The Best Computer for Music Production
I guess that most of you already own at least one PC in your household. But what stands out on the best computer for music production? MAC or WIN, Laptop or Desktop?
If your computer is powerful enough to overcome the requirements of your DAW (digital audio workstation) then you save big bucks since a pro PC is the most expensive outlet of your new home recording studio. It’s important to keep your computer exclusively for music relatively projects. For example, after 10 years of electronic music production, I have used more than 1.8TB hard disc capacity. Softwares, music libraries, audio samples, demos, promos, video tutorials are just some of the many. The most powerful computer I could afford would not be enough if I decide to use it for everything.
There are two big questions that need to be answered when you choose a computer for your recording studio
- Desktop or Laptop
- MAC or Windows
1. The desktop has started to lose popularity and slowly becoming a thing of the past. Although desktops are still winning in a couple of features compare to laptops. At first, desktops offer better characteristics for the same amount of money compare to laptops. Secondly, they include more inputs-outputs which are very useful when you will upgrade your studio equipment. Last, with a desktop you have the opportunity for upgrades, add RAM, hard-disc, CPU is a much easier task compared to laptops.
On the other hand now, by choosing a laptop you have extreme portability. If you travel and perform live, your laptop with a software and a few tools can be your studio on the road. A note here is that with a small display you will probably need a bigger monitor to work efficiently in a studio.
2. MAC or WIN, there is no right or wrong choice here. Either you are an Apple addict or prefer Windows OS, there is only one real issue to consider. Is it compatible with the DAW of your preference? If you have not decided on your DAW yet, then there is mostly an option depending on the money you are willing to spend. There are recording studios as well as professional musicians who use both systems. I believe a debate about which one is better is not necessary. I personally use Mac tools and I’m extremely satisfied. Just try to include minimum specs of the recommendations below and you are good to go.
Not to forget we have for you the best music production software (DAW) in the market to choose according to your needs.
Minimum computer features for a home recording studio
- CPU: Processor is a very important issue. Along with the RAM memory, they are responsible for the speed and accuracy that you can work your projects. I recommend minimum 2.8GHz dual-core processor to run your DAW’s, plug-ins and DJ softwares without problems.
- RAM memory: If you combine the above with a RAM over 8GB you will have great results.
- Hard disc: With the probability for external hard disc a 500GB and above will cover your needs, to begin with.
- Screen Display: As bigger as better you will view your projects. Anything above 13″ will be enough to display your software’s properly. If not you always have the choice to add an extra monitor.
Another thing to consider when you are buying your next computer is the connectivity. All PCs offer USB ports to connect your audio interface, such as The Best Cheap Audio Interface under $200 in 2018. There are, however, some premium audio interfaces that feature FIREWIRE, THUNDERBOLT or PCIe connection. So keep that in mind, otherwise, you will have to do extra research for cables and adaptors to finally connect your computer with your audio interface.
If you are looking for the complete guide to start music production check now how to build your home recording studio with under $600.
As we commonly say, the word “best” is subjective, and you can not perfectly compare any equipment with another. Our choices have been made according to features, budget, personal experience, user ratings and reviews fount on forums and online stores.
5 BEST DESKTOP FOR MUSIC PRODUCTION
The best option in the market for studio producers. From amateur to professionals is an excellent choice worth investing. Mac is exclusively compatible with Logic Pro and Pro Tools, two very popular and professional music production softwares to start composing in your studio.
Depends on your available budget, you select the best possible characteristics, but even the “smallest” model with an i5 1.6GHz processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard disc and a 21.5-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display, this machine will work perfectly in your studio for the next 5-8 years.
With Retina display and unreality size and weight will fit anywhere. The price range is not so bad as you might think as it starts from $1099, and if you add premium characteristics and design, this is the machine you need. It definitely worth the first place of the best computers for music production.
2.APPLE MAC MINI
For those who want Mac computer but cannot afford one, there is a cheaper option with which you don’t lose any of the pro features of iMac.
Do not frighten form the product name, “mini” because it applies only to its size. It includes the same characteristics as you would find in any other pro model and is also very affordable for a Mac product as it starts from $499.
It has HDMI port so that you will be able to add a Mac Monitor, TV, projector or any other monitor you want. With 4 USB ports and 2 thunderbolts, 2.0 ports that can transfer up to 20Gbps (4 times faster than USB 3.0 and 40 times faster than USB 2.0) is everything you will ever need in your home recording studio.
3.APPLE MAC PRO
The beast of Apple can handle situations you cannot imagine that you will need in yours. If budget is not an issue for you this is the best computer for music production.
Up to 2.7GHz 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 2GB storage space and the reliability of Apple make it a desirable piece of equipment for every producer. From $2999 is an unreachable dream for a beginner. Some may say that you can build a windows PC with half the money. Simply, you cannot add build quality, design, and usability in your cart.
6 Thunderbolt 2.0 ports offer the fastest and most versatile I/O available. It also includes 4 USB 3.0 ports (4 times faster than USB 2.0) and of course an HDMI to connect the monitor of your desire.
