Another factor in recording quality music besides having the right ear and skill is the gear you are using. Some people make the most out of equipment on the lower end but having quality gear can drastically improve the quality of your recording.
Having quality gear will improve the quality of your recording. However, having expensive equipment doesn’t always mean you get better at recording instantly. Not all high-end gear doesn’t say the hardware is better either. We gathered a list of high-end equipment that is proven to help you record better and make work a lot easier.
Whether you are looking to spend a luxury to get the best gear or you want to know what the best high-end equipment is, this article is for you.
1) Apple iMac Retina 5k
You could never go wrong with the iMac. This computer is a complete powerhouse that was built for heavy-duty processing work. Apple started the personal computer experience back in the 1970s with the revolutionary Apple 2 and did not stop there.
The 27-inch monitor with 5k Retina display will help you maximize your workflow through multi-tasking and eye protection of the Retina display.
Apple computers are committed to bringing the best experience for creative professionals such as musicians, artists, and music producers.
Most modern producers use Apple for recording because of the processing power it offers. Although Apple only offers and supports fewer music-recording software, the software they offer will surely work at its best.
Most Famous producers prefer a Mac over PC for recording, but there are some excellent Windows computers suitable for recording.
- 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory that is good enough to run all your favorite Digital Audio Workstation software and numerous VST plugins all at once.
- You can upgrade the RAM to 16GB for an extra $200 and up to 32GB for an additional $600.
- 1TB Fusion Drive Storage so you can store tons of audio stems for your music projects.
- Magic Mouse 2 that can you can upgrade to a Magic Trackpad 2 for an extra $50
- Magic Keyboard
- Radeon Pro 570X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
- 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation with an Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo boost up to 4.1 GHz
- 27-inch display
- 5k resolution with Retina display
2) iMac Pro
This iMac is the ultimate high-end Apple Mac on the market right now. This computer is the holy grail of Apple computers. The basic model costs about $5000, and if you get the top model, it will set you back $15,000.
This computer is the most powerful Mac ever. The iMac Pro will be the best computer for recording and producing music if you have the money.
With specs like this, this computer will be suitable for almost all applications, especially music production.
3.0GHz Intel Xeon W (deca-core) 14MB cache, up to 4.5GHz
AMD Vega 64 (16GB HBM2 RAM)
128 GB DDR4 Memory
27-inch 5k display (5,120 x 2,880) Retina display (P3 Color)
A massive 2TB SSD
Four USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)
Four USB 3.0
SDXC Card Reader
3.5mm Audio Jack
- Operating System
Mac OS 10.12 High Sierra
FaceTime HD 1080p Web Cam
21.5 lbs. (9.7 kg)
- The Size of the Mac
25.6″ x 8″ x 20.3″
3) PC AUDIO LABS MC MOBILE 10
This laptop is quite an unknown brand in the mainstream world. However, this is an excellent example of a Windows PC that has enough processing power to match an Apple Computer.
The design of this computer looks like it came straight from a science fiction movie. If you are into high-tech looking gadgets from the future, this is a suitable choice for you.
Not only does the design look futuristic, but the specifications are also quite remarkable.
- 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H Processor (2.6GHz) with 6 Cores that can be upgraded up to 8 Cores
- Intel HM370 Express Chipse 15.3
- 13.6” Full HD Display
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with 8GB GDDR6
- RAM is 16GB that can be upgraded up to 64GB
- 250GB SSD Storage
- Window 10 64-bit
- Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
- Full-Size Color Illuminated Keyboard
- 6 in one Card Reader
- Weight 5.8 lbs.
- Size 14.13” x 10.15” x 1.18”
1) STEINBERG UR44
From the creators of another high-end DAW called Cubase, Steinberg is an excellent audio interface for professional recording. If you want to upgrade from a one-input audio interface to a four-input, go for the UR44.
With more mic inputs, you can capture many sounds all at once. You can also record live recording sessions.
- 24-bit audio
- USB output
- Four Class-A Mic preamps
- Durable metal casing
This product is like a rack interface that professional producers use in larger studios. The size is small but has the power of those massive rack audio interfaces.
2) FOCUSRITE SCARLETT 18i8 (2nd GEN) USB AUDIO INTERFACE
If you have a Focusrite Scarlett Solo and don’t want to go for another brand like the UR44, that is not a problem. You can go for the same brand with upgraded inputs and power.
