To start producing your own tracks the first thing your going to need to think about is the equipment your going to need. Each musician is going to have a different set of equipment that they use, obviously a guitar player is going to have his guitar, amplifier and cables for example (which are not on this list). But this equipment list below is what I think is a minimum for anyone wanting to start to record and write music at home, no matter what instrument you play or genre of music you are going to be creating. You may find that you already own some of these items (for example the computer as you must be using one to read this) and you may be surprised at how small the list actually is to get started.
Hardware and Software.
Music can be produced using both hardware and software. At one time music was produced solely using hardware but due to advancements in computer speeds, all music production tasks can now be achieved using software. Hardware is still used a lot in music production (Music producers love their mixing desks, hardware effects units and especially their hardware synthesizers) but as computer software can now compete extremely well with hardware and because you are new to music production I would suggest you stick mainly with software for the moment.
This is obvious, but yes your going to need a computer and obviously you are using one to read this, but is your computer going to be fast enough to run any music software your going to be using.
Basically the faster the computer you have the better experience you are going to have producing your music. Music software can take up a lot of system resources due to it’s complexity and whilst it may be written on the software box or web site that the recommended requirements are low, you may find that once you start using the software and have lots of different channels all playing together that the computer just isn’t going to cope with it. A fast processor and lots of RAM are needed to allow your computer to cope better.
The most important component of your computer if you’re a musician. The main thing to watch out for is going to be latency which needs to be as low as possible.
If you are serious about music production you should spend a good amount of money on some near-field studio monitors as your tracks will benefit a great deal in sound quality and should sound great no matter where they are played.
MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a data system that is used between different instruments (and your computer) to send note and time information. No audio recording (sound) is contained within MIDI, it is only computer bits and bytes (digital data). A MIDI controller is typically a musical keyboard with other various controls such as faders and pads that are used to play notes into your tracks. If you are only going to be recording traditional instruments with microphones such as guitars and drums then you may not need one, but they aren’t expensive and owning one will open many new avenues for your music. If you are going to be producing electronic based music then a MIDI controller is an essential piece of kit.
If you plan on recording full drum kits then you are going to need quite a few microphones to get a studio produced sound. If you are going to be using drum samples then you shouldn’t need to have as many, in fact you may get by with only having one. Even if you are producing synthesizer and sample based only music, I can’t stress enough how you should still have a good basic microphone to hand for recording your own samples.
This list is to help people get started, obviously there is loads more kit a musician could own, but hopefully this has given you an insight into the basic equipment needed for you to start producing your own tracks. This list will change slightly for each person, but once you have all the equipment above you shouldn’t need much more apart from the software and any instruments you might play to get started.