Producing music with a slow computer can be a miserable experience. Having audio lag, drop outs, and glitches when your trying to make music sucks all the fun out of producing. If you have any questions by the end of this article, feel free to drop a comment down below! You can also purchase these PCs used for reasonable prices. We'll be covering each of these 5 computers in more detail later in the article.
You can easily fold a laptop up, throw it in your bag, and make music wherever you go. Most desktops are designed to be easily upgraded.
How To Build The Best Computer For Music Production
Laptops tend to be a bit harder to upgrade and you might even void your warranty doing so. With desktops you can get more power for a lower price. Laptops can however save you money in the long-run. This is when a laptop would come in handy. I made sure to include computers from a variety of price-ranges on this list. There is no end-all-be-all answer to the question of Mac V. I personally like Macs for their clean design, intuitive operating system, and fast performance.
Whether you use a Mac or a PC depends on your personal preference. You should also be aware of what software and DAWs you are going to be using most frequently. It has a great, rugged design. This computer was initially intended for gaming, but will work just as well for producing music. The Patriot has 8GB of ram.
This is pretty rare considering the price-point of this desktop. There is a large 1TB hard drive. You can store a ton of sample packs, audio plugins, and software without worrying about running out of space. It runs very quickly even when multitasking. I recommend this alternative by Dell. It can fit into most home studios without any issues.
The Inspiron does tend to run a bit smoother than the Patriot. This computer has extremely quiet fans!What are you most interested in? Date: April 4, His Molten YouTube channel has passed 3. He writes reviews and features for Sound On Sound magazine, the world's premier audio recording technology magazine and is a regular columnist focusing on PreSonus Studio One. He is the synthesizer correspondent for news website Gearnews. Table of Contents. The accepted wisdom is the Apple Mac is the best computer for music production.
It has always been and will probably always be a well-made computer from which creators and music makers can benefit. However, they can also be very expensive, less compatible, and lacking in diversity.
Apple has you over a barrel in terms of upgrades and support. Of course, an Apple Mac can be a good option, but there are other ways of running a successful digital audio workstation DAW.
You can run music software on any sort of computer, tablet or even a phone but not every environment is ideal. If virtual instruments are your thing then CPU processing power is paramount. If you need to load large sample libraries then the amount of RAM memory becomes important. This means a bargain basement PC is probably not going to hack it but this all depends on your level and your budget.
But the one defining characteristic that brings them all together is the operating system. MacOS is the key to the Apple platform stability. This narrow focus enables MacOS to be very stable and offer up very few surprises. The connection to the hardware makes it a very attractive platform for music technology developers because unlike many other computer products, DAWs require intense software running on complex third-party hardware.
When a developer of an audio interface builds the drivers for an Apple Mac they know exactly what hardware it has to connect to. When developing for PC the hardware has to work through a whole range of ports from different manufacturers. So, when they test it with the Mac, they know their device will work on every Mac. However, it also comes with a downside.
Apple arbitrarily decides to remove or change ports on new ranges of Macs which instantly render many bits of expensive third-party hardware obsolete. But if your next computer no longer has the ports needed to connect it then you have no choice but to replace that as well. All Apple Mac computers are built to a high standard using high-quality parts which account for a proportion of their high cost.
Every model of Mac is capable of running DAW software and hardware without too much trouble. The question then comes down to the level of power you need for the size and content of your projects and, of course, your budget. The rule of thumb with any computer for music production is to aim as high as you can. This is particularly true for Apple because the after-market upgrade possibilities are extremely limited.
So, although Apple makes excellent computers and they are a great platform for music making they are also expensive, restrictive and feel like they have in-built obsolescence. They are not for everybody. Building your own PC is a great endeavor and I would always encourage people to do it. Do bear in mind you have just become your own tech support. The Mac vs PC debate has raged for millennia in computing terms but the argument is most commonly flawed by the assertion you can compare an expensive Apple Mac running Pro Tools and Photoshop with a cheap office machine running spreadsheets.
They are not the same and the comparison is pointless. Building your own PC can be relatively straightforward and will undoubtedly get you the most for your dollars. You can mix and match various components, choose the exact configuration to suit your situation and end up with an intimate knowledge of your system should anything ever go wrong, need fixing or you are wanting to upgrade.
