You’ll find that the internet has a lot of information about studio desks. However, very few people have ever written detailed documentation of the process in the form of engineering sketches or carpentry blueprints.
The same problem exists in the worlds of computer desks, and almost all other types. A series of photos that show the build process in timelapse might be available, but not the dimensions or the step-by-step process.
We want you to think about doing it yourself today. If the design plan isn’t customized to your requirements, what’s the point of shopping for them?
This is similar to buying pre-constructed desks. However, you will have to make it yourself. This is the barrier to entry.
You must be able to measure, cut and connect the wood, then stain and seal it. You can save tons of money if you do this correctly.
Let’s now consider the many things that you need to think about when you plan your design.
What is the attraction of a DIY Studio Desk
There are no design plans available because people choose to build custom desks for their own reasons.
Another reason there aren’t many studio desk plans is that we tend not to follow a plan and build our own.
Modularity is the ability to build the main surface and then add cubbies for rack rails or rackmount equipment. If we haven’t soffit-mounted them, we might mount speaker monitor stands to the sides.
Some people may prefer a tilted surface table with a digital console mixer embedded. These are not always well planned.
Aside from the ability to customize your desk, it is often much cheaper to make your own desk. The math is only applicable if you have the tools to build the desk and don’t include the time required to do so.
You can have a lot of fun with this type of project if you are willing to compromise and work with others. You will end up with a desk you love because you made it.
What features should I consider for my Studio Desk Plans?
Because there are “points of no returns” in building, it is important to consider several things before you start. As the old grandpappy used say, “Measure twice and cut once.” This desk contains a lot of the options you’d consider on a typical style of workspace.
Before we can start to cut a board, it is important to be clear and complete about our needs and wants.
HEIGHT, WIDTH, & DEPTH OF DESKTOP
You must first think about the largest surface upon which everything depends.
Consider that 29 inches is the industry standard for desk height.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that yours should be 29 inches. However, this height is the standard for large manufacturers and helps them to save money. They’re now accepting variable height desks, and people are sharing standing desk plans online.
It doesn’t matter if you are taller or shorter, or if you have a preference. 29 inches is a good starting point.
My opinion is that the desk’s width and depth are two of the most important aspects to consider. It’s better to be generous than having a desk that is too small. Minimum 40 inches width is recommended, and if possible 60 inches.
If you measure depth (the distance between you and the desk as you sit down), I would say at least 30 inches. You might consider increasing the depth if you plan on adding shelving units that aren’t floating or have space beneath them. Make sure you have enough depth after adding a shelf.
You need enough depth because if you add another tier to your desk to hold your studio monitors and computer screen, it will start to take up space.
You don’t want the main desk to have so much depth that it’s difficult for you to type on, use your computer mouse, or place your monitor or mixing console on it.
You should consider the number of computer screens that you use and how much space it takes to determine the desk’s width.
This is because if you have more screens than one, particularly 24 inch or larger, you won’t be able to place your speaker monitors in the proper mix position.
This is a problem I am currently facing at home. To make it worse, I have been allowing my speakers to lay on their sides under the screens. Although I don’t mix here, it can affect my listening experience.
This is why I am going to reduce the size of my three 24-inch screens to one ultrawide 34-inch monitor. You should choose a width that will accommodate all your equipment.
SPEAKER RACK MOUNT, SPEAKER MANITOR, & COMPUTER SCEEN SHELVING
If you think this is something you would like to have on your desk, there are many ways to do it. You can raise the height of your computer screens or mixing monitors so that they are at the same level as your eyes and ears when you are seated comfortably.
You can store papers, pens and MIDI controllers in the space below this shelving. Or, rack rails can be rigged so that you can place your most frequently used rackmounted equipment closer. This is compatible with audio interfaces and compressors, equalizers, or any other device that needs constant tweaking. Monitor shelves with possible rack space underneath.
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The builder made the speaker shelves in the above case, but it would have been possible to extend the shelf the entire width of the desktop. You have the option to choose.
An articulating computer monitor arm can give you the illusion of a floating screen. You can move closer to it or pull away from it.
