It’s often overlooked, but the one piece of technology that has advanced the least in electronic music making in the past decades might be … the furniture.

Output, whom regular readers will know mainly as a software instrument maker, have decided to make something that’s harder – as in a desk. PLATFORM is a simple but elegant design at an affordable price that ticks a lot of boxes of things musicians have tended to miss. It’s a chance to upgrade from IKEA-level studio gear without spending too much more money. And it’s surprisingly sensible.

You’ve seen desks that look roughly like this before. But finally this is a desk where gear will fit perfectly, which is surprisingly rare outside custom furniture.

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Talking points:

It looks modern, not just utilitarian.
It’s designed by an architect.
The spaces actually fit 3U rack space – some three of them.
It fits 500-series gear and Eurorack.
There’s a slide-out tray for a keyboard. (Common.)
— and that will hold up to 88 keys. (Not common.)
— and there’s a cutout in the tray so you don’t crush your knees. (Finally.)
There’s cable management.
It comes in two different stains: natural, kodiak brown.

Let me talk about how much I dig this thing without a conflict of interest: I can’t have one. Yeah, while this is great Scandinavian design, the realities of furniture and, like, geography dictate that it’s available in the US and Canada.

Fine. Enjoy, North American residents. Let me just go take a nice ride on a tram and then … uh … measure my flat in the Metric system, and maybe go on a train and visit Beethoven’s grave. Because Europe.

Prediction: with areas like plug-ins, mobile apps, and Eurorack modules fully saturated, now will be the time to think about electronic music accessories. Because what are we supposed to spend our money on, if not our music making? (Don’t answer that.)

Available now. Price: US$549+.

Obligatory splashy product page and Apple-style video, go!

https://output.com/products/platform

  • southpole

    looks like this is just flat pieces of plywood – if they made the plans open source this could be easily rebuilt by getting the parts cut locally

    • ja

      Exactly! Earth would say thank-you also.

    • A flat piece of Plywood?

      Please.

      This looks like a very well conceived desk to me, and the market needs this. I know because I’ve been shopping for the “perfect production desk” for months.

      Leaving room for legs? Built in cord organization? Rack spaces that fit various sized outboard? All of them are robust and considered design choices.

      And, comparatively, the price point is reasonable.

      Open source? Sure. I guess they could give away their months of R&D for free?

      • southpole

        i’d pay for the plans if the price is reasonable. but actually free plans for an almost identical desk are already googlable with one click.

    • R__W

      It is just flat pieces of plywood.

      It looks like an architecture tech class assignment, “design a desk you can CNC cut out of 1 piece of plywood”.

      • foljs

        Yeah, because real designers and furniture don’t use plywood.

    • foljs

      They should also give free lollipops to everybody.

  • freeks

    Looks very un-ergonomic. Mice too high and screens too high/far.

    Btw, site works really bad on iPhone 7Plus with latest iOS. None of the links or commenting works.

    • foljs

      Actually looks totally ergonomic. The middle of the screen is in eye height, the desk is handy for all kinds of controllers and keyboard, and it’s exactly the kind of thing electronic musicians time and again have custom built in their studios in any interview photo.

  • FS

    this is actually awesome. it’s seems so rare to see solutions on this side of things but it’s so important. bravo!

  • Mike

    looks nice, but I’m always surprised no one thinks electronic producers (particularly ones with spare-room studios) want to use more vertical space. I ended up building a desk that has more rack space above the monitor/monitor area, because it didn’t exist. I know the fantasy is a big studio space with the desk standing in the middle of the room, but surely not everyone works this way?

  • Absolutely beautiful…

  • DPrty

    I would love to see more purpose built studio furniture. I am interested in designs that allow you to put more gear within reach.

  • chaircrusher

    Why isn’t it circular, and why doesn’t it have a seat/pedestal elevator that lets you rise up in the center of it? And is it really wide enough for double monitors and studio monitors?

  • Mark Kunoff

    I like it but it’s going to need assembly and then eventual teardown for a move. Why not make studio desks more modular like sectional furniture, so you can easily fit it through normal sized doors? The cable management feature is the big win for me here, but it needs a better photographic representation and explanation. Adding components, cables and power strips should be easy and convenient. My vision is a multi-shelf cabinet with doors underneath (about 6-8″ deep) and plenty of cable ports between shelves and a medium sized port for convenient access to the main power bar. And while we’re talking ergonomics,… How about more cable ports, or even a receptacle for a patch bay on the desktop itself? Finally, speaker stands should be separate attachable and positionable components.

    I’m going to custom build the above this summer and I’ll send you a picture Peter!

  • R__W

    Unfortunately the design of the legs is flawed. The slightest imperfection on a hard flooring will make the wide footprint of the legs not be flush, causing a wobble. It will have to be used on a carpet or rug like in the photos.

    • Mike

      Shimming, sanding and whatever else to make it work.

    • Graham Metcalfe

      In all the photos I have seen so far, there appear to be 3 levelers per leg assembly. I would assume that these are your standard level adjusters. So unless your floor is REALLY whack, I’m sure you can level this to be a stable platform.

      • R__W

        Well thats good. I thought it was just flat plywood. I’ll have to take a closer look.

    • southpole

      you could add indented beech rails like in the Ulmer hocker design classic. or screwed stand offs, which actually might be included as Graham says.

