Producing music: tips on technical equipment- The production of their own music is a long-cherished wish for many. A lot of technology is needed to make it come true. Anyone who is just getting into the topic and toying with a home studio will find tips on technical equipment from computers and audio interfaces to headphones in this article.
Computer – powerful, quiet and fast
If you want to produce sounds, you need a powerful computer that is equipped with fast RAM and a solid processor, but also runs as quietly as possible. Under no circumstances should the computer interfere with production work with background noise. Some facts about the entry-level computer for music production:
- 8-16 GB of RAM is sufficient at the beginning.
- SSD hard drives are well suited for data storage because they are particularly fast.
- 64-bit operating systems are a must.
- A digital audio workstation (DAW) software is also required for production. In the DAW such as Ableton Live is tested, mixed and mastered. Mastering means the final processing of sound recordings.
Audio interface – connections, sampling rate and resolution
An audio interface is required so that the sound of instruments, vocals or individually recorded noises find their way into the computer. Depending on the connections available, various sound sources can be used for music production. If a microphone is to be used for recording, an audio interface with a preamplifier is important. In addition to the connection options, the sound quality is the most important purchase criterion. It is important to check the manufacturer’s information on resolution and sampling rate. “The sampling rate and resolution (bit depth) describe how precisely an analog sound wave can be digitally stored,” says the product guide below Comparison.org to the audio interface and recommends devices with a resolution of 192 kHz and 24 bit for high-quality recordings. In general, the higher the values, the higher the potential sound quality. In the mentioned product comparison by VGL Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 13 recommended audio interfaces were arranged.
Headphones are another must-have in music production. They allow working on sounds not only on the computer, but also on the move, which increases the joy of producing. It is crucial that these are special headphones that are actually designed for production. That is not something that can be taken for granted. The ATH M50x from Audio-Technica, which some professionals also use, serves as an example. Other well-known manufacturers are AKG and beyerdynamic.
In order to be able to hear, assess and perfect the digitally available sound recordings away from the headphones, loudspeakers must be connected to the computer. Quality is required here because inferior boxes can destroy the entire production. They don’t have to cost a fortune for beginners, but if you want to have fun with it right from the start, you shouldn’t save at the wrong end. It is advisable to listen to a test in order to find suitable models. For a clean and clear sound, the loudspeakers should transmit as linearly as possible. So that the music is not characterized by an overpowering bass, the size of the speakers should also be assessed critically.
With the controller, various parameters of the DAW can be operated without having to laboriously struggle through the menu with the mouse or keyboard. There are controllers that are designed for the respective DAW or that have a corresponding preset (default setting) or that can be assigned as required (MIDI mapping). A manufacturer of solid controllers is Novation Digital Music Systems Ltd. The Launch Control XL is said to have a good price-performance ratio. Details about the product under novationmusic.com.
Set up your home studio properly
Once all the necessary technical purchases have been made, these must be correctly placed in the preferred room. After all, the quality of the entire music production depends on the reproduction and perception of the sounds. Even beginners should be smart about this and at least acquire basic knowledge. Otherwise it can quickly happen that mixed tracks only sound good in a certain position, but as soon as the listening position or the audio output device is changed, the result is disappointing.