Essential Music Production Equipment: 4 Must-Have Tools to Make a Song Like a Pro

by | Mar 22, 2023

Music Production Equipment

Do you want to make a song and wonder what music production equipment you need to start? Many professional studios are packed with a wide range of equipment for music production, and it can be confusing to figure out what you really need. Moreover, purchasing all the music production equipment found in high-end studios can be costly, and it may not even be necessary to produce a great song.

In this post, I will go over 4 pieces of music production equipment you need to get started. You can make a song faster with this equipment.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through the links, I may get a commission at no cost to you.

1. Buy a Proper Computer for Music Production

Making music has never been more accessible, thanks to the ease of access to DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) and an abundance of music production resources on the Internet. However, before embarking on the journey to make a song, it’s important to ensure that the computer you use is powerful enough to handle the demands of music production.

Whether you’re a PC or a Mac user, it’s crucial to keep in mind the minimum system requirements listed by DAW software creators when shopping for the best computer for music production. Different DAWs have varying requirements, so make sure to review them before making a purchase. Below, is a list of minimum system requirements for popular DAWs, presented in alphabetical order.

OSProcessorRAMFree Hard Drive Space
Ableton LiveWindows 10
macOS 10.13
Intel Core i58 GB8 GB to 76 GB
Apple Logic PromacOS 12.364-bit Intel Core
Apple ARM
8 GB6 GB to 72 GB
Avid Pro ToolsWindows 10
macOS 10.15.7
Intel Core i3 
M1 or i5 for Mac
8 GB15 GB
Image Line FL StudioWindows 8.1
macOS 10.13.6
64-bit Intel
Apple ARM
4 GB4 GB
Steinbeg CubaseWindows 10
MacOS 11
Intel Core i5
AMD Ryzen 
Apple ARM
8 GB1 GB to 70 GB
Minimum Computer System Requirements for DAWs

Investing in the best computer that exceeds the minimum specification is music production equipment worth investing in. A computer is an important piece of equipment for music production that allows you to focus on learning how to make a song without any technical limitations holding you back.

If you’re not sure what to look for, here is a comprehensive post about the best computer for music production to get a better understanding of key components and various recommendations.

2. Buy DAW Software

Making a song with a computer requires use of a DAW, which allows you to arrange multiple tracks together. There are a variety of DAWs to choose from and polls indicate the most frequently used are Ableton Live, Apple Logic Pro, Avid Pro Tools, Image Line FL Studio, and Steinberg Cubase. All of them are available for both PC and Mac, except for Apple Logic Pro which is only available for Mac users.

Ableton Live DAW User Interface
FL Studio DAW User Interface

The best DAW for beginners is one that offers a trial period, allowing you to try it out before making a commitment, and has tutorials that you can read or watch online. Although DAWs have similar functions, their user interfaces are different so the tutorials are not universal. As you learn to use one DAW, keep in mind that switching to a different DAW after getting familiar with another will require you to spend additional time learning how to use new software.

DAWTrial Period
Ableton Live90 days
Apple Logic Pro90 days
Image Line FL StudioNo Limit
Steinberg Cubase30 days
Avid Pro Tools30 days
Trial periods of popular DAWs

In addition to a trial period, having access to available tutorials and documentation will help you learn how to use a DAW more efficiently. Below are the number of courses available on various websites that teach you how to use popular DAW software. Ableton Live has the most courses available from three websites that offer formal instruction. Additionally, there are tutorials available on YouTube that teach how to use functions of DAWs. Image Line FL Studio has the most tutorials posted on YouTube.

Ableton Live299,000318532
Apple Logic Pro229,000138020
Avid Pro Tools11,6006810
Image Line FL Studio385,000198129
Steinbeg Cubase93,7006503
Number of tutorials and courses available for popular DAWs

I personally chose to use Ableton Live based on the number of available courses and YouTube tutorials that were available.

3. Buy a MIDI Controller

Although DAWs allow you to use a keyboard and mouse to input notes, a MIDI controller is music production equipment that will greatly speed up your ability to make a song.

If you’re looking for the best MIDI controller to greatly enhance your music production process, there are two types to consider: keyboards and pad controllers. 

If you have a background in music or understand the keys on a piano, a keyboard MIDI controller will likely be the most natural fit for you. You’ll be able to use your knowledge of piano playing to quickly input notes and chords into your DAW.

When I started, I bought a Novation MiniNova keyboard as my MIDI controller since I have experience playing piano. The keyboard is music production equipment that greatly sped up my ability to make a song.

If you prefer a more tactile approach, a pad controller may be the best MIDI controller for you. Pad controllers are particularly useful for creating drum patterns or triggering samples.

Another great benefit of using a pad controller is the ability to set the notes assigned to the pads to a specific key or scale. This is particularly useful for individuals who are new to music theory or want to experiment with different scales.

Additionally, MIDI pad controllers tend to be smaller than keyboards so they are more portable.

Investing in the best MIDI controller can streamline your workflow, improve your musicality, and provide endless creative possibilities.

So, if you’re serious about producing music, a MIDI controller is equipment for music production that is definitely worth considering.

4. Buy Studio Monitors or Studio Headphones

Investing in a proper pair of studio monitors or headphones is wise if you want to enhance your music production experience. This piece of music production equipment is a necessity in any bedroom or professional studio.

Unlike consumer speakers and headphones, which are designed to enhance certain frequencies, studio monitors and headphones are designed to produce all frequencies equally. With the best studio monitors or headphones that offer a flat frequency response, you can hear your music exactly as it was intended to sound.

This music production equipment allows you to make more informed decisions about sound levels, EQ, and other processing, as you can hear nuances of the mix with clarity and accuracy. This is especially important when it comes to mixing and mastering your songs, as you want to ensure that every frequency is present and balanced.

Choosing the best studio monitors for your music production needs will depend on various factors, such as your budget, the size of your studio, and the type of music you produce.

Some of the best studio monitors available include the Yamaha HS8, KRK Rokit 5, and JBL Professional 305P MkII. These monitors offer a flat frequency response and are ideal for producing various genres of music.

Yamaha Studio Monitor

If you need to keep the noise down or don’t have space for studio monitors, headphones are an excellent alternative. Some of the best studio headphones on the market include the Sennheiser HD 400 Pro, Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X, and Audio-Technica ATH-M70x. They are designed to offer a flat frequency response and provide accurate and detailed sound reproduction. I had a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones I previously used with turntables, so I continued to use those.

Audio-Technica ATH-M70x studio headphones

Ultimately, investing in the best studio monitors or headphones is important music production equipment that will help you create songs that sound more crisp and clear. If you want to take your music production to the next level, consider investing in a proper pair of studio monitors or headphones.


Making a song requires a combination of creativity, skill, and the right music production equipment. You can produce high-quality music from home by investing in the DAW that you feel is easiest to use, getting the best computer for music production, a MIDI controller, and proper studio monitors or headphones. With these four pieces of music production equipment, you can make a song faster.

Once you have all the essential items, you can focusing on writing music. Using tools like an AI music generator to create tracks of a song and an AI writer to create lyrics will help speed up the process.

About the Author

Jon Chen
Jon is a lawyer with more than 15 years of experience practicing law. His passion for music began when he was a child, which led him to learn how to play the piano, saxophone, trombone, and guitar. He enjoys analyzing music and helping others succeed and live a better life.