Being a music producer is definitely not easy. It requires lots of hard work and personal sacrifice if you plan to have a career in the music industry. However don’t let this put you off. With the right attitude, focus and equipment you are ready for success.
Having a list of the essential pieces of hardware and software is important because many music producers at the beginning start spending money on different products because there is always something they believe will make their mixes and recordings better. In order not to fall into this trap of constantly buying new products we have selected the five things every music producer needs.
A Laptop or a Computer
While we were creating this list we figured out that the first thing has to be a laptop or a desktop computer. Depending on your budget, you may use the one you already own, or buy one in the middle range. However, if you are buying a new one make sure to choose a fast and reliable computer with a good processor and enough RAM memory. The thing is that you want to have a computer that will easily handle everything you need to get done. Plus you are going to use it for the next few years for sure, and it isn’t something you can afford to upgrade or replace every year. On the other hand, if you have a limited budget any laptop or PC will be good enough to start making your first beats. You can always get a better one later when the budget allows you. Until then just do your best with the computer you already have and be patient.
DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
The second thing on our list is a DAW or a Digital Audio Workstation. It is practically software installed on your PC designed to make music and you have plenty of options to choose from. Some of the more popular DAWs are Reason, Sonar, PRO Tools, FL Studio and so on. Also, you need a DAW that is compatible with your operating system so before you get one make sure it is compatible with your Windows or MAC in order to avoid some compatibility issues. You can try different demo versions of all the software programs we have mentioned and then choose the one that works best for you. You can also watch videos on YouTube to check what are other people’s experiences with those programs are. Plus there are tons of tutorials you can use to learn everything about the DAW you finally choose.
Studio monitors or headphones are on the same spot here. We highly recommend buying some decent studio monitors in the first place. Studio monitors are always a better option than headphones because they ensure transparent and accurate monitoring.
If you already have headphones, then use them. However, in this case make sure to listen to your mixes on various other devices (car stereo, smartphone, PC speakers, surround sound systems and so on) before you release them. By doing this you can check how your headphones affect your mixes. However, if your headphones aren't good or you are on a tight budget, get some good quality studio headphones. The same applies if you decide to buy studio monitors. One more thing that applies to both monitors and headphones - try not to spend too much.
Number four on our list is the audio interface. It is another piece of equipment worth investing in. It can help you record the audio coming from microphones and instruments and turn it into digital audio ready for tracking and mixing. In case you plan to do some live recording it is a must-have. If you are a beginner in music production make sure to get an audio interface with enough inputs and outputs. This will be OK to begin with. The type of connections is worth thinking about. Although most people use USB, Thunderbolt is way better because of lower latency and because it’s faster. Before purchase also check if there are any compatibility issues between your DAW and the audio interface you are planning to buy.
The fifth place on this list on this list but not the least important than the other things is a microphone. Depending on your studio needs, there are many different types of microphones to choose from. If you are a beginner and plan to do some instrument or vocal recordings it would be best to buy a decent condenser or dynamic microphone. And which microphone you will choose for your studio greatly depends on whether you want to record vocals, singe instruments or drums, or something else. If you are on a tight budget and don’t plan to buy an audio interface then you can choose an USB powered microphone. It will do the job at the beginning.
If you are determined to become a music producer we believe you will find our section of five essential pieces of music software and hardware valuable. All you have to do now is to dig deeper into research and find the best home studio equipment for you. It is important to do your homework about choosing the right products and don’t rush spending your money. Everything after that depends on your skills and determination to succeed.