10 best laptops for music production 2020: top choice computers for musicians, DJs and producers
But it can take a good deal of research and will probably require a good chunk of time and is likely to have you tearing your hair out at some point in the process. So how do you know which components to choose?We have a separate article specifically highlighting the best laptops for music production if you want something portable.
Did you know that processing audio is one of the most CPU-intensive tasks that people do on computers today? When processing audio, most signal and effect chains have to happen sequentially. DAWs still take advance of multiple cores i. I highly recommend getting configurations with at least 16GB though. Keep in mind that the better the specs you get now, the longer your computer will last.
Think of getting a desktop or all-in-one computer as an investment. All-In-One computers look great and save space, but the downside is that they tend to use laptop-like components to save space and keep heat production down. Highly recommended. Check Current Price On Amazon. The touchscreen has an IPS display for great viewing angles. You get 4 USB 3. Want a bigger screen? This thing is awesome.
These are desktop-class components, not mobile versions. It has 4x USB 3. You can see the impressive speaker lineup built-in, but you will likely have your own studio monitors, so not sure those add a lot of value. The benefit of tower computers is that you tend to get the best performance for the price.
For connectivity, you get 7 USB 3. Plenty for your USB Interface and anything else. Priced a little higher, but with awesome specs, the HP Envy comes with an i 3. This is a killer setup — and is excellent for audio editing. Comes with Windows 10 Home. This should be plenty to hook up a mixer and anything else you might need. What I love about this configuration is that it is liquid-cooled, which keeps fans from running full speed and interrupting your recordings.
Just perfect if you ask me. The 2 hard drive combo is the ideal for quick tasks and lots of storage for plugins, samples, and tracks. Base model specs include: 3. A friend of mine got one right after they came out and loves it. For those that would like to build a custom computer, I thought I would throw in a recommendation on what I would get as of March Like I mentioned up top, you will want to skew your budget toward CPU power if you have to when custom-building a computer for music production.
You can easily get away with a less powerful graphics card GPU here to save a little — and you can always add more hard drives over time as you need them. The motherboard comes with Wi-Fi so you should be covered there as well. Ross Winn is the founder of Podcast Insights, the industry-leading podcast education site.
He has helped thousands of people start and grow a podcast and loves to test out new gear and software. For Podcast Hosting Buzzsprout. For Web Hosting Bluehost. For Podcast Music PremiumBeat.Quick Answer :. We consider the 5 best computers for music production to be:. This will give you an understanding of the rationale that went into choosing these options, and how you may select one for yourself. This is biggest list you will find on the internet, with over 30 computers, all of which is quite fit more or less for being a music production workstation.
Please check the specifications after clicking the links before ordering. Reference the necessary specs with the buying guide below. We also may earn a commission if you do buy… thanks for your support!
Table of Contents. Find other studio gear here :. Looking for a laptop instead? Go here. It also has a spectacular Retina 5K display and comes in a sleek and modernistic all-in-one design. If you are looking for the pinnacle of Mac perfection for your studio, this could well be it. This particular model comes with eight cores, which handles even the most demanding applications like a champ.
Turbo Boost lets you crank up the speed to a screaming 4. But if you need all the power and performance that a top-of-the-line iMac can deliver, this is the one you should go for. Sweetwater designed the CS to meet the needs of studio musicians and producers for a fast and powerful desktop at a reasonable price.
Capable of flawless performance, this compact solution is an excellent choice for those just starting out with production. Even so, it provides room to grow along with your needs, and you could easily keep it around even as you build up the rest of your studio arsenal. The Intel 7th Gen Core iU provides a good balance between power, speed, and affordability, so you can get quite a lot done before you even have to think about going for an upgrade. Unlike many other entry-level units, the CS has Thunderbolt 3 port built-in, which gives you a bit of future-proof capability.
It even has onboard support for two displays, so it could easily serve as the hub of your production studio. The CS is an affordably-priced unit that surprisingly has most of the bases covered. A solid and reliable performer, this should find a welcome spot in your project studio. Sweetwater has made quite a name for itself with its custom builds that deliver excellent value and performance, but the CS takes the cake.
An absolute screamer of a desktop, it has a fast and reliable processor that can take on even the most CPU-hungry applications. And with pro features such as a rack-mountable chassis and abundant storage space, this could very well be the studio command center you are looking for.
At the heart of the CS is an Intel 8th Gen Core i processor that delivers gobs of power and performance without breaking the bank.