SLIDE-OUT COMPARTMENTS KEYBOARDS
It is important to decide, particularly when choosing the height of your desktop, whether you will be adding a slide-out drawer surface for a keyboard or a music keyboard.
You will be adding weight to it, and possibly leaning on the device with your arms, so it will have to hold more than you think. If you add a sliding shelf for a keyboard, don’t forget to compensate for the loss of leg space.
You can make sure your legs are comfortable under your desk by measuring the height of your desk carefully and adding a sliding compartment 6 inches to the bottom. The only way to compromise is by increasing the overall height of your desktop.
CABLE & POWER CONTROL
Technically speaking, it is not difficult to manage cables if you use the same ideas as pictured. Nearly all cables should be pointed towards the back of your desk, down behind it, or under it.
If you need to run cables through the desk, you can use what are called ‘holesaws’. These are drill bit attachments that attach to a handsaw and are wrapped in a circular to bore holes. Paddle bits can also be used, though it is difficult to find one that is large enough. Don’t underestimate the influence of visual cleanliness on productivity.
There are standard sizes for hole diameters. The most common is 2 inches. This is large enough to allow plugs through, but not too big. If you adhere to these standards, plastic grommets can be purchased to cover the cables and keep them together. Though I’d rather have a power conditioner, this is a great solution for those with less equipment.
Power strips can be placed on your desk, or on your leg to improve your power management. The goal is to place power strips wherever it is not visible, and where you don’t see cables flying around.
If you want to add rack space along the top or bottom, where cabinets and drawers might be, you can install Power Conditioners. These will take care of any power problems and cable management issues that may have resulted from them.
CABINETS Vs. MORE RACK SPACE
If your desk is large enough, you can make the most of it by adding rack rails to places where cabinets or drawers might be.
This will not only act as vertical support for your desk like the legs of a table but also bring your rackmount equipment closer.
Being close to signal processors can save you a lot of frustration when recording and mixing. Having all of your rackmounted hardware in range while mixing is a blessing.
I suggest that you rack your most frequently used equipment on top, in the cubby holes discussed. These are items you use most often, such as a mixer control station, recording interface, equalizers and other instruments.
Next, place the most frequently used equipment in the top rack space. Along with the power conditioners, the least frequently used equipment should be in the bottom.
Building Materials to Consider
We won’t go into too much detail because we want to keep this short. It is assumed that you are familiar with the general building materials and tools required to use them, or have access to someone who does.
First, you need to decide what material to use for the main work surface. This may not be the same material as the legs and cabinets. A material like compressed particle board can be used to reduce the overall weight.
It is similar to plywood, which is made from compressed strips of salvaged wood. Particle board is essentially compressed dust with laminated outer layers. This material is likely to have been found at your school desk or lunchroom tables.
You need to be careful with humidity and liquid as they can cause uneven surfaces and bubbling.
Solid wood will be heavier and more durable than softwood. Although you don’t have to use pressure-treated wood, it is better than pine which can leave indents and scratches.
To achieve the desired color, you will need to stain the wood and seal it with polyurethane. This protects it from liquids, scratches and humidity.
You can choose the same material for the legs and cabinets again. However, I have become increasingly attracted to the idea that you could use industrial pipe with all the fittings and elbows that go along with it.
They are extremely sturdy and offer a minimalist look with great versatility. They are being used for DIY projects for all kinds of furniture and home-related needs. Here’s an example of a picture: Piping makes great structural support, including the legs and frame of a desk.
The pipes used to support the shelves were placed at 19 inches apart in the photo above. This allows rack rails and rackmount hardware to be installed. Rack rails and their hardware can be ordered in packs without having to order too many or cut to size.
Studio Desk Designs – Pictorials and Plans
Most of the studio guys who are part of the DIY community post pictures of their final builds, but there are some high-quality tutorials that show how to take photos. Although you won’t be able to find exact measurements or advice, you can get an idea about the work involved and the methods used.
You can also purchase plans that you like. These are good starting points to customize.
