5 Must-Have Music Production Tools
Before you don the hat of a music producer, know that it will be a lifelong process.
Music production is a dynamic process with no absolute rights or wrongs – you’re either going to create and shape the sound your client (or yourself) wants, or you’re not. An inherent asset you must have though – which can’t be bought – is your creativity and technical understanding of making music that sells.
Once you’ve done your research, let’s proceed to our short list of 5 essential tools for music production.
Got all your instruments on board and ready to record? Great! Getting them digitally into the computer might be a tricky task though, you’ll need to transmit the sounds through a bridge: Your audio interface. Once plugged in to your computer, your audio interface acts as your sound card.
It will enhance the quality of your incoming sounds and give you control over digital signal. You’ll also be able to remove any unwanted noise.
When you first get started, curb the investment and start with a basic entry-level device. Anything with at least two inputs should get the job done. One for the microphone, one for the instrument. Make sure you check the system requirements and compatibility with your computer.
After you’ve plugged in your audio interface, it’s time to shop for a microphone to record your vocal and acoustic instruments. You’ll get a decent microphone with an above-decent quality easily nowadays.
Define your purpose, then find the mic. that suits it. Some microphones such as condensers are great for vocals, while others are optimized to record instruments. You may need more than one type for your project.
Sensitivity is an area you must be aware of. How sensitivity must your mic. be?
If you are recording in a noise proof environment, a high sensitivity one could be recommended; but for home recording sessions, go for ones which eliminate background noise best.
Go for the most user-friendly an inexpensive but versatile one for testing waters.
Once you’ve got your input, start considering your output options. You need to hear your recording playback clearly to make the right decisions about what ‘sounds’ qualify. Therefore, get a good pair of headphones and monitors.
Opt for studio monitors, one that does not color your sound and provides a clear representation of what has been recorded. 1:1.
An alternative and economical move is to get yourself good quality flat headphones.
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
The Digital Audio Workstation is your next step. This is going to be the interface/software where your sounds will be arranged. A good powerful one can make all the difference in the world. Demo the interface that suits you best – or do get familiar with one. This will take time before you know the in’s and outs.
If you don’t want to invest a big chunk right away – try Reaper which has a free full version available for testing.
Now that most of year gear are lined up – we can produce with capturing the sounds you want on your track.
If you’d like to do it like the pros, get yourself a MIDI controller. Simply put, MIDI controllers help you control everything that is going in your software physically.We recommend ones by Novation or M-Audio for as they’re more affordable – and they get the job done.
Controllers allow you to control and program virtual instruments, so you can achieve high quality sounds from instruments such as the grand piano, without recording from the piano itself.
Start with these 5 fundamental tools then work your way up. Whatever you drop your money on, make sure it’ll produce exactly the sound you need.