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Best Tools for Music Production: The Gear For Music Success

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

There’s only one single rule that even music veterans will all agree on: there are no rules, and there’s no specific music production equipment stack that you’ll have to absolutely have.

There are professional music production tools, of course, but the exact make, models, and equipment you’ll use will ultimately depend on you. If you are just starting out in the world of music production, remember to trust your music production skills, ears, eyes, and equipment (from basic to the pro level, regardless of what you have).

The rule is to never break your bank account with software and/or hardware, going experimental, challenging yourself through the paces, and to ensure that you’ll always work with multiple tracks to get to the kind of work you are going to be proud of.

Having said that, it’s also easy to overlook the need for capable music production tools especially at the start of your music production career. Here’s a basic list of what you’ll need:

Your own, Custom DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

Choosing and working with your own digital audio workstation will have specific needs but you’d also have to consider the ergonomics of creating and working with a comfortable workstation that you can come to depend on. Prolonged use of digital equipment, laptops, audio equipment, and other tools for music production could lead to ergonomic discomfort or ergonomic-related issues while at work. Consider these basic tips from Harvard on Telework ergonomics at the minimum.

As a music production specialist, your customized digital audio workstation could include specific equipment such as computers (sometimes multiple monitors are required), multitrack recording, pitch or tempo modification, and more.

Some of the popular, modulated, tried-and-tested DAWs out in the market are as follows:

Or, you can also choose to customise and set up your digital audio workstation your own way by picking and choosing the hardware, software, and other music production tools you’d need. For instance, you could start with simple gear and then add CLA vocals by Waves as the software [] or use just plugins or third-party software to get the job done.

MIDI controllers

MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface -- a universal technical standard that allows for communications between physical hardware and digital audio workstations is just as important for your music production projects as a DAW is. While there are several forms and types of MIDI controllers, KeyLab 49 by Arturia has proved itself to be the MIDI controller of choice for several music production specialists.

Others in the list include (but are not limited to):

Here’s a complete list of the Top MIDI controllers best suited for music production by Audio Assemble

Studio headphones

Music producers only have two ways to listen, analyze, and work on sound output: default sound output speakers from monitors or by using a studio-level professional headphone (over-the-ear).

Choosing a headphone is the industry default since Studio monitors require substantial modifications to obtain clear sound, as their sounds are influenced by factors including the shape of the speaker, the layout of the room they are sitting in, and much much more.

Headphones provide clear sound output with calibrated output (the mids, the bass, trebles, and even those tiny sound effects). Some of the music industry choices for studio headphones are

While you do need studio headphones for listening, tuning, music analyses, and more, the ultimate choice is yours.

Studio Interface & Studio Recording Mic

One of the other important music production tools you should use is a proper audio interface which is required to translate the nuance of the acoustics into a digital audio file.

Some of the popular studio interface options available are from Fireface or Komplete Audio 1 or Audio 2.

A studio recording microphone is built to capture clear, unidirectional sound and then subsequently converted it into a digital signal. Studio microphones are usually wired, fixed-in-position microphones designed to capture audio in a studio environment, such as a recording booth. Studio microphones are either condenser microphones or dynamic microphones which are cheaper, robust, dynamic, and more affordable.

Here are some of the best Studio microphones available in the UK market

Again, music production artists have their own choices when it comes to music production tools (interfaces, MIDI controllers, studios, headphones, and software). Pick what your budget allows you (and always upgrade on as needed basis).

How does your music production tools stack look like?


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