Were Going To Help You Learn How To Choose The Best Computer For Music Production
The problem with off the shelf systems by Dell, HP, Alienware, Razer, Lenovo, and other PC manufacturers
Youve seen all the computer makers out there you see their ads on Facebook, TV, and youve seen them in Best Buy. Arent all computers the same? Wouldnt they run a Digital Audio Workstation, and be cheaper than a pro audio computer?
The answer is no. When shopping for the best computer for music production, its important to remember a few key points:
Off the shelf PCs from big-box PC makers are not built specifically for music production.
This means that theyre not tested with Digital Audio Workstations, and while software has gotten more advanced over the years, its also become more complex, leading to the need for better hardware to operate it. The average off the shelf PC doesnt have the CPU power to run a Digital Audio Workstation with any more than a few plugins. Theyre not always configured with more than one internal hard drive, and the drives that are used are often not fast enough to keep up with the needs of digital audio workstations.
Off the shelf PCs come loaded with bloatware and add-on applications you dont need.
That bonus installation of Norton Antivirus is going to slow your computer down. In fact, weve seen many cases with off the shelf PCs where customers simply couldnt use their PC for music production due to the amount of bloatware on the PC.
But I heard that Macs are the best computer for music production!
How Much Hd Storage Do I Need For Music Production
Virtual instruments are more frequently incorporating high-quality flawless samples, even if theyre synths.
One single virtual instrument can easily be 100GB with round-robin sampling.
DAWs are also becoming larger and larger as more elements get bundled into their suites. Ableton Live 10, for example, is almost 60GB alone.
Minimum Laptop/pc Specs For Music Production
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- Looking to get started in music production and need a new PC/laptop?
- Read this handy guide first to understand what to look for when buying a music production PC/laptop.
Before you dive headfirst into buying a music production PC/laptop, its important to know what to look for. In this article, weve broken down the essential factors to look for before you shell out your hard-earned money.
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What Your Desktop Needs To Handle Music Production
Computers can get a little confusing once you get under the hood. Even on the surface, there are a lot of features that you might be wondering if you need or not. But when it comes to technical specifications, many find themselves lost completely. Not to worry. There are three primary things you need to look out for when it comes to selecting hardware for your music production desktop.
What To Look For In A Sound Recording Software
Before you actually opt to acquire suitable software for audio recording and mixing, you need to ensure that it also has the following features:
- Must have basic features of recording sound from various sources.
- It should be easy to use on your system or smart device.
- It should have a wide variety of audio filters and special effects options.
- It should have numerous editing features and functions.
- It should provide technical assistance.
Without any further ado, lets check out our curated list of top audio recording software for PC to create and produce your own high-quality music tracks.
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Best Laptops For Music Production 2021 Featuring Portable Computers For Musicians Producers And Djs
BySimon Arblaster, Chris Corfield10 June 2021
Looking for the best laptop for music production? We’ve rounded up the finest ultrabooks and notebooks for music-making from Apple, Dell, Microsoft and more
For years now, Apple has produced some of the best laptops for music production. As the only portable platform for Logic Pro X, the Apple MacBook Pro is synonymous with the craft of music-making. By comparison, those of us using a PC have traditionally been chained to the desktop format, but that has changed considerably in recent years. Dell, Microsoft, Samsung, MSI, Asus, Lenovo and others big tech brands are all muscling in to give Apple a serious run for its money, and some of them have proper music-making clout too. All of which is great for the consumer, as it gives us genuine choice over the path we choose for music production.
For any DJs or traveling musicians reading this, weight – and portability – is likely to be another major factor. After all, some of the highest spec, beefiest laptops in the world also weigh a fair amount, and your shoulders will quickly tire of lugging those behemoths around.
So, the best laptop for music production should be powerful and lightweight, while also rocking a good battery capacity, for those situations where youre away from mains power. Keep scrolling for our recommendations…
- Or try the best budget laptops for music production
Mac Or Pc What Is The Best Music Production Computer
The first question youll need to ask when picking the right computer for recording music is whether youre going to go with a Mac or PC. This is a pretty significant debate for a lot of music producers. Some believe that the only way to get a good sound is to use a Mac. Others say that PCs are perfect for versatility.
The good news is that music generally sounds just as good on both operating systems of either type of music production computer. The one you choose is unlikely to affect your outcomes too much. Additionally, many of the major DAW programs available today work for both Mac and PC. Theres only Logic Pro that youll be tied into a specific system for.
