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General Talk Music Production Equipment Checklist

Music Production Equipment Checklist

Everything You Need to Produce Music Like a Pro

music production equipment

Are you just starting in the music business? Do you enjoy recording, mixing, and mastering music? Are you planning to set up a home or professional music studio. This music production equipment checklist is all you need!

To produce truly memorable music, you need all of the music-making equipment. Human life is being transformed from top to bottom due to technological advancements. In the same vein, the tools used in creating music are not exempt from this rule. Instead, numerous new tools for music production are there to produce high-quality music.

Music production is a lot of work, but it’s also one of the most rewarding feelings in the world, so don’t let the workload, equipment costs, or initial learning overwhelm you.

If you’re starting and wondering how to become a music producer or if you are someone who wants to set up a music production studio, then reading this article would surely benefit you.

This article will go over how to set up a music production studio in greater detail and provide you with a list of music production equipment you will need to set up your own.

Why Music Producers Need Proper Music Production Equipment

While talent and marketing efforts are important, you require top-of-the-line equipment for creating top-notch music. In addition, you can take your music production career to the next level if you have the proper recording equipment to produce music.

Everyone has different preferences, but certain software and hardware have become industry standards for new producers. So we are going to tell you about them all.

So, let’s go over the top 22 must-have music production equipment you will need to build your music production studio.

22 Must-Have Music Production Equipment

1. Music Production Computer or Laptop

Music Production Computer or Laptop

What Is it?

Your first step in creating your home studio is to get a music production computer. The availability of good computers for audio production has never been better. If you’re reading this on a laptop or desktop, your computer most likely has the processing power to get started with music.

However, choosing the perfect computer or laptop might be tricky if you don’t know where to start. Before going into the specifics, you need to decide what will work best for you, a computer or a laptop.

When it comes to music production, nothing beats the portability of a laptop, which has all the tools you need built right in. If you’re a DJ on the road or mixing and mastering music in hotel rooms with high-end headphones, the best option is to get the best laptop you can afford.

On the other hand, a stationary computer has separate hardware components and is cheaper and more powerful than a tablet or smartphone. A laptop will be an ideal choice if you travel a lot, but if you like to create music comfortably in one place, then a stationary computer may be the right fit for you.

Now that we have that out of the way, there are a few things to think about when you will buy a laptop or a computer for music production.

The Amount of Computing Power Available

When looking for the best computer for music production, computing power should be one of the most important considerations.

RAM

In every computer, RAM is an essential part of the system. Check the RAM before purchasing a laptop or desktop. Make sure you get a system with at least 4GB of RAM and can upgrade to 8GB.

Processor

The processor is the second most important factor to consider when assessing computing power (CPU). It is best to use a computer with quad-core processors for music production.

Speed of HDD

Hard-disk drive (HDD) speed is a critical consideration in any discussion of computing requirements.

It’s not uncommon for the virtual instruments used in music production to use more than 1GB of RAM per sound. When that isn’t an option, software developers turn to direct-to-disk streaming.

Why You Need It?

Your music computer is only as good as its components. Those components have varied requirements, resulting in different system performances. A music production computer is the most important part of your digital audio workstation; it is the part that makes the magic, or rather the music happen.

2. Digital Audio Workstation

daw

What Is It?

It is a piece of software that allows you to edit, record, and create audio files.

Why You Need It?

People regard DAWs as the bedrock of electronic music production; you’d be using audiotape recorders without them. There are already dozens of DAWs available, each with its own set of functions.

However, practically all of the options share some basic characteristics. For example, multitrack recording, pitch/tempo adjustment, and filtering are standard features in most products.

3. MIDI Controller

MIDI controller

What Is It?

A MIDI controller is a Musical Instrument Digital Interface that enables you to efficiently sequence music and interact with virtual instruments on your Mac or PC. It operates by transmitting MIDI data to a computer or synthesizer, interpreting the signal, and generating sound.

Why Do You Need It?

Have you ever seen a keyboard player perform on stage using a laptop? They’re likely to have a standard keyboard plus a MIDI keyboard, which allows them to generate and sample many sounds. They produce musical sounds and play musical instruments.

Other MIDI-compatible devices, such as stage lights, digital audio mixers, and complex guitar effects, are also controlled by MIDI controllers.

4. Studio Headphones

Studio Headphones

What Is It?

