The Tiny Studio Corner Thread

In my limited experience, more equipment has never lead to better music, just more options. So as a hobbyist, and someone who doesn’t need to create all sorts of different sounds in a big studio, I’ve found that the more I refine what is ‘my style’ of music, the less equipment I have on the table.

Here is a pic from the pics thread. Its old, but my window corner is more or less the same today:


Loving the window and your system as a kind of wall art - wish I had a way to work like that in my space. Also loving the bastl stuff integrated with the monome/mannequins gear. Would love to hear what you make with it!

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Hmm…this is an idea! To be honest, I’m holding off on filling that blank space until I’m 100% sure that I have a real need for whatever module goes there. I have that nagging feeling that being “finished” with this 180hp will lead to then considering what I might part with to free up room for something different. I’m anxious to avoid that particular cycle & would rather make sure I devote the next 6 months or so to just making music.


Love seeing this picture

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Great thread and idea. I’m enjoying seeing the pics from others.

I’m expecting a shipment on Tuesday of a few new components and planning on setting up and preparing a small space for things over the weekend. I’ll post a pic once it’s all set.

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Thanks! – Unfortunately I didn’t record very much when I started into modular, mostly experimenting and un-patching everything all the time. I liked the bastl stuff, but in the end I turned away from drum sequencing and rather make beat stuff on the op1 where its not quantized. I love the idea of teletype, but in practice I just don’t enjoy scripting enough to want to type anything while I am making music. So things have changed a lot.

There are some limited vids on my vimeo page though.

I built the case (6u + 1u row) and wall mount myself which was a very rewarding project!



I posted this on @papernoise’s version of this thread on the MI forum but it’s an easy paste. I also still find the idea of my “studio” existing beneath two lofted bikes too comical not to share.

took this photo last last night.

I’ve had more than a few arrangements in my 12 years in Brooklyn. If there is interest I’ll see how well I’ve documented them in pictures. We have a three room apartment and every room except the kitchen/living room has been “the studio” at some point.

I’ve never had the resources to have a Wow That’s Shiny Studio, but in general I’ve had a comfortable working space. the past year or so has been my first run without using monitors (Alesis Monitor One mk2 from 2002!). Having an output module has been helpful. we didn’t know what to do with the bikes (no storage in the building), but were reluctant to get rid of them, so they got mounted on the wall, above the space available for me to put a desk. I haven’t hurt myself. We are moving in two weeks so catch up with me in February for an all-new literally West Coast cramped corner setup.

In 2009 Anne & Richard & myself did a quick jaunt from Vancouver -> LA as Delicate Sen, and this exposed to me the hazards of a laptop-centric setup. Laptop/Virus/Keyboard was really good for me creatively for a long time, but I always found it awkward to gig with (usb! firewire! midi!), many points of failure that were difficult to compensate for in the moment. I spent 3-4 years finding ways to slim that setup down, remove structural weaknesses, and keep on track creatively.

This is how I got a first run MI Shruti kit, then the MFB Microzwerg and a Standuino (now Bastl) Microgranny mk1. I got a new bass guitar in 2012 and that was a good choice. Anne & I did a short tour as Fraufraulein where I just packed the bass (with a grip of preparation materials), MFB, Microgranny, and Strymon El Cap. super simple to setup and check, few points of failure, easy to “play.” There’s a fantasy gig I’ve never played where I just pack the MFB, Microgranny, El Cap and mixer.

As someone who has never had a driver’s license, much less a car, having gear that I cannot easily get in a taxi, subway, or overhead compartment is pointless. Expanding my eurorack beyond what I can take to a gig or a session doesn’t make sense to me. I see my synthesizer as an instrument I practice, I work through ideas, see where they lead, loop around on themselves or splinter off in another direction. While there are many differences between the synth and my guitar, I approach them the same way. It’s also much easier to just switch this system on and get going than it ever was to boot up Max, then Reaktor, make sure MIDI and audio interfaces are set up right, and get going. I don’t even use an audio interface, just recording from my mixer into my sony pcm-m10. (we have a sound devices USBPre that I should bother with but eh).

the most recent recording I’ve made available on the web is this:

this is from the beginning of October (2017) incorporating some field recordings I made in the large, empty house we were being put up in while Anne played a recorder in a kayak in a flooded quarry upstate. this was recorded in more or less the configuration pictured, iPhone playback of recordings instead of microgranny, and a configuration of eurorack that isn’t quite either of what is in the pictures. There will likely be a few releases featuring recordings from this setup under the bikes.

I edit on my bed now.

I’m unsure how to address “how does the space affect the music” - I’m certain it does, but I can’t really articulate it, I’ve been working in less-than-ideal “studios” my whole life. The more direct my access to my creative practice is, the better.


Hold the phone! Have you made a dock for your arc?? Thats looks ace.

