Best Studio Chairs

Aside from all the equipment, rack-mounted units, a computer, and whatever else you need for the music that you’re producing, it’s extremely important to have a fully ergonomic space for it.

Yes, you might spend who knows how much time getting all the needed gear, designing the interior, and taking care that everything is soundproofed.

But if you don’t have a comfortable spot to sit in, then everything else falls apart.

After all, you’re going to be sitting there for a very, very long time if you plan to do professional studio work.

With this in mind, you definitely need to consider getting a quality chair to sit on in there.

At the end of the day, all you should care about is making good music and a fully ergonomic environment will allow you to concentrate and be productive.

In case you’re building or improving your own studio, here is a brief list of the best studio chairs.

Coming up with this rundown, we judged them by the overall design, build quality, and ergonomic features.

But before we begin…

What You Should Look for in Studio Chairs

It depends on the amount of time you plan on sitting in the studio.

However, it’s always a better option to play it safe and go with something solid and well-built.

First off, the chair should have some sort of lumbar support.

It is advisable that the chair’s backrest can support your back’s natural curve. This is simple – if it’s completely straight, then it won’t do your back any good.

Second, the chair should have the so-called “Waterfall front,” meaning that there are no added paddings on the front and that add pressure on your hips and legs.

Next up, the chair should be completely adjustable.

Since no one is the same size, it’s basically impossible to find a “one size fits all” chair of good quality.

Your chair should have the height adjustment and inclination adjustment feature as well. This ensures that you’ll be able to set up the optimal position for your build and preferences.

Last, but not least, you should think of the overall build qualities. You don’t want something that will lose its ergonomic qualities over a short period of time.

In addition, the material that you sit on should be breathable and not induce massive sweating during hot summer days.

Best Office Ergonomic Chair- Best Budget Friendly Studio Chair

We start off with a budget-friendly option. Being around $70, you’ll get a solid chair for the price.

Even in this range, the Best Office Ergonomic Chair offers some valuable features.

Aside from the fine-looking design and the water and oil resistant PU leather, the chair is fairly comfortable, has adjustable height, adjustable back tilt, lumbar support, and padded armrests. It comes in three colors – black, white, and brown.

It’s pretty straightforward yet allows comfortable work. But despite being more than a decent option for the price, it’s not exactly a type of chair you’d like to see in a high-end studio.

Flash Furniture Multifunction Swivel- Best Lightweight Office Chair

As its name would suggest, Flash Furniture Multifunctional Swivel has an abundance of adjustable features.

What’s more, there are 10 different color options to choose from. The back is fully adjustable and you can tweak both its angle and height. In addition, there is also a handle for adjusting the chair’s tilt.

Armrests are also height adjustable and padded, something that’s also one of this chair’s strong points. Overall, this whole chair can be fully modified to suit anyone’s build.

While some might prefer solid backs, the flexible mesh material on this one’s back is a good feature that adds some comfort to it and normal airflow. Of course, the back’s shape allows much-needed lumbal support.

As if this wasn’t enough, the Multifunctional Swivel has a solid-built heavy duty base. It will definitely last for a while.

TOPSKY Mesh Synchronous- Best Mesh Studio Chair

And there are those who prefer a large mesh back on the chair. And that’s exactly what TOPSKY Mesh Synchronous offers.

The flexible mesh headrest is also a welcomed addition.

The mesh back, however, is supported with a back frame that allows not only a solid lumbar but also upped back support.

As for the adjustments, you can tweak the armrest height, armrest angle and horizontal position, the headrest angle, lumbal cushion position, chair height, and chair tilt.

One surprisingly great addition is the cleverly implemented hanger on the back construction. You can use it for hanging clothes or bags, and yet it still manages to keep the chair’s modern-looking design.

A solidly built chair with flexible mesh, many features, and a sturdy base.

What more could you ask for?

Executive Ergonomic

Aside from the standard features that you can find on the other chairs as well – adjustable height, adjustable back angle, and the flexible mesh material – the Executive Ergonomic has flip-up armrests.

In case you plan to use your studio chair for instrument playing as well, armrests might get a bit annoying.

So instead of moving to sit on the edge of the chair, you can just fold the armrests. Overall, it’s a quality chair, especially for those who enjoy flexible mesh material.

