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  1. #1

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    As you can see, I'm working in cramped quarters. This is the 'music room' in the condo I share with my wife. Knocked the mixer off the top of the file cabinet this morning (-not the first time) and felt like Groucho Marx in the movie "Room Service". "Room Service? Send up a larger room."
    But there is no room service in my home, so...

    I've been thinking I could use a library table. They're wide and sturdy. Also expensive but perhaps I can find one used.

    Are there good alternatives I should consider?
    This shows promise: Access Denied
    Not as sturdy as a library table but it does have a tray for wires to run along, so they don't pool on the floor. That's a plus.

    I'd prefer to spend under $300. But since this will be a long-term, daily-use item, the priority is something solid that I can't easily break.

    Feeling cramped: need table  for home studio-home-studio-jpg

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Given this is for your home studio, I would consider size first.

    You may get reference speakers at some time and will want to create a near field triangle. My table/desk is 63" long, 32" deep, and has adjustable legs which I have so the table is 31" high. This is the minimum size that I want and I'm very happy with it, it's very sturdy. I'm thinking I got it at Ikea, but maybe it was Lowes or Home Depot. It's pretty simple, just a table with a sliding shelf for a keyboard and mouse.

    I have a cheap drawer thing under on the right and under on the left some home built shelves.
    Attached Images Attached Images Feeling cramped: need table  for home studio-20190420_080435-2-jpg 

  4. #3

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    Thanks, Frank. I like the adjustable leg idea. I think filing cabinets (2-drawer) are 26 inches high, so if one lays a formica countertop across two of those, it would make a sturdy table top but it would be too short for me to sit at comfortably.

    31 inches sounds much better. That extra five inches would make a big difference. ("That's what she said!"---Wife and I have been watching "The Office" again.)

  5. #4

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    I'm looking underneath, it's got steel reinforcement. Pretty sure I could stand on it, but I won't.
    Attached Images Attached Images Feeling cramped: need table  for home studio-20201009_085140-2m-jpg 

  6. #5

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    Looks sturdy enough. I wouldn't stand on it either and I'm a heavier fellow than you are. ;o)

    I don't like things that go wobbly. Can you slap your hand down (ha!) on it without jarring coffee out of a cup?

  7. #6

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    When I had to set up a temporary sub station at a friends house, we used a hollow-core door sat on a pair of saw horses. It wasn’t much to look at but we had loads of space and the height was good. Not a small space solution but quick, cheap and easy to put up and break down.

    This is the desk I’ve been using since 1993. It’s got a table top over two rolling racks with a second tier that sits directly on the table. Paid $150 used back in the day.
    Attached Images Attached Images Feeling cramped: need table  for home studio-da34784c-8195-48e3-8288-2981ad802d3d-jpg 

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Looks sturdy enough. I wouldn't stand on it either and I'm a heavier fellow than you are. ;o)

    I don't like things that go wobbly. Can you slap your hand down (ha!) on it without jarring coffee out of a cup?
    Shaken not spilt.
    Attached Images Attached Images Feeling cramped: need table  for home studio-bngjorz-jpg 

  9. #8

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    Goodwill? St. Vincent de Paul? Or your local equivalent thrift store? Might find something that’ll do. It would be cheap.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx
    Goodwill? St. Vincent de Paul? Or your local equivalent thrift store? Might find something that’ll do. It would be cheap.
    I'll look. (I'm near a Goodwill and pop in there fairly often but haven't found anything yet. They usually have a few old desks, but those won't do.

  11. #10

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    6 ft kitchen table is a fairly minimum standard size for organizing a home music work station.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I'll look. (I'm near a Goodwill and pop in there fairly often but haven't found anything yet. They usually have a few old desks, but those won't do.
    A few years back I got a lot of good stuff from a computer retailer that was going out business and paid very little for it. I must admit that I now sometimes regret it with the amount of accumulated gear and crap that I have stacked on it. But you are probably smarter and better organized than I am.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    6 ft kitchen table is a fairly minimum standard size for organizing a home music work station.
    That could work. Similar to a rectangular library table. Cheaper, though, and easier to find in a thrift shop.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esport
    When I had to set up a temporary sub station at a friends house, we used a hollow-core door sat on a pair of saw horses. It wasn’t much to look at but we had loads of space and the height was good. Not a small space solution but quick, cheap and easy to put up and break down.

