Best Laptops for Music Production
When it comes to music production, having the right tools is essential. This includes having a powerful laptop that can handle audio processing software. A reliable music production laptop should have a high-quality audio interface, a fast processor, sufficient storage, and an adequate amount of RAM.
There are many laptops available on the market that claim to be good for music production, but not all of them are. In this guide, we will explore the bestselling laptops for music production in 2021 based on their features, performance, and user reviews.
Whether you are a professional music producer or a home-based audio enthusiast, having the right laptop can make all the difference in producing high-quality audio. So, let’s dive in and find the right music production laptop for you!
Processor and RAM
A powerful processor and sufficient RAM are essential features of an excellent music production laptop. The processor runs software and plugins, while RAM allows the laptop to handle multiple tasks at the same time without freezing or crashing.
For music production laptops, we recommend processors with at least four cores, such as Intel Core i5 or i7, or AMD Ryzen 5 or 7. These processors offer enough power to handle complex audio processing tasks.
RAM is recommended at 8GB, but for maximum performance, 16GB or more is ideal. This will ensure that your laptop can handle multitasking while running multiple audio processing software and plugins without lag or delay.
Keep in mind that having a more powerful processor and more RAM comes at a higher cost. However, it is worth the investment if you’re serious about music production.
Music production requires a lot of storage space, especially if you work with high-resolution audio files. When choosing a laptop for music production, opt for one with at least 512GB of storage or more.
Storage can be in the form of a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD). SSDs are faster and more reliable than HDDs, but more expensive.
We recommend an SSD if your budget allows, as it will help your laptop boot up and run software faster. But if you need more storage space than an SSD offers, consider getting a laptop with both an SSD and an HDD. This is where the SSD is the main driver for the operating system and software, and the HDD is used for additional storage.
A dedicated graphics card is not essential for music production as most audio processing takes place in the processor and RAM. However, a graphics card can be helpful when handling video production or running plugins that require graphics processing, such as visualizers.
If you’re planning to work in video production or visualizers, consider a laptop with a dedicated graphics card. We recommend a graphics card from NVIDIA or AMD with at least 2GB of VRAM or more.
It’s also worth noting that having a dedicated graphics card would increase the overall price of the laptop. It may not provide significant performance benefits for audio processing tasks. Therefore, if you’re on a tight budget, you can opt for a laptop with integrated graphics.
Music production does not require a good display as much as other features like a processor and RAM. However, a high-quality display can improve your workflow and make it easier to see your work.
We recommend a display with a resolution of at least 1080p or higher, as this will provide a clear and detailed view of your work. 15 inches or larger screens are ideal for music production. However, if you need a more portable laptop for on-the-go music production, a 13-inch screen could work.
Additionally, a laptop with an IPS (In-Plane Switching) display would be ideal as it provides better viewing angles and color accuracy than a TN (Twisted Nematic) display.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that laptops with touchscreen displays can be useful for controlling music production software through touch inputs. However, this feature is not essential.
Audio interfaces connect your laptop to sound devices, such as microphones, speakers, and headphones. It is essential for high-quality audio recordings.
Some laptops come with a built-in audio interface, but these may not be the most reliable for high-quality audio. Therefore, we recommend purchasing an external audio interface that connects to your laptop through USB or Firewire.
When selecting an audio interface, look for one that has the necessary inputs and outputs for your equipment. For instance, if you plan to record vocals, you need an audio interface with a microphone and preamp.
There are many audio interfaces available on the market, and their price and quality vary significantly. Consider your budget, and recording needs, and read user reviews before purchasing an audio interface.
The two main operating systems for laptops are Windows and macOS, and both are capable of handling music production tasks.
Windows laptops are more versatile and offer a wider range of hardware options. This makes it easier to find a laptop that fits your budget and specifications. Additionally, Windows laptops are compatible with a broad range of third-party plugins and software.
On the other hand, macOS is known for its stability, ease of use, and wide use in professional music production environments. MacOS also integrates well with Apple’s other products like iPhones and iPads.
Ultimately, operating system choice comes down to personal preference and budget. Most music production software and plugins are available for both operating systems, so it’s essential to choose an operating system that you know and can work comfortably with.
When it comes to music production, having a long-lasting battery life may not be a priority because most professionals work on their laptops while connected to an external power source. However, having decent battery life is essential for musicians who work on the go or travel frequently.
Battery life generally varies depending on laptop specifications and use. Laptops with more powerful processors and dedicated graphics cards tend to have shorter battery life than those with less powerful specs.
When selecting a laptop for music production, consider a machine with a battery life of at least 6 hours or more. However, remember that laptops with a higher battery life tend to be more expensive.
Additionally, some laptops come with power-saving modes, which can extend their battery life. These modes usually reduce screen brightness, processor power, and other features to save energy.
There are many brands of laptops available suitable for music production. However, some brands are more popular among music producers due to their high-quality features, reliability, and performance. Here are some of the most popular brands of music production laptops:
Apple MacBook Pro
Apple laptops are commonly used in professional music production environments because they provide performance, stability, and the macOS platform. The MacBook Pro is one of the most popular models among musicians.
The Dell XPS series is known for high-quality displays, powerful performance, and portability. Dell laptops provide exceptional value and are popular among amateur and professional musicians.
HP Spectre laptops are known for their sleek designs, fast performance, and long battery life. If you are looking for a lightweight and portable laptop, these are an excellent choice.
Lenovo ThinkPad laptops are durable, high-performance machines popular among business professionals and IT departments. The ThinkPad series provides excellent performance and robust security features, making it an excellent choice for music production.
Asus ZenBook laptops are thin and lightweight, making them easy to carry around while traveling. They are known for their fast performance and high-quality displays, making them an excellent choice for musicians who want both power and portability.
Ultimately, the brand you choose is determined by your personal preferences and budget. Choose a brand that aligns with your needs and offers superior performance in your budget range.
Choosing the right laptop for music production requires careful consideration of several key factors such as Processor, RAM, Storage, Graphics Card, Display, Audio interface, Operating System, and Battery life.
While there are many laptops available that claim to be effective for music production, not all laptops are created equal. Therefore, we recommend extensive research and user reviews before purchasing.
Ultimately, the most suitable laptop for music production is the one that meets all your requirements while fitting your budget. By prioritizing the essential features and knowing what to look for, you can find a laptop that supports all your music production needs.
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What’s the minimum RAM recommended for music production?
The minimum recommended RAM for music production is 8GB. However, it’s better to have 16GB or more if you can afford it.
Do I need a dedicated graphics card for music production?
A dedicated graphics card is not essential for music production. However, it can be helpful when running plugins that require graphics processing or video production.
Can I use a laptop for music production, or do I need a desktop?
Laptops are an excellent choice for music production as they are portable and you can take them wherever you go. However, desktops tend to be more powerful and provide better performance due to their larger size and cooling systems.
Is macOS better than Windows for music production?
Both macOS and Windows are capable of handling music production tasks. MacOS is known for its stability and simplicity and professional use. However, Windows-based laptops tend to offer more hardware options and compatibility with third-party plugins and software.
Can I add an external audio interface to my laptop?
Yes, you can add an external audio interface to your laptop through USB or Firewire, and it is recommended if you want high-quality audio recordings.