Music-making gadgets to help you pass the time

COVID-19 is making its rapid pace around the U.S., forcing millions of Americans to stay in their homes or practice voluntary physical distancing. With so much extra time in your house, you may want to pick up a new hobby or learn a new skill. For music enthusiasts (which is just about everyone), you might be interested in learning how to make your own tunes at home. We’ve got the list of what you need and some cool music-making gadgets to help you create your own beats at home.

Music-making gadgets to help you pass the time
A Man Playing Guitar Indoors

If your idea of sheltering in place includes strumming your guitar, playing the piano, or just practicing your vocal range, you may want to start creating your own music at home. Or, if you don’t play an instrument but love music, you could always just experiment making your own electric beats with some cool music-making gadgets. Either way, it’s an enjoyable way to pass the time, something you may have a lot of now.

Some of us have been on lockdown for a month or more, only seeing family and friends via video chat. As social animals, humans aren’t meant to be alone or be closed off from society and friends for long. According to the American Psychological Association, loneliness and social isolation can be twice as harmful to physical and mental health as obesity. Listening to and creating music, however, boosts executive brain function, sharpens self-esteem, and elevates mental health. So creating music is a great way to take care of yourself during these difficult days. If you’d like to try your hand at creating your own music at home, however, you’ll need the right equipment. Here are the music-making gadgets you’ll need.

Digital Music-Creation Home Setup

Digital Music-Creation Home Setup

How to build a home recording studio

So you’re interested in making your own music at home. But isn’t building your own studio a huge, expensive project? Won’t you have to go to the hardware store a few times to create the perfect setup (which you can’t exactly do now anyway)? According to E-Home Recording Studio, the answer to both questions is no. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get started on this new hobby, and the equipment you need can be quite basic. And with music creation, starting out with just the essentials is actually better. What are the essentials? These are some of the music-making gadgets you’ll need to create music at home.

You’ll need a computer

A computer is a music-making gadget that’s essential for creating, editing and recording your own music. If you’re just starting out, you can use the computer you’ve already got and you’ll be just fine. But if you already have some experience or feel like investing some money into your new hobby, you’ll want to get the fastest computer you can afford. And among music producers, the choice of computer—Mac or PC—can spark a violent debate. MusicRadar says, “When attempting to choose the best laptop for music production and audio, it’s hard to look past the elephant in the room…but put simply, you’re either a Mac person, or you’re not. If you are, your choices are pretty clear.” Here are some of MusicRadar’s suggestions for music production computers. 

Music-Recording Studio Setup

Music-Recording Studio Setup

Dell XPS 13 Laptop

The 2019 Dell XPS 13 is a slim, powerful machine with an impressive 4K display, touchscreen, and nice color options. It has an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. Witha bezel-less “Infinity Edge” display, the Dell XPS 13 is one of the most popular Windows laptops in the world. What’s more, this laptop includes many customization options. So you can design your Dell XPS 13 to be perfect for your music production needs.

Apple MacBook Pro 2019

The 13- and 15-inch Macbook Pro with Touch bar are the latest and greatest laptops from Apple. It boasts better specs than previous versions and the Touch Bar can be used for features within Logic Pro X 10.4.5. If you’re an Apple person, this is the best, most powerful laptop for music production.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

MusicRadar says this is the best computer for those who want a 2-in-1. The Microsoft Surface Pro 7is a thin device whose main goal is portability. It features an Intel i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM. It’s a premium device that can handle music and anything else you’d need it to do for work or life in general. What’s more, it boasts a full day of battery life.

Make electronic music with a DAW

EDMPROD says that you’ll need DAW (digital audio workstation) to create electronic music. Some of the most popular DAWs are Ableton Live, FL Studio, and Logic Pro (OSX only). For their part, MusicRadar believes that these are the top DAWs for 2020:

Image-Line FL Studio

MusicRadar users have voted this the best DAW and the system is compatible with both PC and Macs. It’s a good value for money workstation and with its purchase, you’ll get free upgrades for life. It’s an excellent system for EDM beginners but has a lot of pro fans too.

