What does it take to start out?
Becoming a music producer takes a lot of grit, time, and dedication to your craft. Money, of course, is a barrier you cross in almost every path of life you take and music production is no exception to this. Today, we're going to go over some of the basic, and not so basic essentials that every producer needs to have or at least be aware of.
In one of our previous articles, we briefly covered several of the top Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) that are available for anyone to purchase online. We will go over 5 of the top DAWs and their prices in the list below as well as links to where you can purchase them.
1. Ableton Live
There are three versions of this DAW available:
Live 11 Intro - $99.00 USD or $16.50 USD/mo for 6 months
Live 11 Standard - $449.00 USD or $74.83 USD/mo for 6 months
Live 11 Suite - $749.00 USD or $124.83 USD/mo for 6 months
[Photo credit: MusicTech]
2. FL Studio
There are four versions of this DAW available:
FL Studio Fruity Edition - $99.00 USD
FL Studio Producer Edition - $199.00 USD
FL Studio Signature Bundle - $299.00 USD
FL Studio All Plugins Edition - $499.00 USD
[Photo credit: KVRAudio]
3. Logic Pro X
There is only one version of this DAW available:
Apple's Logic Pro X - $199.00 USD
[Photo credit: 9to5mac]
4. Steinberg Cubase 11
There are three versions of this DAW available:
Cubase Pro 11 - $59.99 USD
Cubase Artist 11 - $337.98 USD
Cubase Elements 11 - $99.99 USD
[Photo credit: Soudnonsound]
5. Cockos Reaper 6
There are two versions of this DAW available:
Discounted License: $60.00 USD
Commercial License: $225.00 USD
[Photo credit: Musicradar]
However, having just a DAW can only get you so far when it comes to music production. There are a few other parts and pieces that will allow you to completely be able to produce your own tracks.
It makes sense that in order to produce music and create music digitally, you would need some form of laptop or computer to use your DAWs on. Options for these are limited to a few brands such as Apple, Dell, and Razer so we will just cover the prices of these three.
Apple Macbook Pro 13"
This laptop retails for $1,299.00 USD but if you are a student you would be able to buy it for $1,199.00 USD as well as receive a pair of AirPods.
[Photo credit: LifeWire]
Dell XPS 13 OLED (2021)
This laptop retails for $1,650.00 USD or you would be able to pay $55.00 USD/mo for 36 months through their website.
[Photo credit: Review Geek]
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
One of the more expensive options for hardware, however, these laptops are heavily used in the gaming market because of their speed and efficiency. They retail for $1,699.99 USD or you could pay $107.00 USD/mo as well.
[Photo credit: Laptop Mag]
A complimentary piece of equipment to your DAWs which allows you to physically play out your chords and notes on a keyboard. Some of these instruments also have pads for drum presets to be loaded into as well as other features like looping, reverb, and modulations. We will go over the top three of our favorite midi controllers on the market now along with their prices and link to purchase.
Akai MPK Mini mk3
Akai is one of the most recognized brands when it comes to music production and their tool, the MPK Mini mk3 has everything that any producer could want when it comes to a midi controller.
This device retails for $119.00 USD and can be purchased almost anywhere online that sells production devices.
[Photo credit: Akai Pro]
Arturia KeyLab Essential 49
Another recognizable name in the music production industry, this keyboard is special because it has 49 keys and gives more options for modulations than a smaller version.
This device retails for $269.00 USD and can be purchased on their site.
[Photo credit: Arturia]
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32
This 32-key controller is smaller than the previous however it contains two touch strips on the left side you can control. You are also able to purchase the same device with 49 and 61 keys on their website.
This device retails for $139.00 USD and can be purchased on their site.
[Photo credit: Native Instruments]
Microphone and Audio Interface
Producing is great and when you're able to add your own vocals to what you create, the song becomes that much more unique. Not a singer? That's okay too because having a microphone will still allow you to record the instruments you play or any sound effects you want to record. Having a microphone opens doors for collaboration with vocal artists to come record in your studio. We will go ahead and give three of our top microphones on the market for you to buy.
Snowball by Blue
These microphones have been around for a while and their spherical shape gives them a distinct personality which is boosted by their professional sound. This device does not need to use an audio interface as it plugs in via USB.
