- Max Kuehn
We’re going to start this off by saying that you don’t need a high-end computer to record and edit music. You will be surprised at how much you can get done with even a mid-range desktop to save money.
Music production is a significant investment. One must consider different considerations when purchasing a computer for music production, depending on the personal preference and style. It’s best to go into the process with a clear understanding of what’s desired and needed.
Having a computer that can handle both studio work and live performance will be beneficial, as music producers can use them interchangeably without worrying about compatibility issues.
Top-Rated Best Computers For Music Production
Dell XPS 8940
Dell desktops are powerful and deceptive
The reputation of Dell’s Macbook Pro-challenging XPS range of performance laptops has been high. The XPS desktop range is expected to be a solid alternative for anyone who doesn’t want to go down the gaming PC route or doesn’t like Apple.
The Dell XPS 8940 may look unassuming above its Inspiron tier for standard desktops, but it is a good specs desktop computer that will excel in music producing. We love the four USB ports on the front, which means you don’t have to rely on hubs or dongles as much as you might otherwise.
If you want a flashy machine to show off on your YouTube videos, this is not the machine for you. The Dell XPS 8940 desktop computer is a reliable option if you are looking for a desktop that can handle renderings, plugins, and other tasks.
- For music producer, this is the right tool for you
- Support and warranty
- It’s not the most visually stimulating.
Apple iMac M1
It’s a different type of power, but it is suitable for music producing?
Apple’s all-in-one series is a classic in the color stakes. The original iMac G3 range introduced the idea that computers don’t need to be black or white. The new Apple iMac M1 lineup has brought back that playful attitude but significant changes underneath the hood.
Apple’s new M1 architecture is responsible for this, which is both good (potentially) and bad news for music producer.
Good news Logic Pro X users: Logic and M1 chips have been optimized to perfection, so your user experience is perfect. Although we would usually be apprehensive about the idea of producing tracks with 8GB RAM, the M1 range works just as well as any 16GB+ system. If your DAW isn’t fully optimized, this can be a problem.
They will still work because of the backward compatibility provided by Apple’s Rosetta software. However, you won’t get all the performance benefits. However, future-proofing is not something Apple will do. You can bet that compatibility will eventually come.
- Superb design
- It’s powerful, but with some caveats
- Quick response times
- After purchase, can’t be upgraded
HP Envy 34” All-in-One
The best desktop computer for music production
The HP Envy 34 inch is an all-in-one computer that also features a curved screen. Its ultra-wide QHD LED-backlit micro-edge monitor QHD (3440×1440) allows you to fit more information on the screen. This makes it an ideal choice for a music producer.
The computer also features quad speakers and dual passive radiators powered by Bang & Olufsen. This computer is not a tower, so it doesn’t take up much space.
It has an 8th-generation six-core Intel Core i7 processor and a 1 TB hard disk. There is also 16 GB RAM. Amazon Alexa lets you ask Alexa to check your calendar, make lists, answer your questions, play music, and control your smart home.
The keyboard and mouse include an HP Premium Lifestyle Wireless Keyboard with volume control and an optical mouse with nano-dongle. With such a large screen, this computer will allow you to multitask and make your work easier.
For producers looking for a computer that can make beats, the HP Envy 34 inch all-in-one computer makes a great choice. It is ideal for those who use their DAW often due to its speaker technology and large screen. It is highly recommended.
- Gorgeous, feature-rich 34-inch screen size
- Beautiful mid-century design
- Intel Core i7 processor is powerful
- Great sound
- Qi-compatible charging pad
- A curved screen requires some adjustments, especially when it comes to artwork.
- HP must also reimagine the bundled keyboard/mouse
- Gaming performance is limited
- No Thunderbolt 3 support
Microsoft Surface Studio 2
One of the best music production computers with touch screens.
The Surface Studio 2 by Microsoft is easily the most expensive computer on the list. But before you dismiss it, take a look at its specs. You’ll see that it’s unlike anything else on the market.
Surface Studio 2 is an all-in-one computer that has a touchscreen and is slimmer than the iMac. The Surface Studio 2 is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor. Depending on the model, you can choose between a 1 TB or a 2 TB solid-state drive. You also have 16 GB or 32 GB RAM. Surface Studio 2 uses an Nvidia GeForce GTX1060 card with 6GB of memory.