Most professionals prefer numerous inputs for a more efficient workflow and better audio capturing.
The Scarlett 18i8 does not only have more inputs, but you also get the most out of your money with the added free software. You can get Pro Tools, Ableton Live Lite, and 2GB worth of free loops and samples.
With more inputs, you can now use your bedroom music studio for recording for multi-instrument recording purposes.
- Four microphone inputs with phantom power pre-amp
- Two instrument inputs
- Two headphone outputs
- 24-bit sample rate
Upgrading from your “Okay” microphone to a better receiver is an excellent choice to improve the sound of your recording. Let’s look at some of the best quality high-end microphones in the market right now.
1) NEUMANN U-87
This vintage style mic is an excellent mic that producers like Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki even tweet about buying this microphone.
It is a large-diaphragm microphone that is suitable for capturing almost any vocal and acoustic instrument tracks.
This mic is a classic studio microphone that has three directional characteristics, Omni, cardioid, and figure 8. The features give the mic more functions in a recording session.
2) SENNHEISER MD 441-U
This dynamic microphone is an excellent versatile mic for recording and for singing live. A dynamic microphone is used for recording louder audio like guitars, bass, drums, and piercing vocals.
This mic has excellent feedback rejection to make you sound cleaner live. The excellent pick-up of this mic can capture even your dynamic whispers and tones.
The five-position roll-up switch gives you numerous sound options. The five different modes add a lot of fun to this mic.
Having a mic like this lessens your worry about your room’s acoustic treatment. If you do not have enough time and knowledge to treat your room acoustics, get this microphone because it is worth every penny.
3) FOCUSRITE ISA ONE CLASSIC PREAMP
Not precisely a mic, but a product that an ordinary mal bedroom studio musician won’t typically buy. Having a separate preamp for microphones can enhance your vocal track significantly.
When you buy an audio interface, it already has a built-in preamp. If you are buying a preamp, you can enhance the sound of any low-end microphone to make it sound significantly better for vocals or guitar recording.
A preamp will make any microphone sound better with the right tweaking.
1) KORG KRONOS KEYBOARD WORKSTATION SYNTHESIZER
A keyboard workstation is a keyboard that is loaded with its kind of DAW where you can create quality tracks within the keyboard.
The KORG Kronos’ design is sleek and straightforward. The user interface on the screen is straightforward and easy to use. This keyboard is like a DAW with thousands of plugins but put onboard a real keyboard.
Grade A pianists like Jordan Rudess from the band Dream Theater use this keyboard.
The KORG KRONOS features:
- 73 weighted hammer-action keys that provide an authentic piano feel
- 8” color touch view display
- 4-way joystick
- Ribbon controller
- Nine sound engines
- Thousands of sounds and effects
- Easy-to-use controls for arranging and creating music
- 16 extensive effect processors
- 3 -band equalizer for each effect
2) YAMAHA MONTAGE SYNTHESIZER WORKSTATION
This synthesizer workstation has a modern design. The Montage has a very beautifully designed user interface that is pleasing to the eye and is such a breeze to use.
Compared to the KRONOS, the Montage’s user interface is less cluttered. The LED light on the buttons looks nice.
Yamaha has been making keyboards for a long time, and they do not disappoint when it comes to their signature sounds.
The Yamaha Montage features:
- Motion control synthesis engine
- Motion sequences are tempo-synchronized
- Pure analog circuit for more powerful output
- Has a “super knob” that can be assigned to adjust different parameters like pan, reverb, and filter
- Envelope follower
- USB audio and MIDI connection
- Touch screen
- Rotary encoders
- Cubase AI bundle
Having high-end equipment like a keyboard workstation is useful if you’re a keyboard player. The product is helpful if you are a keyboardist looking for an easy way to record keyboard tracks and have fun at the same time. Keyboard workstations is an enjoyable instrument to create music with.
3) PROPHET 12 SYNTHESIZER (Limited Edition White)
The David Smith Instruments Prophet 12 is a design that took 35 years of synth building. Dave Smith calls the prophet 12 the best synth he ever built.
The Prophet 12 features:
- Twelve different voices
- One knob assigned for each function for easy editing
- Four oscillators and sub-oscillators per voice
- Standard pitch and modulation wheels
- He greatest polyphone ever designed by Dave Smith
- Two programmable pressure-sensitive touch sliders for easy effect manipulation
4) MOOG SUB PHATTY ANALOG SYNTHESIZER
Owning a Moog synth is a keyboard player’s dream. The vintage look and modern sound of the Moog Sub Phatty is an authentic Moog at an affordable price. Moog synthesizers are known for being a high-end synth brand because of the quality of the make and the sound.
