LINK: FONIK AUDIO INNOVATIONS | PRICE: £109
Whether you have a fully kitted out production studio, or a corner of your room for your music, there’s never enough space for everything. Desk space becomes a premium, and you start the shuffle dance, moving bits on and off, changing cables, dumping gear on shelves. And that’s why verticality is useful for your kit: for a long time, racks and stands have not only helped ergonomic access to equipment, it’s a much more efficient use of space for productivity.
In recent years, there’s been a blooming cottage industry creating boutique synth stands for… boutique synths. A while back, I bought myself a nice little early-model MDF number for my three Volcas made by Synths And Wood, which served me well and only set me back 35 quid.
But competition is good, and we get to look at what Fonik Audio Innovations offers in that space…
In a nutshell
Custom hand-made stands for a selection of audio equipment, in a variety of colours and finishes. Reviewed is the triple Volca synth stand, but there are also stands for:
- Akai APC 40 MK2
- Arturia Beatstep pro
- Roland Boutique X2
- Novation Circuit
- Novation Launchpad Pro
- Maschine Jam
- Maschine Mk 2 & Mk 3
- Roland MX1/TR-8
- Ableton Push 2
- Korg Volca x2/x3/x4/x6
- Elektron Digitakt and Digitone
In the box
The stand arrived pre-built, carefully wrapped, with no frills. There’s nothing to set up, other than slotting your Volcas in.
Shiny and heavy. Taking the stand out of the box, the thing feels hefty, doesn’t have any give, and has a really nice satin finish to it, albeit with some slight wrinkling where the edges change angle, Overall, the stand feels like a professional install you’d see in a shop or pro studio. Which is handy, as that’s what Fonik Audio Innovations started doing in the first place.
Build quality and features
Even after setting it all up and plugging all your cables in, the stand is sturdy and elegant. The Fonik Audio stands use a clever pin system that uses screw holes to hold hardware in place. This means a quick and simple removal, rather than relying on clamping or profile slots to keep things from moving.
The Fonik Audio Innovations stands are bulkier and heavier than my older stand. This is mainly due to the thicker wood used, but it adds stability and means it is less likely to slide around while in use. This is helped further by the pads on the bottom.
The padded base does mean that, unlike my Synths and Wood stand, the angle for each of the Volcas is fixed. With the other stand, depending on which way up you fit it, you can have a lighter or steeper curve to your facias, with one orientation presenting your top synth almost vertical. That said, the Fonik Audio stand presents everything to you at desk height.
The Fonik stand could maybe do with having a bit more space between Volcas to allow for heavier gauge cables. As it is, there’s gap enough for something about the thickness of a sync cable, along with a Decksaver cover for each.
Unfortunately, the stands don’t currently fit the Volca Mix, which is due to the fact the screw hole locations differ from the rest of the range, which is pretty much out of Fonik Audio’s hands. I’d imagine the internals of the Mix don’t follow the same standardisation of the rest of the range.
The Fonik style might not be your usual artisan rustic bespoke retro wood-panelling, but it definitely creates a striking podium for your synths. Alex from Fonik Audio Innovations explained a little bit about how they produce the stands and get that smooth pain job:
“To achieve the finished edge and overall finish the MDF has to be twice sanded down by machine until smooth. It is then professionally sprayed with 2 coats of primer and 2 top coats of paint. This is done using a spray gun as you would spray a car which is what gives the stands the finish.”
“[O]ur stands are cut on a CNC machine achieving complete accuracy.”
Make no mistake: This is still a hand-crafted piece of equipment built by a local small business… which goes a long way to justifying the price tag. And the Fonik Audio stand will probably outlast the synths sitting in it.
The Bottom Line
Bar a small issue with the finish, and the lack of a bit of extra space between the hardware, the Fonik Audio Volca Stand is a rock-solid and easy-to-setup synth rack. The lack of Volca Mix fitting isn’t Fonik Audio’s fault, but it might be nice to have some way of moving the pegs in one of the slots, if that would sort it.
It’s important to note that the company is very young, and Fonik Audio Innovations owner Alex has plans to expand the finish options in the future, including genuine wood panelling. Fonik will also expand the range and keep up with product updates. Personally, I’d love to see some options for DJ gear… mixer wood panelling, CDJ stands, and that sort of thing.
Wouldn’t it be nice if…
While the stand itself sits well on your desk, one bit of advice I might suggest for the future is to work on the unboxing experience going forward. No one is expecting an Apple-like experience, but something more than just a brown cardboard box would match it up to the way the actual product looks. The customer experience begins with the purchase.