This computer is touchscreen-equipped, but it can also be folded like a tablet to be used in any orientation. It is ideal for music producers who need an all-in-one and wants to fine-tune automation. It’s the only product on the market with this level of power and versatility. The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is a must-have.
This machine is truly a beast. If I didn’t have a reliable computer, I would buy one. This thing has many uses. It would be great to record music, mix, and master, and even make beats. It allows you to create music with great detail, thanks to the touchscreen and stylus. Overall, I would say it’s an excellent computer for creating music.
- Exceptional design, build quality
- This is the best screen we have ever tested
- 28″ – 4500×3000 screen resolution
- Audio quality is strong
- Best-in-class pen support
- Amazing hinge
- For an older processor, it is too expensive
- Thunderbolt 3 is not supported
- Inconvenient port placement
- It doesn’t support hardware calibration profiles. Only the Microsoft factory calibration profiles which do not include Adobe RGB are supported.
Apple iMac 27″
This all-in-one desktop for music production.
If we made a list of the top PCs for music producing but didn’t include an iMac, there would be a lot of controversies.
This range has been the centerpiece of many a productive home studio for over a decade. It is a balance of strong design and power, and it doesn’t look alien at the corner.
The mid-range Intel i5 version has 16GB RAM and a small SSD. There are more powerful models, and some are higher than this, but this configuration is sufficient for desktop music recording.
- Incredible levels of power
- Stunning, large display
- Pros will love nano-textured glass
- The same price as last year’s model
- Great webcam!
- Refresh your design skills
- Options can cause steep increases in price
- Design is getting old
- Only two Thunderbolt ports
Apple Mac Mini
This is the best PC for music production
The Apple Mac Mini is exactly as it sounds: a mini Mac. The Apple Mac Mini is the same as an iMac but in a smaller box without a screen.
A quad-core Intel Core i3 processor powers the Mac Mini at 3.6GHz. It can also be configured to run a six-core, 3.2GHz Intel Core processor up to 4.6GHz. The minimum RAM available is 8 GB. However, it can be configured to 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB.
You can also configure the storage. The 128 GB SSD is your starting point, but you can upgrade to 256, 512, 1 TB, or 2 TB. This thing comes with an Intel UHD Graphics 630 card. The Mac mini is an excellent option for those looking for a small, budget computer.
This is the best computer for music production that you need. You can use it to make music and upgrade if you don’t like the specs. The Mac Mini is small enough to fit in a small space.
- You get more power in smaller dimensions
- Four USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports
- The 2017 iMac is fast and competitive
- New storage ceilings (2TB) and RAM (64GB).
- Space grey is a great choice
- Higher starting costs
- RAM is not technically an upgrade for the user
- No graphics capability
- Most likely, you will need a USB C or HDMI video adapter
Skytech Legacy 2070
Gaming powerhouse with plenty of power
We mentioned that there are many options for serious computing power. While many gamers prefer to build their computers, there are still plenty of ready-to-go machines available.
Skytech Legacy 2070 is an excellent example. It packs in enough specs to handle most audio/music requirements.
The all-in-one water cooling feature, which cools the CPU and fans using a liquid, was a favorite. This dramatically reduces the low-level hum from the computer, which is great for recording environments.
Get the best PC for music production to organize your recording space. Are you comfortable sitting in the best studio chairs?
- Water-cooling reduces fan noise
- Ready to use
For audio-only studios, graphics card might be too expensive
HP Pavilion 690
It’s not just for the office
It’s a Hewlett-Packard laptop, so it may not be fascinating to the brand-conscious. If you have an old laptop and want to create a desktop for home studio, you can’t go wrong with one of the high-spec models made by big names in business computing.
Although the HP Pavilion 690’s base specs aren’t very inspiring, and it won’t have flashy RGB lighting or Apple-level sheen and polish, it is a good starting point for anyone looking to upgrade.
- Great value
- Excellent specification for the price
- No integrated card reader
Lenovo ThinkCentre M720 Tower
The budget computer for music producers starting out
The Lenovo ThinkCentre Tower M720 Tower desktop computer for producing music is a solid choice. It features an Intel Core i5 six-core processor, 8 GB RAM, and a 250 GB solid-state drive for storage. It is an Intel UHD Graphics 630 card.
Although this desktop tower is priced lower than most, it can run all your DAWs, plugins, and other programs that you may need to make great music.
