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Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

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Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby ImdurC » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:55 pm

Hey folks.

I've been redesigning my project studio space and minimising things, a lot, e.g. I no longer have a desk!

Here's a fairly current pic - https://twitter.com/ImdurC/status/536969377263157248

As you can see, the computer keyboard sits atop the midi keyboard right now. This has been fine, but, I'll be building a table to house my midi controllers (Project Mix and Mackie XT Pro), and unfortunately it will clash with where the computer keyboard currently sits. The table will be positioned behind the midi keyboard (on wheels!), but when it moves forward, it will clash with where the computer keyboard sits. Btw, the devices will be around 75cm across the midi keyboard area (Maudio Keystation 88 Pro).

So, the question I have is this - Is there a more elegant and minimalist way of having a computer keyboard above the midi keyboard, but not permanent? I.E. I could move it away when I wish to play the midi keyboard.

I've been looking at various solutions, e.g. laptop tables, foldable laptop stands, etc. But they'd all require some modification to work in the space shown in the picture. So, any ideas are welcome! Preferably a cheap solution :)

P.s. underneath the midi keyboard is not an option as it's very close to where my knees are!
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:37 pm

Hi ImdurC!

Yours is a perennial problem, as so many of us need both a MIDI and computer keyboard in front of us.

My approach is to have a small 2-octave MIDI keyboard immediately above my PC keyboard (both have a very similar width and colour, so they look rather like a composite unit). Then I have my 88-key master keyboard at right angles on my right hand side.

With your arrangement I suspect some sort of extendable arm might do the trick, letting you pull the computer keyboard forward when required, but swing it out of the way when not.

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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby ImdurC » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:48 pm

Ooh...I hadn't even thought about that :)

I'll take a look. Thanks!
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Dynamic Mike » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:44 pm

I've been using this for the last year http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing-accessories/accessories-and-bags/mice-keyboards/keyboards/advent-akbwlpp14-wireless-keyboard-purple-21899937-pdt.html albeit not in trendy purple. It's probably about as small as you can get with full size keys, but feels substantial enough. It's only 2cm deep & about 1 1/2 octaves wide so might even sit on the keystation when the controller table is in place.

When I was cramped for space a few years back I bought 2 sleeve ironing boards from Argos, hacksawed the frames short, put the end caps back in & screwed them to some black MDF from B&Q. It looked like the coolest keyboard riser ever! Sometimes you just need to think outside the box, even if you mix ITB.
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby ImdurC » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:46 pm

Sadly, I can't see where to put a monitor arm for a tray. I really liked that idea, too.

Mike, I won't be buying another keyboard as, I have a very expensive mechanical keyboard. It's mainly for gaming, but I like the sound of it, too. I use a KVM switch which allows the use of it between two PCs.

Once I realised I wouldn't be able to use a monitor arm, I happened across an old Ikea laptop table I have. By complete accident, I was turning it around to look at the underside of the wood, when I realised, the bottom tri-legs held the keyboard really well. So, I'm looking at that and possibly making a small modification. It just needs a small platform for a wrist rest to be comfortable.

If this pans out, I'll post a picture of the mod.
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Folderol » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:25 pm

I'll be watching this thread :)
It's a problem I've had for some time and never really sorted out!
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:41 pm

ImdurC wrote:If this pans out, I'll post a picture of the mod.

Make sure you do, one way or the other - we need more info on such mods, why they work, and why they don't ;)


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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:06 am

ImdurC wrote:I won't be buying another keyboard as, I have a very expensive mechanical keyboard. It's mainly for gaming, but I like the sound of it, too. I use a KVM switch which allows the use of it between two PCs.

Well, that's nice. But you may find a lightweight wireless keyboard more suitable for your music sessions. There's no point in falling in love with a bit of gear that doesn't suit your purpose.

Also, don't over-design. It locks you down. A decent-sized table beats most "designer" setups I've come across.
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby zenguitar » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:27 am

Martin Walker wrote:
ImdurC wrote:If this pans out, I'll post a picture of the mod.