You can access all of your essential music production computer equipment for both Mac and PC with no problem. Ultimately, your choice will come down to personal preference. If you can, take some time experimenting with both options before committing to your choice.
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Hp Jaguar 156 Touchscreen Long Lasting Battery Music Production Laptop
As you can see, Im a fan of the touchscreen laptops. The HP Jaguar is another fantastic choice for a decent laptop for music production that also happens to be inexpensive.
The HP Jaguar has an Intel Core i5 processor that has a base of 2.50GHz and goes up to 3.10GHz. It has 8GB of RAM, which is enough to run many plugins in your DAW. It also has a 1 TB hard drive.
The touchscreen on this laptop supports 10 finger multi touch and has a 15.6-inch screen. Its Bluetooth compatible and if you dont like Bluetooth, there are several USB ports and a full size island style keyboard as well as a touchpad.
Having a hard drive versus a solid state drive isnt really a big issue, but for some people it really does matter. If you care a ton about speed, get a solid state drive for this one. Overall though, this laptop is a great budget choice laptop, and its also under $500 on Amazon.
When You Start Editing Video
Take into consideration that VIDEO takes WAY more computer power than editing AUDIO. So you will need a new computer or you need to make sure the first computer you buy is upgrade-able.
When I started editing video, I bought a Canon HV40 and a $80 Graphics card and installed it myself using Youtube Tutorials. Then I was able to start editing my own videos like my Ransom Remix Music Video that now has 500,000 views on Youtube. And since that was 2010 thats more like 5,000,000 views today.
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Acer Aspire 5 A515 Best Cheap Laptop For Recording Music
Acer Aspire 5 A515 The best cheap laptop for recording music
Taking into account the holy trinity of music production laptop specs CPU, RAM, and storage the Acer Aspire 5 is a great choice for the vast majority of people on a budget. The Intel i5 processor will chug along nicely, while 8GB of RAM means you can be reasonably expansive with your arrangements.
Adding in a USB-C port means you can take advantage of faster data transfer speeds, although its 512GB SSD is a real bonus at this price point. Youll struggle to find a better Windows machine for under $500/£500.
The 4 Key Laptop Specs
Since weve already established that laptops arein a wayless-than-ideal for music production
Here are 5 potential issues to look out for:
Now lets check out some laptops already
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What Computer Specs Do I Need For Music Production Pc
The minimum recommended computer specs for music production are:
- CPU: A minimum 2.2Ghz i7 quad-core processor & 64-bit operating system.
- Memory: A minimum of 16GB of RAM.
- Storage: A minimum of 500GB HDD or preferably SSD . Youll also need external storage for storing your audio files .
- Monitors: At least a 15-inch screen and having dual screens is preferable.
- Mouse: A mouse with side scroll feature.
In this post, Im going to share with you the specifications for a new computer with the vision of buying the best computer for music production. So not the budget or the mid-range category but professional music producer category.
If you want to learn more about the equipment youll need for music production then check out this post: 8 Essentials for Setting up a Home Studio
Whats The Difference Between 32 Bit And 64 Bit Operating Systems
64 bit operating systems are the gold standard for most creative software applications.
32 bit operating systems have become redundant as they are only able to run applications using a maximum of 4GB of RAM, which by todays standards is a no go. You could probably get by, but it wont be a very satisfying experience, especially once you get more than a few soft synths or guitar modelers up and running.
Most laptops made after 2016 are most likely going to come bundled in with a 64-bit operating system by default. Regarding Macbooks, anything past 2008 Macbook Pro will come with a 64-bit operating system.
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Asus G731gw Rog Strix Iii
ASUS ROG Strix III was designed specifically for one thing: to be a streamlined gaming machine. Butas with most high-end gaming machinesthat usually means that it has the power to handle a variety of demanding tasks, including video and music production. For studio musicians and producers, ROG Strix III does seem to have what it takes to serve as the core of a modern production rig. The speedy processor and generously-sized display will make it an excellent choice for those that rely heavily on computers for music production. Even with the base configuration, you get ample RAM and hard drive space for most projects. Lets see what else the ROG Strix III has to offer.
What others are saying
Users find the ROG Strix III to be an absolute beast, running the most demanding applications without a hiccup. Even loading up a handful of demanding softsynths hardly registers a blip on the CPU meter, and even the most determined power users never came close to maxing out its capabilities. The battery life averages around 3.5 hours, so most users prefer keeping it plugged into a power outlet. But most find this a small price to pay for the powerful performance and gorgeous display, which makes using an external monitor unnecessary in most cases.