Studio headphones are primarily for professional use, with sound signatures best suited to recording or mixing.

When you buy Studio Headphones, avoid Bluetooth headphones, and don’t rely on “fashion” brands, such as Beats by Dre.

For those looking for a high-end pair, the Audio Technica ATH-M50x amplifies all of the benefits of the 20X. It has ultra-sharp dynamics, excellent sound isolation, and a fully collapsible design for easy transport. You can check out the best studio headphones here.

5. VST Plugins

vst plugin

What Is it?

These are the brushes you’ll use to paint your masterpiece. Virtual Studio Technology refers to the fact that your studio’s technology is digital and is derived solely from your computer.

There are VST sounds for everything, and what you want depends on your taste: keyboards, drums, FX, strings, choirs, full orchestras, and more. You’d be surprised how many producers now use VSTs instead of real instruments.

Why Do You Need It?

Effects like compression and reverb were only possible using physical instruments and hardware in the original recording and mixing process. This type of work is expensive and will take a lot of your space. VST instrument plugins allow you to insert various virtual instruments into an audio recording without physical access to those instruments. VST effects plugins will also enable you to alter sounds in novel and exciting ways.

6. Studio Monitor Speakers

studio speakers

What Is It?

Studio monitors are loudspeakers in speaker enclosures designed primarily for professional audio production applications such as recording studios, films, television studios, radio studios, and project or home studios where correct audio reproduction is critical. We call them monitor speakers or studio monitors because we use them for monitoring – critical listening during recording, mixing and mastering.

Why Do You Need It?

When does a speaker become more than just a speaker? When you’re using a studio monitor. There may not appear to be much of a difference to the untrained eye, but music professionals know better.

When working in the studio, you must hear your sound clearly to make the recording sound great, even on high-fidelity audio systems. Studio monitors exist for this purpose — when every note counts and every vocal must be perfect, you need a playback system that reproduces every nuance of the sound.

Monitor speakers are a vital component of any recording setup, whether amateur or professional. You wouldn’t be able to create a fantastic mix without these specialized speakers.

7. Speaker Stands

Speaker stands

What Is It?

Speaker stands are platforms on which you mount loudspeakers to improve the speaker’s sound quality.

Why Do You Need It?

Speaker stands are engineered to get the most out of your speakers by minimizing vibrations, eliminating early reflections, and guaranteeing proper treble levels.

8. Audio Interface

Audio interface

What Is It?

Audio interfaces translate microphone and instrument signals into a format that your computer and software can understand. Your computer’s audio routes to your headphones and studio monitor through the interface. We use USB cords to connect interfaces to your computer; however, some interfaces use Thunderbolt, Firewire, or Ethernet. Get an interface with two audio input channels to work more efficiently.

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 has two audio input channels and is small enough to fit into a backpack for singer-songwriters.

As a general rule, the more tracks you want to record at once, the more expensive audio interfaces become. However, companies such as Fireface provide audio interfaces with more than 30 input channels, making them ideal for creating live orchestras.

Why Do You Need It?

If you wish to record to your computer software using microphones, a guitar, or a keyboard, you’ll need an audio interface. If you want to connect your computer to your studio monitor speakers, you’ll also need an audio interface. Also, if you want to improve the sound quality of your music, an audio interface is frequently required. An audio interface is essentially a supercharged sound card designed for producers, DJs, and artists.

9. Studio Recording Microphone

studio microphone

What Is It?

A Studio recording microphone is an audio device that converts sound into an electrical signal, which is then amplified and processed during a live performance or recording session. It is one of the most critical music production equipment.

If you’re new to digital music production, chances are you have a musical background.

A good studio recording microphone is essential if you want to translate your skills into digital compositions. There are ten commonly accepted microphones, with two types accounting for the vast majority of the production market.

Condenser microphones produce audio signals via a vibrating diaphragm and have a flatter frequency response than dynamic microphones but capture audio uniformly. When using a condenser microphone, one must be mindful of background sound bleeding.

Dynamic microphones operate through electromagnetic induction and are significantly less expensive and more durable than condenser microphones. Because of their durability and low cost are ideal for on-stage performance and audio capture in noisy environments.

Why Do You Need It?

A studio recording microphone will allow you to record various audios for various types of communication, such as music and speech recording. You must select the best studio recording mics if you need microphones for podcasts, web videos, or a full live band musical production.