Make sure you do, one way or the other - we need more info on such mods, why they work, and why they don't ;)

OK, OK !! It's a fair cop, I'm not as Black & White as my pic and my goatee is even longer now. But at least you could recognise me from my pic. You look nothing like your pic Martin :lol:

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby ImdurC » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:02 am

Just a small update - I have modified the table and it's working well. I just need to cut the bottom part into some leg shapes (for balance) and then paint the part I added. I've been taking some pictures as I go, so this will be fairly in-depth. It was surprisingly easy to mod, to be honest. I'll try and update again, soon!
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:59 pm

zenguitar wrote:OK, OK !! It's a fair cop, I'm not as Black & White as my pic and my goatee is even longer now. But at least you could recognise me from my pic. You look nothing like your pic Martin :lol:

You'd scarcely recognise me either Andy - I now have shoulder length hair and a guitar Image


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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Dynamic Mike » Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:44 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:Also, don't over-design. It locks you down. A decent-sized table beats most "designer" setups I've come across.
There are always work-arounds for height & width. Depth is everything. (insert your own sexist interpretation here) :)
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby desmond » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:51 am

Dynamic Mike wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:Also, don't over-design. It locks you down. A decent-sized table beats most "designer" setups I've come across.
There are always work-arounds for height & width. Depth is everything. (insert your own sexist interpretation here) :)

I picked up an Ikea Fredde, which works great. It has good depth, height adjustable main shelves, with shelves for monitors which can be placed inside or outside the sides, and I modified it to add a sliding keyboard tray which adds extra depth that I can remove it needed.

I have a Mackie Control Universal which is quite a deep unit, and in this config I can slide the MCU back under the monitor shelf, and still have space in front of the MCU for a laptop, or I can move the laptop off to the side and pull out the MCU, with a computer keyboard in front of it. I have a master keyboard underneath, and if I remove it and the keyboard tray then my rack is underneath which also has a pull out tray - basically, this config is really flexible, gives a lot of storage in a small footprint. So I can use it in a musical context, or easily move that stuff and use it as a traditional desk for non-music contexts. Works really well for me...
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Hylton Mowday » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:27 am

Hi All,

I think this is my first post here.
I run a music studio in Sydney and have a setup which is the same as my home setup.
Although not cheap, my wife (an architect amongst many other gigs) designed a table wherein the keyboard and monitor sits on top of my Roland A-80. Check out the photos. I'm happy to provide photos of my studio setup too.

I think in all the years i've worked, this has been by far the best setup.

I also prefer to stand and work, (I can use a seat too btw) so this is also ideal as the MIDI keyboard is at standing height.

MSG me privately if you wish to chat further.

Regards,
Hylton

www.welovejam.com.au

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ug6kwcbnpjzh4ex/IMG_7208.JPG?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0ejettscxud3v ... 9.JPG?dl=0
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:19 pm

Hi Hylton, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

Thanks also for your links, although sadly they don't work for me - I get a 'The file you're looking for has been moved or deleted.' error from Dropbox.

Shame, I was looking forward to studying your architect-designed keyboard/monitor table :D


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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby ImdurC » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:18 pm

Hi Hylton, same prob for me too :frown: Let us know if you can fix it.

Desmond, I looked at the Fredde a while back, but when I took my desk out of the room I mix in, things sounded better, somehow. I can't really explain it. Perhaps things just sounded a bit clearer.
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby OneWorld » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:36 am

Dynamic Mike wrote:I've been using this for the last year http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing-accessories/accessori... albeit not in trendy purple. It's probably about as small as you can get with full size keys, but feels substantial enough. It's only 2cm deep & about 1 1/2 octaves wide so might even sit on the keystation when the controller table is in place.

When I was cramped for space a few years back I bought 2 sleeve ironing boards from Argos, hacksawed the frames short, put the end caps back in & screwed them to some black MDF from B&Q. It looked like the coolest keyboard riser ever! Sometimes you just need to think outside the box, even if you mix ITB.

Glad I read this thread, I dig those little keyboards, look really jazzy, wireless too, am off to Curry's
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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Wonks » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:48 am

Martin Walker wrote:
zenguitar wrote:OK, OK !! It's a fair cop, I'm not as Black & White as my pic and my goatee is even longer now. But at least you could recognise me from my pic. You look nothing like your pic Martin :lol:

You'd scarcely recognise me either Andy - I now have shoulder length hair and a guitar Image


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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Hylton Mowday » Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:16 am

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Re: Computer Keyboard Tray/Stand ideas

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:12 pm

Hi again Hylton!

Very nice setup, but what the original poster was asking for was:

Is there a more elegant and minimalist way of having a computer keyboard above the midi keyboard, but not permanent? I.E. I could move it away when I wish to play the midi keyboard.


i.e. he wants a movable computer keyboard that can be pushed out of the way when playing music.


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