My Hunt For The Perfect Studio Desk
Introduction and Backstory:
Hey! My name is Austin Hull and I’m a professional music producer, engineer, and songwriter based out of Orlando, Florida. I have been producing music for 7 years, and I’ve been able to make a full time living from music for the past 4 years. I have learned a lot about music production throughout my journey, but I have always had one major downfall, finding the right studio desk. Finding a desk that fit my needs, my workflow, my aesthetic, my floor space, and my budget has always been a seemingly impossible challenge. I have looked at desks from any major studio furniture company you can imagine. I have tried the Ikea builds and hacks. I have looked into getting a local craftsman to build me a desk from scratch. I have literally searched everywhere, and until now I haven’t had any luck. Luckily, I recently found a company called AZ Studio Workstations. They’re a family run business based out of the United States that has a passion and a skill for creating amazing studio furniture. They make desks and sidecar units that are superbly built, look amazing, fairly priced, and the best part, they offer customized designs and modifications on all of their desks. They also offer completely custom desks if that’s more your speed! Needless to say, I finally found a company that could deliver a desk that fit my needs, and was worthy of being the centerpiece of my studio. Full disclosure, AZ Studio Workstations did send me this desk in exchange for a review, however the review is completely at my discretion and I can be as honest as I need to be. Make Pop Music will never work with a company that doesn’t let us tell our audience our honest thoughts, and thankfully, I am so excited we got the opportunity to work with AZ Studio Workstations because they are an amazing company who makes amazing products. Finding a company that is run by solid people who make solid products that fit all of my, and many other producers’, needs was an absolute dream.
How I Found AZ Studio Workstations:
As I said earlier, I have been on the hunt for the perfect desk for a couple years now and one day I came across AZ Studio Workstations website and saw multiple desks I immediately loved. I reached out to them, let them know who I was, let them know what Make Pop Music is, and asked if there was any way we could possibly work together, or if there was any way I could get some more information about the desk. I let them know that I get questions almost everyday of people looking for the right studio desk for their space, and since I loved so many of their designs, I would love to see if we could partner with them to bring some awareness to all of you guys! Within a couple hours of sending the email, the owner, Art, responded and said he loved our content and would be more than happy to work with us. Art asked me what desks I had my eye on, and I told him a few of the ones I loved, and said exactly why I was having difficulty picking. I let him know that I loved the Artista because the design and footprint looked perfect, but I really liked that the rack units on the Elite and the Stallion were straight up and down, instead of tilted. I let him know of all my needs (which will be laid out below), and that’s when he hit me with the haymaker. Art let me know that EVERY AZ Studio Workstations desk is built to order, and can be customized and modified based on the buyer’s needs. He was able to take my preferences and my needs and come up with something that was truly perfect just for me. After hearing that, I knew AZ Studio Workstations wasn’t only the perfect company to fit my needs, but they were the perfect company to fit our entire audience’s needs. Needless to say I was excited to work with them on this collaboration. Now that we have talked about how I find AZ Studio Workstations, and why I reached out to collaborate with them, let’s chat about what I needed in my workstation so you can see exactly why finding a perfect desk was a nightmare for me before I found AZ Studio Workstations.
Every producer, writer, engineer, and artist has their own workflow. Some people work completely out of the box with vintage analog gear, others need a simple laptop and set of headphones. I’m somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. I work primarily in the box, but I have a couple toys I like to have within arms reach. Finding a desk that fit all of my needs was no small feat considering how particular I am with my setup, workflow, and aesthetic. Let’s look at some of the needs I, and possibly many other producers, needed to check off with a desk.
1: Good Footprint: I work out of a home studio, currently in a room that is about 15D x 14W. My room isn’t small, but it definitely isn’t huge. Finding a desk that could hold all of my gear without taking up an insane amount of square footage has always proved difficult for me. I needed a desk that could sustain my immediate gear without being a mammoth hunk of wood in the middle of my medium sized room.
2: Keyboard Tray: This was by far the hardest thing I came across while looking for a desk. I wanted a keyboard tray that could hold my Juno DS-88, an 88 key, weighted action keyboard. Unfortunately, the Juno is a thicc boi and everytime I would find a desk from another company, the dimensions of the keyboard tray weren’t right. Finding a desk that could fit my chunky keyboard comfortably, without eating into my leg room literally felt impossible. To my surprise, AZ Studio Workstations offers the option to put a pull out keyboard tray on most of their models. They have several adjustable heights so you can fit virtually any keyboard imaginable under your desk, and still have plenty of room around your legs.
3: Large Tabletop Workspace: In addition to having the 88 key, weighted action keyboard, I also love using a smaller 61 Key MIDI controller. I love having synth action keys and all of the faders and pan pots on my MIDI controller. I was always under the impression I was going to have to pick one to be in my immediate reach, and put the other keyboard off to the side, which is what I did before I had my new desk. However, the tabletop on my AZ Studio Workstations desk is big enough to hold my keyboard, my mouse, the 61 key MIDI controller, and has plenty of room off to the side! At the moment I also have a drink, a SM7B, a set of headphones, and my phone on my desk and still have room to spare. Having a large table top where I can have all of my items within an arm’s reach was absolutely essential for my workflow.
