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Hardware Essentials for Aspiring Musicians

An audio interface allows you to record tracks on your computer.

Every musician has plenty of songs brimming in their hearts that are just waiting to get out into the world. However, you won’t be able to share your music with the world without first recording it. While many aspiring musicians turn to expensive studios when they’re ready to record their songs, others create mini studios at home and record there.

If you would like to join the latter camp, check out our list of hardware essentials for aspiring musicians.

1.     A Capable Computer

Most computers and laptops today are capable of handling the kind of processing power you would need to record, edit, and produce music. However, if you have a computer that is over a decade old, you might need to upgrade to something a bit more capable. The minimum PC specs you should aim for are:

  • 2.4Ghz quad-core processor such as an Intel i5 or i7
  • 4GB of RAM
  • A 64-bit operating system
  • 500GB of internal storage

A computer with the above specs would be capable of handling most music recording, editing, and production duties. You might also need to look into computers with good sound cards. However, that might not be necessary if you decide to get the next type of hardware on our list.

2.     Audio Interface

Once you have acquired a capable computer you will need to find a way to connect your music gear to it. For this you will need to get an audio interface.

This is a small hardware box that connects to your computer via USB. It has different inputs for connecting microphones or musical instruments. It also has controls to help you adjust the audio signal level.

Many audio interfaces also feature built-in soundcards. This bypasses your computer’s sound card and offers better latency. This means there will be little to no noticeable delay between you singing into your microphone or playing your instrument and the computer recording it.

3.     Microphones and Instruments

The last piece of hardware you will need are microphones or instruments depending on your area of interest. If you’re a vocalist, you will need to invest in a condenser microphone, a microphone stand, and pop filter to make high quality instrument vocal recordings.

Instrument players will need to acquire an electronic instrument and record it through the audio interface. If you play an acoustic instrument, you will need to get a dynamic microphone and accessories to record your playing.

You will also need to ensure you have all the right cables to connect all your equipment to the audio interface.

Making the Best Quality Recordings

You might think you need high-end equipment to make good quality recordings on your computer. However, the truth is that you can make some stellar sounding tracks by following good recording practices and tweaking their sound in post-production. Your recordings will also start sounding better as your musical ear develops and you learn new production tips and tricks.