Herman Miller Aeron- The Best Overall Studio Chair

But if you want a high-end and fully functional adjustable chair, Herman Miller Aeron blows every other option out of the water.

Yes – it’s expensive. But although it costs $500 or more, this would be the perfect ergonomic tool for studio work.

Not only can you find the numerous features that you already found in the aforementioned chairs above, but the Aeron can be ordered in different sizes and 16 different designs.

A fully functional and adjustable chair that will most definitely last for quite some time.

It’s in the high-end price territory, but if you want to treat yourself and your studio with a fully professional chair, then this is the one you should go with.

In our experience, the biggest issue with studio chairs is the quality of the build. Usually the wheels are the first to break, followed by the swivels. In this regard, Herman Miller chairs really stand out. From an economic perspective, it is thus justifiable:

Why spend a couple of hundred dollars every year when you can spend 500$ to 800$ on a chair that is more comfortable and will last 3+ years?

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks, the very best studio chairs money can buy.

There are lot of studio components on which you can cut corners, but the studio chair should definitively not be one of them.

You’re going to spend hundreds and hundreds of hours in that thing, so make sure you get a sturdy and comfortable chair- you’ll back with thank you later.

The BEST Online Music Production Masterclass Course [2023]

Investing in an online music production “masterclass” course is one of the best decisions you will make this year.

This might seem like a pretty bold statement, specially for those of you who have previously tried free courses or dabble around some youtube videos on production, but it’s the truth: Knowledge is more important than any piece of gear in your studio. Furthermore, enrolling in one of the below courses is nothing like doing a free course or watching youtube videos.

These online music production masterclass courses allow you to follow a tried and tested structure devised by top producers and engineers, plus incentivises you to follow through, as you have money invested.

Anyways, if you’re looking for a summarized version of this article, check out the below table with our favorite online music production courses, including our very own choice for the best online music production course. And if you are also looking for a music production laptop, we have a comparrison and test article with the top models here.

Note: if you are on a mobile device, scroll left and right in the table to see all the entries, and up and down in the cells to see all the content.

Summarizing Table

Course Name Cost Duration Main Focus Our Rating
Editor’s Choice – Best Value
Groove3
Starts at under 50$
– Over 20 000 hours of video,
– Over 20 books.
– Workflow,
– Plug-Ins + DAWs,
– Recording,
– Production,
– Mixing + Mastering.
9.5/10
Deadmau5 Masterclass
Starts at under 20$ / month or under 100$ total
– 6 hours of video,
– Assignments
– Electronic Music Production,
– Synths,
– Music Business,
– Mixing and Mastering,
– Workflow.
9.3/10
Hans Zimmer Masterclass
Starts at under 20$ / month or under 100$ total$
– 4.5 hours of video – Film Scoring,
– Soundscapes,
– Composing,
– Industry, and More.
8.7/10
Timbaland Masterclass
Starts at under 20$ / month or under 100$ total$
– 3 hours of video – Hip-hop Production,
– Beat Making,
– Inspiration and Workflow,
– Industry and Motivation.
8.5/10
Point Blank Music School Online
Under 150$
CHECK PRICE
– Huge subject diversity
– Mixing/Mastering
– Dj
– Music Business
9.6/10
Udemy Music Production Courses
Under 150$
CHECK PRICE
– 38 hours of video
– each DAW has it’s own course
– other specific topics have dedicated courses
9/10
EQ Fundamentals
Under 50$
CHECK PRICE
– 2.5 hours of video,
– PDRs,
– Assignments
– EQ,
– Mixing + Mastering,
– All Musical Genres
9.2/10
Berklee Online- Electronic Music Production
Under 150$
CHECK PRICE
– 16 weeks – Electronic Music Production,
– Vocal Recording,
– Ableton Live.
9.3/10

Groove3 Online Music Production Course Review – Editor’s Choice

  • Music style: All
  • Financial Investment: Low
  • Duration: Over 20 000 hours of video + over 20 books. 1 077 Courses 17 979 Individual Tutorials.
  • Main DAW used: All DAWs available.
  • Our Rating: 9.5/10
  • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced
  • Certificate upon completion: No

PROS:

  1. High quality of content
  2. Content available on all formats and platforms: Video, books, Desktop, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku.
  3. Very affordable on a month-to-month basis
  4. High quality instructors
  5. Most comprehensive library of learning resources

CONS:

  1. Lack of focus
  2. Can be overwhelming

We’ll start with our favorite online music production course: Groove3. What an absolute gold mine of music production knowledge.