Dell Xps 13 Best Windows
Billed as the closest Windows alternative to an Apple MacBook Pro, the Dell XPS line has built up a strong reputation thanks to its sleek design, gorgeous screens, and powerful spec. The 2020 version packs in an updated 10th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and a quite spectacular bezel-less screen which keeps the overall package thin and lightweight. Theres a beefier 15 model further up the range, but for most people, the Dell XPS 13 makes for a pretty compelling package.
Dell XPS 13 Best Windows-based laptops for music production
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5 i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
Screen: 13.3 FHD
Storage: 256GB 1TB SSD
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Keep These Steps In Mind When Choosing A Music Production Laptop:
Consider the kinds of music projects youll be working on.
Consider where youll be working on those projects.
Figure out how much you need to spend.
Whether youre recording bass guitar or hip-hop or a classical quartet, you can now produce practically any kind of music on a laptop computer. But while any laptop can be used to produce music on some level, the more serious your ambitions, the more selective you need to be when choosing a laptop for music production.
First, lets figure out what youre going to do with music on this laptop, then well run down the basic options and identify the most important software and peripherals.
Recording, Producing/Composing, or Performing?
Musicians use laptops in different ways. Many employ a traditional approach, recording tracks from microphones and instruments, then mixing them to create the final product. Hip-hop, pop, and EDM musicians typically use the laptop itself to produce most of the actual soundsprogramming the sounds into a sequencer or playing them on a MIDI keyboard or touchpads connected to the laptop. But they still record vocals and some other sounds using microphones, and mix those with computer-generated audio and often with snippets of other artists recordings. DJs typically do all of the above and also use the laptop as a performance device, often triggering everything with a controller that has touchpads and a couple of turntable-style discs for scratching.
Mac or Windows?
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme 1st Gen
Lenovos ThinkPad X1 Extreme might not fit the definition of studio powerhouse to a tee. Its processor and onboard RAM are certainly serviceable, but not exactly what you would think of when shopping for a bleeding-edge studio laptop. Even so, the X1 Extreme has enough power and features to handle most production and mixing tasks reliably. Depending on what you are looking for in a studio machine, this could very well be a worthy addition to your home recording and music production setup. And for what its worth, the X1 Extreme does carry on Lenovos respected ThinkPad heritage admirably in more ways than one.
A quick look at the spec sheet shows that the X1 Extreme packs a decent amount of power and capability in a reasonably-priced package. The 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor wont win any awards for blinding speed and performance, especially with so many other impressive CPUs out on the market today. It does come with a 9MB cache and runs at 2.2 GHz, which is pretty respectable, if not terribly exciting. The base unit comes with 16GB of memoryagain, not much to write home about, but certainly capable of handling a couple of sizable sample libraries and a few dozen audio tracks.
What others are saying
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Top 10 Best Laptops For Music Production
Weve curated the best laptops for music production this year. Go forth and make music!
Choosing a good laptop for music production shouldnt be too hard but it is a critical decision to make.
What you want is a laptop powerful enough for recording and music production. On top of that, it will last you many years to come, eventually making sense of your investment.
You possibly travel a lot as well and want a laptop to produce music, that isnt bulky or heavy.
I totally understand. In fact, in my years of producing music, I owned over 5 laptops, Macs & PCs in the past 10 years of producing music.
What Kind Of Laptop Is Best For Music Production
The main types of laptops are: Netbooks, Everyday Laptops, Desktop Replacement, Business laptops, and Entertainment laptops. All things being equal, the best laptops for music production are desktop replacements. These normally have screens between 15 in to 17 inches, with powerful components. After that, entertainment laptops offer a great storage capacity to hold all your media and audio files, and business laptops will have powerful processors to manage all the apps and office suites they were designed to run, which, consequently is of benefit to the music producers software. Everyday Laptops are generally great budget alternatives that dont have any special specs. Netbooks are generally not the best options, since they will lack in virtually all the necessary specs needed to produce music satisfactorily.
How we came to these results
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Q: How Much Ram Do I Need For Music Production
When assessing how much RAM you need for music production, its a good idea to take a look at the minimum requirements for popular software programs. Leading digital audio workstations and music production software work best with a minimum of 8GB of RAM, so while less powerful options may only require half of that, it should be considered the baseline for music production. More, however, has never hurt, so if its possible to have 16GB of RAM, have 16GB of RAM for optimal performance when making music.