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Composer's Desk


Geoff Grace

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This is a bit of an older pic, but I got mine at Staples for dirt cheap.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y193/Bluntinst/Img_0683.jpg[/img]

 

This one's a little newer, the displays are now mounted on the wall, and not on a wooden flower box as shown here.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y193/Bluntinst/IMG_2907.jpg

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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A neat looking desk for sure, but I've flirted with that kind of setup and don't like it too much.

 

I don't like having a controller and a computer in front of me at the same time; it's too visually distracting, and I can't ever get the controller and computer keyboard & mouse positioned comfortably. Plus, I tend to sketch ideas on staff paper more than I use notation software, so I need a straight-up desk to work on.

 

Right now I have a nice wooden office desk that I write on and keep my computer on, and I keep my instruments elsewhere. Granted, I only write as a hobby, but a desk gets in my way while playing, and 'boards get in my way while working on the computer.

 

My current home studio/office setup (there's a different chair now; a nice wood & leather one that matches the desk):

 

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2789/4365913734_2943116597_m.jpghttp://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/4365913706_5a04a738ba_m.jpg

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I don't like having a controller and a computer in front of me at the same time; it's too visually distracting, and I can't ever get the controller and computer keyboard & mouse positioned comfortably. Plus, I tend to sketch ideas on staff paper more than I use notation software, so I need a straight-up desk to work on.

 

My Yamaha XS integrates well with Cubase, so I use it as a controller for all transport functions, scrolling, track selection, VST editor, etc. Having the displays anywhere else but right in front of the keyboard would be pointless for me.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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The two things that I notice here.... the speakers are way tooo close for my taste; and with these innexpensive desks you have to be very careful of resonances. They vibrate. They shouldn't. Your monitors should be on rock solid stands.

 

I had a Raxxess desk (Big Apple, I think) which was very solid and heavy, but I still had to have custom speaker stands made.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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and with these innexpensive desks you have to be very careful of resonances. They vibrate. They shouldn't. Your monitors should be on rock solid stands.

 

I have a few friends that use these items to (apparently) great success in their setups:

 

http://www.auralex.com/gallery/images/mp_3.jpg

 

I've got no personal experience with them, as I use speaker stands, but have thought about going this route to consolidate space.

 

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I've been told by some users that they tighten up the sound. Fair enough. Apparently they take a bad situation and make it not so bad. But as they are a foam, working as an absorber, the speaker is still moving, which is not desirable. When the various speaker components push forward, there is resistance from the air pushing back. If the speaker cabinets are properly anchored, they cannot be pushed back. It seems to me that a foam would give, then spring back into place, working against the proper performance of the speaker caninet. Just logic, no actual knowlege of or experience with those pads in play here.

 

This is a different issue than the resonance of the shelf and transfer of that energy into the desk, and desk resonance. But it is related, in that the speakers should be mounted so that they cannot move, and the mounts, stands, or shelves should not have an audible resonant frequency.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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The two things that I notice here.... the speakers are way tooo close for my taste; and with these innexpensive desks you have to be very careful of resonances.

Are you referring to the Composer's Desk I linked to in my opening post? It's solid hardwood and costs $2,495, which isn't exactly inexpensive in my book. ;)

 

Also, for what it's worth, the speakers are five feet apart.

 

Nonetheless, thanks for reminding me to budget for some method of decoupling the monitors.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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The two things that I notice here.... the speakers are way tooo close for my taste; and with these innexpensive desks you have to be very careful of resonances. They vibrate. They shouldn't. Your monitors should be on rock solid stands.

 

I had a Raxxess desk (Big Apple, I think) which was very solid and heavy, but I still had to have custom speaker stands made.

 

The speakers are actually further apart now than in the photo. The stand may look like it isn't solid, but it is, and weighs a tonne. Still, I could use some decoupling, although I'm not pumping loud volumes through the Adams when mixing. There was another type of decoupler mentioned on here a few years ago that a few people were raving about. It was basically a piece of .25" sheet metal with rubber glued to it. The Aurelex solution is another option.