If you watched all of groove3’s videos back-to-back you’d take over 2 years to finish, probably much more, given that they update the content regularly.

There’s tutorials on all topics you can image, including all DAWs, Plugins, and musical styles. If you search around the forums, it’s often mentioned as a student favorite, along with some of the masterclass courses we’ll review below.

When it comes to price, an all-access pass costs only 89$, with b&hphoto. This represents without a doubt the best value of all courses.

We’ve found this to be a great way to stay focused for idle studio time. Simply browse around their website, find an interesting video, watch it, then apply it to your current project.

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Deadmau5 Masterclass Review

The first course we’ve had a chance to review is Deadmau5’s Masterclass Course.

  • Music style: EDM / Electronic
  • Financial Investment: Low / Moderate
  • Duration: 6 hours of video + assignments
  • Main DAW used: Ableton, though teachings can be applied to any DAW.
  • Our Rating: 9.3/10
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Certificate upon completion: No

Pros:

  1. Very entertaining, huge production value. Very easy to follow through with the teachings.
  2. Very well-rounded. All major topics are discussed (mastering, mixing, synths, drums, music business, live performance, and more).
  3. Composed of videos, assignments, and discussions.
  4. Great community if you’re willing to engage.

Cons:

  1. This 6 hour course will set you back 90$. It’s not a cheap course by any means, but we found the cost/quality relation to be quite good.
  2. It’s a short course. It could benefit from going more in-depth into certain topics.

Course Structure

The course has 23 lessons, all delivered through video classes. It also has assignments and discussions.

The classes touch upon the following topics:

  • The Deadmau5 Production Process
  • Building Your Home Studio
  • Melodic Structures
  • Arrangements
  • Synthesized Sounds
  • Modular Synths
  • Digital Vs. Analog Synths
  • Sound Design with Effects And Processing
  • Drums / Beats
  • Song Structure
  • Remixed
  • Mixing
  • Mastering (includes case study)
  • Starting a Career
  • Music Business
  • On Stage Performance

Our Thoughts

Overall, this is a solid and very well rounded online music production masterclass course. It won’t hold your hand and automatically offer you a career in audio engineering or music production, but if you follow through with all the tips shared, your chances of making it will increase exponentially.

Furthermore, if you take your time to network and reach out to the community, you’ll likely make some useful connections out of this online music production masterclass course.

This is a great course for anyone looking for a well-balanced course on electronic / pop / hip-hop / digital music production, with no specific focus on any are of the music production process, but rather a wholistic approach. It gives you a framework, the one used by deadmau5, to produce a song. It is not a case study, i.e- it won’t show you how deadmau5 produces a song from scratch, but it will show you every single step of the process. We recommend deadmau5’s online music production masterclass course to people that are starting out and want something a bit lighter (shorter) and more fun.

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Hans Zimmer Masterclass Review

Up next is Hans Zimmer’s online music production masterclass course.

  • Music style: Film Scoring / Soundtrack / Sound Design
  • Financial Investment: Low / Moderate
  • Duration: 4.5 hours of video + assignments
  • Main DAW used: N/A.
  • Our Rating: 8.5/10
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Course Structure

  • Themes
  • Story
  • Directors
  • Sound Palettes
  • Creating with Synths
  • Scoring to Picture
  • Scoring Under Dialogue
  • Tempo
  • Music Diary
  • Character
  • Case Study: Frost/Nixon
  • Working With Musicians
  • Feedback & Revisions
  • Audience Feedback
  • Writing Tips
  • Hans’ Journey
  • Learning by Listening
  • Life of a Composer
  • Closing

Our Thoughts

This is a very interesting course. The simple fact that you get to hear Hans Zimmer talk on the first person about stuff that he has never revealed on interviews is worth the cost of the program.

However, we found the structure a bit random.

Unlike deadmau5’s course, this program kind of jumped around topics, with one class being solely about Hans’ career and progression in the industry. To be honest, if we wanted to learn about that, we could just check one of the hundreds of interviews that he’s given.

Having said that, there are loads of golden nuggets there about his process, inspiration, and process. It is packed loads of synthesiser tips as well as general aesthetic in sound design.

