Producing music from home is becoming more accessible these days. With the right computer, laptop, desktop, or PC, you can record and edit music on your own time.
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If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. The first thing you need to do is decide what you want—PC or Mac.
Both options will make fantastic options—with at least a 2.4Ghz quad-core processor, a 64-bit OS, 4GB of ram, and lots of storage (at least 8GB and 500GB of internal storage), and you’ll be happy with both.
Although, you want to pick the best option based on your preference. Preference will be up to your budget, size, and what feels easier to work with.
If you’ve been using Mac for years, Mac may be the best option for you but if you’re very familiar with PC (Windows) you may prefer PC.
Best Computers for Music Production
1. Best All Around Music Production Computer – Apple 2023 MacBook Pro Laptop M2
If you’ve been on team iPhone for 5+ years, you may be interested in purchasing a new MacBook Pro for personal and music production use. MacBook pros are known for being super fast, reliable, and compatible with iPhones and other Apple devices.
Plus, they provide exceptional performance for editing software. For those who also dabble in video and photo editing, you know that most cheap laptops can’t deliver. Macbooks are pricey, but they’re worth every penny.
You’ll notice that the speed won’t change much until you’ve owned it for about 6-7 years.
What makes this 16.2-inch MacBook special is that it can take on demanding projects with the M2 Pro (up to 32GB unified memory) or M2 Max Chip (up to 96GB unified memory). Lightning-fast apps are also one of MacBook’s best-selling points.
Rarely do users have issues with slow-loading production and editing software. Luckily this model doesn’t lack ports —besides a charging port, there are three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXC card slot, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. You can also use Bluetooth headphones! With a 6-speaker sound system, you won’t be disappointed.
Also, there are up to 22 hours of battery life, so enjoy working on the go. It meets all of our requirements too—32GB RAM and 1TB storage.
Want to Learn More About Laptops? See the Best Laptops for DJing Here
2. Best Music Production Laptop – Apple 2021 MacBook Pro
$3,499 for a new MacBook may sound a bit steep. You can cut the price down a lot with Apple’s 2021 model instead. While it’s normal to want the newest model when shopping for an upgrade, we recommend this model for good reason.
This 14-inch MacBook has many of the same features. Major key differences are that this model has an Apple M1 Pro chip, a smaller screen, and 512GB. It also has 21 hours of battery life.
Is the 2023 model likely a bit faster? Yes, but we’re fans of the 2021 MacBook Pro ourselves for video editing.
Some specs you’ll love are that this MacBook has a studio-quality mic, Logic Pro, and more apps perfect for audio and video editing.
If you’re a GarageBand lover, you can’t go wrong here. Apps optimized for MacBooks are simple to use. User experience is everything when it comes to music production.
3. Surface Laptop Studio
While we’re big fans of Apple, we’ll admit that Microsoft didn’t miss with the Surface Laptop Studio. Arranging, tracking, mixing, and mastering is quite simple here as well.
This laptop is around the same price as an older MacBook Pro model ($1523.99).
It’s ideal for heavy workloads for audio and video editing, and design and animation as well. (Here’s your chance to get creative with graphic design for your album covers and concert posters.)
Here’s what to love about the Surface Laptop: it has a quad-core powered by 11th Gen Intel® Core™ H Series processor and has up to 32GM RAM.
It has dual studio mics and it renders at top speed (a must for editing) and can be paired with the Surface Slim Pen 2. Perfect for that pen-on-paper feel for edits. It’s powered by Windows 11, so if you prefer Windows over Mac OS, this is a great laptop for you.
With about 18-19 hours of battery life, you can depend on it for long days in the studio.
4. ASUS – Zenbook Flip 2-in-1
ASUS has an option under $1,500 that’s ideal for music production and light gaming. This sound is great, and we’re glad it features Dolby Atmos audio technology for that movie theater sound we all love. We recommend this for the tablet lover or for anyone that wants a lightweight PC for travel.
