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Lukas K

Member
Hey guys,

I would like to show you a sketch and a little animation of a studio desk I designed.


I wanted to come up with a design, that would allow me to use both keyboard+mouse and a midi controller in the same height, but at the same time have the ability to move the keyboard tray out of the way, so I can reach the midi controller just like when playing the real piano.

The only thing I struggle with is figuring out that left-right sliding system of a keyboard tray. I've already contacted couple carpenters and they struggle with it as well. I got some ideas that might work, but wanted to ask you guys for your thoughts.

Thanks a lot! :)

Lukas
 

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Cowtothesky

Active Member
Looks awesome.

How about having the keyboard tray slide under the midi controller? So they can both slide in and out of the way. It could protect from dust too. The keyboard tray would have to be a little lower, which might be an issue. Like the design though. Nice work.
 
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Lukas K

Lukas K

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Thanks for the tip! Yes, unfortunately that would be an issue, because it can't go any lower if I can fit my knees under it :) I also browsed the internet to see if I can find some adjustable keyboard tray like Humanscale etc., but there is not enough room for it to slide under the midi controller because of the drawers on the left.

That's why I probably lean more to this left-right sliding solution, but looking for the best way of doing it (stability and practicality wise).
 

d.healey

Senior Member
This is what I did, I have the desk at a kind of standard height for a computer desk, maybe a little higher, and the midi keyboard tray just underneath with plenty of room for my legs, there is no arm strain when using either the keyboard/mouse or the midi keyboard. I think it would be uncomfortably low for me to have the keyboard/mouse at the same level as the piano, and same if the piano was at the higher level.
 

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jacobthestupendous

not that stupendous
What if you raise the whole thing up six inches or more, put the keyboard/mouse on a sliding tray under the MIDI controller, and get a barber's chair to sit in so you can change your seated height (and related knee clearance) as your input needs change?
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
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I like having the MIDI keyboard at standard playing height (keys 28-1/2 - 29-1/2" above the ground) and the sliding desktop a little higher. The computer keyboard/mouse are at the front of the desktop for typing, with my arms on chair arms. It's very comfortable - I type all day long.

And then when I slide the desktop forward for playing - which takes literally half a second - the computer keyboard/mouse are in position right above it for sequencing.

I'm not a fan of computer keyboards below the desktop, because it puts strain on your forearms, arms, shoulders, neck... But if I wanted that I'd just make a thin shelf that attaches to the front of the MIDI keyboard shelf. A couple of pieces of doweling that go into holes would work, for example. You'd just pick the whole thing up and stick it on the desk - as long as the keyboard and mouse are wireless.
 

brett

Senior Member
I think ergonomically you are supposed to have your arms at roughly 90 degrees while working. Since I use my computer kb and mouse 90% of the time I get that right and the the music keyboard is (unfortunately) higher than I'd like. Most people go the other way 'round but that is what makes sense to me

Nick is right though in the sense that ideally you should keep your ears the same distance from your monitors so if you have to have sliders have the music keyboard sliding towards you.

B
 
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Lukas K

Lukas K

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Thanks a lot guys for your inputs!

Nick, I understand your philosophy and know your studio desk design well. However, I don't want any compromises regarding the height of both keyboard and midi controller. I copy what Brett said about using keyboard and mouse 90% of the time (probably even more), and I'm satisfied with the height they're in on my current desk. But my midi controller is unbearably high, sitting on my desktop so I have no space for other things on my table at all. If I want to play the piano, I adjust my chair height, but it definitely isn't the best solution.

That's why I designed it this way. 90% of the time I'm gonna have the midi controller hidden under the desktop, with the keyboard tray in the proper height, and if I want to play the piano I would slide the keyboard tray to the right and slide the bigger midi controller tray closer to me. I would still sit in the same distance from my monitors, even though it requires two motions instead of one :)

I will post a new animation of (hopefully) satisfying solution I came up with in couple hours.
 
