The Tiny Studio Corner Thread

This is really neat! are these modded intellijel 4u cases? Is the system foldable? Keeping the teletype cheat sheet on top is a great idea, I think I’m gonna borrow that :slight_smile:

I love this thread. Please make it a category. I definitely can relate to having a small space to create. I am always creating in small spaces it seems. I love seeing pictures of peoples creative



@papernoise laptop generally lives downstairs. At the moment on the kitchen table next to my new grid :slight_smile:

There is something about creating in small spaces. Theres an intimacy factor that takes me
someplace bigger on a creative level. I recently moved to a big open floor plan loft in LA’s China Town where I rent a small corner and have roommates. Everything is within reach and I feel that it has an influence on the the music I’m making.

I will post some pictures.


Thanks! They are 104hp Intellijel 4U extrusions, but I bought them bare from Danjel and made my own end caps and linking hardware. It can articulate freely, so yes–it folds into a couple of shapes depending on whether I need to transport it patched or not. I have another row but recently downsized and am appreciating the weight savings. :slight_smile:


@steveoath I’m asking because I do find it very difficult to combine a computer/recording/editing workplace with the modular one and was wondering how people do that. And BTW I find this thread more and more interesting and am realizing that it touches a series of woes and issues I have been experiencing myself over and over again with trying to find a solution for my own corner (which I haven’t found yet).

The issue I see with the computer – for how I intend things to be used at least, which is recording things and then editing/mixing these – is that you need a certain type of situation where you can sit comfortably in front of it, possibly in the sweet spot of your monitoring system (if you have it), possibly with a screen that is big enough and decent input devices (which for me is and remains the mouse). For the modular you need the space to be able to comfortably sit or stand in front of it, having the case put the way you want it (flat on the table, or upright) to be able to reach all the knobs and comfortably patch it, etc… so basically they both need a similar thing, and you are forced to give one or the other the priority. Also both have their context, as I said, for me the modular is for “playing” and the computer is for doing stuff that comes after the “playing”, they don’t necessarily have to live in the same space at the same time, but you also don’t want to move them around all the time.

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That can be solved with a swivel office chair… At least it’s the case for me.

Then you just need a rotation (typically 90 degrees) if you have a T configuration or a translation if it’s a long desk with the computer on one end and the music gear on the other end.

I’m actually thinking about how to reduce the space I take in my small computer/music gear room (Tokyo-sized :slight_smile: ) to be able to put my wife’s desk in there too, which means going from one big desk (PC + mixer + some extra stuff) and a smaller one (modular and synth/effects) to just the big desk with both PC and modular/synth + effects (and guitar/bass on the side).

I think I can do that if I can manage to have my mixer underneath the monitor using a monitor stand that’s tall enough, something like what @jlmitch5 uses for example…

There is a downside about the stashed laptop currently, and I wanted to let you know so you can factor that in to your solution.

This macbook’s internal bluetooth chip is messed up, and I’m using a somewhat unreliable usb dongle. There are times where the keyboard and trackpad disconnect, and I have to open the laptop a tiny bit and try to use its trackpad to toggle Bluetooth settings. Also getting cables into out of the peripherals on the laptop is a bit of a pain because your hand/arm doesn’t have a lot of room to make positioning easy.

I think a more ideal solution would be to have longer cables and use a tray that can slide out to give full access to the laptop (or in your case the mixer). I think they make these to withstand some substantial weight/depth for musical keyboards.

I just say “cabled FTW”, personally less wi-fi and bluetooth I have in my life the better. It seems to never work for me. Though of course this creates new problems like: what to do with all the wires? But then, when you have a modular a couple more wires won’t even be noticed :slight_smile:

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I really hate working in the computer if I’m playing a tactile instrument. Now, I have a few modules that I can use to multitrack right in my system. The ER-301 really changed my workflow in that way - way under its pay grade but such a needed function. The Disting mk4 does this in stereo as well. A nice feature for a small space.