Although not the fastest and most powerful CPU on the market, it is certainly capable of most studio tasks and keeps the CS at a manageable price point. Sweetwater clearly has the needs of modern studio musicians and producers in mind when deciding on this configuration.
But the CS is more than just a studio machine.In years gone by, Apple has thoroughly dominated the best laptops for music production arena, or indeed any creative production. As the only portable platform for Logic Pro X, the Apple MacBook is everywhere in music production, from the DJ booth and pro recording studio setups, to working bands making music on the road and those of us displaying a Mac proudly on our home studio desk.
By comparison, those of us using a PC for music production have traditionally been chained to a desktop format, but that has changed dramatically in recent years.
Dell, Microsoft, Samsung, MSI, Asus, Lenovo and others are all muscling in to give Apple a run for its money, and some of them have serious music making clout. When it comes to choosing your best laptop for music production, pay close attention to the power and memory specs of the machine you're eyeing up. While the basic requirements for most DAWs is a multi-core processor, around 4GB of RAM and a few gigabytes of storage, this isn't enough for real-world applications.
So you need a laptop with enough power to handle the latest software and expanding file sizes. For any DJs or traveling musicians reading this, weight is likely to be another major consideration. After all, some of the highest spec, beefiest laptops in the world also weigh a ton, and you'll quickly tire of lugging those behemoths around. So your best laptop for music production would be lightweight whilst also rocking a good battery capacity, as you may be away from mains power for longer periods at a time.
It's easy to see why the price for a good all-round laptop can fetch a premium price tag, but, as with anything from the best samplers and studio monitors to home studio mixersyou get what you pay for, so it's always wise to get the best you can afford, rather than skimping and regretting your purchase later. Our price tracker software can help here, as listed beneath each model in our best laptops for music production guide are the most attractive deals every day for each model.
So here we're talking sheer capability. For example, can your portable rig cope with large multitrack sessions, running handfuls of plugins and MIDI instruments? Let's take a closer look now When attempting to choose the best laptop for music production and audio, it's hard to look past the elephant in the room. We're not here to argue the merits of either, but put simply, you're either a Mac person, or you're not.
If you are, your choices are pretty clear. The choice is really determined by how much you're willing to spend, and what you need it to do.The Best Computer for Music Production
For basic bedroom-style studios, a 13" model with 8GB may be enough. Professionals would be wiser coughing up the extra cash for the 16GB variant with i5 or, ideally, i7 processor. If you're not tied to the Apple brand, you have more choice. For more serious music production work, look to the world of gaming laptops. Don't be put off by their visual stylings — gamers require lots of power and very quick processors, which is good news for you. For our money, we're taken with the Asus Rog Strix Scar.
With its i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and thin form factor, it could quite happily eat up the renders all day long. Choosing a laptop capable of running CPU-intensive audio production work can be tricky.
Some options focus heavily on battery life. Others major on performance, and favour higher-grade processors CPUs to ensure operations run snappily. We can help though. Allow us to cut through the noise, so to speak. The CPU is what does the real work. Adding extra plug-ins works the CPU.
Bouncing audio works the CPU. Exporting finished versions of your tracks works the CPU. You get the picture.
If it involves processing, the CPU is your best friend so it pays to prioritise a solid model over most other features.
A fork in the road In this world, there are two major players. Intel is the big dog in town, with a huge share of the market.Modern music production is truly mind-bogglingly amazing. You can fit an entire studio worth of equipment into nothing more than the software on a home computer. You can create an entire album just about anywhere, from your basement to your bedroom to a shed in the woods. From creating musical scores in movies to orchestrating sound systems for live events to designing beats for songs, audio engineers focus on the science behind the art of music, many of which attend the best audio engineering schools.
Possible career pathways include a recording engineer, sound designer, creating video game audio content, television show scoring, location recording, live sound reinforcement, and audio system maintenance.
Choosing the right music degree can help you determine where you want to take your music career and what school to choose. The iMac is one of the most popular among music producers. It offers a sleek and powerful setup, and built to maximize space. The miniaturization of computer technology has allowed producers to make music on portable devices like laptops and even smartphones in a limited capacity, but the king of music production still remains the desktop computer.
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.
For music production, your options for an operating system is either Windows or macOS. You can do some music production with Linux, but the options are limited and not often utilized by professionals. Most modern DAWs are cross-compatible on both Windows and macOS, however, if your DAW is not cross-compatible, the decision for which operating system to use is more or less set in stone.