This microphone retails for $69.99 USD and can be purchased on Blue's site.
[Photo credit: Newegg]
Rode NT1 and Scarlett 4i4 Focusrite
One of the better condenser microphones on the market, Rode as a company has been a leader in their industry. The Scarlett Focusrite is easily one of the most recognizable audio interfaces used by producers everywhere with its glossy grit red design and compatibility with most microphones.
The Rode NT1 retails for $269.00 USD and comes with a shock mount and pop filter to help condense your sound.
[Photo credit: Sweetwater]
The Scarlett 4i4 Focusrite retails for $239.99 USD and can be found on their website for purchase.
[Photo credit: Kraftmusic]
The quality of sound that headphones bring to your music is completely game-changing and technology continues to bring innovative sound-enhancing and canceling features. We will go into three of the best headphones for producers and artists, their price, and the link to purchase will be below.
Audio Technica ATH-M50X
These are stylish and have every feature a producer could want.
These headphones retail for $149.00 USD and can be found at the link below.
[Photo credit: Audio-Technica]
Focul Listen Professional Studio Headphones
A medium-priced headphones for the intermediate to high-level producer. A sleek design and velvet red look differentiate it from other headphones in the market.
These headphones retail for $299.00 USD and can be found at the following link.
[Photo credit: Focal]
SENNHEISER HD 820
Have a couple grand and not know what to do with it? These headphones can solve that issue. The third and priciest of these headphones, the SENNHEISER HD 820 matches and exceeds the monetary value by its production quality
These headphones retail for $1,790.00 USD and can be found at the following link.
[Photo credit: Headphones]
Now that you have put together a solid studio with your DAW, Microphone, Audio Interface, and Midi, you can start looking into special tools and equipment to help with your production. We will list ahead some of the extra pieces you can get for your studio as well as their prices and location for purchase.
A very underestimated piece of equipment that works to control the sound of your voice and music when you use the microphone or speaker. If you've ever looked for soundproofing online, you'll know that there are a ton of choices through many different retailers but we found one of the best deals we could find for artists or producers.
Walmart's store online has these packs of soundproofing squares:
- 12 for $15.00 USD
- 24 for $28.00 USD
- 36 for $33.00 USD
- 38 for $43.00 USD
- 96 for $64.00 USD
[Photo credit: Walmart]
You know the feeling of not ever wanting to leave the studio even if it's late at night. You probably also know the back pain you can start to feel if you're grinding hard on a project and can't leave your seat. That's why having the best and most comfortable studio chair is so important, which we believe we have found.
GT901 Gaming Chair Footrest Series
Another very recognizable name in the gaming industry, GTRacing has created a niche market of gamers and producers who love using these ultra-comfortable chairs made for long-term seating.
[Photo credit: gtracing]
Sampling Service Subscription
Sampling isn't just cool, it's what some of the biggest artists on the planet do to create their most well-known projects. Luckily, there are tons of sites with great reputations and we've gone ahead and listed three that we appreciate and recommend.
A very popular sample service that has tons of free samples, giveaways, and sound packs for purchase all conveniently on their website.
Their products range depending on which pack you want to buy. All of their products will be listed in the provided link below.
[Photo credit: Cymatics]
A website set up where artists and producers can post their samples and others can purchase them or rent samples and plugins straight from their site all royalty-free.
The range of prices varies depending on the thing you are looking for on the site and the link below will direct you to their page.
[Photo credit: Wintermusicconference]
One of my personal favorite places that I've used for a number of years. Their filtering system makes it easy to find exactly what you're looking for.
Everything you'll need from this site is completely free! :)
[Photo credit: Looperman]
In The Loop Community
We hope you've learned a bit more about potential products for you and your studio. The entire purpose of In The Loop is to connect growing artists and producers and allow them to showcase their work in a space for constructive feedback while also participating in competitions tailored to the community. Currently, we are creating our community on Discord as we finalize our application, In The Loop. We are always looking for new beta testers to help improve the application so that we can be sure to match our app to user wants and needs.
Discord: Stay In The Loop
If you enjoyed this blog post or any of our previous posts, be sure to join our Discord server which can be found at discord.gg/c7Hf3HX6Hh