Modern music production is truly mind-bogglingly excellent. You can fit an entire studio’s equipment into nothing more than the software on a home computer. You can create a whole album anywhere, from your basement to your bedroom to a shed in the woods. But the one thing you’ll need to do all of this is some real computing power.
Running your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and all of its plugins, virtual instruments, imported clips and samples, interfacing with audio peripherals, and everything else that comes with music production can put quite a strain on your computer’s processor and memory.
Quicklook – Top Desktop Computers For Music Production
- Dell XPS 8930 Tower Desktop PC
- Acer Aspire Desktop TC-780-UR12
- Apple iMac
- HP Envy Curved All-In-One Computer
- Apple iMac Pro
- Apple Mac Pro
From creating musical scores in movies to orchestrating sound systems for live events to designing beats for songs, audio engineers focus on the science behind the art of music, many of which attend the best audio engineering schools. Possible career pathways include a recording engineer, sound designer, creating video game audio content, television show scoring, location recording, live sound reinforcement, and audio system maintenance. Choosing the right music degree can help determine where to take your music career and what school to select.
The iMac is one of the most popular among music producers. It offers a sleek and powerful setup and is built to maximize space. The miniaturization of computer technology has allowed producers to make music on portable devices like laptops and even smartphones (in a limited capacity,) but the king of music production remains the desktop computer. Let’s look at what goes into a quality desktop for music production.
What Your Desktop Needs To Handle Music Production
Computers can get a little confusing once you get under the hood. Even on the surface, there are many features you might be wondering if you need. But when it comes to technical specifications, many find themselves lost completely. Not to worry. When selecting hardware for your music production desktop, you need to look out for three primary things.
- Processor (CPU): Your processor is the essential part of your computer. It does the vast majority of the work calculating and performing logic operations. Because modern DAWs and virtual instruments can be pretty intensive to run, you’ll want a decent processor. Processor speeds are measured in clock speed. However, there is more to processors than clock speeds, as they can have multiple cores working in sync, which can effectively double or quadruple the advertised clock speeds. The market for processors changes quite rapidly. Always get the fastest processor you can afford.
- Memory (RAM): The amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) will significantly impact your computer’s performance. Increasing the amount of RAM can improve general performance. Still, users who rely on large numbers of plugins, tracks, or other programs running simultaneously will benefit the most from increasing their RAM and may find it necessary as their demands for memory bog down the production process. We recommend a minimum of 8GB of RAM, but 16GB or higher is preferable.
- Storage Space (Hard Drive): Large libraries of samples, tracks, projects, and other media can quickly max out smaller hard drives. You’ll want something reasonably spacious to accommodate this and give yourself room to grow. You can also save time in loading, saving, and rendering tracks by opting for a Solid State Drive (SSD), which substantially reduces loading time by eliminating the need for the disk to seek data.
Choose Your DAW and Operating System BEFORE You Buy!
For music production, your options for an operating system are either Windows or macOS. You can produce music with Linux, but professionals cannot utilize the options. Most modern DAWs are cross-compatible on both Windows and macOS; however, if your DAW is not cross-compatible, the decision for which operating system to use is more or less set in stone. Suppose you find yourself opting for a DAW compatible across both operating systems. In that case, you are more or less free to choose which operating system you prefer based on your familiarity and comfort with the system.
Desktop vs Laptop For Music Production
Laptops are popular among producers for their ability to work on the go and their utility as an integral part of some live performances. This latter aspect is critical. You’ll want to look into laptops if you need to utilize your computer as part of your live performance act.
However, if portability is a non-issue, there are many benefits to getting a nice desktop. The first and foremost is the price. Dollar for dollar, you will get much more capable hardware when you purchase a desktop over a laptop. The second thing you get with a desktop is power. Unlike notebooks, where everything has to be miniaturized to fit into a portable form factor, the desktop can be as beefy as it needs to be. You’re limited only by the latest and greatest technology available on the consumer market. You can get far more power out of a top-of-the-line desktop than any comparable laptop. Finally, you have repairability. Laptops can be tricky to fix, requiring specialized parts or repairs that repair shops or manufacturers can only perform.
Consider Assembling Your Own Desktop
While it might not be for everyone, you can save as much as several hundred dollars on your desktop purchase by assembling the parts yourself. This requires a little effort and know-how, but it’s nothing you can’t figure out how to do with an afternoon searching the web and watching videos on YouTube.
Modern desktop computers can be surprisingly easy to put together, consisting of little more than a few wires, screws, and parts which snap together like Legos. Perhaps a little trickier than the assembly is picking the right pieces. You’ll need to cross-check everything for compatibility, but some online tools can help you with this. However, the ability to pick every part yourself is an excellent opportunity to save even more money and create a completely custom computer suited to your needs.
While the full details of assembling your desktop are well outside the scope of this article, it is a great way to save hundreds of dollars, get an excellent music production desktop, and learn a thing or two about computers along the way.
Best Music Production Desktops – Our Top Picks
1. Dell XPS 8930 Tower Desktop PC
This Dell XPS is a pretty unassuming-looking tower. But all you need to do is fire it up to be impressed with its performance. Packing more than enough power to handle even the most intense home music producer’s demands, this Dell does it all for an impressively low price.