    This is the desk I’ve been using since 1993. It’s got a table top over two rolling racks with a second tier that sits directly on the table. Paid $150 used back in the day.
    Those tiers look really useful! I will be keeping them in mind.

  15. #14

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    Feeling cramped: need table  for home studio-ikea-jpg


    I got a table from Ikea and added a tier to it. Just a 12" wide X 6 feet long piece of pine 6"s high. I put monitors, the 22" display and some other things on the tier.
    Lots of room.
    Last edited by Stevebol; 10-10-2020 at 03:02 PM.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevebol


    I got a table from Ikea and added a tier to it. Just a 12" wide X 6 feet long piece of pine 6"s high. I put monitors, the 22" display and some other things on the tier.
    Lots of room.
    I've looked at Ikea stuff the past few days. It's priced right and everyone I know who has bought any Ikea stuff has said it was good and durable.
    I can get a pine table for $79 that looks nice.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I've looked at Ikea stuff the past few days. It's priced right and everyone I know who has bought any Ikea stuff has said it was good and durable.
    I can get a pine table for $79 that looks nice.
    This might be the one I have. It's very sturdy. I don't recall why I spent so much when the same can be had for half the price;

    BEKANT Desk, black stained ash veneer, black, 63x31 1/2" - IKEA

    Feeling cramped: need table  for home studio-music-table-jpg

    It was easy to add the tier. I took a look at Goodwill and Salvation Army first. No luck so, Ikea.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevebol
    This might be the one I have. It's very sturdy. I don't recall why I spent so much when the same can be had for half the price;

    BEKANT Desk, black stained ash veneer, black, 63x31 1/2" - IKEA

    Feeling cramped: need table  for home studio-music-table-jpg

    It was easy to add the tier. I took a look at Goodwill and Salvation Army first. No luck so, Ikea.
    That Bekant is over 5 feet wide, which is a big plus. (Most tables I've seen under $100 are 4 feet wide. But I have a 2-drawer filing cabinet which has a flat surface I can keep a practice amp on.) Also, 31 inches high is nice. Many are 29 inches. Not a deal-breaking difference, but if you store some things under the table, it's just easier to get down there to get 'em out. ;o)
    For us---those using this as a workstation-- appearance is secondary. (People want their dining table to look nice but no cares what a guitar player's workstation looks nice.)

    I'm thinking one of these Ikea tables for around $80 bucks is in my future. I'll check Goodwill and the Salvation Army some more first, and I'll ask a supervisor at the library what happens to old tables when they buy new ones. A 3-piece band could jump up and down on those things and not cause a wobble.

  19. #18

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    How wide do you want to go?

  20. #19

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    Don't know how sturdy these are. I think they also com in light colored wood, and all black.

    On-Stage Workstation Rosewood Black | Guitar Center

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    How wide do you want to go?
    Four feet minimum, six feet maximum. (It's a small room...)
    Adding tiers would be nice. I think it best to do like Steve and get a good table then add tiers as needed.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Four feet minimum, six feet maximum. (It's a small room...)
    Adding tiers would be nice. I think it best to do like Steve and get a good table then add tiers as needed.
    I agree, if you're handy. Just stay away from those cheaper add-on pull-out keyboard trays. They are floppy and bouncy. But I have seem some nice sturdy ones at work.

  23. #22

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    Yesterday a thought popped into my head: the tables in my condo's clubhouse might be just the thing.
    6 feet long.
    Seat 8 (though I only want to seat one--me--at my workstation).
    Only $55. (One can pay more and get something that looks woody.)

    Feeling cramped: need table  for home studio-61k0czxwohl-_ac_ul115_-jpg

    https://www.amazon.com/Best-ChoicePr...2602500&sr=8-2

  24. #23

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    I'd go for the one that doesn't fold (unless you need it to fold). I think it might be more sturdy than the folding one and you don't have the crack in the middle.

    You can adjust the height of this one: https://www.amazon.com/Office-Star-M...cd_asin_1&th=1

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    I'd go for the one that doesn't fold (unless you need it to fold). I think it might be more sturdy than the folding one and you don't have the crack in the middle.

    You can adjust the height of this one: https://www.amazon.com/Office-Star-M...cd_asin_1&th=1

    Right. I don't want one that folds in the middle. The legs fold in (if you need to move it.)

    I'm now thinking I will order this tomorrow afternoon. The top is a bit slick, I think, but I could plop a desk calendar on it to give me a writing surface. Lot of room underneath this thing too!