  • Graham Metcalfe

    The only things I would add to this would be radiused edges where your forearms come in contact with the surfaces and a way to make it height adjustable. I switched to a height adjustable work desk in my graphics studio 2 years ago and it’s been a great improvement to my physical health when working long hours. I alternate sitting and standing throughout the day and I can swear by the positive health benefits. I’m sure the challenge with the Platform desk would be building a lift mechanism strong enough to lift a typical setup with monitors, screens, computer, outboard gear and an 88 note weighted keyboard (hint: weight adjustable counterbalance system in conjunction with the motor).

  • Love it. Hopefully they will start shipping to the Netherlands as well. Will be able to put my old 2 units Koch KV-50 tube amp + 1 unit Palmer PDI03 on the table. Can’t wait…

    • Pop

      I expect it would cost a small fortune to ship to Europe. But this isn’t quite as new as the headline would suggest. Thomann for example has a good range of this type of thing. And you’ll have less shipping headaches from Germany.. https://www.thomann.de/gb/studio_furniture.html

  • Will

    A total beauty. I built something similar once, minus all of the thoughtful professional flourishes and it took me almost a month and over $200, without a keyboard tray. This is a totally reasonable price.

    Details that are easier to see on their site (and some of reasons why you’re not going to build this with a circular saw and a weekend visit to a building supply shop)

    * Three leg levelers per side. In plywood. I’d ruin them trying to do this.
    * Cable deck/tray along the back so your wall warts aren’t all hanging off the back tugging on your gear.
    * The keyboard tray’s front edge is slightly beveled inward
    * The keyboard tray has a back lip so your stuff doesn’t slide off the back when you hulk smash the tray in because you hate everything you’re coming up with.
    * You can flip the direction of the two inner rack boards so that they are flush with the top shelf. Both ends are drilled for rack ears so, presuming everything isn’t too deep, you could mount shallow rack power strips to rails in the back.
    * Looks stable as hell. Those connection points are… math.

    Wishes:
    * Keyboard tray cut-out was “fillable” in some way. It’s a brilliant move for a master keyboard but if you wanted to use it for a mess of today’s smaller table top devices, it’s just a big hole! Could lay a board across it but…

    * Better rack space ventilation
    * Top cable management holes actually had openings to the back edge of the board. Unless you have a very stable setup, I find actual holes to be a giant pain when you want to reconfigure a few things. If the holes opened to the back of the board you can just shuffle cables a bit and pull it out (without trying to get a big cable end through an already fullish hole).

    • Samolo

      Yeah the fact that the keyboard tray cut is big make it impossible to use with a small keyboard or a mix of devices.
      It should be here but you could put it away if you want.
      Also US only is kinda sad. Maybe the v2 will see an european available version.
      The screen looks a bit far. With today resolution and vst with no scalable ui it’s a pain to use

  • Chaco

    Good… but for less than half the price you can be about as productive with an Ikea Fredde desk.

  • itchy

    it looks nice. and good quality. i have a desk very similar to it that is also adjustable height . for me the adjustability is key. when im mixing i can be in the sitting position but i like to just create standing if this can be height adjustable i think it may be more appealing to me at least.

  • Frank

    Canadian manufacturer is selling this in North America:

    https://www.long-mcquade.com/6865/Pro_Audio_Recording/Furniture/Yorkville_Sound/Deluxe_Studio_Workstation_-_Small.htm

    Might be a bit smaller,but the price is only half…

  • Foosnark

    This isn’t really an ideal form factor for my purposes, but it’s good to see more furniture options for musicians.

    Better use of vertical space would help. One 252hp wide row (and with wooden ribs sticking out) isn’t a great layout for Eurorack, though it’s fine for other rack gear with mostly set-and-forget rear connections. But any other gear sitting on that desk is potentially going to block the racks.

    With my setup, in front of me there’s a computer keyboard/mouse, Maschine, 0-Coast, and LCD in a series of vertical tiers from front to back (thanks to a laptop riser and monitor arms), and beside me a Microbrute with a 12U rack stand behind/above it. Everything’s in easy reach, including patch cables, storage for small musical gear, office supplies etc.

  • Bitshifter

    Would someone please care to advise an alternative (available in Europe) with a slide-out tray for a 61-keys keyboard?

    • southpole

      check the Glorious REC/DJ … very similar to this. 135 cm wide

  • baju-baju

    Interesting… Wedge shaped inserts for connecting two or three of these into a curved work space would be the next thing, but the toe catchers will get in the way.
    The toe catchers are the forward protruding legs, which I assure you, will catch many a toe – that’s the only questionable pert of the design.

  • user name

    my personal favorites so far: https://www.cb2.com/go-cart-white-rolling-desk/s454133

    i have 3. but yeah some stackable thing on top would be useful

  • splifter

    Ah yes, the affordable $549 desk

    • foljs

      Well, it’s not a generic IKEA selling in the millions of copies (and IKEA has plenty of $500 items as well).

  • foljs

    > Yeah, while this is great Scandinavian design, the realities of furniture and, like, geography dictate that it’s available in the US and Canada.

    Well, if you can afford another $1000 (or even less), you can ship a whole container of stuff from the US to Europe. You’d have to pay some import taxes for it too, so, I imagine it will get close to $2000.

    Still not bad as the basis of a whole studio — though you can probably have local shops make you the same (and more personalized one) for less.

  • LeBlanc

    Nice design but not very ergonomic: it seems you can’t adjust the height…

  • pinta_vodki

    I feel like “a desk made for electronic musicians” today is just… a desk with a laptop, sound card and Maschine/Push/MIDI controller.

    This is some higher level shit. For studios or those who make serious money making music. Looks nice, pricey as hell.