4: Raised Monitor Shelf: I previously used a massive kitchen table as my studio desk, and while I love how much tabletop space it offered, let me tell you, my neck was always throbbing. I had my computer screens at the same level as everything else so I was always craning my neck down and I was constantly having neck, shoulder, and back problems. I was extremely excited to see many of the desks that AZ Studio Workstations offer have a raised shelf for monitors. My current setup has 2 24 inch monitors on top with room to spare on each side.
5: Rack Units: As I said earlier, I primarily work in the box, but every producer will still have at least a couple rack mounted units. I wanted space to have some essential units on my desk so I could reach them without going over to my sidecar. My current desk has 6 rack units which is perfect for my setup, but AZ Studio Workstations offers desk options that can hold many more, depending on your needs.
6: Aesthetic: Nothing ruins the vibe faster than a fugly studio space. I have always taken pride in having my space look clean, tidy, well lit, neatly designed, all while remaining functional. I was really disappointed when I started my search for the perfect studio desk because I immediately noticed how uncomfortable, low quality, or just flat out ugly most of the desks I found were. For my desk, I went with a matte black finish on all the wood except for my table top and the top shelf, which are a medium dark Walnut. I loved having the option to have the wood accents because it fits my style better and it feels a bit more warm and welcoming than a flat black, white, or grey desk for my taste. I also love the leg options AZ Studio Workstations offers. I went with the more modern, slanted slit legs that are normally found on the Artista desk they offer.
The Shopping and Building Process:
If you go browse AZ Studio Workstations website, which you should, you will immediately see that they have a ton of amazing looking desks. They have big desks, small desks, sit/stand desks, tons of rack units, minimal rack units, etc. They truly offer something for everyone. However, if you’re extremely particular like me, you’re in luck. All it takes is a simple email to discuss your needs, what desks you like on their site, what else you may be looking for, and BAM, the process starts.
Once I personally told Art all of my needs, he sent me over his recommendation for what I should do for my desk. He’s the expert, so I trusted his vision and gave him the go-ahead to make it happen. My desk was done in about 5 weeks and took a week to get here once it shipped. I won’t lie, the anticipation nearly killed me, however the desk was well worth the wait. Since all of AZ Studio Workstations products are built to order, they do have a 4-6 week turnaround time on all orders, but definitely don’t let that deter you from taking the leap. Since I have gotten my desk I have truly experienced what working at an ergonomic, spacious, and stunning desks looks and feels like. The short wait, while heart-wrenching, was 100% worth it in the end.
The shipping on this desk was wild. They sent the desk in a massive crate, around 6 or 7 feet long and 4 or 5 feet wide. It was HEAVY, coming in around 250 pounds total. The desk came extremely well packaged, with no missing parts, no damages, scuffs, or anything like that. The desk arrived in 5 pieces, and while they’re all extremely sturdy and heavy, putting the entire desk together only took my wife and me around 35-40 minutes. The desk is heavy, it is solid, and it is sturdy, but it’s well built and the assembly was fairly simple. As long as you have some help, you should be able to put it together with no issues.
have talked a ton about my needs and what the desk needed to have, but let’s go ahead and lay out all of the specifications below, so you can see exactly what I’m working with. Dimensions: Desk Surface Height: 31.5”
Material Thickness: 1”
Adjustable heights of Keyboard Shelf: 6.5", 5.5" and 4.5"
Keyboard Tray: W: 59.5'' x D: 16''
Table Top Dimensions: W: 61.5” x D: 19.5”
Shelf Dimensions: W: 61.5” x D: 10”
Features: Small Footprint
Adjustable 88 Keyboard Tray
Keyboard Tray Features Leg Cutout to Maximize Legroom
6u Rack Spaces
Cable Cutout on Table Top
Heavy Duty Keyboard Tray with 100lbs Load Capacity
Tough & Durable Powder Coat Finish
Walnut Finish on Table Top and Shelf
Why I Recommend AZ Studio Workstations:
If you’re still reading this, it’s safe to say you understand how much I love my desk and how much I have enjoyed working with AZ Studio Workstations, but I do have to give you a quick recap on why this process has been so fulfilling for me.
Finding a good company, run by good people, who do an incredible job is a hard thing to come by, and having the opportunity to work so closely with them has been an amazing experience. Between the plethora of options they offer, the customization and modification possibilities, the reliable shipping, the craftsmanship, and the attention to detail, AZ Studio Workstations will be the only company I let handle my studio furniture from now on. If you’re in the market for a solid workstation, and you’re ready to invest in your workspace and your productivity, you need to give AZ Studio Workstations a shout.
I hope you enjoyed my review of my new AZ Studio Workstations desk. Once again, I have to give a major shout out to Art from AZ for taking the opportunity to work Make Pop Music. If anyone has any questions about my personal desk, or AZ Studio Workstations, feel free to contact me or AZ Studio Workstations and we can help you out however we can. I hope you stay safe, stay happy, and stay creative. Until next time,