Thursday, October 11, 2007

My desk is getting crowded

Has there been a push in the pro-sumer audio market away from the rackmount format? I've been noticing more and more manufacturers rebranding their machines as desktop-ready, non-rackmountable products and have started to wonder.

To wit: Universal Audio stopped making the M610 and started selling the Solo 610, Presonus has begun phasing out the Central Station and phasing in the Monitor Station, Seven Woods reissued the Ursa Major Space Station 282-- once an imposing 3U monster-- as a remote-styled, handheld box, etc.

I can understand the argument that in a project studio space is at a premium, and so the smaller a product's footprint the better. It's a valid one-- why else would the new Neves be half-rack sized?-- but the thing is, if you've already got a screen, a mixer, a pair of monitors and a Liquid Mix on your desk, how much more space do you really have? Isn't that why we use racks in the first place?

That said, do any of you prefer desktop to rackmount designs? Is there something out there that you feel is more approachable/functional as a desktop unit than it is racked? Is there anything currently only available in rackmount format that you'd like to see a desktop version of?

Side questions: have you ever made a desktop-format enclosure? Have you ever racked a desktop unit?



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