If you are serious about making music, you need to get the proper equipment. Not necessarily the most expensive music equipment but you do need the right stuff.
After all, you can’t make an oven baked pizza without an oven 😉 – Hmmmm . . . Pizzaaaaaa.
Okay before we get distracted, let me share my home recording studio equipment gear with you.
My Home Recording Studio Equipment in 2017
I have a feeling you’ll be pleasantly surprised 🙂
- DAW: Logic Pro X
- Computer: Mac Mini and MacBookAir
- Studio Monitors: Neumann KH120 A (This is what I spent the most money on and I explain why later).
- Audio Interface: Tascam 2×2 Audio Interface
- Monitor: Hewlett Packard 21inch
- Wireless Keyboard and Mouse: No Name Windows Keyboard (Yup! Windows keyboard on a Mac).
- MIDI Keyboard: AKAI LPK 25
- Microphone: Audio Technica 2200 USB
- Pop filter: Generic
- Studio Desk: Red (Kind of small, need to upgrade)
Chose your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
If you ever thought about how to start making music on your computer, this right here is the absolute first step. You my friend need to download
When it comes to your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation or Music software to be less nerdy), I suggest you try out different ones.
Pretty much all of them offer a demo. Although I started making loops with Fruity Loops (Better known as FL Studio), I saw it more for someone making Trap or Hip Hop kind of music. Also it just appears kind of cartoonish to me (No offence to it’s users).
Ofcourse it’s a professional music making software as TONS of EDM, Urban and Pop music producers use it.
Soulja Boy, Avicii and the list goes on and on . . . .
The reason I use Logic Pro X is because I’m a visual person and I love Apple products. That is why I like Logic Pro X. Before settling on it though, I did my research to see if there are any professional EDM producers using it and I wasn’t disappointed 🙂
Nicky Romero uses Logic Pro X and a whole bunch of other EDM producers as well.
Ofcourse a lot of BIG producers use it both URBAN musicians and EDM producers (Avicii helloooo!!!) but I just didn’t see myself making electronic music on it.
I liked Logic Pro X from the beginning because I like the ‘workflow’ and it’s visually really appealing to me. Plus I’m a mac person (Own a MacBook Air on which I make beats while travelling) so I enjoy the seamless integration between all devices.
Bottom line, try different ones, see which artist uses the DAW that you really look up to and then DEDICATE yourself to the DAW. Don’t worry, it all comes with practice.
One thing I will say is if you like a DAW, stick with it and own that $hit! Your music will only be good as your knowledge about your DAW. Master your DAW, master your music
Here are some DAWs that you might want to check out:
ABLETON | STUDIO 1 | Fruity loops | Logic Pro X | Reason | Cubase
Mac or PC for Music Production
Again this is a personal choice. What do you prefer working on or find easier to use? When I was using Fruity Loops I was on PC. I had no issues whatsoever.
Now I’m suing Logic Pro X, I’m using a Mac Mini, Mac Book Air and guess what . . . no issues.
So bottom line, try different DAWs out and see what works for you.
As a side note, if you are PC person, it’s best to continue on that route and vice versa. I got became a Mac person after owning an iPhone for a few years. Soon I started using my sister’s MacBook Pro and that was it! Bye Bye PC for me . . .
As far as the details go, obviously you want the most powerful computer you can get aka afford but contrary to popular belief, you can get by with a lot less than you think.
Let me share with you the stats of my computers with you.
This is my ‘on the go’ computer. When I’m flying around or staying at a hotel, I use this one. Heck I’ve finished two songs on this so far as well (Static Mixes). This is an awesome computer to have when you are on long flights.
I just sit and work on my tracks. Makes me feel like a professional DJ / Producer moving from one city to another.
BTW, the flying for me is usually for a vacation or business trip. Not to a massive club in Ibiza somewhere where I’m the headliner.
Not yet 😉
My MacBook Air Stats:
Yes have a look at the RAM. Just 4MB. However, I’ve literally finished full songs on this before transferring the files using BOX.com or my hard drive if the file was well over 1GB or something.