Speed is king for music production. This laptop is fast and meets our expectations for demanding music production apps. With 16GB RAM (16-32 is great).
It has a 15.6-inch screen size and runs on an Intel 12th Generation Core i7 Evo Platform processor. It is also touchscreen like the option above and has a storage capacity of 1000GB.
Want to Learn More About Laptops for Music Production? See the Best Beginner Laptops for Music Production Here
5. Best Music Production Desktop Computer – HP – ENVY Desktop
A reliable pick under $1,000, this desktop is a great pick for immersive sound quality with 5.1 surround sound. Not only is the price attractive, but HP values sustainability. Great for buyers looking to make responsible choices for the environment.
12th Generation Intel Core i7-12700 processor, Windows 11, 16GB RAM, make this the quick desktop you’ve been looking for. It’ll be able to handle BandLab, Garage Band, Logic Pro X, and all of your favorite music production tools.
6. CyberPowerPC – Gamer Master Gaming Desktop
For $100 more, you can get CyberPowerPC’s Master Gaming Desktop. We recommend this pick if graphics are equally important to you (even as a music producer). This desktop is fast, has tons of storage is loved by avid gamers. And if you enjoy something flashy and fun, you’ll love the custom RGB case lighting.
It uses Windows 11 OS and has a powerful AMD Ryzen™ 7 processor. 16GB RAM and 1500 gigabytes of total storage make this a great pick for rendering. It’s also pretty quiet and has reduced heat production.
Virtual surround sound also makes this a great pick. With an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it’s no surprise this desktop made our list.
7. Best Music Production PCs for Windows OS – XPS Desktop
Dell’s XPS desktop is built just for creators. Dell says it’s carefully selected for anyone using it for photography, graphic design, music production, and more. Redner quickly and boost your workflow with your favorite apps.
This computer has a 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-12700 processor, has 1TB of storage, and is quiet and cool. It uses Windows 11 and is also great for 4K gaming. With 9 USB ports, you’ll have plenty for importing audio and video content.
8. Surface Studio 2+
The Surface Studio 2+ is the ultimate desktop for creators that say a touchscreen is a must. The fast desktop is quite the splurge starting at $4,499.99. The graphics are next-level (Dolby Vision, of course). For those who may display a priority, it’s worth it. The screen is 23 inches.
Some features worth noting are the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11370H processor, 32GB RAM, and 1TB solid-state drive (SSD). Overall, it’s a great pick for music production.
9. Best Budget Music Production Computer – Acer Aspire TC-1760-UA92 Desktop
Not every top-rated computer is over $1,000. If your budget is under $600, consider Acer’s Aspire. A customer gave it a 5-star rating and wrote, “I also dabble in music editing and this machine processes large wav files quickly. I don’t do gaming so I can’t comment on performance there.”
Some features to note: It has a 12th Generation Intel Core i5-12400 6-Core processor, 12GB RAM, 512GB of storage, and 7 ports total. It has all of the basic requirements of being a speedy desktop for music production, all on a budget.
10. Best For Music, Gaming, and Video Editing All In One – ALIENWARE AURORA R13 GAMING DESKTOP
You may be familiar with Alienware already if you’re a gamer or follow a few gamers on Twitch. Alienware has gaming desktops that deserve all the accolades, even for non-gaming streaming and production.
A 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700F processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB total storage make this computer extremely fast. Gamers can’t stop raving about the quality of graphics and say it’s the best gaming PC they’ve ever owned. If you want realistic lighting and shadows, this is it.
Can You Use an iPhone or Tablet to Produce Music?
GarageBand can be used on your iPhone, but you are very limited there compared to using a PC or laptop. You’re missing out on plugins and it’s so much easier to master songs on a desktop or laptop. Work smarter and not harder.
How Long Do Music Production Laptops Last?
PCs and MacBooks will last about 5-8 years depending on upkeep. Some MacBooks tend to crash and won’t accept updates after 6-7 years. This problem can be fixed for some users but many users note problems with unsuccessful software update installations.