PreSonus Studio One

MusicRadar calls the PreSonus an “upstart” DAW that’s now playing in the big league. Like the ImageLine, it’s also suitable for both Macs and PCs. You can choose from three versions: Prime (free), Artist, and Professional. The free version also makes this DAW a great choice for beginners, since you’ll be able to try the workstation without losing any cash. The PreSonus boasts a productive workflow and a Drum Editor that’s fun to use.

Music Recorder in Black

Music Recorder in Black

Ableton Live

The top-of-the-line DAW that sets an industry standard. The Ableton Live boasts a next-level workflow with Intro, Standard, and Suite versions. It is also Mac/PC compatible. The workflow is fast and creative and includes 5000+ sounds (70+GB), 57 effects and 10 instruments. You’ll also take advantage of multitrack audio recording and MIDI sequencing of software and hardware instruments and real-time warping of audio. This feature will allow you to sync music and loops, regardless of tempo. It’s a favorite DAW of pros.

The accessories you’ll need to produce music

Other music-making gadgets you’ll need to create your own music at home are accessories: a mouse, keyboard, and monitor. Like the computer, the accessories you already have at home will do a fine job. But if you want a studio with excellent capabilities, look into products with higher specs. Some we recommend are:

Wireless Solar Keyboard by Logitech

The Wireless Solar Keyboard by Logitech. This is a solar-powered design that powers up from any light source, even the light on your desk. Once powered, you can use this keyboard at a stretch of three months. Additionally, you will not have to use this keyboard in light alone. You can also use it in the darkness once it has enough charge. Other than this, the keyboard also looks perfect with your Mac or desktop. It has a slim, minimalist design that goes with any workspace. Overall, a perfect keyboard you can use on your modern workspace.

Logitech MX Master 2S Multi-Computer Mouse

The Logitech MX Master 2SMulti-Computer Control Mouse allows you to control two computers with a single mouse, enabling you to copy and paste content between both. Combined with advanced features and a sleek design, the MX Master 2S offers impressive control, customization, and precision. In addition, the mouse uses a 4000-dpi precision sensor that works on almost any surface, including glass. The speed-adaptive scroll wheel automatically changes from click-to-click to hyper-fast scroll.

LG UltraFine 5K Display 27″ Monitor 

The LG UltraFine 5K Display will go perfectly with your MacBook. Its 27-inch monitor provides 5120-by-2880 resolution and a P3 wide color gamut. Additionally, this LG 5K display has three USB-C ports. So you can connect multiple wired accessories. The included Thunderbolt 3 cable provides up to 85W of charging power to your MacBook Pro. On top of that, this USB-C output monitor has stereo speakers, camera, and a microphone. Together, they’ll enhance your overall studio time.

Headphones that keep sound in

Other music-making gadgets you’ll need for your home studio are headphones. And the primary concern for music producers is finding a set of headphones that offer maximum sound isolation. This way, musicians can keep tabs on the headphones mix as they play without the sound entering into the mic and ruining the recording. Here are some good options:

FUSION Wireless DJ Headphones

The FUSION Wireless DJ Headphonescomes with a dual-duty cable, enabling free conversions between 3.5 and 6.3mm jacks. In addition, FUSION headphones feature an adapter-free design so you don’t need an adapter to listen to music. Utilizing Bluetooth 4.0, the headphones easily pair with other Bluetooth devices including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

A Mac Setup for Music Creation

A Mac Setup for Music Creation

Urbanears Zinken On-Ear DJ Headphones

The Urbanears Zinken On-Ear DJ Headphones isolates the noise around you so you can focus on the music. Likewise, their full-sized design makes it easier to hear the precise details of the track you’re about to play. The headphones also come with swivel ear caps, making them adaptable and comfortable. The Zinken headphones also provide a ZoundPlug, enabling you to share music in an instant. Finally, the Zinken headphones are collapsible so you can easily carry them anywhere.

It’s tough spending so much time indoors alone or with just your immediate family. With all the extra hours, though, you could learn a totally new, mood-boosting hobby: how to make your own music. These music-making gadgets will help you get there.

Meet Lauren Wadowsky

Lauren has been writing and editing since 2008. She loves working with text and helping writers find their voice. When she's not typing away at her computer, she cooks and travels with her husband and two daughters.
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