10. Microphone Stand

microphone stand

What Is It?

A microphone stand is a free-standing microphone mount that enables the microphone to be placed in the studio, on stage, or on location without someone to hold it.

Why Do You Need It?

In your home studio, a mic stand will hold and position your recording microphone so you can record tracks for your songs and productions. Without a stand, your microphone would pick up and record all kinds of knocks, bumps, and vibrations, ruining a take and rendering the recording unusable.

11. Cables

cables

What Is It?

Connection is one of those topics in the multichannel audio world that is too boring to discuss, but it is also too important to ignore. We all know what cables are and if you’re a newly initiated music producer, you must be familiar with the hassle those cables cause that connects one piece of equipment to another.

Why Do You Need It?

Your DAW’s ability to record a clear and loud signal from guitars, synths, drum machines, and microphones depends heavily on the type of audio cable you use. There are XLR cables, TSR Cables, RCA Cables, MIDI Cables, USB Cables, etc.; your choice will depend upon your requirements.

12. External Hard Drive

external drive

What Is It?

An external hard drive is a portable storage device that you can connect to a computer via USB, FireWire, or wirelessly. External hard drives have large storage capacities and are frequently used to back up computers or as a network drive.

Why Do You Need It?

External hard drives may not appear to be a big deal, but the type of external hard drive you use can affect the speed and efficiency of your workflow. Any serious music producer will want an external hard drive with the most storage space possible. Typically, 10 TB of storage space should be sufficient to meet your backup needs as a budding musician.

Your connectivity is also essential, as you need it to be fast enough to work with USB. Your external hard drive will be the haven for all of your hard work on music, so it’s critical to invest in a high-quality hard drive and more than one to be safe.

You should have at least three different hard drives if you are a serious music producer:

  1. The “operating drive” houses your computer’s operating system. You already have one if you own a computer.
  2. The “music drive,” where you should save your project sessions and files.
  3. You’ll need a “backup drive” to ensure you have a copy of your work in case of drive failures or other disasters.

13. Pop Filter

pop filter

What Is It?

In the recording studio, a “pop filter,” “pop shield,” or “pop screen” is a noise filter for microphones. Popping sounds caused by the mechanical impact of fast-moving air on the microphone during recorded speech and singing can be reduced or eliminated by using this device.

Why Do You Need It?

Pop filters are needed to avoid unnecessary sounds. For better-sounding demos, auditions, and finished work, use a pop filter to eliminate issues on both the high and low ends of the spectrum.

A pop filter may be sacred to some voice actors, and they would never record without one, but you have to do what feels right for you.

14. Bass Trap

What Is It?

A bass trap is a low-frequency sound absorber placed in a room to mitigate the effects of standing waves. They are typically installed in corners or along wall joints where low-frequency energy accumulates. Bass traps’ absorption qualities keep low frequencies from interfering with each other throughout the rest of the room, resulting in a much more accurate response in the listening area.

Why Do You Need It?

Bass traps do more than absorb low-frequency sounds in your room. They also aid in the better definition of low frequencies, making them easier to control and recognize. When it comes to your home recording studio, one of the first things you should do is figure out how to deal with the low end. Bass trapping is critical in recording studio design because it eliminates low frequencies and results in a better-sounding home studio. As a result, you will achieve better results in your recordings.

15. Power Conditioner

What Is It?

A power conditioner is a device that provides a level of stability to voltage fluctuations such as spikes, transients, and electrical noise to protect sensitive loads. It could be either electronic or transformer-based.

Why Do You Need It?

The best home theater power managers and conditioners can protect your home studio equipment by smoothing out power spikes, electrical noise, and other forms of voltage fluctuation. It can help you avoid damaging equipment during power surges and manage voltage distortions.

16. Headphone Amp

What Is It?

A headphone amplifier is a low-powered amplifier that raises the low-voltage audio signal from a source device (such as a turntable, PC, or smartphone) to a sufficient level for the speakers inside your headphones to convert (or transduce) into sound waves. It operates smaller than the amps used to power full-sized speakers.

Why Do You Need It?

Headphones are miniature speakers that do not require much power. While this is true, it also depends on the playback device used to power the headphones, whether a Smartphone, MP3 player, PC or tablet. Although you may believe that a pair of headphones is simple to control, a smartphone, tablet, or MP3 player will not provide enough power to drive high-end studio headphones.