Although it doesn’t have a screen, the tower has 8 USB ports and multiple display connections. The ThinkCentre is an option if you need to connect to multiple screens in your studio.
The ThinkCentre Tower M720 Tower is a suitable PC for producing music. It has all you need. It’s an excellent desktop PC that is affordable for both beginners and those with a tight budget.
- The Thinkcentre by Lenovo is very light and portable.
- This device features upgraded specifications.
- This device performs very well.
- This product from Lenovo has several ports.
- This device allows for faster data transfer speeds.
- This device’s price is slightly higher than its configuration.
- External graphics cards are not supported on this device.
- This device can get a bit hot if it is left on for a long time.
- This device does not have an optical drive.
- If the user wants to use 32-bit operating system, he or she should not purchase this computer.
Apple Mac Mini M1
Apple’s smallest desktop
The Apple Mac Mini is a good option for those already part of the Apple ecosystem but needs more stability to perform your music production tasks. The 2022 iMac now offers an Intel-based option, but we have chosen the M1 model.
Although it is still technically a new platform, Apple does not compromise with its technology, so you can bet that the long-term benefits of choosing Apple’s silicone made in-house will outweigh the risks.
Although it is still the same grey square as it has been for many years, that’s what makes it so beautiful. It is small enough to hide from the view but strong enough to satisfy many musicians and producers.
- Blazing performance
- M1 chip is capable of running existing apps very well
- Under load, the unit is surprisingly quiet and cool
- Model 2018 has a significantly improved overall performance
- There are fewer USB-C ports available than the Intel model
- Unified memory tops at 16GB
- It is expensive to increase RAM or SSD capacity during a purchase.
- Post-purchase, memory is no longer upgradeable
Apple Mac Pro
This computer is Pro by name, Pro by nature
When referring to the Apple Mac Pro, the high point of consumer computing excellence, it seems silly to call it the ‘cheese grator.’ There is a resemblance, but you have to admit it.
Let’s forget about that, though, and take a look at the likely specs. It’s quite nuts. It’s a fun game. Visit the Apple website to see all the specs. The final cost was over $64,000 for a music computer.
It is safe to say that the new Mac Pro will offer more than you could ever use, and that statement will likely still be valid ten years from now. It’s nice to dream.
- Keyboard with many improvements
- Apple doubled base storage
- Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Battery life is excellent
- Graphics and computing performance are excellent
- To get the 10th-gen Intel processors, you must purchase at least the $1799 Model
- Cameras of low quality
- Limited port variety
- Wi-Fi 6 support is not available
Alienware Aurora R9
The desktop PC is now available on a planet near to you.
The most striking unit on the list, perhaps, rounds out the list. Although the Alienware Aurora R9 could have been taken directly from a destroyed spacecraft, it is a powerful and highly capable computer designed for the gaming market.
However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for producers. This machine could be for you if you enjoy playing Modern Warfare while exporting your final Ableton Live sessions.
- Beautiful design and build
- Heavyweight spec
- Not everyone likes aesthetics
Laptops vs desktops
Both desktops and laptops have their pros and cons. They also have specific uses that are best suited for certain situations. We will be focusing on the factors that distinguish desktops from laptops and vice versa.
Laptops are much more expensive than desktops. These laptops have many more components that allow them to be extremely powerful while starting at a lower cost.
Although laptops can have many more components than desktops, they are still limited in their options, making them very expensive. Because they are smaller, it is more difficult to find a laptop with higher performance.
Laptops are more portable than desktops, as they often have an extra monitor that is difficult to transport. It is not designed to be carried around, even though it is an all-in-one computer. Laptops are small and portable.
Desktop PCs are equipped with ‘bigger processors,’ which signifies that they are more powerful. This makes them more attractive for producers. You will pay a higher price for laptops with this much processor power.
Desktop keyboards are best if you need a large keyboard. Laptop keyboards can be a little more limited.
Most desktop monitors are large and can connect to other monitors or a TV screen. A laptop screen is still good quality and should be portable.
Desktops use more power because they have powerful processors. The battery life on laptops can be used to charge your own computer without the need for a power cable, while desktops require you to plug in your power cord.
It is much easier to upgrade desktops than laptops. A laptop’s RAM and hard drives cannot be upgraded, while a desktop can upgrade the graphics card and other components. The tower is also more significant than a laptop so that you can work more comfortably.