I would call it a static mix or a pre-static mix. The only thing my track would miss at this point is perhaps some extra effects like saturation, further EQ’ing and etc.
So bottom line, it pretty much does a great job. Not for mixing and definitely not for mastering but you can bang out proper tracks on this one for sure.
This is my studio computer. This is where i turn those static mixes into professionally mastered tracks.
As you can see, the most RAM I have is at 8MB. Since I’m still at an intermediate stage and can master and stuff, I have no issues with my 8MB Ram. Ofcourse I use Logic’s ‘FREEZE’ feature a lot (Which drastically reduces the load on your computer) but in a perfect world, I would love to have 16mb RAM.
Point is, if you heard my songs, you can check out the quality. It’s freaking professional 🙂
So at the end of the day, work with what you have. Mac or PC isn’t an issue at all. It’s how you use them 🙂
Click below to learn more about each model. This should give you a good idea on what’s best for making EDM Music.
Best Computer Monitor For Music Production
As a beginner, it really shouldn’t matter (As long as it works) but once you actually start getting good, you should definitely look into some options.
Reason is if your music is improving, it means that your workflow is also getting faster and you are banging out quality tracks quicker.
The faster you bang out quality tracks, the more you improve and more of your material is out there to be heard.
Bottom line, you have a better chance of being a success.
Did you know that Getter makes a song a day (He announced that on one of his Youtube videos)!
Ofcourse he now has the time but that is some serious work ethic.
Again this is something that you will figure out as you produce and depending on your workflow.
I personally think I should upgrade to another monitor so I can have one view of my mixer and one view of my actual editing window.
This will definitely speed up my workflow.
Or I’m thinking about getting one of those monitors that are longer in length (Width). This could help solve the problem too but I think it might make other stuff kind of difficult (Typing stuff, browsing for sounds, etc). I’m not sure . . .
I believe they are called ‘Wide Monitors’.
My current monitor is a HP and it does the job but I would love to have another one for sure. It will definitely speed things up.
My Monitor: http://amzn.to/2jfS0NL
Which Wireless Keyboard And Mouse Is Best
If your computer didn’t come with a keyboard and mouse (Like my MacMini), I suggest you get a decent Keyboard and Mouse combo.
As long as it’s branded, you should be fine. Do not go for the cheap ones because you will be using your keyboard right along with your midi keyboard a lot. Brands like Logitech, Microsoft and other popular ones should do just fine.
As far as your mouse goes, make sure it’s wireless. As you will already have wires from your Screen, Computer, Studio monitors, etc all around.
The more wire free you can be, the better. Avoid the clutter and keep your studio space clean and clear.
Here is a nice mouse and keyboard combo.
PS: Ofcourse if you can get a Mac keyboard for your mac, that would be better but you will do just fine with a PC keyboard on a Mac as well. Get started with what you can get and upgrade later.
The Best Midi Keyboard Controller
Okay now this is one of the “key” things (No pun intended) that you need. I know DeadMau5 likes to use his mouse or his computer keyboard as a MIDI controller but DeadMau5 is that 1% of producers.
Other 99% of successful producers do use a MIDI controller and I use it myself too.
BTW, MIDI controller and MIDI keyboard are the same thing.
In fact, it’s a lot faster to bang out musical ideas on a Keyboard. At least for myself and most of the producers out there (Especially if you are using anything other than Fruity Loops).
The midi keyboard that I started with was the legendary Akai Professional LPK25. Small and works like a charm and best part . . . It’s around $50 bucks! Well when I got it it was a few years back and paid just around $100 bucks for it but still a sweet deal. Plus it’s the best for on the go beat making.
I’ve taken this to several different cities with me. It’s super lightweight and compact.
This should be the ideal beginner MIDI Keyboard for you. I feel only after using this for like a year or so that I need to upgrade to a larger version or a MIDI controller with more keys and a pitch controller (This one doesn’t come with that).
