In this day and age almost all music recording is digital

Here is a question that you are likely to ask what Are you getting started recording

What’s the best computer to get

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question

There’re many factors involved including

  1.  Budget
  2.  Processing power
  3.  Portability

The ideal choice for you might be different then for someone else

For this reason we will go into great detail find you ideal computer or laptop for you

So let’s get started

Laptops versus Desktops For Home Studio Tracking

More often than not, the choice will be for mobility

Desktop computers are gradually being fazed out

That being said, desktops are the general rule for music recording

This is why

  1.  They’re usually more powerful and have more flexibility in terms of upgrades
  2.  They have more inputs and outputs which is critical in this application
  3.  They’re more customizable allow you to add extra RAM, video cards etc.
  4.  They’re quieter because you can keep the tower with its fans in a separate room if necessary

Despite these advantages, if you are into remote recording or on the move a lot a laptop may still be your best choice

If you already own a laptop and cannot afford a new computer then it will work perfectly fine

So let’s look at her options

Mac vs PC For Home Studio Applications

One of the fastest ways to start an argument the computer geek is this

No matter which Version of computer they own, tell him that the other one is better

The Mac versus PC argument will never be won

It’s a stupid argument because just about everyone has their personal preference and ultimately there’s nothing wrong with that

So here is the mic drop moment

Mac computers are universally better for the recording environment for a number of reasons

For proof, just visit any major studio and you’ll see Mac computers almost exclusively

So if you don’t already own a computer and are starting from scratch my advice is to buy a Mac

So why talk about PC at all

  1.  You might already own one
  2.  PC’s are more customizable than Macs
  3.  Some people just prefer or are used to Windows

Whichever way you decide to go is ultimately up to you and it won’t necessarily affect the enjoyment or process of recording and mixing music

So let’s talk about the systems

Mac Desktop

Mac computers have four basic options

  1.  Mac Pro
  2.  Imac
  3.  Imac Pro
  4.  Mac Mini

This is how they stack up

First the Mac Pro

For studio recording you don’t get much better. Look at any major Recording studio and you will likely see the mac pro tower

There are several reasons for this including the fact that they are upgradable and super powerful

Up until recently the Mac was probably a bit over the top for most people terms and specifications and cost

That being said…..

There is a new kid on the block that is the iMac Pro

The iMac Pro super powerful, has a built-in monitor, and is almost as portable as a laptop push comes to shove

Keep in mind, the iMac Pro is still a pretty hefty investment heading may be out of reach for some people

In that case, the standard iMac it’s a perfectly good option and the computer of choice for myself personally

If you can’t afford either of the above options then it’s going to come down to the Mac Mini

If you have ever said “ I want to own a Mac computer but they’re too pricey “

The Mac Mini is your best option

The earlier versions of the Mac Mini we’re probably a little weak for recording but they have improved dramatically

It may not possess the speed and flexibility of the other systems but it does give you the benefit of Mac OSX with a very reasonable price point

List affiliate links here

Next up

PC Desktops

For those of you who like to build custom PCs

There’s no question in my mind that you will know more about the subject than I


I will try to dissuade you

However if you aren’t APC person and don’t know much about computers anyway

I recommend staying away from PCs for recording all together

And this is why

The one and only real reason to choose a PC is to save money

The irony is that in attempt to save money you’re going to hamstring the most important factor and that is processing power

Even a decent PC the processing power is going to be relatively pricey

If you got a minimal budget then our recommendation it’s too by the most powerful laptop you can afford

The Main Laptop Specs For Recording

Since we already agreed that laptops are less than ideal for recording

Here a list of issues to watch for

  1.  System Noise – if you’re going to be working in allowed environment noise will not be an issue. However, in acquiring recording environment fan noise can become problem. You may want to consider a lid-state hard drive for this reason
  2.  Back lighting on keys – very necessary in low light environments
  3.  Size of the screen – screen real estate is a big deal when you start realizing how much goes on in a recording session
  4.  Input ports – laptops just don’t have the number of the ins and outs which can be very limiting

Let’s go over the list of potential laptops

Mac Laptops

You Have 2 Options

  1. MacBook Pro
  2. MacBook Air

Let’s look at the MacBook Pro first

I would be willing to bet that the MacBook Pro is the most popular laptop for home recording


  1. Super Fast
  2. Loads of inputs fo a laptop
  3. Decent sized screen

If you can afford the MacBook Pro then go for it

If not then the MacBook air will do just fine

It’s not as fast or as powerful but it’s a decent computer nonetheless

Here are your options go check them out

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Next on our list

PC Laptops

One great thing about PC laptops is that there are tons of different choices

We’ve already discussed the deficiencies at PC’s so I won’t continue to elaborate


It may be nice to have lots of options, but when these options are ideal it’s tough to be enthusiastic when presenting choices

That being said here are five potential options

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  1. HP Envy – (Amazon/B&H)
  2. Asus Zenbook – (Amazon/B&H)
  3. LG Gram – (Amazon/B&H)
  4. Dell Inspiron – (Amazon/B&H)
  5. Lenovo Yoga 3 – (Amazon)

Moving on…..

DAW System Requirements

One thing that’s worth mentioning but often gets overlooked is the system requirements of your DAW

Even though most things are plug-and-play compatible nowadays when it comes to DAW’s and computers

In a few cases things are not compatible so you might want to do some homework first

Here are some links to the most popular DAW System requirements

Up Next…….

3) Must Have Computer Accessories

Once you have picked out a computer system you’re going to need some add-ons

For the recording studio there are three add-ons recommended

  1. Keyboard
  2. Mouse
  3. Monitor screen

1) The Keyboard

Any keyboard is acceptable


The perfect keyboard should include

A) DAW Shortcut options – these help you memorize your shortcuts much quicker

B) a number pad – this usually includes some useful shortcuts for your DAW

C) wireless connection – this allows you to work from anywhere in your recording without being strapped to your desktop

Side Note: if you happen to have a laptop you may still find it worthwhile to get an external keyboard

Here are a couple of my favorite choices

  1. Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard – besides having a number pad and a wireless connection, this keyboard has one unique feature that you almost never see: solar power.  That means no batteries or cables ever.
    • PC – (Amazon/B&H)
    • Mac – (Amazon/B&H)
  2. LogicKeyboard Custom DAW Keyboards – (website) – easily the most well-known maker of software shortcut markers, LogicKeyboard has both custom keyboards and skin layovers for virtually every DAW/keyboard combo imaginable.

2) Your mouse

Auto mouse or trackpad will do

I really good mouse will have advantages

High-quality most will have programmable buttons that can give you a few extra shortcuts with your DAW

This can speed up your workflow quite a bit

There are a number of different choices of there but our suggestion is this

  • Logitech MX Master 2S – (Amazon/B&H)
  • Logitech MX Anywhere 2S – (Amazon/B&H)

3) Computer Monitor

When you first start out recording at home…

You probably won’t notice the difference and a good monitor immediately

After a while though…..

You may notice these things

  1. Screens with a low resolution can only display a small number of tracks
  2. TV screens off look Little bit pixelated especially when you close up
  3. There such a thing as the refresh rate. Screens with a little refresh rate we’ll not display level meters properly

Any of these issues is going to be a pain in the ass on their own.

All three of them together will drive you to your mind

For this reason, we recommend a good external monitor

A nice high-end option is the following

LG 27″ 4k – (Amazon/B&H)

An alternative would be this option

Click here to compare prices – (Amazon/B&H)