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Max strength adhesive velcro! Have it on my op-1 and grid too, all in the same spots so they can mount there or in my lunchbox lid.


But you have some Mutable stuff so I like you anyway :smiley:

Yes that’s exactly what I keep experiencing. Right now I solved it by putting the modular on top of the laptop and renouncing to having a bigger monitor (photo coming soon). Works ok even if the modualr is a little bit hard to reach.

@polyoptics that feels like a very inspiring corner to make music, next to the window!

Yes absolutely, I am totally experiencing this as well.

yes please do so!

I do realize now that I have to make some additions and rectifications to my initial post (and sorry for not mentioning some things right away… some I just plain forgot, and some I only realized now).
So first of all, seeing now much material I am collecting, it’s likely only part of the people will make it into the article (probably about 10) or the article would become too long. The other thing is: while horizontalpitch is a very “modular centric” blog, I don’t want to keep this article “modular only”. Still, I want to focus on solutions that are either all hardware-based or at least have a hardware focus of some sorts (though as you have noticed, I find corners where some hardware has to coexist with a computer very interesting). This is not so much because I do have anything against people working with laptops/computers, but more because with a computer-centric setup a lot of your studio actually resides in the virtual space inside the computer, which is a completely different cut of tea.
Two more things which I’d like you to be aware of: a) it might take some time until I actually start to write the article – so please be patient with me, I do have a lot of work to do (so time is limited), but I am doing this as a way to give back to the community and its very important for me. This also means that as long as I’m in the collecting phase, you can post new photos, share stories etc. b) Once I start to write the piece I’ll contact the people I decided to feature directly via PM.


This is my current setup. I have some mics, percussion, boxes of cables/adapters, and a guitar outside of the picture. I pulls these in as I need them.

Living in NYC, space has been a big issue for me. I have to think about it with every purchase I make. Right now I think I’m doing the best I can with the space I have but it still feels a little claustrophobic when I’m working. The window helps but when I start to record with my mic or guitar things start to get difficult. Actually moving around within the space is tough. My next thought was to mount the speakers on the walls and maybe even put the pedals on the ground.


Same. It’s been on my to-do list since I moved this summer :smiley:

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As previously mentioned, here’s a (not so great) photo of my current solution. I just moved stuff around so there’s a lot of cables missing.
I am not super happy with where the modular is, it it weren’t for the fact that on the left I have a big window door leading to the balcony I’d love to have it there and maybe use the space between the monitors for a bigger screen or move the laptop there to have more free space on the desk. I find that to be creative I need a lot of free space on the desk (which is currently missing a bit)… space to write down notes, to arrange sound making objects, etc. Some of the setup will always be fixed (laptop, mixer, modular) some changes all the time (contact microphoned objects, little noisemakers etc.)

And btw. if anybody will ever be tempted to buy one of those cheap MIllennium desks from Thomann, please don’t. That’s what I have here and it’s really utterly rubbish. Total waste of money.


yeah, you’re right…it’s not a great photo: there are some really blurry modules I can’t quite make out :wink:

joking aside, it does look like a fun bunch of stuff, but I agree that finding a better way of placing the modular would likely make it more fun. I guess 9U is probably too tall to have on a tilted stand on the lower level with the laptop on the top level?

also, I imagine it must be pretty fun to have a system made primarily of modules for which you designed the panel/layout for :slight_smile:


oh these are just some blinds I had made :smile:

It’s a blessing and a curse on several levels, but that is kind of a lengthy topic. All things considered, I must say that it’s mostly very rewarding.

yes tried that and it did’t fit, which is a pity because keeping the modular upright really does not work well for me

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Ok what the heck, it’s not a secret we have messy studios so why hide it.

I have two Ikea bookcases, one upright, one laid flat that provides nooks for notebooks, and my MIDI controller goes on the top. One end is bolted to the bookshelf, the other end is supported by an Ikea sawhorse. The sawhorse has room for my printer, and my Push and Launchpad (which I seldom use).

I don’t have a lot of space, so almost everything happens in the laptop.

(that Barron’s AP Music Theory book is excellent - the most accessible and readable book for AP Music Theory, IMO).


My entire studio is on a single keyboard stand. It’s kinda vertical and funky:

It’s really a MIDI rig based around the little grey box underneath the Mininova, just behind the mouse. That’s a MiST FPGA box with MIDI built in running an Atari ST. Some of the ST software has never been recreated on any platform.

I wrote this movie cue on the rig:


Not sure if this is a tiny studio. If feels a bit like it. But compared to most of you, perhaps a bit larger. And yes, that’s a longsword (not for music… at least not yet).




That enormous flip up desk is :heart_eyes:


Yeah, that would be a perfect solution for the sharing-the-desk-with-other-family-members problem. =)

I wonder how difficult would it be to build something like that. I’ve never seen a flip-up desk that big.