It’s easy to set up a desktop. All you need to do is plug your keyboard and screen into the tower and then plug it into the wall. It is even easier to set up an all-in-one. Plug it into the wall. Laptops are just as simple as all-in ones. They are even easier to set up if the battery life has been charged.
It is much easier to repair desktops than laptops. You can buy desktop hardware at most computer retailers. Most laptop repairs can be done by going directly to the manufacturer and ordering parts online.
How your desktop should handle music production
It cannot be obvious to understand the workings of computers. There are many features on a computer that you may not be aware of. Many people are confused about technical specifications.
Don’t worry. When selecting hardware for your music production computers, there are three things that you should be aware of.
The processor (CPU). It performs the majority of the calculations and logic operations. A decent processor is essential for modern DAWs and virtual musical instruments, which can be very intensive to use. Clock speed is the measure of processor speed.
There is more to processors than clock speeds. They can have multiple cores working together, which can double or quadruple the advertised clock speed. There is a lot of competition in the market for processors. Get the fastest processor that you can afford.
RAM: Your computer’s memory (RAM). The amount of Random Access Memory will make a big difference in your computer’s performance. RAM can be increased to improve overall performance.
However, users who depend on many plugins, tracks, or other programs simultaneously will see the greatest benefit from increasing their RAM.
This is because their memory demands may slow down the audio production process. Minimum 8GB RAM is recommended, though 16GB or more is preferred.
You will be able to edit large audio files with the 16GB RAM and facilitate multitasking.
Storage Space (Hard Drive): Large libraries of samples, tracks, and projects can quickly exhaust smaller hard drives. It is essential to have enough space to store all this information and still allow for growth. A Solid State Drive (SSD), which effectively eliminates the need to search for data and significantly reduces loading times, can be used to save time.
Before you buy, choose your DAW and operating system
You have two options when it comes to operating systems for music production: Windows PC or Mac OS. Linux can be used for some music recording, but professionals do not widely use it. Modern DAWs can be used on Windows or Mac OS.
However, if your DAW does not support cross-compatibility, you must decide which operating system to use. However, if you choose to use a DAW compatible with both OSs, it will be based on how familiar you are with the system.
How much RAM do I need for 2022 music production?
Audio tasks, despite how important RAM might seem, are quite easy on your system’s memory. For most music production processing, 8GB is sufficient. If you need to use large sample libraries to reproduce acoustic instruments accurately, 16 or 32GB may be sufficient.
Do I need an Intel Core i7 for music production?
An i7 processor is great for processing tracks that exceed 20 tracks. Assume you use a few Virtual Instruments and a small number of plugins. Maximum memory should not exceed 32 gigabytes, with 64 gigabytes being the best.
Which is better for music production: AMD or Intel?
AMD or Intel? Music production requires a fast processor. Reverb plugins, as well as heavy synthesizer plug-ins such as Serum, are extremely CPU hungry. AMD is the better choice because it beats Intel in price and performance.
Why are Apple computers better for music production?
Apple brand has had a strong presence in music production and other creative industries. Apple computers are known for their reliability, ease of use, and high performance.
There are many Apple models available today such as the Mac mini, Apple iMac Pro, Apple Macbook Pro, Apple Macbook Air. The Mac Pro is the most popular in a professional studio environment.
What specifications are required for music production?
For music production, the minimum specs of a laptop/pc are:
- Minimum 2.4Ghz quad-core processing power (i5, or i7)
- Minimum 4GB RAM
- A 64-bit operating system.
- Minimum 500GB internal storage (HDD, SSD)
- A 13” screen size.
What type of computer is required to run a DAW program?
Standard dual-core processors with 2.0 GHz should be sufficient. RAM is not the main concern for the recorder. Recordings are often temporarily stored in RAM before being written to hard drives. A DAW music software will require 1 GB RAM. This should suffice.
We hope that this article will help you decide the best computer for making music being suitable for you. If you are confused between Laptop and PC, both have their pros and cons, so what you need to decide is which benefits you think you’ll be using more. If it’s mobility and portability, then a laptop is the way to go, and perhaps the article about the best laptop for music production will be helpful for you.
However, if you like to use other devices like turntables and mixers and aren’t looking to lug that stuff around all the time, then a desktop might be the right choice for you.
Last update on 2022-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API