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Studio Desk - Abbey Road Studios

Studio Desk – drawings and design

Studio Desk – workstations in progress

A common request on the forums is for plans to build a recording studio desk for the amateur or professional musician or recording engineer. Whilst there are many desk designs to choose from we have added a list of links which more or less covers the best looking desks and work stations out there. Please feel free to write to us if you have your own design which you would like to advertise or  even better, can supply free plans and a “how to build it” guide.

Studio Desk - Abbey Road Studios
Abby Road Studios – image from Wiki / Flickr commons licence: Josephenus P. Riley

Some things to understand:

  • A studio desk will change the room acoustics. This is common knowledge.
  • Some engineers like a bridge, some don’t. It’s important that the desk is solid and does not resonate – it will if light density wood is used and it will if anything is loose.
  • Many desk designs are too wide to fit into an apartment so high density speaker stands are sometimes not an option, it’s a must have. Will cover that as well.
  • Pricing varies, a nice design does not have to be expensive, a professional finish will though.
  • Many designs cater for the 100 dollar market. This will seldom work out practically because of first timer learning curve. Paints are also very expensive.
  • Try to build modular – expandability is key. Making a rigid once off design is a problem when you get more gear.
  • Cables need to be laid out properly – also ensure you have a safety trip on the desk if you use multiplugs or a central connector.
  • Check that you can get to your hardware sockets easily – there’s nothing worse than to dismantle something to get to a socket.
  • Note from the doctor: look straight into your monitor, not down or up, this is inviting muscular problems.

The projects listed here in some cases can be built from the images, it’s not always necessary to buy a plan if you have a good eye.  Artists have an uncanny eye for detail – if you have a bud whom is into graphics invite him or her over for a pint – nothing like getting into someone else’s  head. Don’t forget the spouse.

GoatIn a Tree – really awesom design with all the cutting specs and designed for corner placement Designed is copyright, ARIOGRAPHICS. Although 2003 it shows that desks don’t age. is a good place to kick off – plans for sale

Wood Working Talk – nice project and will throw in some ideas.

Jason Miller’s page at Recording Studio Central is a great place to start. We really like the design and for all intents and purposes, will give the DIY guy or gal a great step in the right direction.

Topic Now – a series of YouTube videos to whet your appetite.

A website with desk designs for purchase can be found at The Home Studio Guy. Purchase and plans page found here.

Jack Daniels Recording – photo blog to give an idea as to how a professional desk is built. The pictures are really worth ten thousand words so let your imagination run wild.

Use MDF to build your project? Some great tips and building advice found at the Project Studio Handbook.

Larry Marrs website – the link here gives the drawings and specs needed to build a professional desk with speaker mount. Video below:

Miloco Builds – a professional studio design and build contracting company gives some really exceptional insight into their projects. For someone wanting to build their own studio, lots of information in their projects pages.  Again, pictures are worth many words.

If you want to buy, how about ehomerecordingstudio, possibly not better than a home built unit but enough to wrap your head around. 10/10 for the Studio RTA Producer Station.

To wind up, a professional studio desk will cost a lot of money.  Most home built units are designed for a specific location, not all of us are fortunate enough to have ample space. Take your time with the design, check measurements twice and do get input from more than one source.  Many suppliers will do the cut for a nominal fee – this will be expertly done (hopefully) and if you have the patience you will be well rewarded.




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