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Old 08-01-2013, 01:10 AM   #1
Xiaoxi
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Workstation 3.0

Hey guys, just a little bloggy vanity thread about my new workstation, but it's not like you have anything better to do!

So as some of you may know, I've been in the process of making a workstation desk for my exact needs. Lesson learned: do not cheap out on essential shit like this. I spent $500 on a friend who claimed he could make what I specified. That ended poorly:

show


Terrible, unrefined craftsmanship all around. That thick trim killed off so much leg room, which was a huge reason why I needed a new desk to begin with! And I ended up with so many compromises due to his inability that it was just a huge let down.

So I finally sucked it up and decided to shell out for a real pro to do it. A guitar luthier from NY answered my post. At first I was skeptical because he doesn't really do furniture like this. But...he knows music gear needs and he's got the finesse from guitar crafting. So after THOROUGHLY looking through his portfolio, we struck a deal and he kept me updated every step of the way and was meticulous in the details. Even personally drove down to MD to deliver it. The final product:





I'm in love...

Such a pleasure to be working on. Everything is exactly where I need it. It's also designed so that I don't need to bother with any setup hassles. Whatever I need, it's within an arm's reach and nothing more. My Casio PX-130 is flushed perfectly with the desk at an ideal height.

Some of you guys may have contention with the way my speakers are arranged. Totally fair. I'd love to hear your comments.

I was super anal about the cabling this time. Got some cabling sleeves and took like 2 days to group and organize all the cables so that I never have to see a tangled mess again:




And that was just half of it!!!!


Anyways, I'm so happy with this and proud of my design. I took inspiration from game composer Jason Graves's studio. Always thought it was the perfect balance between ergonomics, efficiency, and aesthetics:



Gear wise, nothing too fancy in the racks. Just the Saffire Pro thanks to your recommendations. I like it! The flagship feature, though, is the rackmounted PC cases on each side. They run cool and quiet, and are integrated into the desk seamlessly. No more awkward towers.



Anyways, thanks for checking this blatant blog. More pics below!!
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:14 AM   #2
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Moar pronz

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Old 08-01-2013, 01:14 AM   #3
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:15 AM   #4
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Mind giving that NY luthier some publicity? Or are you worried about how he'll react if he suddenly gets a bunch of random requests for mixing desks?
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cavalcade
Mind giving that NY luthier some publicity? Or are you worried about how he'll react if he suddenly gets a bunch of random requests for mixing desks?

Well, although he said it lightheartedly, I believe he meant it. Basically told me he will never make another desk like this again because of the stress in dealing with shipping. He's sticking with guitars lol

But yes you are right. He is Tom and runs Z-Max Guitars. I've given him publicity/reviews where it matters the most.

Here's a FB album chronicling the project:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/...69498009&type=1
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Last edited by Xiaoxi : 08-01-2013 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:22 AM   #6
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Damnit Xi, I know you're happy with this desk but you're just making everybody jealous Like I said elsewhere, it looks amazing but I think you should tilt your screens in slightly and/or move the monitors out a tiny bit wider just so a little less of the woofer is obscured for each monitor. Depends on how you feel the sound changes though I suppose.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:33 AM   #7
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Amazing desks, and some of the details is stuff I care about as well.

Things I like the most are the "jack in the box" lol... TR(s) Jack through the desk is perfect.

Small cutout for playing the keys. Perfect.

I also saw underneath your desk you find a good usage of a cd rack. Very nice.

What do you use the Ipad for?

I got mine jailbroken, and can directly put an interface on it as well as any midi peripherals.

Use it for that OUTSIDE studio when I want to record outside for example with Condenser mics, and/or DI instruments.

In the studio I use it for all the physical knobs and faders I'm missing. Like X/Y pad for filtering or fast EQ sweeping and for direct FADER interface, to control the "desk" in my DAW.

I also use it for basic start/stop recording/overdubbing (own interface for musician), since I can set it up through the room if I have musicians over so I can still sit behind my desk, without a musician nagging me for retakes lol..
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisarmGoliath
Damnit Xi, I know you're happy with this desk but you're just making everybody jealous
Not my intention!! Really I want to get across how important it is to not cheap out when it comes to important things like this, even if it does end costing a lot. And I thought gearheads would like lookin at this!

Quote:
Like I said elsewhere, it looks amazing but I think you should tilt your screens in slightly and/or move the monitors out a tiny bit wider just so a little less of the woofer is obscured for each monitor. Depends on how you feel the sound changes though I suppose.
It hasn't negatively affected the sound. I may end up putting it back upright.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by xxdarrenxx
Amazing desks, and some of the details is stuff I care about as well.

Things I like the most are the "jack in the box" lol... TR(s) Jack through the desk is perfect.
I'm glad you caught that little detail

These Ikea cable outlets are super cool but they JUST stopped making them. I had to eBay for one

Quote:
I also saw underneath your desk you find a good usage of a cd rack. Very nice.
It's actually a rack specifically made for holding cables, not CD's. I was super cereal about cabling... :|

Quote:
What do you use the Ipad for?

I got mine jailbroken, and can directly put an interface on it as well as any midi peripherals.

Use it for that OUTSIDE studio when I want to record outside for example with Condenser mics, and/or DI instruments.

