You will find several of the best studio desks and workstations around in 2020 for all your music production needs. There are many different desk styles and there are tons of options to choose from, so it’s important to research these things carefully, so you can get the studio desk of your dreams. This article will cover 8 of the best studio desks and workstations as well as a short guide on what to look for and how to choose your next desk.
Here are the best studio desks / workstations 2020:
- StudioRTA Producer Station
- Slate Raven Core Station with 2 MTi2s
- Output Platform
- On-Stage Stands WS7500 Workstation
- Studio Trends 30″ Studio Desk
- Omnirax Presto 4
- BHG Lindon Place L-Shaped Desk
- Respawn RSP-1010
1. StudioRTA Producer Station
The best all-around studio desk under $500
Coming in at just under $500 is our top pick for the best all-around studio desk, the Producer Station by StudioRTA. StudioRTA is one of the bigger manufacturers of music studio furniture and they have a lot of great reviews on all of their products. The Producer Station is a large studio desk that is suitable for home and bedroom studios. The Producer Station is made from wood and metal, and has several handy features that will help you fit all your gear in perfectly.
Upon taking a first glance at the Producer Station, you’ll notice that it has a ton of rack space for mounting your rack effects, and it is also multi-leveled, making it great for setting up multiple computer screens or elevating your studio monitors.
Moving up, there is a small pull out shelf where you can set up a MIDI keyboard or other MIDI controller or your computer keyboard.
You’ll also notice that the Producer Station has ample space for a computer keyboard, an audio interface, as well as a desktop or laptop computer on the main desktop surface. A small mixer or other small control station could fit on this desk as well.
Another handy feature is that there is a box shelf in-between the two main surface platforms. This box can be used for smaller effects modules, an audio interface, or just as another storage space. The top level of the shelf has a slot cut out for easy cable management. The top desk platform area is smaller than the main area, but that makes it suitable for setting up another computer screen or your studio monitors if you’re taller.
The Producer Station also has an open back for cable management and a place for heat from rack effects to escape, as well as wheels for easy transportation if you want to rearrange your studio.
|Image credit: StudioRTA Check Guitar Center||
The Producer Station from StudioRTA is a great larger-sized home recording studio desk. It’s a good all-around model with plenty of storage and a design that helps keep cords out of the way. It would fit well in a larger home studio or a small professional studio.
2. Slate Raven Core Station with 2 MTi2s
The best professional studio workstation desk
The Raven Core Station by Slate Media Technology is more of a control system rather than a desk, but it has desk features that work alongside the two built-in 27-inch MTi2 touch screens that are easily what make the MTi2 so eye catching.
The Core Station is a fully functional studio workstation desk that can run a DAW on its screens. It provides a modern way of controlling your DAW and making music while also still having a bit of an analog feel with its design being similar to old analog consoles.
You can do everything on this workstation without having to control a mouse on your computer – here the mouse is your finger. With the MTi2, you can control plugins, mix your tracks, automate parameters, and tons more. With two touch screens, you can pull up different pages of your DAW that you can edit and mix at the same time.
The workstation also features Raven 3.7 software which allows you to customize the multi-touch controls of your DAW. Special gestures are also an element that allows you to open plugins and mute tracks with a simple motion, speeding up your workflow. With the Raven Toolbar, you can do everything from record and compose to edit and mix in your DAW. Also featured are a built-in monitoring area, a talkback system, speaker sources, and USB inputs.
If you find that you like the workflow of a mouse and keyboard, the Core Station has enough space for you to fit a computer keyboard and mouse and maybe even a small MIDI controller onto the desktop surface. Unfortunately here there is no space for your studio monitors, so you’ll need to set them up on monitor stands behind the console.
The Core Station is made from solid materials, making it a bit cumbersome, but it has a nice finish and feels good to sit or stand in front of.
|Image credit: Sweetwater / Slate Media Technology Check Sweetwater||
The Slate Media Technology Raven Core Station is the absolute best high-end workstation desk. It’s more suitable for professional studios but would add a ton of ease of use for producers who are less experienced or have a large home studio.