Take This: If you’re not comfortable or experienced with complex builds, I suggest you tread carefully. This can lead to frustration, money loss, and a poor result. If you are okay with this and want to practice and gain experience, then go for it. There is only one way to learn.
These are the top links to DIY desk designs pictures walkthroughs and design plans available for purchase.
- Reclaimed Wood & Industrial Tube Build
- Decent Start Points for Straight & Corner Desks
- Pinterest Gallery of Studio Desks For Ideas
- A simple, elegant design with maximum rack space
These should spark your imagination. If you feel overwhelmed by these options or are unable to build a complete build, there are some pre-built options that can help.
Popular Studio Desks – Assemble and Make Music!
Perhaps you have a dream of a DIY desk, but aren’t quite ready to make the leap. You might not have the right tools or aren’t in your “forever home” yet and prefer to wait. There are many studio desk options available that will meet your needs at a very affordable price.
They are easy to pack and ship. You can assemble them in less than an hour in any room that you use.
These are not so expensive that you feel like you need to keep them forever, but they are still affordable enough that you can keep them, pass them on to your children, or even sell them locally when you are ready to design your own desk.
Note: Every image and text link takes you to Amazon.com, where you can read additional reviews, view technical details, see additional product options and make your purchase.
You can still build your desk by looking at these designs and features.
- Favorite LedgerNote
STUDIO RTA PRODUCER STATION
This Studio RTA Produce Station is designed for studio engineers and mixers who already have a lot of rackmount hardware, or are looking to build a collection. The sliding keyboard tray has two 10-unit rack rails, with four more up top. There are 24 rack units to store your equalizers, compressors, equalizers and other devices.
You also have approximately 4 tiers worth of shelving and desk space to stack and arrange your MIDI controllers, mixers, desktop talkback mics, studio monitors, computer screens, and other items. Cable management was also taken into account.
Without a doubt, this is the most affordable and cost-effective home studio desk available.
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON The Complete Featured Home Studio Desk…
STUDIO TRENDS DESK
Although you may not need a large desk such as the one shown above, you still want plenty of rack space for your essential gear. Both the Studio Trends and Onmirax Presto desk have 8 total rackmount units. There is plenty of desk depth left for you to spread across.
A secondary shelf of full width is included for your monitors and a computer screen. Although it is not groundbreaking, this sturdy build will get the job done in tight spaces.
These studio racks are also known as’sidecar’ studio racks, which you can buy separately to increase the space and width. One can be added on either side, or however you like it.
OMNIRAX PRESTO STUDIO DESK
The Omnirax Presto Desk looks very similar to the one shown above, but the desktop’s depth doesn’t exceed the rack rails. This desk assumes that you will use the space for racked equipment. This desk is a better choice than the Studio Trends model above because it has a less minimalistic design.
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Although I am a fan of minimalism, these solid black sides appeal to me. These sides are great for cable management or hiding the mess. Baskets for cables and mics can be stored below the keyboard tray. This is an option that I must mention, but it cannot be included and must purchased separately.
Z-LINE DESIGNS CYRUS
This ZLine Designs Cyrus desk was added to my list. Although it’s not a studio desk, it’s a well-built and affordable option that I wanted to highlight. It’s a fraction of what the other options cost, so I can assure you it is affordable.
This is the only problem. However, a lot of the new generation is completely in-the-box and plugin-free. So this may be an economical option for younger engineers.
It was included primarily because of the triple-tiered desktop. The keyboard tray is almost as large as the clear glass desktop above. It also has a shelf at the top that can hold your speakers and screen.
To keep your desktop computer tower off the ground, you can place it underneath. This desk is elegant and sophisticated!
DIY Studio Desks for Complete Customizability
Although it’s disappointing that there is a demand for DIY desks for musicians in studios, the truth is that these needs are often custom and determined by the builder. There’s no one that can provide a universal solution.
We all have different sizes of rooms and monitor numbers. We forget to take photos, measure documents and scan blueprints while we are constructing a desk.
You’re on your way! Good luck with your tools and good luck! We hope that you find the information above helpful in deciding which features to add to your DIY studio desk.