How do you set up your studio? Episode 2

Francis

Francis

Composer ⎜ Sound Engineer ⎜ Sound Designer

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In this new opus of “How to set up your studio”, we will simply talk about studio furniture.

Maybe I’m going to have a speech from another age, but in my day having a custom piece of furniture for his studio required placing an order with a carpenter!

Certainly, it is easy now with specialized builders to find the ideal piece of furniture for your studio.

But which piece of furniture do I need?

I find that this question makes a lot of sense because it all depends if you are a composer, sound designer, guitarist, drummer, percussionist or violinist but also a sound engineer!

That’s right, because we don’t have the same way of structuring our work environment according to our professional and musical practice.

Below is, for example, a cabinet designed for the mixing console and thus for the sound engineers.

Phoenix-Modson
Modson’s Phoenix equipped with SSL XL console

But what are the needs we all have in common?

In our operation we all have a computer, a sound card, a pair of monitors and a midi keyboard or control surface to drive our virtual synth and plug-ins…

Ikéa Bekant
Ikea Bekant used by Andrew Huang

The basis of the studio furniture is therefore a desk to put all this beautiful equipment.

Certains pourraient être tentés d’aller faire leurs courses à Ikéa. En effet, il est possible d’y trouver une table ou un bureau qui peut être détourné en meuble de studio.

In the picture above, you can see the IKea Bekant furniture that allows you to work both sitting and standing! Andrew huang speaks about it very well in this video from 3’39.

What about my keyboard?

As for the midi keyboard or your synthesizer, you certainly want a shelf underneath the cabinet to tuck in your brand new Kontrol komplete and demonstrate your sense of organization and tidiness.

If you can afford it, the furniture offered by Output, a company that develops software and equipment for musicians, composers, producers and sound designers of all kinds, could be just what you need. Put it on your list for Santa Claus’ visit!

Meuble de studio
The Platform furniture designed by Output

On the other hand, there are few stands adapted to a control surface such as Push 2 for Ableton or Maschine from Native Instruments.

A little trick!

To have a clean desk to put your surface on, I found this tilting stand on the online sales giant that is Amazon.

Stand Amazon
Tilting stand on Amazon

Of course there is a plethora of studio furniture manufacturers because it is a real business to design and sell furniture designed for the home studio in order to work well.

What about Projects Studio and Studio Pro ?

They, too, are entitled to furniture in more upscale categories such as can be found at Argosy.

Eclipse - Argosy
Furniture designed by Argosy with Avid S4 configuration

The advantage of these types of furniture is their adaptability to your mixing console.

Keoda also manufactures furniture in the same style.

From my point of view, whether it’s Keoda or Argosy, you’re on too big a budget, especially if you’re just starting out.

Which studio furniture is essential?

Simply an office chair to sit for long hours while you compose the title of the century!

For this, if your budget allows it, there is a very comfortable must-have that I highly recommend despite its price.

I’m talking about the Herman Miller Aeron chair. Personally, I have had the privilege of working on this little gem of technology for the past 20 years.

And honestly it’s on my top Christmas list for 2020! Moreover it is possible to buy it without the armrests, which is not really necessary in my case because I don’t have time to rest my arms.

The only snag is if you don’t work alone… Second option, opt for chairs that are less expensive but comfortable enough for your fellow musicians.

Or think drum stool or bar stool. It has its charm in a studio.

To finish on my studio chair tips, test them before you buy them.

What other studio furniture could be useful to you?

  • Loudspeaker stands because it’s very useful if you don’t want to put your monitors on your work cabinet.
  • Storage shelves for vinyl records, manuals, chord dictionaries, books, even a printer because I often need to print scores, technical notes or simply invoices.
  • A music stand: it’s silly to say but we don’t know all the lyrics of songs by heart!
  • A trunk that can be covered with a cushion to store cables, microphones and other studio accessories in an old or modern style.

The final word for this second episode of “How to set up your studio”?

If the previous proposals do not suit you, you still have the solution to have a custom made piece of furniture made, as it was my case. Beware, the cost is not negligible and even if at one time I wanted to market it, I quickly abandoned the project. If you are interested and if you want to know more about my studio furniture, you can see the picture on the home page, send me an email

To find out what happens next in this exciting adventure, check out the next episode!