3. Output Platform
A top-quality desk for music production in the home studio
Output is a manufacturer of mainly audio plugins, but they’ve also expanded to making some studio furniture, and it’s proven to be some really nice, high-quality stuff. The Platform is a studio desk that will fit all the gear you need to be surrounded by when making music.
The Platform is a larger desk made completely out of wood, making it durable and giving it a classic look. It comes in a few different finishes to match the aesthetic of your studio. The Platform features a large rolling keyboard tray that can fit most 88-key keyboards and various MIDI controllers.
The tray’s height and extension can be adjusted depending on your height or playing style. Make sure to note that when you order this desk, the keyboard tray is optional.
Moving up the Platform, the main desktop surface is large and has more than ample space for a laptop or computer screen, keyboard, and mouse. There is also enough room for an audio interface, small mixer, or other controllers. There are 3 large areas of rack space that can hold up to 9 rack units. The back of the rack space is left open for cables and the release of heat when operating.
If you prefer the look of a straight separator to the angled one that comes stock on this desk, it can be swapped out. For even more cable management, a horizontal panel under the desk conceals your whole cable management system to keep things organized and looking clean to help you from getting distracted.
On top of the rack space is another flat, open area that can be used for your studio monitors, a computer screen, or even decorative objects. Ideally, this top space isn’t meant for large studio monitors, but small speakers would fit here. You’ll need monitor stands for bigger studio monitors.
|Image credit: Output Check Output||
The Output Platform is a fantastic desk for a big recording studio. It can easily fit all your gear and it allows you to stay organized with its useful cable management tools.
4. On-Stage Stands WS7500 Workstation
The best compact studio desk
At just over $200, the WS7500 workstation desk by On-Stage Stands proves to be a reliable option for music producers who have a very limited amount of space. The WS7500 is made from wood and metal and is lightweight enough for you to transport it easily from the studio to the stage.
The WS7500 actually doubles as a desk for the stage, and it can be used in live performances to create music on stage just as easily as it can be used to create music in the studio. The WS7500 features a hideaway roll out keyboard tray that will fit a computer keyboard and mouse if you don’t want to use a laptop, and it may fit some smaller-sized MIDI controllers.
The downside of having a small workstation desk is that you have to give up some storage space and desktop space. The upside is that this can help streamline your music production process by making sure only the items that are essential to your production are at your desk, rather than including space for decorations or more cumbersome gear.
Above the roll out keyboard tray is the main desk area that can be used for a laptop, keyboard and mouse, audio interface, or MIDI controller. Moving on up, above the main desk surface is a smaller desk surface that can be used to set studio monitors on top or a larger computer screen. Because this workstation is lightweight, I personally would suggest only using small monitors on the desk and getting monitor stands for heavier monitors.
This desk has more of an ergonomic design that will help you feel comfortable whether you’re sitting or standing. The desk isn’t adjustable in height, nor does it roll or collapse for storage or travel purposes, so keep mind of those things before you purchase it. Ideally, this desk is meant to be used as a main desk because On-Stage Stands also has a corner workstation and a rack effects cabinet that can be used alongside the WS7500.
|Image credit: On-Stage Stands Check Sweetwater||
The WS7500 by On-Stage Stands is a great lightweight and compact workstation for those who don’t have much space or gear. I highly recommend it.
5. Studio Trends 30″ Studio Desk
Another compact budget desk option
While there aren’t many studio desks that you’ll find under $200, you’ll more commonly find affordable studio desk and workstation options in the $200 to $400 price range. Studio Trends has a really nice 30-inch desk that can be used in the studio and on stage, too.
The 30″ Studio Desk provides a nice combination of flexibility and easy transport while being a smaller desk that has features that bigger desks are more commonly known to have. The Studio Desk is made from wood and metal, making it durable yet lightweight, and it is available in 2 wood colors.
