits and how high the top surface ends up being.

My compromise was to get the top of the white keys 27.75" (70.5 cm) inches off the floor which made the top of the desk 30.25" (77.5 cm) off the floor; like this my knees barely sit underneath the shelf so it's a little low, and the top of the desk is a little high. I realize this is dependent on different factors like the height of the keyboard and the thickness of the shelf. I don't think any of the commercial desks like this are adjustable, are they? Maybe there's a sweet spot?

So I'd be curious to know your desks compare on these two measurements, if you have the time to measure them. Thanks!
Old 29th January 2010
  #26
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Thread Starter
The top of my white keys is 28.5" and the top of my desk is 30.5". But, the front bottom edge of the keyboard is 25".

The drawer for my keyboard is actually tilted up a little to flatten out the slope of the CME UF80 so the keys are a little closer to the top of the desk and slightly more knee room under the keyboard when it's out. And, the "drawer" only has a partial bottom. It has a cutout along the front edge about 7" deep to make another inch of knee room.
Old 29th January 2010
  #27
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thedigitalgod's Avatar
 

just put the keyboard on a keyboard stand and slide it under the desk -- works just fine for me
Old 29th January 2010
  #28
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Stick's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedigitalgod View Post
just put the keyboard on a keyboard stand and slide it under the desk -- works just fine for me
That's swell it works for you. I think we're after something a little slicker and more pro looking. Besides, we discussed this idea a number of replies ago. But hey, thanks for stopping by!
Old 29th January 2010
  #29
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99zulu's Avatar
 

Wow, I love the Ops! Turns out I've been looking for something just like that for a while now and no luck. Fantastic work!
Old 29th January 2010
  #30
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