If however, you find yourself opting for a DAW compatible across both operating systems, you are more or less free to choose which operating system you prefer based on your familiarity and comfort with the system. Laptops are popular among producers for their ability to work on the go and their utility as an integral part of some live performances.
This latter aspect is key. However, if portability is a non-issue, there are many benefits to getting a nice desktop. The first and foremost is the price. Dollar for dollar, you will get much more capable hardware when you purchase a desktop over a laptop. The second thing you get with a desktop is power. Unlike laptops where everything has to be miniaturized to fit into a portable form factor, the desktop can be as beefy as it needs to be.
You can get far more power out of a top of the line desktop than any comparable laptop. Finally, you have repairability. Laptops can be tricky to fix, often requiring specialized parts or repairs that can only be performed by repair shops or the manufacturer. While it might not be for everyone, you can save as much as several hundred dollars on your desktop purchase by assembling the parts yourself.
Modern desktop computers can be surprisingly easy to put together, consisting of little more than a few wires, screws, and parts which snap together like Legos. Perhaps a little trickier than the assembly is picking the right parts. However, the ability to pick every part yourself is an excellent opportunity to save even more money and create a completely custom computer suited to your needs.
While the full details of assembling your own desktop are well outside the scope of this article, it is a great way to save hundreds of dollars, get an excellent music production desktop, and learn a thing or two about computers along the way. This Dell XPS is a pretty unassuming looking tower. But all you need to do is fire it up to be impressed with its performance.
You get an Intel Core i7 processor featuring six cores that clock up to 4. This is an excellent option if you just want a classic desktop tower you can pull straight out of the box and put to work producing your latest track.
However, it makes this Acer a little less versatile than some slightly-more-expensive machines.The music production world is filled with the latest and best pieces of technology. Or, you might be wanting to invest in your first ever music production PC. Whatever situation you find yourself in, there is an endless amount to choose from. Look out for the critical features of a good music production computer before you jump straight in and buy it.
Featuring high-end components and a thin, sleek exterior, this ASUS model is something that is sure to take your breath away. Music producing has never felt any better than it does with this inch laptop for music production and recording.
The build quality is in par to many other upmarket pieces, but the price point is significantly lower than other music production computers. When compared to rivals, it storms everything out of the water! The unit also features an aluminum finished lid with the rest brushed with faux metal making it resistant to fingerprints and oil. Regarding music production, it has an SD card reader which is ideal for anyone who likes to move from one piece of technology to another.
It also has a full-HD matte display, so you can always be sure everything is crisp and clear. One disadvantage of this great model is that it could be a little cheaper. Why We Liked It - This model has a perfect finish and looks the part as well is the ability to play it.
It was certainly a great decision for Apple to add the bar onto their best-selling product and it is now even more appealing to music producers than before. This means your laptop will look sleeker and bigger since there is a lot more room for keys rather than other old function keys occupying the space. It has an LED display that is able to give stunning clear images, it also has a Core Intel i7 processor which make sit super-fast and easy to work with.
Perfect for all those music producers out there as it gives more variety to your work and what you can use to edit and produce your beats. This Apple mac really does kick ass regarding ability and quality; the classic aluminum matte finish is sleek and modern.
However, the Apple iMac pro is expensive, and this is mainly because of the Apple brand it sits under. Many Apple products are known for being great quality, but that comes at a large expense too.
Why We Liked It - Apple is a great quality brand that is always producing top pieves of technology. This is because there are so many ideal apps to download and make your music even better than before. Now for those of you who want something a little more stable that screams the best music producer around. It has the ultimate quality and is seen in the industry as the best mac for music production.
Yet, it is a big investment. This model overall, a great product to invest in. You want to make sure your equipment is everything you ever want and getting this model is definitely an ideal choice. Coming in at a slightly lower price than the top 3 is the HP Envy laptop for music producing. However, while the colors are solid and produce an impressive result, it lacks a lot of features that Apple and other Windows PCs or laptops have. Why We Liked It - Sometimes you want to produce your music on a trustworthy and reliable laptop that you can take anywhere with you.
Equipped with a inch display and a powerful Xeon quad core processor, this Lenovo model is the perfect answer to all your questions. Unlike other models, the Lenovo ThinkPad is designed with a matte black color and has the same quality keys too which is a smart finish and a nice touch.