Starting at the bottom of the desk, it features 4 rolling wheels for transportation and the front 2 wheels also lock, so you’re not rolling the desk around while working. The 30″ Studio Desk is height adjustable, so you can fit it in with your other studio furniture and gear fairly easily or use it in a modular desk setup.
This desk doesn’t have a pull-out keyboard tray, but it does have some pretty good sized desktop surfaces that will fit a laptop, audio interface, and keyboard or mouse. Above the main desktop is another desk surface where you can place more gear like studio monitors, a computer screen, or just use it for storage of a MIDI controller.
Behind the main desktop surface, underneath the very top surface, is enough space for 4 rack effects modules. At the very back of this area is a circular port for easy cable management. This is a feature that seems to be lacking on a lot of smaller studio desks, so I’m glad to see it here.
|Image credit: Studio Trends Check Guitar Center||
The Studio Trends 30″ Studio Desk is a great addition to any small music studio or bedroom studio and provides a few more features than the On-Stage Stands WS7500 workstation desk. If you like the travel flexibility that the wheels provide, this is a good choice for you.
Studio Trends also sells a 46-inch studio desk if you like the design of this one but want a bigger model. I would definitely recommend this model if you have a minimalistic setup or aren’t too concerned about not having a rolling keyboard tray.
6. Omnirax Presto 4
Ultimate gear storage
The Omnirax Presto 4 studio desk is another large-sized studio desk ideal for storing all the music gear you need to make music effectively. The Presto 4 is an ergonomically designed studio desk made from wood and melamine laminate.
Unlike many of the wooden desks on this list, the Presto 4 features wheels! Not many big desks have wheels but the wheels on the Presto 4 easily can hold the weight of your gear. The Presto 4 features a small rolling keyboard tray off to the right side of the middle of the desk. A small MIDI controller or computer keyboard could fit here fine.
The main desktop surface is quite large, large enough for you to fit a full-size 88-key keyboard there if you wanted to instead of setting your computer keyboard on the main desktop. You can also easily fit an audio interface, MIDI controllers, a laptop, keyboard and mouse, and maybe a small mixer onto the main desktop. I think the Presto 4 has a larger desktop surface than many of the larger-sized desks.
At the back of the main desktop is a space for 8 rack effects, 4 modules in groups of 2. The back is left open for heat dissipation and easy cable management. On the very top, above the rack space, is another shelf or desk area that you can set another computer screen on and/or your nearfield studio monitors.
There is also a shelf below the desk that has a ton of space for your computer tower and storing other gear. A lot of desks don’t have a stealthy shelf area like this one does so that’s a feature I thought was especially neat here.
|Image credit: Omnirax Check Guitar Center||
The Omnirax Presto 4 is a very suitable choice for a large or professional recording studio. It has a ton of storage space and is sturdy yet still lightweight. If you like to be able to just start creating without having to scurry around your studio grabbing the gear you’ll need to use, this desk is good for that because of its large storage capacity.
Make sure to note that the keyboard tray is optional, so if you want it in your setup you’ll need to select the option to include it.
7. BHG Lindon Place L-Shaped Desk
For those who prefer an office desk
If you are the type of person who prefers to use an office or computer desk for your home studio rather than a studio desk, the Better Homes & Gardens Lindon Place Desk is a perfect affordable option.
Office desks can be just as good of a fit for home studios as studio desks can be, and sometimes are an even better choice in certain cases. The Lindon Place desk is L-shaped and quite generous in size thanks to a cage-type shelf and storage area. This desk is made from oak and metal, making it sturdy yet lightweight.
Going from left to right, the Lindon Place desk features the main part of the desk, which has 1 smaller drawer and 1 larger horizontal drawer, perfect for a low-profile MIDI controller or your computer keyboard. On the left side under the first drawer there is a lower shelf area where you could set up rack effects modules. The back of the area is caged off so you could use that to manage the cables.
