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How to Choose a Laptop for Music Production

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Even if you are, or plan to be, a producer with a home recording studio with a dedicated music production office, a laptop will remain an essential tool for you.

A laptop for a music producer or a musician is his portable studio. You can record, mix and compose anywhere. You can go to remote locations, capture recordings, ideas, and use it as your DJ laptop for events. If you are still traveling, you are not attached to a place by a desktop computer.

Laptop for Music Production
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Music Production Notebook Requirements

Here’s the main criteria to consider when choosing the best laptop for music production.

  1. Storage capacity
  2. Size of the RAM
  3. Processing power
  4. Ports
  5. To the test of time
  6. Operating system version
  7. Budget

Criteria to look for in a laptop for music production

Storage capacity

We believe you need a hard drive of at least 256 GB. 500 GB suitable and 1 TB is ideal. But realistically, aim for 512 GB SSD (Solid State Drive). A SSD has advantages in music production for more than one reason.

Since SSDs are essentially flash memory, you will not have a lot of latency when loading your sample libraries and pro audio plugins (a process that can take even minutes on typical hard drives). ). But also and most importantly, if you plan to use your laptop in production, the vibration of the bass would be disadvantageous for the mechanism of your hard drive.

The reason we insist on a large hard drive is that, in the field of audio recording or the use of samples in your productions and compositions, the size of the files can become a problem. We prefer not to limit you to that. This is an area where it is good to start bigger than smaller.

Memory size

This allows the data to be stored and accessed quickly. If you’re in a creative flow, you do not want to hear a lot of pop and bugs in your music. A decent amount of RAM will help you with that.

Our suggestion is 8 GB. 6 GB, that’s fine. Many sources say that 4GB is recommended, but in our opinion and according to our experience, this is the basic level and really unacceptable.

Processing power

Processors are what allows your computer to handle multiple tasks at the same time. If you’re doing home recording, a typical low cost laptop should be able to handle that. But if you record multiple tracks for a basic mix, while having a few plug-ins running, you’ll need a slightly more powerful processor.

Our suggestion for processors is the Intel i5 or i7 quad-core series. AMD A10 quad cores are also sufficient. Try to stay away from dual-core processors.

Ports

The recommendation here is to get 2 or more USB ports, an HDMI port and a Thunderbolt port. Audio interfaces, MIDI controllers, control surfaces, and external hard drives all use USB and Thunderbolt ports, so the more you have, the better.

Note: Thunderbolt makes USB ports of laptops more and more obsolete. This is particularly the case when it comes to music production laptops. Therefore, acquiring a laptop with Thunderbolt connectivity and an audio interface that can support it should be your priority.

To the test of time

This is mainly related to the types of RAM and processors. That’s why we recommend 8GB of RAM and a more powerful processor. Software is constantly evolving and improving, you want to make sure that your laptop will be able to handle new versions of OS, MAO, drivers, plug-ins, and so on.

Operating system version

You want one of the latest versions of the OS available, at a minimum, the upgrade option. Software for music creation is updated to match operating system specifications in later versions to the latest versions, providing a better overall experience if you are not on an outdated machine.

Budget and cost

This is naturally one of your biggest considerations. You do not need to spend a ton of money on a laptop if you intend to become a producer. It is quite possible to buy a laptop at the lower end of the range of 500 to 1000 euros and use it to produce excellent music, DJ, or disc.

However, some readers will find that a higher budget laptop is preferable. And it is, if you can afford it. But your plan is to know how much you can budget for a laptop, considering that you need a digital audio workstation, an audio interface, studio headphones and a microphone as your bare necessities.

Check out this interesting infographic below

Laptop for Music Production
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