Putting the best headphones amplifier between the player and your studio headphones can make a noticeable difference in detail resolution, dynamic range extension, and overall musical clarity.

17. Microphone Amp

microphone amp

What Is It?

A mic amp is an amplifier that converts mic-level signals to line-level signals for use with professional equipment. If you use microphones with mixing consoles, recording devices, or digital audio workstations, they must output mic level signals and require amps.

Why Do You Need It?

Mics and amplifiers are critical components in any recording studio’s audio signal chain, as anyone who has worked in one knows.

Mic amps are a better investment because they can convert a weak signal into a high-quality line-level signal. Mic amps allow for excellent sound quality and a pleasurable listening experience.

18. Acoustic Panels

acoustic panel

What Is It?

An acoustic panel is a sound-absorbing panel used to reduce noise, reverberation, and echo in space. It is most commonly used in professional music production studios to resolve speech intelligibility issues. However, it is one of the most important music production equipment on our list.

Why Do You Need It?

By reducing the number of sound waves reflected off the walls, acoustic panels improve the sound quality of your existing speakers. If correctly placed, they can be highly effective with just a few panels. Acoustic panels are the right tool for the job if you’re building a home theatre, doing any kind of audio recording of music (or maybe for a podcast), or simply attempting to determine if there is a way to address a noisy office environment.

19. Reflection Filters

reflection filter

What Is It?

A reflection filter serves as a physical barrier between areas of your studio where unwanted sound can enter and your microphone. Your reflection filter can deflect unwanted noise as it travels through the air and walls.

Why Do You Need It?

A reflection filter keeps the audio clear. It accomplishes this task by preventing unwanted sounds from being picked up from behind and around your microphone.

20. Sample Service Subscription

What Is It?

As a music producer who has been making music for a while, or someone who has just recently started, you’re likely to have come across a sample subscription service advertisement.

An audio sample subscription service is what it sounds like. Think of it as the Netflix of music production and post-production sound effects, loops, one-shots, and other noises. If you’re willing to pay a monthly subscription fee, you can access hundreds of thousands of royalty-free samples. The samples are a small portion of an existing sound recording that has been spliced into audio clips.

Some good gotos to consider are Noizz, Splice, or Loopmasters.

While Splice has rent-to-own digital instruments and curated artist packs, Noizz has its ecosystem with IOS sampler and instrument apps. Loopmasters offers a cloud application called “Loopcloud” for organizing and managing samples on the go.

Why Do You Need It?

A subscription sample service is ideal if you want to build your library and sound quickly. By only downloading the ones you enjoy, you can create a library tailored to your specific tastes and requirements.

21. Serum Synthesizer

What Is It?

With an intuitive layout for sound design, custom-drawn or imported waveforms, and real-time wavetable animation, Serum allows you to create creative sounds. Creating and modifying sounds becomes more enjoyable rather than tedious. It is also more efficient because you can create and control wavetables in real-time.

Why Do You Need It?

It is a handy tool for improving your sound design and music production, and we recommend that you use a serum synthesizer to achieve the desired sounds you wish for. Also, Serum is a must-have if you use presets because many presets are created in Serum. You can’t use them if you don’t have Serum.

22. SPAN Signal Analyzer

What Is It?

A SPAN Signal Analyzer is a spectrum analyzer that allows you to visualize a signal’s frequency balance. In traditional engineering, spectrum analyzers were technical devices used to evaluate various signal types. In addition, spectrum analyzers display the amplitude of different frequency bands across the audible spectrum for music production.

Spectrum analyzers provide valuable information about your sounds by deconstructing the so-called frequency spectrum to display the levels of the various frequencies present in an audio signal.

Why Do You Need It?

When evaluating your mix, nothing beats using your ears. To find and resolve problems, you must learn to listen carefully.

However, visual feedback can serve as a handy guide if you’re unsure. A spectrum analyzer plugin can help in a few situations where you might otherwise miss something.

Final Words

Music production isn’t an easy job or a cheap hobby, but it’s one of the most rewarding when producing a piece of music that people enjoy listening to.

You may have been looking for information on building a home studio for recording music, which music production equipment is the best, or simply some information on recording equipment. In any case, we hope this article on music production equipment was of assistance. We wish you the best of luck and enjoyment in your artistic endeavors.