So when you think your music is getting more complex, feel free to upgrade or otherwise, it’s a great way to enter the Midi Keyboard world.
Some things to keep in mind are make sure you get a QUALITY brand again. Brands matter when it comes to music equipment or electronics in general. AKAI is awesome (Japanese right!) and there are few others like KORG, Behringer, etc
Always judge a MIDI keyboard on the following things:
- Must be BRANDED – No if’s and but’s about it.
- How stiff are the keys? The more expensive a controller is, the smoother they are.
- How light it is? The lighter the better. Less load on your desk.
- Do you need a pitch controller (To do pitch bends) as well?
So bottom line, go for quality. Don’t worry though. There are LOTS of them out there.
PS: Keep in mind, MIDI Keyboards are NOT Synthesizers. Synthesizers come with built in sounds. MIDI Keyboards control VST or Virtual Synths in your DAW or on your computer. At this point, you just need a MIDI Controller (Midi Keyboard).
Best Cheap USB Condenser Microphone
Not really a necessity (Depending on what kind of music you are making) but I’m happy I got it right off the bat. The reason I got it was initially when I got into music production was because of rap music.
I loved rapping for a while and got right into it. However, now I make more EDM (Which allows me to add rapping as well) so I still use it. Or if I want to add my own vocals before the drops etc.
Bottom line, if your music needs it, get it!
Now there are several types of microphones but all you need to worry about is a condenser microphone. If you are using a microphone to record vocals then this is all you need.
They are the most common ones and are used in 99% of professional studios worldwide.
My current microphone is the Audio Technica 2020. A super high quality condenser microphone that is actually affordable.
It’s f’n AWESOME!
Don’t buy a low quality condenser microphone.
Two things that you shouldn’t cheap out on are Studio Monitors and a Microphone. Also if you think about it, it actually makes sense because one is used to input sounds and one is for the output. Both are the most important part of music producing. Quality in quality out.
Also make sure that your microphone can be connected through a USB. I have an interface so I can actually connect it through the interface (That should be the proper way actually) but I like USB’s plug and play thing.
See, I still don’t know how to fully take advantage of a Audio interface. Only my Studio monitors are connected at the moment (That is a necessity though). Hopefully I can connect my mic too. Once I get a proper studio desk.
Point is make what you have now work and go from there. Ofcourse if you are in a position to get the gear then that would be idle. However, don’t let anything stop you. Just start making music!
Pop Filter For Audio Technica At2020
If you are getting a microphone, then you might as well get a Pop Filter. They pretty much go hand in hand. A pop filter as the name goes eliminates ‘pop’ sounds, breathing noises and noise from your vocals.
Basically, if you want to record good clean vocals, you need a pop filter.
Also don’t forget it acts as a shield if you ‘spit’ too much. Kind of gross but it happens with a lot of people.
After all, you don’t want any liquid going into your microphone and ruining it.
No need to spend thousands of dollars on this piece of equipment. You can get a decent one for under $30 bucks.
Best Studio Monitors For Electronic Music
If there was one section that I would say is the most important part of your home studio. This is it.
You can have the biggest monitor, fastest computer, most technically advanced audio interface but if you don’t have the proper studio monitors, your music is going to sound like . . . not like it’s suppose to.
Several years ago, I got this really cool Behringer monitors at 500 a piece. Dude to financial reasons, I had to sell them.
Recently, I got the absolute BEST monitors you can have in a small room. Perfect for apartments. They are small and compact in size and are PERFECT for EDM.
They are the . . . (DRUM ROLL):
Neuman KH 120 A.
I spent a decent amount on these but I had to. I’m very serious about my music production and like I said, if you can then do it.
If you don’t have the budget, then check out the options below:
As far as the Neumans go, I love them. They have a nice flat response (Always get studio montiors with the flattest response). What that means is what goes in, comes out (Unlike stereo speakers).
This is actually the MAIN reason why you mix on Studio monitors rather than Stereo speakers.