Monthly Archives: March 2015

Keyboard Stand Build #1

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I’ve been following this thread and seen some cool ideas.

I rearrranged my studio last fall to give me some dedicated space for editing and other “non-keyboard” work (including tasks that turn my studio into a work-cave, not just a music-cave). This translated into me moving my main keyboard (a QS8) onto one side of the room, and my Numa organ onto the other. While it’s very much like a 70’s era live keyboard surround, they’re too far away from each other to do my Keith Emerson impersonation.

On my main desk I have a small keyboard controller (Line6 KB37) that I can use for limited performance).

One thing I’ve always been challenged with is the setup working for each of the distinct jobs I perform at the main (large) keyboard, including:

  • Performance/Recording: Focused on playing. Need some way to run transport controls, select tracks, and minimal editing (usually through controllers).
  • Composing / Arranging / Orchestration: I do this by hand, and eventually translate it into Finale. This requires a music desk, and has always been the most ignored portion of my studio since I couldn’t come up with a design that had the appropriate footprint and worksurface that I could deal with. I modeled this after a grand piano, with a “scoring” desk attached (see picture). BTW – I’ve never been able to use Finale fast enough to capture ideas, so I’ve given up, but it’s a great tool to share and archive.
  • Programming / Gig Preparation: This ranges from having a place to put a module, iPad, or other controller above the QS8, to a full keyboard.

I think what inspired me was a Korg keyboard from about 10 years ago (M3 maybe) that had a programmer / display module that could slide one way or the other. To accommodate all of the needs above I decided to steal the idea of having the “modules” slide on some steel rods. I’ll use conduit as it’s really sturdy but not as heavy as steel pipe. The modules will ride on trucks (built using a friend’s 3D printer) and can be swapped out as needed.

The original sketch has a music stand, but I’ll probably have a modules.  The conduit and modules will take the rear half of the case. I didn’t build them in because I’m not yet sure what the right height, distance, etc. will be (thus I’m calling it a prototype).

This past weekend I took the first step and built the main keyboard surround with a friend, Mike Day, in his woodshop. It looks surprisingly like a cutdown B3 shell. It’s got 3 sides, a base, and will sit on a keyboard/DJ table for stability. Eventually (if I ever move from prototype phase to “furniture” phase) I’d probably build nicer legs that match the décor. Here’s the rendering I did in Sketchup:

Sketchup drawing #1

Sketchup drawing #1


My plan is to build a number of modules that I can interchange quickly based on the use.

Here are some shots from Mike’s woodshop.

Dry fit of keyboard stand

Dry fit of keyboard stand

Clamped woodwork

Clamped woodwork


We’ll let the glue dry this week, and next week I’ll put together the rails and inserts. Maybe I’ll even get to stain and finish it.