Tricks to make your workstation look (and sound) beautiful [Setups] | Cult of Mac

Tricks to make your workstation look (and sound) beautiful [Setups]

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The desktop wallpaper by Basic Apple Guy really does a lot for this setup's visual effect.
The desktop wallpaper by Basic Apple Guy really does a lot for this setup's visual effect.
Photo: floraltops@Reddit.com

Some workstations look boring and utilitarian while others, at least sometimes, look otherworldly. The difference between the two usually comes down to good lighting, skillful photography — and often a key visual you don’t see every day.

Today’s featured MacBook Pro setup relies on atmospheric lighting and exceptionally cool desktop wallpaper on the displays to make it look fascinating.

And because the workstation is used mainly for audio design and includes great gear, it undoubtedly sounds great, too.

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Achieving sumptuous ‘sound and vision’ in a computer setup

Student, sound designer and Redditor floraltops (“Flo”) showcased the audio-focused M1 Pro MacBook Pro and Studio Display setup in a post entitled, “2023 work setup! Info in comments.”

If you even glance at the photograph above, you shouldn’t be surprised that the post drew plenty of oohs and ahhs from Redditors.

“Such a dope setup!” one commenter exclaimed. “What do you do for a living if you don’t mind sharing.”

“Thanks! I worked in pro audio for the last few years, but I’m taking the next two semesters to finish my degree,” Flo replied. “Outside of classes, I’ve been building a freelancing portfolio (mainly in sound design) and I’ve started doing some graphic design work with my partner.”

iPhone 12 Pro photo helped by vibrant wallpaper and lighting

Flo explained that they took the setup photograph with an iPhone 12 Pro, adding “not the best camera but I’m not a photographer.” Well, something certainly went right with that particular photograph.

And that something, in addition to steady focus and proper composition, appears to add up to atmospheric lighting and super-cool desktop wallpaper.

Smart lights or light strips behind and below a display or desk that can wash the walls in color often do the trick. In Flo’s case, it’s a Govee light strip and bulb. And some little holiday-style LED lights appear under the display with some fake plants, adding nuance.

Flo mentioned the desktop wallpaper on the displays — which lends tremendously to the overall effect, almost a retro-futuristic robot theme — come from Basic Apple Guy. He’s well known for his designs, like this and this. And he ran a fun “tournament” to determine the best-ever macOS wallpaper.

The schematics in play on Flo’s wallpaper have circular designs that make you think of eyes. And that makes the workstation look, well, like a “living” AI presence rather than just somebody’s desk.

Serious sound gear

And all around the cool-looking setup Flo parks cool-sounding audio gear. Flo is, after all, working on becoming a sound designer.

And in this case, even the desk itself is audio-centric. It’s a Gator Frameworks Elite Studio Desk designed specifically for podcasting, broadcasting and recording equipment.

The desk’s keyboard tray holds an Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk II MIDI keyboard controller for synthesized and acoustic keyboard sounds and control.

Also in the mix is a Focusrite Scarlett Audio Interface for recording, along with a Blue Mix-Fi Powered High-Fidelity Headphones with Integrated Audiophile Amplifier (formerly known as Mo-Fi, from the same folks who make the well-known Blue Yeti mic).

And finally, mounted on stands and angled toward the user on either side of the desk, you can see the Yamaha Hs7 powered studio monitors for in-room sound. Featuring a 43Hz to 30kHz frequency response, they offer up to 95W of power amplification.

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.