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Timbaland Masterclass Review

To finish off our selection of Masterclass courses, we’ll have a look at Timbaland’s online music production course.

  • Music style: Hip-Hop / Pop
  • Financial Investment: Low / Moderate
  • Duration: 3.5 hours of video + assignments
  • Main DAW used: Ableton
  • Our Rating: 8.5/10
  • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Course Structure:

  • Studio Session: Making a Beatbox Beat
  • Building Beats: Tim’s Process
  • Making a Beat: Getting Warmed Up
  • Song Origins: “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”
  • Making a Beat: Starting With a Chord Progression
  • Making a Beat: Tweaking and Layering Drums
  • Song Origins: “Pony”
  • Making a Beat: Manipulating Vocal Samples
  • Making a Beat: Creating a Breakdown
  • Song Origins: “Gossip Folks”
  • Making a Beat: Adding a Topline
  • Song Origins: “Are You That Somebody?”
  • Tim’s Influences
  • How to Persevere

Our Thoughts

We found this masterclass to be the least technical of all online muic production masterclass courses reviewed. Perhaps on purpose, as Timbaland’s production process seems to be based a lot around feeling, leaning on his team to fill in the more technical gaps.

We still found it very useful and inspiring, with some pretty straight forward but useful tips such as thinking about drums through beatbox.

His team of “co-producers” also share some gems on drums layering, chord progression and more.

If you’re a hip hop head, you’ll love this course. You’ll learn about how Timba produced hits for Missy Elliot, Jay-z, and others, as well as some inspiring tips on how to succeed in the industry. If you’re not a hip hop nerd, then you might find it not that inspiring. Though we still recommend purchasing it as part of the masterclass bundle of classes.

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Point Blank Music School Online

Point Blank is an well established English music school, which has opened it’s expertise to the online sector. The sheer diversity of courses that they offer, including Music Business courses, is practically unmatched. This Online Music Production Masterclass Course set is both formal and fun.

  • Music style: None in Specific
  • Financial Investment: Medium-high
  • Duration: Depends on the subject of choice.
  • Main DAW used: Ableton
  • Our Rating: 9.5/10.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate-High

The “Online” courses of Point Blank Music School are actual real-time/live lecture by teachers, customised to you as a student. You get to ask questions and interact with your teacher via webcam. Each course thus has it’s own structure.

Our thoughts:

So this is clearly something different. Theere are no pre-recorded sessions, like the others. This would also explain the high price point compared to the others. As a drawback, their online music production courses are not instant, you have to enroll like you would to a school. Only that the school location is your home, if you cannot access the offline schools Point Blank Music School has running in London, L.A., Mumbai, Ibiza and China.

We feel like this product is for the more advanced music production, since asking questions is key here.

If you feel like you have run out of material to study on your own and feel like it’s time to get 1:1 with a teacher who can guide you further then look no further and click the button below to access the Point Blank Music School website.

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Producertech EQ Fundamentals Review

Producertech is a well established music course provider. It was founded in 2009 by Rob Jones. Of all their online music production courses, EQ fundamentals is one of our favourites. Here’s why:

  • Music style: None in Specific
  • Financial Investment: Low
  • Duration: 2.5 hours of video + assignments +
  • Main DAW used: Ableton
  • Our Rating: 9/10.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Course Structure:

  • Introduction to Frequencies
  • EQ Controls 
  • EQ in Isolation
  • Frequency Demo #3 – Combining the Piano and Sine Wave 
  • The Frequency Spectrum Explained
  • EQ with respect to other parts
  • EQ’ing Drums 
  • Common EQ Practices
  • EQ’ing Kick and Bass
  • EQ on the Master Channel
  • EQ In The Mix

Our thoughts:

This course is, in our opinion, a must do for all aspiring producers. Having a solid grasp of EQ can be the difference between an amateur sounding song and a commercial grade end product.

Producertech’s EQ Fundamentals online music production masterclass course will give you the foundation you need to make clean sounding mixed, at a very accessible cost (25$).

It doesn’t have a rock star teacher or cover 10 different topics, but that is, in our opinion, a strength. There is no magic pill that will make you a successful musician. Instead, the path to success is continued investment in small courses on different topics. This laser focused course will give you a very complete foundation on one of the most important skills in the game: EQing.