You get an Intel Core i7 processor featuring six cores that clock up to 4.6 GHz, backed up with 16GB of RAM and a massive 2 Terabyte hard drive for storage. As a bonus, you also get a powerful 4GB Nvidia GeForce 1050Ti, which means you have plenty of processing power on standby when you’re ready to switch gears to video editing or unwind with a gaming session.
This is an excellent option if you want a classic desktop tower you can pull straight out of the box and put to work producing your latest track. It’s reliably built, easily serviced, and has the hardware to tackle most production projects. Plus, it won’t break the bank.
2. Acer Aspire Desktop TC-780-UR12
If you’re on a severe budget but still want a computer that can muscle its way through some music production, this Acer Aspire desktop will get the job done. It’s got an Intel Core i7 processor that clocks up to 4.2 GHz with four cores. 16GB of RAM and a 2TB SATA hard drive provide memory and storage.
This Aspire lacks a graphics card, instead relying on the motherboard’s integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 chip. This helps keep Aspire’s price tag in the budget range and is enough for most music production efforts. However, it makes this Acer a little less versatile than some slightly-more-expensive machines.
This is a decent way to get yourself a desktop that will handle music production demands without choking.
3. Apple iMac
You pay a premium for their operating system and design whenever you go with Apple. Though true that you could find a desktop with better specs at a lower price, the iMac has a certain appeal that most mass-produced desktops lack. If you’re hoping to use macOS, the options for Apple desktops are somewhat limited, with the iMac being a front-runner.
One drawback music producers might find is the iMac’s limited number of ports for adding peripherals. However, this can be corrected with accessories.
4. HP Envy Curved All-In-One Computer
If you like the all-in-one design of the iMac we looked at above but aren’t so fond of its price tag — or if you prefer Windows — this HP Envy might be the machine for you. The centrepiece of the Envy is the utterly massive 34″ curved screen. In addition to looking stunning on any desk, the curved design provides a very immersive viewing experience. Plus, the generous screen size offers plenty of space for running your favourite DAW, where screen space is always at a premium. Perfect for getting lost in the music!
Like the iMac, the Envy is an all-in-one design, but instead of sticking everything in the screen, most of the Envy’s hardware sits in the small black box at the base of the monitor. Inside that box, the Envy is running a quad-core Intel i7 that clocks up to 2.90Ghz, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive backed up by a 1TB traditional hard drive, and a 4GB AMD Radeon RX 460 graphics card.
While you could find better specs for the same or lesser price in a desktop tower, this is not a bad deal when you factor in the inclusion of the massive 34″ screen.
5. Apple iMac Pro
The Apple iMac Pro is a significant leap upward in performance compared to the standard iMac.
With the upgrade to an iMac Pro, you’ll get more storage with 1TB SSD and incremental improvements with graphics, processing power, and improved graphics.
The most striking aspect is the style of this machine; with the space grey sleek feel and the matching keyboard and mouse, it indeed looks professional.
That said, starting at $4,700, with almost a $3,000 increase in price, it may be hard to justify the higher cost.
If part of your music production involved editing work or video production, then the iMac Pro may warrant more consideration. With up to 18 cores available in an iMac, you can make every pixel count without compromise.
6. Apple Mac Pro
If you’re after macOS on a desktop but not interested in the all-in-one style of the iMac, the Mac Pro is your best bet. The Mac Pro does away with the vast fancy display of the iMac instead of focusing entirely on putting some serious hardware into an incredibly unique and eye-catching form factor. Indeed a desktop tower like no other, the sleek black curves of the Mac Pro are sure to raise a few eyebrows.
Inside this space-aged-looking device, we find a 6-core Intel Xeon processor with clock speeds up to 3.5GHz, 16GB of RAM, and an ultra-fast 256GB Flash memory solid-state drive. You also get AMD FirePro D700 graphics cards, each loaded with 3GB of VRAM.
As we pointed out before, with the iMac, getting the same or better specs for the same or better price is possible if you opt for a Windows PC. But for those committed to sticking with macOS, this is a serious machine that can tackle just about anything you want to throw at it.
Find A Desktop Which Unlocks Your Creativity
With the proper hardware, software, and production know-how, you can make professional-quality records from the comfort of your home. Don’t skimp on your music production desktop’s hardware! It might not be as exciting or flashy as a new instrument, but it could go much further in the quality of music you create than something you get to show off on stage.
Always remember: get the best processor (CPU) your budget will allow. Your processor is the most vital part of hardware in music production. The second most important factor is the RAM. If nothing else, optimize your music production desktop to maximize processor speed and RAM.
Author’s Opinion regarding the Best PC For Music Production
The Best PC For Music Production has compelling features while considering the security purpose. Priority is very high. No VPN or RDP is required for the said purpose. In some cases, the emulator also working fine, and middleware software also has a vital role in smooth functioning. Therefore, the author recommended the Best PC For Music Production for your personal use and has no issue regarding the installation on a PC (Windows and Mac). I hope you also use it without any trouble; if you have any problems, please mention them in the email, and we will provide you with proper solutions. Please like and share with others; we made a lot of effort while collecting the software for your download.