The art and science behind producing music has seen some tremendous upgrades over the past few decades – right from the analog era to what we call now as the digital era. With more and more technology being looped into the art, and with many options being made available to the common man, music production has become one of the most sought after careers in the world.
But, what if you are still new to the art of producing music? Where do you start? What do you need? How much does the complete setup cost? These questions might have boiled your brains already. Well, stay back and relax as you have come to the right place.
Here is what you need to start producing some awesome music right from the comfort of your bedroom.
PS: Not all the gadgets mentioned below are compulsory. Please feel free to skip or select based on your needs.
MacBook Pro / PC with a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation): The big debate between Macintosh and Windows is going on for years. But, based on my personal opinions and experience of working on both of these, I would always cast my vote to Apple Macintosh paired with Logic Pro X.
While this DAW costs around INR 20,000, you can always choose GarageBand that comes free of cost with your Mac device or iPad. Apart from these two DAWs, you can choose from a wide variety of options including FL Studio, Studio One, Pro Tools, Cubase, and Ableton Live to name a few.
It is, however, recommended to have at least 8 GB of RAM on your system before you move forward to make music. Trust me, it consumes RAM like hell!
USB Interface, Headphones and a Microphone: There are endless options in the market that cater to specific needs. However, my personal favourite has been Focusrite, mainly because of their mind-boggling quality and the fact that they do not make your wallet cry!
You can choose Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio 2nd Gen USB Audio Interface and Recording Bundle which is a combo pack offered by Focusrite with a price tag of around INR 20,000. It includes a USB Interface, Condenser microphone, and an over-the-ear headphone. The microphone that comes in this pack is capable of recording great quality audio and the headphone is simply perfect for decent audio production and mixing. Cables are of great quality and the interface is powered by USB which makes it easy to use.
Another personal choice of mine is the pair of mixing headphones offered by Ollo Audio. My latest songs including Ade Beeru, Faith, Hope & Love, and Meri Dua have been mixed by my sound engineer Tom Hellsten using this masterpiece. Dubbed as Play2Me, it comes with a Tactile subwoofer – BSE Body Sound Experience Pillow and a powerful amplifier.
Musical Keyboard: You would always appreciate having a midi input device to ease your music production process. There is no better option than a MIDI enabled keyboard from either Casio, Yamaha, M-Audio, or even Roland. Nowadays, you even have ROLI Seaboard in the market.
I currently have a CASIO 6300 IN with Indian instrument presets and sound banks. This keyboard has key touch sensitivity which allows me to play it pretty much like a Grand Piano. And, the best part is, it is affordable. I also have a portable midi controller, AKAI Pro 25-Key USB Keyboard, which costs around INR 4000. You can always go for this dirt-cheap option if you are traveling a lot.
While these three gadgets are the basic needs, you may also consider the below given ones based on your budget and requirement.
Studio Monitors: While you can produce music using headphones, having studio monitors offers you a couple of added advantages. Firstly, your ears will thank you. And then, you can use it for mixing and mastering your compositions thanks to the flat response nature of these special speakers.
My personal preference for a small home studio (beginner level) is PreSonus Eris E3.5 2-Way Active Speakers: This pair of 3.5-inch studio monitor speakers has played a great part in my music production. They play a pivotal role in my small home studio setup where I produce my songs. They are not too big, light in weight, and affordable, while the output has been satisfactory.
However, if you have a larger space, then I would recommend a 5 inch or an 8 inch model of the same pair of speakers.
Guitar: Who doesn’t want to look cool with a guitar? Well, apart from that, it is definitely a great music instrument to work on chord voicing for your melodies. The prices for this beautiful music instrument depends on makers, however, the entry level variants can be found for around INR 3,000.
iPad: This portable & easy to carry tablet from Apple with 128 GB internal storage makes it a perfect on-the-go music production gadget. We are, infact, seeing this being used among the industry level professionals on a daily basis nowadays. Cubasis and GarageBand work perfectly great in this, and so do other professional apps like GeoShred, AudioBus 3, Maschine, etc. The price tag for iPad starts from around INR 23,000.
Acoustic Foam Panel: While we are being overwhelmed with technology these days, it is obvious that music can be produced even from your bedroom. However, to record some decent and studio quality vocals, you need to make some changes to the room. You would need some acoustic foam panels hung around the walls to avoid reflections bouncing off them. These may cost around INR 500 for each 2 x 2 ft panel.
Mic Stand and Shield: It wouldn’t obviously sound nice if you record vocals holding microphone in your hand, would it? This is where mic stand comes into the picture. And, as far as shield is concerned, it helps you in omitting those audio reflections from your sound being recorded. This, when paired with acoustic panels mentioned above, will drastically improve the sound quality. You can buy a basic mic stand for around INR 2,000 and a vocal shield for somewhere between INR 15,000 and INR 25,000.
Now that you know what you need to start producing music, you can go ahead and click on the links to purchase them. Happy music making!