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Thread What hardware do i need to get started with music production ?

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  • 4 participants
1 What hardware do i need to get started with music production ?

I want to make my own songs and record vocals but i just dont know what hardware to start with.
I get alot of advice here and there but its getting to a point that i dont know where to start with.
I need a soundcard, monitors a mic and a MAC.

What kind of specs does the MAC need to have? i've been told atleast these:

i7 processor
16 gb RAM
256 ssd
1/2 tb HDD
2tb video card

Please can somebody help me with this.
My budget is on about € 3000.

,greetz Carlos
Well if you start you don't have to start with a MAC.
Is your budget only for the mac or is it your total budget.

I think a ssd is not realy necessary but that is my opinion.

The nessesary hardware you need depends on what you like to do. If you are a singer with a gitar 2 inputs on your interface are enough.

I think you should make a list with some important points like:

what do i like to do.
What kind of music do i make
What Instruments am i going to use.

With those questions you can choose your audio interface, your software and outboard gear.


It's not about what you got to use ....    but how you use what you got...

[ Post last edited on 07/19/2015 at 01:41:57 ]

Hi Angelie,

Zie dat je nederlands bent.

Het is mn totale budget met wel wat speling voor meer maar max € 4000.

Ik wilde voor MAC gaan omdat ik daar toch veel goede feedback over krijg van professionle producers.

Verder wil ik vrij breed gaan produceren dus hiphop dance rnb pop.
En ik schrijf zelf lyrics en wil t dan recorden.

Gr. Carlos

In respect to other users i will answer in English.

I think you can do enough with an imac they are affordable an can do a lot. The biggest pro is that they are completely silent.

They can run protools,cubase and any other program and you can buy external storage for your productions.

Then we get to the point of instuments. Are you going to use hardware or software based syths/drum machines. Both cost money just think it about it and choose the best for you.

I'm not a long mac user but i love my imac :-D

It's not about what you got to use ....    but how you use what you got...

Quote from angelie:

In respect to other users i will answer in English.

Thanks for that, Angelie!

I agree on a lot of the points in your original response. Carlos, are you just starting out? What are your specific goals? Because 16gb of ram and an ssd might be overkill, depending on your needs.

Budget/skill level also effects many other considerations. For example, do you plan on recording full drum sets? In that case, you'll need multiple mics of different kinds and a sound card that can record them all simultaneously. This will, in turn, effect your purchase decisions, as suddenly more of your budget will go towards microphones and a more capable interface. If you're looking to simply record vocals and a guitar, for example, then you won't need as many inputs/outputs and can spend less on an interface while investing more on higher-end mics or software or computer.

Sorry if you answered these questions in your Dutch response. While I wish I understood, unfortunately I don't speak dutch :/

No problem will stick to English.

I want to make beats or dance tracks, but i will also be doing voice over work.
I will be recording my own vocals or of others.
I have a midi keyboard 88 keys and beginner level monitors.

My skill level needs to improve but i really want to make professional music and
not as a hobby.

Just want to know where to start with and build from there.

Gr Carlos


It is awesome that you like to make music on the professional level. :-D

If you like to record great vocals please don't buy a buget mic and preamp. Just save some money to buy a good mic and a great channel strip. I know this is going to be a hard task because there are many types out there.

A "good" channel strip has all the options you need ( mic pre, eq and even a de-essea / compressor) buildin.

And a "good" mic is matched to your voice.
Not all mics sound good with one voice.

The first stage is complete. Then you need a "good" audio interface. If you record one / two voice(s) than a stereo interface will be enough. In dance music a lot of voices are dubbed ( i think i wrote this word wrong :-P)
So you don't need a multi track killer interface.

The question next is are you going to use soft synths/drum machines or the real thing.
Both have there pros and cons and the prize tag goes hand in hand with that.

Again, if you like to spent some money buy something that can be upgraded ( hardware/software ) so you can keep using it. Don't buy something real cheap or old fashion ( unless you want to) which has to be replaced because there is no option for upgrading or it is no longer available.

Ok have to work now :-D
If you like more tips just ask. I think Mike will have some great tips too.

- Angelie

It's not about what you got to use ....    but how you use what you got...

Regarding the Mac, I agree with Angelie that an iMac is a good choice (get as much RAM as you can afford). Get the model with the largest screen you can afford. Having all that space is really helpful when working in a DAW. Assuming that an interface with two input channels will be sufficient, a real good and relatively inexpensive choice is the Audient iD14 ($299). It's a USB interface with very good preamps and converters for the money. It's also expandable via an ADAT port. It doesn't have MIDI I/O, but you should be able to connect your controller directly to your computer via USB. If you're willing to spend more, the Universal Audio Apollo Twin ($699-$899) is an awesome choice (you need a Thunderbolt equipped computer for it).

For a mic, I'm going to assume you want a large-diaphragm condenser for recording vocals. There are so many mics on the market, that a lot depends a lot on what you can spend. Angelie is right that it's important to get as good a mic as you can afford. You can't go wrong with an AKG C414 which costs a little over $1000. For a few hundred less, an Audio-Technical AT4050 (about $700) is a good choice, too. In the $400 range, I'd recommend the AKG C-214. If you only have $200 or so, consider the Blue Spark or the Rode NT1-A. Angelie also makes a good point about different mics sounding better on different voices, so if you can try out a mic before buying, it's a good idea.

As for monitors, again, there are a lot of choices and much depends on how much you're able to spend and how much space you have in your studio. Without spending a fortune, you can get good quality with the Focal Alpha 50 ($299 each). If you're doing dance music, you might want to consider monitors with 8" woofers such as the Yamaha HS8 ($349 each) or the PreSonus Eris E8 ($249 each) so you can hear the bottom end better.

Good luck! :-)

[ Post last edited on 08/12/2015 at 07:09:14 ]

Good points Mike,

About the monitors i like to add that you have to buy one that fits your room.

Small rooms with enormously large speakers don't work. Tiny ones in a large room will work better but is not optimal.

What Mike said about mics is also a good tip for speakers. Ask if you can try a few at home...

- Angelie

It's not about what you got to use ....    but how you use what you got...