Before I plunk down a good sum of money on a new desk I wanted to get some users opinions. Many times in a composing setup I see the the layout with the 88 note k/b first, and the qwerty above/behind it. Most desks though, including the Omnirax I currently use, put the qwerty first. This means to get close enough the qwerty shelf will hit my legs and if I lower the chair the 88 note keyboard is a little higher than I like.
I have been looking at the Argosy Dual 15k. My three choices are; separate the composing from the mixing station (although they usually coincide), just keep dealing with the way I have it, or get the Argosy and sell off the Omnirax. There are many composers here so please share your opinions on what works for you ergonomically.
A few ideas, take 'em or leave 'em - may give you some ideas in return:
Put the Qwerty on a swing-arm style movable shelf, keep it out of the way when you're playing, swing it back right over the keys as needed, or work to the side.
Consider a remote like the Tranzport. I don't know what you're using your qwerty for but a lot of the stuff I do isstuff that Tranzport does and is a very cool tool to have in a DAW environment.
Make a little shelf big enough for the qwerty and mouse that will mount directly behind the keys and rest on the back edge.
I have a flexible keyboard that is thin enough to slide under my mixer, it would be easy to raise the edges of the keys just 1/2" so the qwerty could slide under, and pull out when needed.
Consider getting a keyboard controller that has a place allocated for the qwerty, there is at least one like this, though I don't remember whose.
In the end, your workflow determines what works best for you ergonomically, ergo detailing how I am set up is probably not that much help - I usually don't write to score progs, I primarily play my lines in live. But some more typical composers may have useful suggestions.
------- It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...
Be very careful with the computer keyboard above configuration. That only works if you do very little keyboard manipulation. Otherwise you're headed for a shoulder impingement. Trust me, you do not want to go there. Excruciating physical therapy and anti-inflammatories that no one should be taking are the only way to get it back under control once the impingement has flared up. It just stays flared.
If you work a couple of hours each day none of this configurations will be
Try something that can move the qwerty out of the way when not needed.
I use the configuration below, when I play the keyboard the qwerty is
below the main desk.
Additionally it's a good idea the have a chair which can easily be moved
back- and forward because fighting with the chair 50 times a day isn't
good for your back, either.
My desk (yep, it's tiny compared to what you guys are used to see )
I can't stand those pullout keyboard shelves, probably cause I'm too tall.
I have a wireless computer keyboard, and I glued 4 neoprene squares to the bottom of it, and I set it right on top of my keyboard controller. Make the squares higher than your keyboard knobs so it doesn't mash 'em, and you're good to go. Might not be good if you access your keyboard controller's knobs often, but I hardly ever touch mine so it works for me. Being wireless it doubles as a poor man's tranzport, which is cool when I'm tracking guitar or something, albeit a bit more clunky...
I have a sliding desktop that goes over the MIDI keyboard. The computer keyboard goes right over the keys when the desktop is pushed forward (the photo doesn't show this, but I move it right to the edge), and when it's back I have a big desk to work on.
Believe it or not, it took me years to figure this out.
And I agree 100% with what Bruce says about keyboard drawers being all wrong. You want your forearms resting on the desk when you're typing. "Computer desks" treat the computer as an afterthought.