We talked about digital audio workstation in the previous article. They are powerful enough for you to make tracks using nothing but your laptop. but to get more immersive production, you might consider investing on additional music production gears and equipment to make your production easier and fun. These gears are various according to the type of music you are producing. But in general, the essential gears for serious music production are:
Midi Enabled Devices
There are essentially 3 types of Midi enabled device. each of them has their own specific function to make your production more immersive. They came in various range, depending on your production needs.
A Midi keyboard controller is among the most popular Midi enabled device used by producers. they came in a form factor that represents a piano. They are useful for producers to play notes and chords, but you can also compose beats with these controllers as you could map the functions to control your digital audio workstation.
Midi keyboard controller to look for: Novation Impulse, AKAI MPK Mini, M-Audio Oxygen, Novation Launchkey.
Midi drum pads allows you to trigger midi notes and samples using your fingers. They are useful for those of you who like making hip-hop beats because the core function of a Midi drum pad mimics the functionality of analog drum pad samplers such as AKAI MPC devices. With Midi Drum pad, you are also able to perform live with it because modern Midi drum pads also allows you to trigger any sample you have on your DAW.
Midi Drum Pad to look for: AKAI MPD26, Native Instruments Maschine.
This device might be the least essential, but having a Midi Control Surface will get your home studio to the next level. Midi control surface helps you get the tactile feedback for things you do in your DAW, meaning the less you need to touch your laptop, and feel like working in a proper fully featured studio. Midi control surfaces has knobs and faders those let you control volume, pan, filters, and other parameters in your DAW. the cool thing is, you can map them according to your needs, meaning your can virtually assign those buttons, faders, and knobs on your control surface to control anything in your DAW.
Midi Control Surface to look for: Presonus FaderPort 8, Korg nanoKONTROL Studio, Behringer X-Touch.
A recording audio interface is a device that acts as headphone amplifier, studio monitor out, and instrument inputs. If you want to record vocals and electric music instruments such as digital pianos, bass, or guitar for your music production, you will need to have an audio interface to get the mic signal through your computer. Before you get an audio interface, you might consider on what kind of music you produce, if you are a solo artist/producer, 2 input audio interface would suit your need well. but if you want to record with multiple mics (for instance recording a whole drum set), it will require you to have at least 8 input.
Audio Interfaces to look for: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Presonus Audiobox USB, Steinberg Ur44, and Apogee Duet.
Words by: Najmi Ismail