It also comes with the EXPOSE software, which allows you to “test” your final mix for any potential issues. We were positively surprised by the production quality of the course. Here’s a sample video from the course:

There is a special focus on bass and kick mixing, thus making it slightly more relevant to electronic, hip-hop, and pop producers, though it really suits any kind of music style.

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Berklee Online Review- Electronic Music Production

Berklee is one of the most famous music schools in the world. This institution is a pioneer in online music production courses, having started in 2002! They still are an industry leader and offer the most formal type of education you’ll find in this list.

  • Music style: Electronic
  • Financial Investment: Moderate
  • Duration: Around 6 months (4 hours / week recommended)
  • Main DAW used: Ableton, though teachings can be applied to any DAW.
  • Our Rating: 9.5/10.
  • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate
  • Certificate upon completion: Yes

Course Structure:

  • The Technology of Music Production
  • Introduction to Ableton Live
  • Creating Sounds for Electronic Music
  • The Art of Vocal Production

Our Thoughts:

This is a solid course for students looking for a serious commitment and some degree of credibility. It teaches all the theoretic background + gives you a solid foundation in ableton production and recording / mastering vocals.

If you’re looking for some credibility in the industry, the Beerklee is something to stick in your CV that can also teach you some good theory.

However, there are more advanced and complete courses in this list in terms of knowledge.

Finally, one of the main advantages is that coursera offers financial aid to certain students.

All in all, it is pretty inexpensive, at 39$/month, and if you’re feeling motivated, you can knock it off in a couple of months, getting a “mini” degree for a very affordable price.

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Udemy Music Production Courses review

Next up, we have a couple of udemy courses. We’ll start with probably the most popular music course in the platform, “Music Production in Logic Pro X”.

Udemy has a lot of online music production course programs on it’s website, they mostly have a similar structure to the Logic X one which is our reference.

This course was developed by Digital Music Masters, a well established music school.

  • Music style: None in Specific
  • Financial Investment: Low
  • Duration: 38 hours of video + articles and resources
  • Main DAW used: Logic Pro X
  • Our Rating: 9/10.
  • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Our Thoughts

This is mostly for those more advanced. What we like is that you can just pay for one “topic” and not buy the whole online music production masterclass course package like with the others. You just get to Udemy, shop for what you want to know and that’s it.

These courses are mostly focused on daw workflows, with some specific items covering hardware gear like the Maschine and others focusing on specific sub-genres like music for games. All in all we think it is good product if you just want to fill some specific empty spaces in your skill arsenal.

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Final Thoughts

We hope that the above suggestions help you kickstart your music production career/hobby.

This article is in constant update as we try new courses, so if you have any recommendations, please post them below in the comments section!

Loopcloud Drum – New Free Drum Plugin by Loopmasters

Loopcloud Drum is a new free plugin that features 16 pads for drum/samples, built in sequencer and effects.

We have written about loopcloud before- It’s a great piece of software to store all your samples and organize your library and production workflow in the cloud.

It comes with ready to use kits from some very popular producers including Audiojack, Evil Needle, Maribou State, Justice, Timo Maas, Phaeleh, and many more.

The coolest feature of a new plugin is of course integration with Loopmasters sample libraries/Loopcloud.

Here’s a quick look at what the interface and main features look like:

It also comes with loads of preset patterns, making it possible to get some very high quality drums with just a few clicks. If you’re looking for a simple solution to adding high quality drums to your instrumentals, look no further.

There is a focus on electronic / EDM beats, but you can really find most styles present in their sound bank.

The best part? It’s absolutely free.

Have you tried this piece of software? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Best Laptop for Music Production – Tested and Reviewed [2023]

If you are here then you are looking for music production laptops, either to replace your old one or to get into music making in 2023. Back in the day the music was composed, created, and produced in specialised music studios full of heavy analog equipment. Now you can take the studio with you to the beach, the mountains and even to a family dinner.

Nowadays, we are not so limited and we can do a great job on our laptops. There are several digital audio workstations available that can help with music production on your laptop or desktop pc.

However, not all laptops have what it takes for a serious music production. Buying a proper laptop for this purpose can be a bit difficult because all of the choices you have today. The laptop required for this kind of job must meet some requirements, as we will elaborate.

