I’ve been slowly getting back into music, synths and all of that and I decided last year that I really wanted an 88 key controller. I’ve never had one before and for the most part, 49 keys have always been ok. I’m not a huge “player” in that regard, but in the past, I have had a few of the M-Audio 61 key controllers and when I’m working on ambient style music, I really enjoyed being able to experiment with chords and breaking or splitting them up amongst the 61 keys because I found I was able to create interesting progressions and sounds that I wouldn’t otherwise had been able to on a 49 key controller.
Years ago, I had an Ikea Micke desk and even though I really liked it, I let the kids use it for a computer desk and of course naturally, they destroyed it. So the one in the photo is actually my second one. I always thought that if I didn’t put the drawers in, the desk would make a great studio desk and would be long enough to hold a controller keyboard. So I went online to the Ikea website, got the measurements of the desk and quickly realized that I had just enough room underneath for an 88 key controller.
Honestly, the desk ticks a lot of my boxes: modern, minimal, cheap (79$ US) and the black brown color goes with the rest of my living room furniture. And like I said, it just seemed a natural fit to ditch the drawers and put in a keyboard shelf. The actual mechanics of getting the shelf installed was pretty simple. I had to go online and buy 15 inch bottom mount drawer slides, as I quickly found out that the 12 inch slides I got from the hardware store were too short. The issue I had with the 12 inch slides was that the shelf wasn’t able to slide out enough from under the desk to allow me to access all of the sliders and knobs on the top of the controller. I also replaced all of the mounting screws with larger ones, as the ones included were too small to take the weight of the keyboard. The shelf is simply a board cut to length and painted black and at first, I had concerns that the weight of the keyboard would topple the desk forward, but as you can see in the photo, that turned out to not be an issue at all.
All in all, I’m really happy with the setup. I finally have an 88 key controller, it’s mounted under the desk (which I also love!) and that leaves me with plenty of room up top for synths and other controllers. When not in use, I store most of my gear in the closet in my bedroom. I don’t like to see it when I’m not using it, as I just don’t like the visual clutter and I also prefer a more modular, experimental style of working. I simply am more comfortable starting off each session by wondering, what kind of results will I get if I hook up this, to perhaps that, today? Also, by keeping it in the closet, it all stay dust and cat hair free.