4.DELL XPS 8900
DELL XPS 8900 is a very powerful desktop and since you can build it however you wish by choosing the processor, RAM, and hard drive, you adjust it perfectly to your needs and budget.
The processor is available with Intel Core i5 and i7 from 2.7GHz to 3.4GHz. You choose between 8,16,24 and 32GB RAM memory and between 1 or 2GB SSD hard drive that will store your music for the next years.
With a very affordable price tag you get an excellent piece of equipment with superb features and in a case that offers 6 USB 3.0 and 4 USB 2.0 ports.
5.HP ENVY 750
For Windows users, the HP ENVY 750 is probably the best value for money choice in the market. It is a very affordable purchase for beginners and with an Apple-like design.
ENVY 750 offers two options for processor, a 6th generation i5-6400 with 12GB RAM and 2TB SSD hard drive and also the 6th generation i7-6700 with 16GB memory RAM and 2TB SSD hard disc. Superb characteristics for this price tag.
The 4 USB 3.0 and 4 USB 2.0 ports give you plenty of room to connect your studio equipment. As well as 2 HDMI ports to connect up to 3 monitors to expand your viewing space.
5 BEST LAPTOP FOR MUSIC PRODUCTION
1.APPLE MACBOOK PRO
MacBook Pro is probably the best laptop for music production and recording. The most used laptop from professional musicians and with a price range less than you might think is without a doubt the best.
The options are many, with a starting price of $999 you can pick the model that fits perfectly with your needs. The first choice is between the 13.3-inch or 15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Retina display. From 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 up to 3.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, you can’t go wrong with any. RAM memory from 4 to 16 GB and an SSD hard drive (fastest storage unit) of 1 or 2TB will cover your needs.
Another big plus of this laptop is its battery life, which can go on for up to 10 hours, giving you the opportunity to complete live sets without the need for a power source. Apple products are extremely reliable and powerful, and if you are serious about music production and want a portable machine (weights 3 pounds) then this is the one for you.
2.ACER ASPIRE V15 NITRO
Aspire V15 NITRO has all the features a music producer needs in his/her studio. If you are a “windows” person then this is a great option with excellent reviews and ratings.
A superb processor Inter Core i7-6700HQ up to 3.5GHz and a full HD IPS 15.6″ screen to have a nearly perfect image without reflections is great to start with. Between 8 and 16GB option for the capacity of your RAM memory and a 1TB hard disc that will cover your requirements for music and software storage.
The laptop offers 1 thunderbolt3.0, 2 USB3.0 and 1 USB2.0 ports, as well as an HDMI to connect to a bigger monitor. It’s price tag is at a reasonable level in ratio to features and in a case you want a bigger screen, you can go for the ASPIRE V17 NITRO with a 17″ display and similar characteristics to V15.
3.ASUS ROG GL552
The first ASUS in our list is powerful with tough construction and with amazing reviews by users. With characteristics that cover pro needs and a price tag that many can afford, the ASUS ROG GL552 is a hotshot.
A 6th generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ up to 3.5GHz processor, 16GB RAM memory and 1TB 7200RPM Storage is a superb body. However, the hard drive won’t run as fast as an SSD disc.
The 15.6 inches Matte IPS FHD display will create a great experience. ROG GL552 features 2xUSB3.1 and 1xUSB2.0 ports, as well as an HDMI port to connect a big monitor for your studio.
4.ASUS ZENBOOK PRO UX501VW
ZENBOOK PRO UX501 is a powerful PC with a beautiful design, look and an impressive display.
The machine from ASUS wears the same processor as the above, the Intel Core i7-6700HQ up to 3.5GHz and along with a 16GB DDR4 RAM, is exactly what you need to run your DAWs efficiently. Is lacking at one thing tho, the SSD hard drive has a limit at 512GB, therefore an external hard disc will be necessary for the near future.
ASUS ZENBOOK PRO has 1 Thunderbolt 3.0, 1 Gen.2 USB 3.1, 3 USB 3.0 and of course 1 HDMI port for extra monitor connection. The impressive part here is the Ultra HD 4K display with nearly perfect image. It is not cheap machine at all but is a good purchase with great reviews on web.
5.DELL XPS 15
One of the smallest laptops on the market offers powerful performance and great design. DELL XPS 15 is ideal to close our list for the best laptops for music production.
The 6th generation i7 6700HQ and 8GB DDR4 RAM memory guarantees great performance and multi-tasking. The fast 256GB SSD hard drive is considered a bit small. If you can go for the XPS 15-9550 model with the double capacity it’s slightly better.
The DELL XPS 15 offers a Thunderbolt 3 port and USB 3.1 Gen.2 ports. With this price range, the MacBook Pro might be a better choice. However is still a powerful PC with unique design and extreme portability.
Those are our choices for the best computer for music production. You can literally find hundreds of PCs and Laptops that will work sufficiently in your studio, but those models above stand out of the rest.
All our picks below for the best laptop for music production will also work ideally for your DJ sets. If you want to learn more, check our list with the best laptop for DJing.
Fell free to post your thoughts, comments or questions…