The main desk is an L shape and is big enough to hold your computer, a mixer, rack modules, a keyboard and mouse, studio monitors, and more. The cage along the longer part of the desk can also be used for storage.
Finally, a shelved cabinet at the end can be used for storage or rack effects as well. The cabinet has a mesh panel door, so you can access the items inside without having to open the door if you need to make quick adjustments on audio gear inside or grab something from the cabinet quickly.
The Lindon Place desk definitely requires a large studio or bedroom, but it has so much storage, so if you wanted to use it in a smaller room, you might be able to.
|Image credit: Better Homes & Gardens Check Walmart||
The Better Homes & Gardens Lindon Place L-Shaped Desk is a great office-style desk choice for your studio if studio desks don’t suit your taste or budget. The Lindon Place desk has a great amount of storage for how affordable it is, and I would say it’s one of the desks on this list with the best value for the money. I would highly recommend it for anyone, especially since technically it is a multipurpose desk.
8. Respawn RSP-1010
Another wildcard option for your studio
Throwing another wildcard option out here, if you prefer more of a gaming-style desk, you won’t have any shortage of options here either. Gaming desks are perfect for minimalist music producers who prefer to mix in the box.
Respawn is a fairly well-known gaming furniture manufacturer, and the RSP-1010 gaming desk will be a perfect fit for you and your music studio. The RSP-1010 doesn’t have many storage options, but has a few features that you might appreciate as a producer who has to sit at a computer for long periods of time.
The Respawn RSP-1010 is made from metal and plastic but is surprisingly durable and very lightweight. The main desktop area is big enough to fit a laptop or a computer keyboard and mouse, and probably also a small MIDI keyboard and audio interface. You may be able to fit a couple rack effects modules between the main desk area and the top platform since there is ample space there and the back is open for cable management.
The top platform is ideal for setting a computer screen on, but I would suggest setting your monitors elsewhere. Luckily, there is a solution for that with this desk. The RSP-1010 features stands for speakers or monitors. If you only have small studio monitors, that is way more ideal for this desk since it is so light. I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable placing heavy monitors on this desk.
Aside from that, the RSP-1010 features an area on the side where you can hang your headphones after mixing, and the desk also features a cup holder that doesn’t take up space on the desktop. Being that this desk is a gaming computer desk, the overall design of it is ergonomic and it makes it easy to spend long hours in the studio.
|Image credit: Respawn Check Amazon||
The Respawn RSP-1010 gaming desk is a great lightweight desk and is very affordable, being under $200. I’d suggest it for bedroom or beginner to intermediate producers or producers who like to game as well. If you need something ergonomic but not bulky, this desk is a suitable option if you don’t mind the lack of storage options.
A Comprehensive Guide to Buying the Perfect Studio Desk or Workstation for Your Studio
There are so many great studio setups out there, but what might work for one producer may not work for another. This guide will help you identify what elements you are looking for in a studio desk or workstation and make sure you have the knowledge to pick out the perfect desk for your studio.
What to consider before looking at options?
There are several factors that you will need to consider before you will be able to look at your different workstation options. Since a desk is so important in a music studio, I wouldn’t recommend that you buy the first desk you see. Instead, consider these factors:
- Whether you work in the box (use plugins) or prefer to use analog gear and effects.
- How many pieces of gear you currently have.
- What pieces of gear you want on your desk.
- How big your studio is.
- Your studio aesthetic (and if you care about it).
- What you can afford.
- Other aspects.
The answer to factors will determine what features you’ll need in a workstation.
Working in the box vs using analog gear?
If you work in the box, you won’t usually need any extra space in your workstation for analog gear, however, if you do use analog gear like analog compressors and EQ modules, many desks have a dedicated space to install these effects racks and modules. If you want to have your racks close to you while working at your computer, it is a good idea to look for a desk with a low shelf area or a specific place for mounting these racks.
How many pieces of gear you have?
