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Recommended music production equipment 2022

Some of the most common questions I get: "what equipment do I need for music production".
I spent a lot of time researching, testing and sending back equipment before they fit my needs and quality standards.
So I have compiled a list with tools for you (to save you some time) that I will update regularly.

Sound cards

Apollo Twin One of the more professional sound cards.
Used by many producers around me
Price on Amazon
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd gen) I personally own the 2nd gen and I'm really happy with it.
It's simply the best affordable sound card on the market
Price on Amazon
RME Babyface Professional sound card with less latency due to RME's own USB drivers Price on Amazon
Audient ID14 Very good sound card with professional pre-amps. I owned one and was very happy with the sound quality Price on Amazon

Monitor speakers

Tannoy Reveal 802 Affordable speaker.
Very precise in the high end, but lacks punch in the low end.
I own these speakers
Price on Amazon

Microphones

Rode NT1 I own this recording-studio-grade microphone, the sound quality is amazing! I really really really recommend this one Price on Amazon

DAWs

Studio One I find it one of the most user friendly DAWs out there, but it might be a bit much for beginners.
A lot of processes are well thought out (except the sidechaining, which I can't get used to).
It's my DAW of choice, although it has EXTREME stability issues which Presonus blames on your plugins.
The support of Presonus is bad, really bad.
Price on Amazon

Computers for music production: recommended specs

component min. requirements example
CPU Intel Core i7 or i9 (latest generation), min 4 cores i9-10900X
Motherboard Asus Prime X299-A II
Memory 8GB min. (recommended: 16GB or 32GB) 4x8gb
Storage 1 1 TB SSD (to install windows on) A200
Storage 2 (optional) 2-4 TB Hard disk 7200 RPM (a PMR drive, NOT a SMR drive) P300
Graphics card / GPU  Onboard is enough
Power supply  600W (depending on CPU and graphics card) 600W
Screen 17" min. (27" wide screen or larger preferred) CH890
Keyboard Ergonomic / Backlit MX keys
Mouse Side scroll / horizontal scroll
Case ATX iCue 4000X

If you like advice on computers for music production, check out my article:
"best computer for music production".

Laptops for music production

budget laptops

> $500 2020 HP 15.6" Touchscreen / 10th Gen Intel Quard-Core i5 1035G1 up to 3.6GHz/ 8GB DDR4 RAM/ 512GB PCIe SSD/ 802.11ac WiFi/ Windows 10 Home Amazon
> $500 HP 15.6" Laptop, Intel Quad-Core i5-1035G1 Processor Up to 3.60 GHz, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD + 16GB Optane, Win 10 Amazon

mid-range laptops

< $1000 ASUS UX510UX-NH74 ZenBook 15 FHD UX510UX, Intel Core i7 Processor (up to 3.5GHz), 8GB DDR4, GeForce GTX 950M, 15.6" Amazon
< $1000 2019 HP 17.3" HD+ Premium Laptop | Intel Quad Core i7-8550U Up to 4.0GHz | 16GB DDR4 RAM | 512GB SSD Boot + 2TB HDD | HDMI Amazon
< $1000 HP 2019 Premium Flagship Probook 450 G6 15.6" Full HD 1920x1080 Business Laptop, Intel 4-Core i7-8565U, HDMI, Win 10 Pro, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Amazon
± $1000 ASUS ROG Strix G G731GU - 17.3" FHD - i7-9750H - NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti - 16GB - 512GB SSD Amazon
± $1000 Asus ROG G531GT 15.6 Inch FHD Gaming Laptop (9th Gen Intel 6-Core i7-9750H up to 4.50 GHz, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD, GeForce GTX 1650, RGB Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10) (Black) Amazon

If you like more advice on laptops for music production specifically, check out my article:
"best laptop for music production".

Plugins (VSTs)

  • Equalizer: PRO-Q - Simply undisputed the best equalizer/ analyzer on the market. Everything is visual and has the best tools to shape your sound
  • Compressor: PRO-L - I like the visual style of the plugin
  • Compressor: PRO-C - I like the visual style of the plugin
  • Compressor: Glue - The glue compressor is one of the best sounding compressors on the market.
  • Reverb: Pro-R / Valhalla - Valhalla is probably more popular, Pro-R is more visual.

non-recommendations

  • Midi Keyboard: CME X-Keys - I have the CME X-Keys: broken within a year. Not recommended.
  • Monitor isolation: Auralex MoPad - the isolation impact of the risers is minimal, but better than nothing for my neighbours.
  • Headphones: Sennheiser HD238 - I have Sennheiser HD238 headphones that are not able to display bass frequencies at decent volume (+ broken within no time). Not recommended.