Best Mac For Music Studio
The latest Apple Silicon M1 and M2 processors in the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Mini and Mac Studio have also replaced the slower Intel processors making Macs even more attractive for music producers.
Best Mac For Music Studio
It does however mean that you may encounter problems from time to time and slower performance compared to using music production software that has been built to work specifically with the M1 and M2 chips, especially when using plugins.
To edit music directly from an external hard drive requires at least an external SSD drive, preferably one with a Thunderbolt connection like the Samsung X5.
For more on using external displays for music production, you can read our guide to the best monitors for the MacBook Pro, best displays for the Mac Studio and best monitors for the Mac Mini.
Apple has obviously already updated its own music production software Logic Pro X to work with the M1 chip and the M1 MacBook Pro is the best Mac for Logic Pro X on the market.
The MacBook Air is only available with the M1 and M2 chip however so while GarageBand and Logic Pro X will be able to perform amazingly fast on it, you may not experience the best results with non native Apple Silicon M1/M2 chip music production software.
Next, you need to think about memory. This is important, because music software has to hold a lot of temporary data in RAM, so you can do things like previewing your tracks. With an Intel Mac, you want at least 16GB of RAM, but because M1 Macs handle RAM differently, as little as 8GB might be enough.
The video card, meanwhile, is one of the least important components for Mac music production. Really, any Mac should be just fine, because all it has to do, graphically speaking, is display a 2D user interface.
Unfortunately, the Mac mini is lacking in the connectivity stakes. It has an HDMI port, two full size USB ports and two USB-C ports that double up for DisplayPort and Thunderbolt duties. It also has a 3.5mm headphone port. If you run multiple monitors, you might need a USB hub for your other peripherals and music equipment.
Recording and editing music can be highly demanding on your Mac. Every instrument and every track you load will eat into your RAM and test your processor. And as you save more and more projects, your free disk space will shrink too.
For simple projects, 8GB is usually enough RAM for music production. This is fine for casual use and for things like podcast recordings. Once you start to build up longer, more complicated songs, you may find your Mac starts to struggle.
But which Mac should you choose? In this roundup, we only consider current Mac models, but we consider all of them. Without compromising on performance, the models that give you the best bang for the buck are currently the iMac 27-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch.
In the 1990s it was common to see a tiny Toshiba Libretto computer on top of my digital piano. It ran Band-in-a-Box and other Windows sequencing software that controlled a General MIDI sound module. I have quite a bit of experience using Windows and even Linux for music production before moving over to Macs.
While I believe this Mac offers the best experience to those wanting a more portable computer for audio editing, there are other options: The MacBook Air offers a more affordable alternative, though with a smaller screen and less powerful processor; The MacBook Pro 13-inch offers a more portable option; These days an iPad Pro offers a genuine portable alternative, though without the same range of powerful software options.
The smaller screen may leave you feeling a little cramped, but some will find the added portability makes the trade-off worthwhile. If you use the same machine in your studio, consider an external monitor.
Professionals that work with audio are not all the same. There are music producers, podcasters, those who create voiceovers, foley engineers for film, and sound designers. What they need from a computer can vary.
Many work out of a home studio while others use world-class studios with gear that costs millions. Some work on the go, preferring a minimalistic setup, quality headphones, and a small laptop. But despite these differences, there are some common needs that all music producers have.
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Share projects and tracks with AirDrop, Mail Drop, or a comprehensive set of features for exporting stems. Logic Pro also supports file transfer protocols like Final Cut Pro XML and AAF to move content between various professional music and video applications.
The best laptops for music production need to be powerful with a multi-core processor and plenty of RAM. This is because, as with most creative pursuits, the necessary software for music recording and production can be very demanding - especially for multi-track songs.
If money is no object, Mac is hands-down the way to go for producers - that's why MacBooks occupy both the first and second spots in our guide. Compared to Windows, Mac hardware is much better, MacBooks are optimised for audio production, and the out-of-the-box software is vastly superior. \n\nHowever, this comes at a cost - Windows laptops are generally far cheaper than MacBooks. If you're on a budget, the best course of action is to think about your hardware needs, do your research on audio optimisation and hunker down with one of the Windows models we've listed above.
Having one of the best laptops for music production can make a big difference to your creative process, no matter what genre you work with. Gone are the days when music production was exclusive to big studios with banks of mixers, as laptops and powerful software are capable of handling every stage of music production now.
If money is no object, Mac is hands-down the way to go for producers - that's why MacBooks occupy both the first and second spots in our guide. Compared to Windows, Mac hardware is much better, MacBooks are optimised for audio production, and the out-of-the-box software is vastly superior. However, this comes at a cost - Windows laptops are generally far cheaper than MacBooks. If you're on a budget, the best course of action is to think about your hardware needs, do your research on audio optimisation and hunker down with one of the Windows models we've listed above.
If you are studio based you may think that you need an iMac so that you can take advantage of the large display, but you can plug in an external display to any Mac, so even if you had a laptop Mac you could happily use it with a 30in screen when you are at your desk.
Those looking to create professional-level music in the home or studio will definitely want to look at the new Mac Studio. Aimed at the Pro market, but still affordable, this beefed up Mac mini boasts the M1 Max SoC, with a 10-Core CPU and 24-Core GPU, or the M1 Ultra for 20-core CPU and up to 64-core GPU. Both options deliver enviable levels of performance.
What are the things to consider while you choose the best DAW for MAC? The best Digital Audio Workstation is the one that offers the easiest ways to create music. Get the demos for all the software that you planned to check out, think wisely how you wish to work, and analyze the elements of the best DAW software for MAC, which you consider to be good enough for your project.
It is the most advanced version of Logic. Whether you wish to mix, edit, write songs or make beats, Apple Logic Pro is one of the best DAW software for MAC. It has a modern interface to get quick results and deliver more power whenever needed. With a wide range of effects, instruments, samples, and loops collection, Logic Pro provides a comprehensive toolkit for creating amazing-musical sounds.
System Requirement: MacOS:10.13.6 or later, 4GB free disk space, 4GB of RAM or higher recommended. It is not compatible with ARM Processors. The more powerful your CPU, the more instruments and FX you can run. From arranging composing mastering, mixing and more, the FL Studio is a complete package for you for creating professional quality music. You can play it LIVE and record notes on FL studio.
Garageband comes with a user-friendly interface. It is a great music production software available for beginners. You get the opportunity to create music with the built-in percussion, synths, and keyboard. Visualize your creation before editing down to the note and decibel with music loops, music lessons, etc. Create amazing music with Garageband. Map the chords to better understand the music theory or use the interactive plug-in controls to create music.
Audacity might not look as attractive as the other best DAW for MAC, but it is a powerful audio workstation with a dedicated large fanbase. It is a perfect software for recording and editing audio. Whether you want to find the ideal sample or create a brand-new multitrack recording, Audacity can help you with all. It includes a range of effects and plugins such as reverb, equalizers, echo, chorus, distortion, and more.
System Requirement: OS X 10.6 and later is used. Audacity runs best with at least 1 GB RAM and a 1 GHz processor (2 GB RAM/2 GHz on OS X 10.7 and later). For lengthy multi-track projects, a minimum of 2 GB RAM and 2 GHz processor (4 GB RAM on OS X 10.7 and later) is required.
This best music production software for MAC is great for both live performances and studio work. It has dual views, which makes it possible to work in the studio and, at the same time, have live performances. Its session view works perfectly with grid-based hardware controllers. It has great design and user interface, with clean and sleek graphics.