Music production is no longer only for those with top-of-the-range hardware and endless space. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) are available for every operating system, and many are even free. However, you need a suitable computer to go along with that software.
If you are serious about music production, you’ll want to get a machine well suited to it. Here are eight computers for music production for every budget.
Best Desktop PC for Music Production:
Lenovo ThinkCentre M710 SFF
Lenovo is known for its solid computers across the board. Their ThinkCentre range has always been a firm favorite of music producers due to their reliability, highly customizable setups, and focus on power over graphics.
Almost any computer in the ThinkCentre line will be suitable for music production, but an SSD is advisable, and 16GB RAM will let even power users breeze through most tasks. This model is the SFF variant, which comes in a more compact case without sacrificing any speed.
Best Laptop for Music Production:
Asus ROG 17.3″ Gaming Laptop
Good music production laptops don’t need top of the line graphics, so what is an Asus Republic Of Gamers (ROG) laptop doing on this list?
Well, frankly, this laptop will do everything you need. It has a blisteringly fast CPU, plenty of RAM, and crucially, a 17.3-inch FHD screen. Being able to see everything in your project is almost as essential as running your programs without any slow down. The ROG Strix Scar Edition will cover all bases for a truly portable production powerhouse.
Of course, the graphics capabilities of this laptop are overkill for music production, but a little Fortnite after a hard day’s composing never hurts!
Best Budget Desktop for Music Production:
Acer Aspire TC-780 Desktop
The nature of desktop computers means that building your own is usually the most budget-conscious way to go. That said, the Acer Aspire TC-780 Desktop makes a solid case for pre-built budget desktop computers.
The baseline model’s Intel Quad-Core i5 7400 processor will comfortably run any DAW smoothly, and the standard 8GB RAM will handle everything thrown at it (except Pro-Tools, which requires 16 GB of RAM).
Best Budget Laptop for Music Production:
ASUS VivoBook F510UA 15.6”
At this price, the ASUS VivoBook is not just a contender for best budget music production laptop; this might be the best bang for your buck laptop available right now.
The 8th Generation i5 processor and 8GB of RAM should handle all but the most intensive tasks. A 15.6-inch FHD screen is a good size for portable music making. The wide range of ports are perfect for peripherals, and a USB 3.1 Type-C port is a nice addition on such a budget-friendly machine.
If you can stretch the budget a little further, opt for the 128GB SSD. It’s the perfect size for storing your programs and projects, and will make a massive difference to the device’s speed and performance.
Best Apple Desktop for Music Production:
While many would say that the best Mac desktop would be the Mac Pro, it is arguably excessive for music production alone. In reality, the Apple iMac will do everything you need, and save you a few thousand dollars.
In days gone by, Apple computers were the undisputed kings of music production. However, there are still many reasons to consider them. By far the biggest reason is Logic, a Mac-specific Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
The latest iMacs come with many options, but the main thing to look out for is an 8th-Generation processor running at 3.0GHz or above. Beyond that, much of it is down to personal preference.
Best Apple Laptop for Music Production:
Apple MacBook Pro
Perhaps unsurprisingly, if you want a portable Apple music production machine, it’s not going to be cheap.
That said, the latest line of MacBook Pro laptops from Apple are more than up to the job. The featured model has an 8th gen 6-core i7 processor, and 16GB of RAM, making it more than capable of handling intensive tasks.
One unexpected benefit of the MacBook Pro is the Touch Bar. You can use it to scrub through songs, change volumes, and add effects. You can even turn it into a Midi Controller for triggering samples.
Best Linux Laptop for Music Production:
Purism Librem 15
Purism make beautiful laptops. When we reviewed the Purism Librem 13, we loved its power, sleek looks, and security conscious hardware specifications. For Linux music producers, the Purism Librem 15 is an even better option.
Linux as a music production platform receives neglect, but it is more than capable and has some incredible free production software.
The Librem 15 can handle up to 32GB of RAM and is powered by an Intel Core i7 7500U CPU. There’s even an opportunity to customize the internal storage when ordering the Librem 15, up to an enormous 2TB SSD.
Best Computer for Music Production:
Rok Box MC X
For an all-out beast of a music computer, look no further than Rok Box MC X. It’s impossible to quantify exactly how powerful any given Rok Box is, as they are all fully customizable at purchase. They start at $1799, which gets you dual quad-core i5-7600 3.5GHz processors together with 16GB RAM, along with several large drives.
All it takes is a few clicks through the configuration page, and you could be looking at a rack-mounted $7300 monster with 18 Intel i9 cores and 128 GB of RAM. You may find that setup to be a little too intense though.
These machines are clearly high-end hardware which will probaby be unnecessary in most cases. However, what they do provide is a level of customization than no-one else does. If you know you want the absolute best and you plan to use this machine for heavy studio use every day, Rok Box has you covered.
Like Music to Your Ears
It’s nice to know that it doesn’t need to cost the earth to get a decent music production rig. You’ll be even happier to hear that there is some fantastic free music production software that’ll save you even more cash.
While this list covers every type of computer suited to music creation, if you want portability, you should check out our suggestions for the perfect music production laptop.