In the studio I use it for all the physical knobs and faders I'm missing. Like X/Y pad for filtering or fast EQ sweeping and for direct FADER interface, to control the "desk" in my DAW.

I also use it for basic start/stop recording/overdubbing (own interface for musician), since I can set it up through the room if I have musicians over so I can still sit behind my desk, without a musician nagging me for retakes lol..

That's pretty much what I use it for too. Mostly it's for controlling virtual instruments through TouchOSC. I don't want to bother remember all the different keyswitches and CC parameters.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:44 AM   #10
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That's a really sweet setup. Interesting solution with the keyboard built into the desk like that. It's inspired me to experiment around a bit with my own setup

Silly question, if you don't mind: How do you like the Casio as a master keyboard? How do you deal with the lack of a modwheel (etc) for VI stuff? Use the iPad for that as well?

I've been thinking about getting an 88-key controller as well, but it's hard to find anything that a) I can try before purchasing, and b) doesn't suck in one way or other. Most dedicated MIDI keyboards have crappy keybeds, and most digital pianos don't have modwheels, pitch-benders or aftertouch. Still haven't found a good solution for me yet -- I've been thinking about getting a Privia (great feeling keyboard I think, especially for the price) and a separate fader box like a Korg nanoKontrol or such, but that doesnt' feel like quite an adequate replacement for a proper spring-loaded modhweel to me.
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by acidosis
Silly question, if you don't mind: How do you like the Casio as a master keyboard? How do you deal with the lack of a modwheel (etc) for VI stuff? Use the iPad for that as well?

Sorry for the delay in response. Hope you get to see this.

I like the Casio just fine. I wish it had an even better response, keys wise, but for $400 it's exactly what I needed. And yes, I just use the iPad for modwheel and other CC's. I find myself manually editing MIDI in the DAW a lot anyway.


Quote:
I've been thinking about getting an 88-key controller as well, but it's hard to find anything that a) I can try before purchasing, and b) doesn't suck in one way or other. Most dedicated MIDI keyboards have crappy keybeds, and most digital pianos don't have modwheels, pitch-benders or aftertouch. Still haven't found a good solution for me yet -- I've been thinking about getting a Privia (great feeling keyboard I think, especially for the price) and a separate fader box like a Korg nanoKontrol or such, but that doesnt' feel like quite an adequate replacement for a proper spring-loaded modhweel to me.

The Privia is what I have (PX-130). Like I said, it's decent feeling if you're looking for the piano feel, but still doesn't beat the ones that are $1000+ for the keys.

If it is essential to have a physical mod + bend, I'm sure there are standalone units to supplement.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:22 AM   #12
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Sadly I've been unable to find a standalone modwheel + pitch bender solution, except maybe a DIY kit from Doepfer. I dunno why no one makes one

Right now I'm on the fence on whether to buy the cheaper PX-150 and figure out some way of working around the lack of controllers, or to just save up for some fancier all-in-one solution. If I could ever find one. Some of the Studiologic stuff (or Doepfer LMK2/4+) looks like a perfect fit on paper, but I can't try either of those. Yamaha CP33, maybe. Any experience with any of those, or any other clever ideas? Have you tried the Privia PX-x50 (eg, PX-150, PX-350, etc) series for comparison? I think they changed the keybed from the x30s, but I'm not sure.

PS, when is the Brahms Analysis pt. 2 coming? The first one was very interesting, I thought.
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by acidosis
Sadly I've been unable to find a standalone modwheel + pitch bender solution, except maybe a DIY kit from Doepfer. I dunno why no one makes one

Right now I'm on the fence on whether to buy the cheaper PX-150 and figure out some way of working around the lack of controllers, or to just save up for some fancier all-in-one solution. If I could ever find one. Some of the Studiologic stuff (or Doepfer LMK2/4+) looks like a perfect fit on paper, but I can't try either of those. Yamaha CP33, maybe. Any experience with any of those, or any other clever ideas? Have you tried the Privia PX-x50 (eg, PX-150, PX-350, etc) series for comparison? I think they changed the keybed from the x30s, but I'm not sure.
Well I'm not really an expert on keys (or gear in general). I have what I need and pay very little attention to other things. I guess if there's no standalone unit, virtual interfaces such as the iPad or Kaoss will have to do. That or $1000+ models.

Quote:
PS, when is the Brahms Analysis pt. 2 coming? The first one was very interesting, I thought.
Thanks for reading

I pretty much abandoned the harmonic analysis lol. Too much else going on. But people should be figuring that shit out for themselves anyway!!!
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:47 AM   #14
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Gimme that
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:21 PM   #15
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Nice! Very nice!

I'd just look at putting the speaker monitors upright, which would allow you to swing them each a little more to the outside so that they aren't obstructed by the video monitors. By looking at your chair in relation to the speakers, it looks like that would also put the tweeters more in line with where your ears are, which is better too.

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Old 09-10-2013, 10:31 PM   #16
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^Yea I'm gonna do that soon. Just been lazy
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:39 AM   #17
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^ haha!
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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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Old 09-14-2013, 09:11 AM   #18
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Can't believe I missed this.
Desked 2 compress m8


Also dat fucking chair
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