If you are getting into music making and you are starting to acquire some equipment, you might find yourself wanting a dedicated studio desk.
Compared to usual computer desks, a studio desk typically has two or three levels, your main desk area, a computer keyboard tray underneath and a platform for your computer monitor and studio speakers.
You can also put your computer monitor or monitors, if you have more than one, on the top shelf, get a pair of studio monitor stands for the speakers and use the main desk area for your midi keyboards as many people use them.
Besides this, they also usually come with a few rack spaces where you can mount you rack compatible gear like sound cards, synthesizers, amps, and so on.
However, if you are just starting our you might not need rack spaces which you save you a bit of money.
But let’s dive in and figure out what are the important part when shopping for a studio desk and take a look at some of the best value for money options on the market.
In this guide
What to look for when buying a recording studio desk
Sizes…all of them
As desks like these tipycally come with multiple platforms you want to make sure that what you are going to place on them will actually fit.
This is more important as you have more gear. Even if you don’t have a lot of things, consider what you envision you might want to grab in the near future.
An example of why this is important is, say you have two computer monitors. You’ll place them on the upper platform.
But then you also want to place you speakers on that platform and changes are they don’t have any more room to go there.
Of course, you can fix the problem with some stands for the speakers but if you are trying to avoid that you just need a bigger platform.
Another example, if you have a large keyboard, again, you might realize that the desk you are thinking of buying doesn’t fit it.
This is not really a concern if you are just starting out.
But if you have some rack mounted gear or you know you plan on grabbing some, then paying attention to the rack space available is a must.
Now, here is the thing. If you don’t really need a recording studio desk, just don’t buy one.
Use the space cache and get a decent regular desk and some stands for your monitors to get the correct placement.
If you need racks for your rack mount stuff, you can just grab inividual racks for that and it will probably end up a lot cheaper in the end.
You might also want to pair the desk with a proper chair for the long hours you’ll be spending in the studio and I personally would focus on a good chair before a studio desk.
But, if you insist on grabbing this type of desk, here are some of the better options.
On Stage WS7500
This is a simple, affordable studio-ish desk that can hold your essentials and maybe more, depending on how you set things up.
I say ‘studio-ish’ because it doesn’t offer any rack spaces by itself. You can, however, get a rack extension when time comes so and it also has an angled extension.
The desk itself has the usual three layers, slightly overlapping each other and it can hold up to 175 lb.
The sizes for the layers are:
- Top shelf: 38.8” x 16.9”
- Desktop: 43.25” x 23.50”
- Keyboard shelf: 26.75” x 15.4”
In terms of style, the desk is available in 3 colors, a ‘normal’ wood color, light wood color and black.
If you outgrow the available space or you need rack spaces, you can buy some extensions for it, one being a corner tabletop and another being a rack cabinet that also extends the desk surface.
The desk is pretty small overall, if you want to use two display monitors there is no room left for you speakers on the top shelf and you’ll still have to use speaker stands.
A minor complaint is that the desk doesn’t have any casters to help move it around, but for the price, this is just nitpicking.
Omnirax Presto 4
If you need a bit more usable space and some rack slots the Omnirax Presto might be your choice. It also has space for you computer to fit inside the desk. If you don’t have a very large case, that is.
There are two versions of the Presto, one with 8 rack slots and the Presto 4 that has 4 slots.
One thing to note, all the images you see online of these desks have a keyboard tray, That thing is optional, it doesn’t come with the desk by default.
The dimensions are mostly the same between the Presto and Presto 4, the difference being the height of the monitors’ platform. On the presto (the one with 8 rack spaces) the height is 37.1” and for the Presto 4 is 33.7”.
The platform sizes are:
- Top shelf: 55.9” x 13.7”
- Desktop: 55.9” x 18”
- Keyboard tray (optional): 28.5” x 8.4”
In terms of color, there are 7 available on their website so there are some options but I’m not sure why they don’t list them on Amazon as well.
In terms of price the desk is certainly not cheap and if you want to add the keyboard tray, it makes it even more ‘not cheap’. By the way, you can find the keyboard tray here, make sure you get the same color as the desk.
It is a good quality desk and has some rack rails and such but I’m not sure the price is really justified. But, that is our call at the end of the day. Most studio desks are very expensive.
Another thing to ad, the desk sits on casters for easy movement.
In terms of extensions, I haven’t seen anything that was specifically made for this series so if you outgrow your desk there is no easy answer to extending it like with the On Stage WS7500.
Studio RTA Producer Station
If you got a lot of gear, this is the piece for you.
The thing has 33 units of rack spaces so that should have you covered in terms of rack space for quite a while. And if you think that is not enough, don’t worry, you can get some extensions.
The dimensions for the desk are:
- Top shelf: 60″ x 15.7″
- Desktop: 72” x 30”
Of course, the beauty of having rack spaces everywhere is that you can add whatever you need to them, not only music equipment but also rack drawers to store various things like cables, microphones, headphones, etc.
The desk also has a cable management rail at the back and holes in the main deck, which come in handy when having tons of equipment on it which naturally come with tons of cables.
There are some issues with the desk you also need to be mindful of. The rails, for some people, don’t quite line up properly.
For the price this desk comes at, compared to others with similar features, it’s worth giving it a shot. If you find yourself having issues with the rails you can buy some rails and replace them yourself. You’ll still be quite good in terms of money.
Assembling the desk can be easy for someone with a bit of force and some experience assembling furniture but if you know yourself not to be good at this you might want to find a pair of hands to help you out.
Overall, the desk is very sturdy but also very heavy. Luckily it sits on castors so you can easily move it around. When you found the ideal position just lock the breaks and you are set.
In terms of extensions, there is a rack shelf available and you can add as many of these as you need. Unfortunately, there is no angled component to join these shelves with the desk at an angle.
That was it for now. We’ll keep our eyes opened for new, reasonable options for home studios and if such pieces become available we’ll update our list as well.
I know there are not many options but really, there are not many options for the home studio and at reasonable prices. But, don’t forget, you have the option to just grab a regular desk and use stands where needed.
For larger studios with large budgets there are some more fancier options but this website is for the home musician.