  26. #25

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    Dang! Price of the table went up 10 bucks since yesterday---he who hesitates is gouged!

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Don't know how sturdy these are. I think they also com in light colored wood, and all black.

    On-Stage Workstation Rosewood Black | Guitar Center
    Did you read the reviews, Woody? Ha, ha. All over the map.

    Probably a good table, as long as one does not get their hopes up to high. Many of the usual compliants about holes not lining up for screws. $214.00 seems expensive to me, but it really is a decent price considering the market.

    I would like to see one in person.

  28. #27

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    Ordered the banquet table yesterday for $62.49. Not as sweet a price as $54, which was the lowest figure I saw quoted, but better than $67, the highest.

    Won't be here for a week but that's okay. I'm going to have to rearrange a lot in my room to make way for it. It's a problem I'm happy to have. I've needed to make this change for some time.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Ordered the banquet table yesterday for $62.49. Not as sweet a price as $54, which was the lowest figure I saw quoted, but better than $67, the highest.

    Won't be here for a week but that's okay. I'm going to have to rearrange a lot in my room to make way for it. It's a problem I'm happy to have. I've needed to make this change for some time.
    I just hope it's not too wobbly.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    I just hope it's not too wobbly.
    Me too! I've sat at such tables with a group of people having dinner---no wobbling.
    A music workstation is different, I know.
    But initially, at least, there won't be much weight put upon it (relative to what it can hold): laptop & small speakers, small mixer, DI box, headphones, practice amp (17 pounds), Blue Yeti mic, maybe a portable CD player

    One advantage (he said, optimistically) to a table like this is that there's a good bit of room underneath it to store.

    Eventually: I'll want near-filed monitors and probably a digital audio interface (such as a Scarlett 2i2) that allows me to record guitar and vocals at the same time (but on separate tracks) Those things aren't heavy. So I think wobbling won't be an issue. If it is, that will surely suck and it would bother me, so I would have to do something about it.

    If, say, in a year I want a much more serious setup and need a workstation designed as such, having to part with a $60 table will not break my heart.

    For now, the main thing (for me) is to get used to recording, to have a setup that's comfortable and Just Do It for awhile. Then when I see the results of that and want to get better, I should have a better sense of what I would need to make that happen.

    Thinking out loud...

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes

    If, say, in a year I want a much more serious setup and need a workstation designed as such, having to part with a $60 table will not break my heart.

    For now, the main thing (for me) is to get used to recording, to have a setup that's comfortable and Just Do It for awhile. Then when I see the results of that and want to get better, I should have a better sense of what I would need to make that happen.
    Good philosophy.

  32. #31

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    The table arrived. Might take a while to figure out the best way to organize the area, but this is what my music room looks like today.
    Near field monitors will soon be added.
    Feeling cramped: need table  for home studio-img_2372-jpg

  33. #32

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    Before retiring one of my jobs was to design control centers for satellites and military command and control. One thing you discover about consoles is that what they make and what you need are two different things. It's easier to manufacture squares and rectangles. However a curve will give you the open feeling you don't get with an 'L' while giving you almost as much working space within easy reach. Unfortunately not that easy to find with good materials and workmanship, lower storage and a decent price tag.

    Not this item, but this shape is a good starting point.

    https://www.amazon.com/Flash-Furnitu...1&sr=8-54&th=1

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Before retiring one of my jobs was to design control centers for satellites and military command and control. One thing you discover about consoles is that what they make and what you need are two different things....

    Not this item, but this shape is a good starting point.

    https://www.amazon.com/Flash-Furnitu...1&sr=8-54&th=1
    I hear you!
    Years ago I worked in a diamond-shaped gatehouse at a Palm Beach condo. There was a cabinet of monitors in front of me to watch. I had a chair that fit up under an opening in the desk. On both sides were angled wings with cabinets. I had SO much room to spread stuff out AND remain close enough to reach it. There were also tiers in the windows, more shelving. I don't think I'll ever have a "work station" I like better.

    The round table you show appeals to me.

  35. #34

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    I used to work in the reactor control room of a nuclear submarine. I climbed up about 2 feet into a chair that swiveled in two dimensions. In front and above and to the back and sides were hundreds of meters, lights and switches. The ergonomics of this console was used to design the space capsules for the ‘60s space program.

    That’s the best console I ever worked at.