The Moog Sub Phatty features:
- 25 semi-weighted keys
- 100% analog signal
- 31 knobs and 13 switches or immediate control
- Two ultra-stable shape oscillators
5) KORG MS20 MINI SEMI-MODULAR SYNTHESIZER
The KORG MS20 has the look of a modular synth
The KORG MS20 is a semi-modular synth. It has the characteristics of a patch modeling synth where you connect the patches to the inputs of different modules from different companies to create the sound you want. And it also has the characteristics of a traditional analog synthesizer where you can edit sounds through tweaking knobs.
Modular synths usually have additional components that you can add to the chain of effects like filters, timbres, oscillators, etc.
This synth is a mini version of the original KORG MS20.
6) AKAI MPK249
If you ever plan to upgrade your midi controller, the Akai MPK249 is a significant upgrade from an Akai MPK MINI. Here are the MPK249’s key features:
- 49 semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keys
The keys have a very natural piano-like feel to them.
- 16 MPC PADS
The pads illuminate when pressed and can be used as launchpads that you can set to loop, trigger, or hold.
- 24 assignable knobs
The knobs are fully assignable to control the parameters from your DAW.
- 10 Octaves
This MIDI controller has a range of 10 octaves.
- Comes with over $200 worth of free software and samples
When you purchase this MIDI controller, you can get free software such as Ableton Live Lite, MPC Essentials, Hybrid 3, and Twist 2.0.
- PRESONUS SCEPTRE S8 STUDIO MONITORS
These monitors are not the most expensive, but they hold up against any monitors three times their price. They are not quite famous monitors, but they have good reviews.
The PreSonus’ sounds very pure and natural. It has a punchy bass that is suitable for small bedroom studios. These monitors might sound different in large rooms, but for your bedroom, they won’t disappoint. The mid and high frequencies sound good as well.
Despite the minimalist aesthetic of these monitors, it has a very crisp and powerful sound that you can feel when you are listening. The highs and lows are easy to distinguish because of how clean these speakers sound.
- AVALON AD2022 DUAL CHANNEL MICROPHONE PREAMP
The Avalon preamp will make any microphone sound good. A lot of professional producers mention this product. This mic preamp is a class A dual microphone preamp that is more of an intermediate producer tool rather than a beginner.
These are some of the critical features of the AVALON AD2022:
- Microphone and Hi-Z instrument inputs
- Low noise
- Large illuminated analog meters
- Ultra-high-quality construction
- Regulated Phantom power
- FURMAN P-2400 AR POWER CONDITIONER
Power Conditioner lessens the noise of your recording. The Furman P-2400 can regulate voltages of 20 amps combined. This power conditioner is an optional item for your rig, but it will help you get better in music production.
Using a power conditioner can protect and extend the life of your gear. It regulates the power usage of all the equipment that you plug in a wall. The electronics won’t get a short circuit if plugged in through a power conditioner.
WHAT IS A MODULAR SYNTHESIZER?
A modular synthesizer is a type of keyboard where sounds are created when interconnecting different sound modules by using patch cables. Modules are either Effects, Oscillators, or Filters.
Analog synthesizers are much less complicated when it comes to sound editing, as analog synths can be edited just by simple tweaking knobs. A modular synth looks and sounds great. The vintage feels and looks with a mixture of both modern and vintage synthesizers.
WHY YOU NEED A POWER CONDITIONER
Power conditioners are devices the people use to ensure that their devices get the right amount of electricity flowing and powering the gadgets. These things are kind of like heavy-duty AVR’s for computers.
Power conditioners are great for live shows. connecting all your electronics through a power conditioner won’t interrupt the voltage powering up your gear.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF HIGH-END EQUIPMENT?
There is low-priced equipment out there that do better jobs than the more expensive counterpart, but most of the time, high-end gears are better. If you are a beginner, we don’t recommend buying expensive equipment at first. There is a lot of affordable entry-level gear perfect for getting the hang of things.
Expensive gear doesn’t always mean they are better. The equipment that we showed you in this article is the best gear that is worth every penny. If you are serious in making music, these products will help improve the quality, plus they are a lot of fun to have if you are super into gear!