When people ask me what music production equipment I use they are often surprised. If you think you need the most expensive set of gear to get professional results you are wrong. It is not necessary. What I am focusing on is how I can better myself with the current equipment I have while focusing on improving my technique. Meaning trying to be better at the craft itself, before buying more gear. Gear can help you up to a point, you still need to know how to use it. But enough preaching! Here are the main stuff I am currently using:
Mac or PC? It doesnt matter! Use what you are most comfortable with. If you want to use Logic then a Mac is unavoidable I suppose, but anything else? Just get what you are comfortable with. I use a PC but I have also used a Mac with Logic for some years. Later I found out that I wanted to have some of the benefits of a PC so I switched back to a Windows based computer. I also believe Apple is neglecting professionals and pro-sumers and pricing their products too high but that is another discussion. But really, anything from both sides goes.
When you buy a computer make sure to spend your money on a good CPU and RAM. Remember that computers today are really good! Even cheap computers tend to perform really well. Meaning you dont have to pick from the top shelf.
Currently I get by in 2019 with 16GB RAM, however that depends on how many samples you plan to load. What type of production.
If you plan to go the portable route check out the Laptop for Music Production article.
External USB sound card
The audio interface I use is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Recording Audio Interface. This works well for my use and was one of the first music production equipment I bought. The sound quality is top notch. Build quality is great. It connects via USB and also draw power from the USB port. For the price, you are getting a really good sound card and a lot of producers use equipment from Focusrite.
All computers have a basic sound card built in, but they tend to be of lower quality and may also in some cases produce noise. It will work using internal sound devices, I used it for several years in the beginning. Though I highly recommend buying an external usb sound card if you can afford it. The one above gets my vote.
Speakers and Headset
Can you use only a headset for music production? Sure! But it helps to have a set of speakers as well. The headset I use is AKG Pro Audio K271 MKIIand its great for my use. The speakers I use are getting old now, they are over 10 years and from Tannoy. If I had to get new monitors I would have to re-learn how they should sound in a good mix. That is why I have kept mine for so long. In general something with a flat frequency response is something you want to get when producing music. KRK Monitors are affordable and popular speakers for new producers.
Also think about this: What are your listeners going to use when listening to your music? Are they going to use studio monitors or high end headsets? Probably not. So make sure it sounds good on your iPhone earbuds as well. Even use them a while during production.
Other Music Production Equipment
MIDI keyboard, mouse, keyboard and peripherals is also needed in the arsenal but that is highly personal so I will leave that up to you. The keyboard I use an Apple keyboard because, well. I like it. MIDI keyboard is a small one from M-Audio. My mic stand is made from an old candlestick, havent got around to buying a stand yet! Use what you have 🙂
For software I use Windows with Ableton Live and a set of plugins, samples I use in my music production equipment. I dont really have that much but it gets the job done. Again, I try to be good at using the tools I have to my disposal and trying to keep the temptation to buy more gear in check. Though its hard sometimes…
VSTs I am using the most are the following: Serum, Spire, Diva, Zebra and mixing / mastering plugins from Fabfilter. I also have some samples from Myloops and freshly squeezed samples. I usually try to buy the stuff when its on sale.
So, to sum up the music production equipment I use in some easy bullet points…
- PC (Mac or Windows doesnt matter!)
- External Soundcard
- Headset and Speakers
Thats it, for now! What do you use?