Creating a Setup for Music Production: Getting Started with the Right Equipment

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Written By Sahil Kumar

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Thanks to the advent of digital technology and supportive hardware, we can produce music even from our smartphones nowadays. However, while smartphones and tablets are fine devices to get started with, they alone are not going to be enough if you are serious about sound production.

Eventually, you will also want to invest in building a small recording studio, but that is not something you probably need to worry about right away. Recording studios can be rented, when necessary, but you should have your own setup to work with from day one. As to the equipment you will need to get started, go through the following quick suggestions.

PC

As music is composed, recorded, edited, cut, and mixed digitally nowadays, your computer will prove to be the single most important piece of hardware. The latest Lenovo desktops for music production come in all sizes, configurations, and price ranges. Whatever your budget and requirements may be, they should have something for you.

Desktops are the way to go for sound production because they can be fitted with more powerful sound cards at a lower price than laptops. Also, you will be able to change the sound card when you need to, which is an option that laptops do not provide. Last but not least, you will need a lot of ports to connect everything to your central station and laptops just don’t have enough of them.

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

The digital audio workstation, aka DAW, is the primary software that you will be using on your computer to compose, adjust, edit, cut, and mix audio for production. Using free applications for professional work is not going to work out, but make sure you don’t end up spending any more money on a DAW than you must. Ableton Live 11, FL Studio, Pro Tools, and Cakewalk are each reliable and established DAWs worth investing in.

Audio Interface

You will need to buy an audio interface next. It acts as the connection and conversion hub that connects and translates signals between analog audio equipment and the central PC. Get a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, a Steinberg UR28M, or a Presonus Studio 1824c, depending on your requirements.

Microphone

You want a condenser microphone and not a dynamic microphone, despite what the online reviewers may tell you. Go with either an omnidirectional (music) or a cardioid (narration) condenser microphone and make sure it does not wobble easily. The Maono PM500 XLR and the Audio-Technica AT2035 record with amazing clarity for budget microphones. For those with a bigger budget, the Avantone CV-12 comes well recommended.

Headphones

You will likely need to invest in at least two pairs of high-quality studio headphones. The AKG Pro Audio K712, the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, and the Sennheiser HD 800 S are some of the best open back studio headphones you can buy right now. For the closed back pair, go for a pair of Shure SRH1540 or a Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro.

Getting a pair of quality studio speakers would complete the setup but they are not needed for sound production or recording. No one listens to audio from speakers while recording or editing because they simply cannot be as accurate in their reproduction as studio headphones.

We do not need to spend an exorbitant amount of money on new sound production equipment anymore. Creating a proper setup for composing, editing, mixing, etc. does not have to be super expensive, especially not during the initial stages. Everything mentioned on this list comes in several price ranges and you don’t always have to buy everything from the top shelf. Factors such as talent, knowledge, and experience are significantly more important for a sound producer than their equipment.

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