If you have a lot of gear you’ll probably want a bigger desk. A bigger desk just means you’ll have more room for storage, which will keep you organized and help you stay more focused on the task at hand rather than fumbling around trying to find what you need.
This isn’t always necessarily true though. Some people like a very minimalistic look, and prefer to have only a few pieces of gear over a large desk. That’s fine too. Even if you have a lot of gear, you may not have a very large space in your studio for a desk depending on your setup or your room size. In this case, you’ll have to prioritize the most important pieces of gear to put on your desk, which leads us to the next factor.
What pieces of gear you want on your desk?
Typically, a studio desk setup will have the following elements:
- Audio interface,
- Studio monitors and subwoofers,
- MIDI keyboard.
Many setups also include:
- Analog effects racks,
- Multiple computer screens,
- Synthesizers and other tabletop or small instruments,
Take into account the specific pieces of gear you use the most. These are the pieces of gear you will likely want to have on your desk in easily accessible places.
How big your studio is?
If you have a bedroom studio or a small home studio, the best studio desk for you will be something smaller. Having a large desk in a small room will just cause more clutter and take up space, which can hamper your creativity and slow down your workflow. If you have a large studio, obviously a larger desk will be more suitable. Luckily studio desks and workstations come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
The aesthetic of your studio
In a more professional home studio, you may care about having a specific look or aesthetic. Most studio desks come in a wood finish or a flat color like black, white, or grey, so many will easily match many studio aesthetics.
Now, it’s absolutely fine to not have a certain aesthetic. Many producers, even professional producers, like Nav, for example, have a bunch of random pieces of studio furniture that don’t hold any type of aesthetic. This definitely saves money when first investing in these kinds of things, and you can always upgrade later. If you are a beginner, you should focus on getting useful pieces of gear and furniture that will help you with your workflow rather than items that just look cool.
What you can afford?
Studio desks come in a wide range of prices, from as low as $200 to $2,000 and higher. Depending on what you can afford, you may be limited to sticking with certain styles of studio desks.
Some other things you might want to consider are things like desk flexibility. Many smaller desks have adjustable height to fit your setup better. Some desks have rolling and/or locking wheels. Some desks have pull out keyboard trays or special storage areas or cable management areas. Be sure not to forget to consider these types of things when doing your research!
Another important thing to discuss is the material of your desk. Most desks seem to be made out of wood and metal or another composite material like some type of synthetic laminate. These materials have different advantages and disadvantages. Wood tends to be heavier whereas composite materials are more lightweight. These different materials have different levels of durability so make sure to choose one that will work for your space and your intentions.
Styles of studio desks and workstations
There are a couple different styles of studio desks to choose from.
More portable studio desks:
- Folding desks.
- Compact desks.
- Stage desks.
Portable desks like these are smaller and some can be stored away when not in use. If you have limited space, a portable desk will be good for you.
More stationary desks:
- Modular desks.
- Platform desks.
- Compact desks.
These desks are much larger and often have shelves and platforms for rack effects and monitors, as well as pull out spaces for a full-size 88-key MIDI keyboard.
The next steps
After you’ve answered the previous questions and figured out what factors and elements to prioritize when looking for your desk, you should go on to the actual selection. You’ll probably have the best luck looking on a music related retail website. Oftentimes, studio desks that are ordered online will have to be assembled once it arrives at your studio, so take that into account as well.
Before your desk arrives
Make sure to clean your studio up and arrange it in a way that you will be able to assemble the desk if it needs assembling or move it into the studio easily and without much hassle. Make sure to manage your cables properly and sweep the floor around the area where the desk will go.
Now you’re prepared to go do some of your own research and buy your new studio desk or workstation! Hopefully these studio desk reviews and this guide have given you a good starting point about what to do and how to go about choosing your next studio desk. Considering a studio desk is such an important and integral part of a music studio setup, finding the best studio desk can be a lengthy process, and we here at Consordini want to help make that process as easy as possible!