I tried various solutions to this, but I think that having a convenient platform to put the laptop on may be the solution. I have sold a bunch of equipment I don’t use, and attempted to make the euro system easy to move also. Hopefully report back on this in a month or so when I can get a weekend to beaver away with some reclaimed wood.

Apparently, the trackpad may work over usb if you have it plugged in. That would solve some of my problems, thanks for giving me the idea to check!

Well that’s interesting. I did not buy an Apple trackpas specifically because I thought it would only charge over USB, but maybe that’s the v3…

my home setup is small, and basically all in the box. there is a rhodes and wurli sitting in the living room though!

cat’s will always find the space.


@tambouri, this makes me think that it might be a prudent move for me to create a cat-sized space on my desk. Our new addition (Hubble) appears to be interested in the goings-on there, but has nothing unproblematic to lay upon. (Our older resident, Sassy, couldn’t care less, so it never occurred to me that there might be a need.)


Here’s my little studio corner. Bar any guitar-based stuff, I’ve got everything on a desk & as conducive to getting started straight away when I want to make some music as I can. Seriously loving some of the set-ups on this thread by the way.
Edit to add more detail on my modular set-up for anyone interested. You’ll note that I shamefully have nothing from the monome/mannequins universe (yet).


Some related issues I feel that I wind up dealing w/ are: wanting to use the computer for several purposes (aimless fiddling in max, photo/design work, ableton recording/play, itunes), a task-dependent desire for either the gear or the computer to be centrally located between the monitors, and feeling like i’m in the best creative headspace when nothing feels crowded or cluttered (obviously really subjective)

I’d guess that every workspace is going to be a compromise at some level and it’s mostly choosing which compromises are most important to the user. I also feel that a thing I’ve realized about myself specifically as I caught the modular bug, is the degree to which I enjoy the planning and scheming. It definitely scratches another itch that I find satisfying, but ultimately one needs to land on something, and while you can keep planning and planning, having your things set up is more valuable than being mildly frustrated by some quirk or other that your setup presents.

With that said I landed on my current setup because it felt like if i moved the computer where the modular is I would feel more cramped working in that corner. The modular wound up fitting there nicely, the only catch is being really off center in the monitors (it’s very close to the right and a good distance to the left), but so far that’s bugged me less than I’d assumed.

Computer-wise, i’ve actually had more issues w/ my wired wacom (on mac sierra but not previously :neutral_face:) than any of the bluetooth. And I really like the deskspace which the imac leaves available (while i know a laptop is movable, it always felt like it was hard to get it in the space i actually wanted it). And I enjoy how easily you can stash the keyboard/mouse and have an almost empty desk surface available for drawing or writing or music toys.

@dnealelo @papernoise cats definitely find a way. While I didn’t intend the cat to fill this space it works out nicely as she is the needy type who is want to be in your approximate eyeline or close proximity and leaving her a space to chill actually winds up being pretty important to her cooling out which allows me to be more focused. She finds the cords entertaining, but is lazy enough to not fuck w/ anything important :ok_hand:


My studio is probably more minimal in terms of objects used than actual physical space used.

I make music on the floor of the living room I share with my roommates, but since I use relatively few pieces of gear (just a laptop, controller, mixer, two mics, and a handful of instruments), it’s easy for me to spread out and rearrange my setup while I work before condensing everything back to the corner. I actually used up more space than this and a desk previously but ended up finding that it was much easier to be spontaneous and come up with new combinations of what I had when I had less non-musical objects around me to navigate.


My “studio” it’s an ikea desk in a corner of my living room.
Other than what is in this pic I got an OP-1, a Marantz portable cassette recorder, an iPad and an Oto Biscuit (that is still on the road to me).
Voilà, the space it’s finished :sweat_smile:


I suppose a Three Sisters would fit right into the spot occupied by the MN blank…:stuck_out_tongue:

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