For modern producers, the laptop is an important part of any music production studio.
You utilize a laptop to run your DAW where you make, record, mix and master your tracks.
Nothing is more frustrating than getting a perfect take only to find that your pc crashed during the recording session.
There are methods to reduce DAW latency and cut down on the demands your software is creating on your system.
However, sometimes a new laptop is what you should get up and running.
In this post, we will look at the basic system requirements you will need to successfully use DAW software and we will list our top ten best laptops for music production.
How to Pick a Music Production Laptop
When you are just getting began with a home studio you really do not need anything super fancy or costly.
There are many affordable computers that could handle the demands a DAW puts on their systems.
lots to consider when choosing a music production computer.
However, in general, watch for these 4 things.
- Processing speed
- Solid State Drive space
- Monitor size
The processing speed of your CPU continues to be one of the most vital things for processing audio.
Watch for computers that come with more processing cores and faster clock speeds above the 2.0Ghz range.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
Adequate RAM means having enough working memory for presets, plugins, tracks, and recordings to do their factor smoothly in your DAW.
For music production tasks we recommend having at least 8GB of RAM. You may want more, however, it isn’t always necessary.
Solid State Drive
Hard disc drives are somewhat a thing of the past. Today it is all about Solid State Drive or SSD.
In case your DAW and plugins are installed on your SSD they will load much faster and be more responsive.
You want at least 512GB worth of storage space, however, even that’ll get taken up fairly quickly.
The key is to be organized with how you store your data.
Hot tip: In the past, hardware guides recommended that you track your audio files on a separate volume from the drive that stores your OS and DAW.
That is less of a concern with modern computers, however, utilizing a fast external drive for your session files could still assist you to get the most from your system. Think about using an external drive for tracking.
A smaller monitor makes your setup more portable, however, it also means more scrolling and wasted time in your workflow.
When you do not mind utilizing a bigger machine, the extra screen real estate will assist you to see what you are working on more clearly.
Ideally, any laptop you own should come with some type of external display port so you could hook up to a bigger secondary monitor.
The Top 10 Best Laptops for Music Production
Without further ado, listed below are our top ten picks for the best laptops for music production at present.
The MacBook Pro is a long-standing favorite among music producers.
You will see them everywhere from on stage at Coachella to the DJ booth at your local night club.
The MacBook Pro comes out of the box ready to go, it even has Garage Band pre-installed on it.
However, chances are you will eventually wish to improve to the Apple OS exclusive Logic X, which is widely seen as one of the world’s best DAWs.
MacBooks are powerful, versatile and designed with creators in mind.
There are some downsides to consider. The newest generation MacBook Pro is only equipped with Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports.
For a more affordable option, you can consider searching for a refurbished unit or buying one on the used market.
Microsoft Surface Book 2 is one of the most fascinating laptops on the market right now.
It comes with a higher price tag, however, it’s worth it considering the features, high powered specs, and functionality the laptop has.
The defining function of the Surface Book 2 is its detachable 13.3-inch touchscreen tablet display.
The tablet itself is very high quality and compares favorably with the Apple iPad.
Tablets open plenty of new avenues for your production workflow.
Plus you could even utilize a smartpen stylus on the screen, making it a good option for artists who also create visually.
Since its launch the Surface Book 2 has come down in price significantly, however, it still sits on the higher end of this list.
However, considering that it comes as a two-in-one tablet and laptop package, the price tag is fairly justified.