Building a proper control room -installing the studio desk

Hi again!

It’s time to install the studio desk.

After thinking about how much money I would be willing to spend on a desk, I came to the conclusion that none of the professional offers are within my budget. So I came up with my own sketches, some more others less elaborate. In the end I decided to keep the construction as simple as possible. I had already built a 19″ rack out of glued wooden boards that incidentally had the perfect height to place a tabletop on top of it. So I just built a second identical 19″ rack and placed a wooden kitchen worktop (hevea; oiled afterwards) on top of these two racks. Finally I placed one glued wooden board in between the two racks for stiffening purposes and everything was finished. Building this desk took less than 3 hours, including cutting the wood and oiling the worktop.

Meanwhile I had also built some monitor stands. These are again just glued wooden boards, screwed together, sealed along the edges and then filled with dried sand. Each of these stands weighs about 80kg. They work perfectly in tightening the bass response of the speakers according to my measurements (which I either didn’t save or lost unfortunately; sorry for that). Then my 3 PC screens were mounted on supporting arms screwed to the wall and placed in a way to seamlessly integrate with the Icon Qcon controllers that I used at that time. The controllers themselves are angled a little bit – but not enough as we will see in a moment. All that and a lot more is shwon on the pictures below.

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One drawback of a desk – especially if it is not angled sufficiently – is that it inevitably introduces comb filtering into the perceived frequency response. This happens due to reflections on the tabletop. Furthermore, in the setup you see above, even the edges of the PC screens introduce some comb filtering since the speakers are placed behind the screens. Naturally, the frequency response is now worse than before.

In the meantime I sold the Qcon controllers and switched to a touchscreen, altering the studio desk to a more transparent design. But more on that in a future article.


Frequency response with the studio desk installed (gotten worse)

The EDT curve shows no real change as compared to the last measurement. However, I also start plotting the Topt curve from now on, since in my rather small control room RT60 is not necessarily the best concept due to a lack in volume of the room. REW tries to correct for that with the Topt option in the EDT plot. There you can see that we are down to around 200ms of decay time for the whole frequency spectrum, which is quite good. For some folks this may already be on the dry side, but I personally like the way it sounds. It’s certainly not sounding dull, since the 200ms are achieved quiet uniformly across the whole frequency spectrum. Remember that dullness mainly comes from overdamping the high frequencies.


EDT curve with studio desk installed


Waterfall diagramm with studio desk installed


Spectrogram with studio desk installed

In the ETC diagram we now see the nasty reflections on the screens and the desk. Not that good actually, but as I said above I already changed the desk setup in the meantime to successfully get rid of most of those peaks.


ETC showing more peaks due to reflections on the screens and the desk

That’s it for now. Next time we will continue with installing a sub woofer and tuning it such that the overemphasis of bass frequencies is removed (!) and the dips at 80Hz and 120Hz are filled a little bit. Furthermore, we will have a look at primary diffusion and at what some final tweaks using an EQ plugin can do for the room.

Hope to see you then.


One thought on “Building a proper control room -installing the studio desk

  1. Pingback: Building a proper control room – outline and prerequisites | orthogonalrecords

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