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Lukas K

Lukas K

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Here it is :) That blue part would be made of steel/iron or something as well as the red part. Both would be black in reality. The only thing I'm not sure is how to attach that blue part to the wooden tray, so it handles the weight while using the keyboard/mouse and also I'm not sure about the stability of the keyboard/mouse tray. The last thing to figure out is putting something inside of that angular "hook" to make it slide smoothly without destroying the surface of the blue part :)

Any ideas are welcome!

 

oivind_rosvold

Øivind Rosvold
how about having the keyboard dock slide inn/out of the midikeyboard dock?
tried to do a quick sketch here. And when you slide it in, you can just put your keyboard
and mouse in one of the shelves or drawers on the side.

This will make them all the same height and on the same plate/board.

Might need to have a bigger cut out and deeper board to make the keyboard/mouse
plate stable when in use.

Sketch is from above.
 

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Lukas K

Lukas K

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Interesting idea, but I don't think I would enjoy having to put the keyboard/mouse away from the tray to be able to slide it in every time.

But thanks a lot for the sketch!
 

oivind_rosvold

Øivind Rosvold
Np :) If you have wireless mouse/keyboard it could work very pretty well. But cable would probably be a bit of a hassle indeed.

Unless if you want to use the mouse keyboard at the same time as using the midi keyboard, then probably your slide out with a swing towards the end could work. Then again, maybe not hehe.

For smooth sliding, maybe some tiny ball bearings or small wheels will make it smooth.
 

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Lukas K

Lukas K

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Yeah, that would be best, but I got no idea how to create such a system :)
 

Ozymandias

Active Member
Rather than create your own sliding mechanism (which seems like a lot of work with an uncertain outcome), how about attaching the tray to a pair of ball-bearing drawer slides?

Mount them flush with the edge of the desk, one facing up and one facing down:

Code:
top slide    ---------- (extending rail facing up)
DESK         ========== (barrel bolts through desk, clamping them together)
bottom slide ---------- (extending rail facing down)


Then mount your tray to both extending rails.

Drawer slides are not intended to be used like this, of course, but good quality ones may tolerate this kind of abuse.

Just an idea. :)
 

oivind_rosvold

Øivind Rosvold
i am probably grasping at straws now, and this might look terrible ^^
Old fashioned swing arm with slidable trey. ^^
 

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chillbot

Sock Muppet
20150827_064910.jpg

I directed the link to my post in that thread.... I know it is not what you want but just throwing it out there as an idea. I am a piano player and I have zero problems using the piano keyboard just behind my computer computer, provided it's sunk down 3 inches or so. The top of the piano keyboard is the same height as the top of the computer keyboard. Granted I use the computer keyboard probably 80% of the time but I never have to adjust my chair or my posture to use the piano keyboard... I may scoot my chair in a couple inches if I'm going to be busy on the piano, that's about it. Given that most people use the computer keyboard the majority of the time, the trade off in stability is well-worth it in my opinion, not to have to type on anything that may sway or feel flimsy. If you were in LA I would say you should come by and try it out.
 

jacobthestupendous

not that stupendous
You could make a motorized pulley suspension system and hang the keyboard from the ceiling. You pick the height for the situation and raise it out of the way when it's piano time. More ridiculous than all these custom sliding things, but also probably way easier to implement.
 

d.healey

Senior Member
View attachment 4217

I directed the link to my post in that thread.... I know it is not what you want but just throwing it out there as an idea. I am a piano player and I have zero problems using the piano keyboard just behind my computer computer, provided it's sunk down 3 inches or so. The top of the piano keyboard is the same height as the top of the computer keyboard. Granted I use the computer keyboard probably 80% of the time but I never have to adjust my chair or my posture to use the piano keyboard... I may scoot my chair in a couple inches if I'm going to be busy on the piano, that's about it. Given that most people use the computer keyboard the majority of the time, the trade off in stability is well-worth it in my opinion, not to have to type on anything that may sway or feel flimsy. If you were in LA I would say you should come by and try it out.
I like this design, I might use it on my next desk project
 
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