If I was to spread the speakers out further on stands, it would change the sweet spot, forcing me to sit further back in the room, invalidating the whole stand, and I'd need to buy another one. Not into that, and I also don't really have the space.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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I must be an exception to the rule: I can't have the synth keyboard on the same desk as the computer. I'm much more comfortable with an "L" shaped setup, with the computer desk on my left and my synth keyboard on my right, using the numeric keypad to control the transport of my DAW.
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I only have the laptop, small mixer, and a 25-key controller on my desk. The piano is against another wall (L-shaped set up). I come up with stuff on piano, and then input it with the small keyboard. If there's a serious piano part to be recorded (which is rare), I midi the piano to the laptop. Other than that, there are a bass guitar, vocal mic and a pair of speakers.

Stage: MOX6, V-machine, and Roland AX7

Rolls PM351 for IEMs.

Home/recording: Roland FP4, a few guitars

 

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The two things that I notice here.... the speakers are way tooo close for my taste; and with these innexpensive desks you have to be very careful of resonances.

Are you referring to the Composer's Desk I linked to in my opening post? It's solid hardwood and costs $2,495, which isn't exactly inexpensive in my book. ;)

 

Also, for what it's worth, the speakers are five feet apart.

 

Nonetheless, thanks for reminding me to budget for some method of decoupling the monitors.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

There are more than one system in discussion here, and the Ikea type solutions are what I am speaking of. Though certainly price is not a determining factor when it comes to resonances. If the speakers are five feet apart, are you also five feet from the speakers?

 

By the way, the new Live Sound arrived today and there is a pertinent article about boundaries which plays into how we set up our home rooms. I haven't read it yet, so I don't know how easy it will be for non-techies to absorb and apply, but from some of the pictures that i have seen, some discussion of the subject would be worthwhile.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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If I was to spread the speakers out further on stands, it would change the sweet spot, forcing me to sit further back in the room, invalidating the whole stand, and I'd need to buy another one. Not into that, and I also don't really have the space.

 

I know what you mean. I removed the top shelf from the Raxess desk and replaced it with one not so wide so the speaker stands would fit where they needed to be.

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I must be an exception to the rule: I can't have the synth keyboard on the same desk as the computer..

 

Not being a keyboard player, I didn't address this. But I don't have instruments near the desk at all.

 

My last room had no desk, it was a couch and coffee table in front of two floor standing Dunlavy speakers. the coffee table had the controller and monitors on it. The client could sit beside me, in a living room situation. The gear was along the side and back walls and in a producers desk behind the couch.

 

The one before that was the Raxess. I had gotten rid of the console, and I was looking to have a clean table to work from with fewer reflective surfaces. That just had the controller with a shelf for the keyboard and mouse/trackball.

 

Prior to that, it was custom-built studio stuff for consoles and all the rigamarole.

 

My goal was to get smaller, and into a more natural listening situation, maintaining proper physical relationship with the speakers and the room, while removing boundaries that affect pure sound reproduction.

 

In my upcoming space I'll move back to something similar to the Raxess setup. The couch thing was fabulous for mastering, less so for mixdowns (but not too bad...) but not 'workman' enough for tracking situations. Getting out of the comfy couch to move to a guitar, keyboard, or drum seat???? Just didn't seem 'right'.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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By the way, the new Live Sound arrived today and there is a pertinent article about boundaries which plays into how we set up our home rooms. I haven't read it yet, so I don't know how easy it will be for non-techies to absorb and apply, but from some of the pictures that i have seen, some discussion of the subject would be worthwhile.

 

Please post if there's anything the average home studio "layengineer" can use.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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There are more than one system in discussion here

Understood. That's why I asked.

 

and the Ikea type solutions are what I am speaking of.

Thanks, Bill. i appreciate your answer.

 

Though certainly price is not a determining factor when it comes to resonances.

True.

 

If the speakers are five feet apart, are you also five feet from the speakers?

I presume that would be the case, but I don't own the system I was asking about in the opening post.

 

In my current setup, my monitors are about three feet apart, and I sit about three feet away from them. My understanding is that the sweet spot for listening is the third point in an equilateral triangle in which the two monitors form the other points.

 

 

Nonetheless, thanks for reminding me to budget for some method of decoupling the monitors.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

 

Here's the other unit I was thinking of.

Thanks, Dan. Yeah, those have been getting great reviews and glowing endorsements from top engineers. I have yet to check them out for myself, though.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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