Editor’s note: This list of BEST laptops for music production is constantly updated to reflect the actual market, so make sure you bookmark this article for future reference.

Music production laptop specifications

The most important factors for every laptop for music production are the CPU power as well as the amount of RAM that you have at your disposal. The, it is followed by type and speed of storage but since today everything is running on SSD technology, we will not get into this discussion and consider all laptop storage technology equal.

Then, the third thing you want would be very good battery life if you are on the road or on planes a lot.

We have a very nice article about what these tech specs mean for music production, and we invite you to read it here before going forward with our product list.

The i7 processor seems to be the industry standard CPU, though the exact model varies as do the overclocking possibilities. For portability you can get on very well with an i5, only it will not hold that many channels (still sufficient for regular use). AMD has developed a very good processor lineup named Ryzen which on desktop outperform Intel’s products by a long shot, and they are now getting into the laptop market as well. Thus, we have included a Ryzen powered laptop on our list.

For now we do not recommend the new M1 Apple laptops for music production, it is still early technology that will most likely be improved vastly in the next years.

If you want a good explanation on Apple M1 chips, here is a nice video. We are not saying that the technology is not good, we are just advising you to wait and get a later generation that will have less issues and more stability and performance. Also, a good note to add is that the compatibility right now is better than expected, as the below video shows, it’s just that you should not rush and buy the first generation of new tech products as a general rule, but wait a bit and get a more mature iteration. If you do, however, make sure you check each plugin that you use for compatibility with the M1. Also, be prepared for some update problems in the future as it is common for first generations to have issues down the line due to faulty software updates.

Last but not least, good speakers are always nice to have for emergency situations, as well as a nice sounding headphone output.

Don’t forget about the software that will run on your music production laptop, so make sure you check out our list of BEST VST Synths.


To make your life easier, we surveyed our team and community to come up with the very best laptop for music production in 2023. For a summarized table, check the one below.

Also, please note that while this music production laptop comparison is of course accurate for 2023, we have kept products from 2019 and 2020 because their price has decreased a lot and the performance is still top notch for current music production needs.

Note: if you are on a mobile device, scroll left and right in the table to see all the entries, and up and down in the cells to see all the content.

Model CPU RAM Price
Editor’s Overall Choice
Apple Macbook Pro 16″
8-Core Intel Core i9 Processor 32 GB
Editor’s Value Choice
ASUS ZenBook Pro UX534FTC
Intel Core i7-10510U 16 GB
Editor’s Budget Choice
HP Envy X360 2 in 1
AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 16 GB
Editor’s Portability Choice
Microsoft Surface Laptop
Intel Core i5-1035G7 8 GB
ASUS ROG GU502GW-AH76
Intel Core i7-9750H 16 GB
Apple Macbook Pro 15″
4-Core Intel Core i7 Processor 16GB
Dell XPS 13 7390
Intel Core i7-10710u 16GB

As you can see, we have a very neat selection and have defined not one but three winners, based on each user. It would be unwise to recommend a 2500+ USD laptop to a student, so we have split the price-sensible offering into a Value winner (bang per buck) and a Budget one (best cheapest one). The all-rounder cannot be something other than a Macbook, and while it saddens us to see the Windows offering a bit lagging behind, things have gotten better in recent years and we can fully recommend a Windows machine is the price is a deciding factor.

A very important note here: we recommend Apple laptops not because of the hardware, because it is on par with Windows devices, but because of the drivers.

Apple audio software drivers (CoreAudio) are still the best ones for Audio Production. The latency, broad compatibility and ease of use (basically plug and play) cannot be equaled by what can be done with the Windows operating system.

Another advantage, minor but existing, is the native MIDI support of MacOS, which is much more simpler to manage, filter out and route than using 3rd party software on Windows (very poor native MIDI).

If you also want to record vocals, we have an interesting articles on microphone arms – tested and reviewed.

Best Overall Music Production Laptop: Apple Macbook Pro 16″ review

Apple MacBook Pro 16″ 2019

Price Range: 2000-3000 USD
Portability: Average
Processor Core Count: 8 Core Processor
RAM: 32 GB
Storage Size: 1TB
Connectivity: Very Bad
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This one was very simple, everybody everwhere would agree that in 2023 you are still better of with an Apple Device. This particular Macbook Pro is, above all, future proof. You will be covered for at least 5 years with this device, and if you take care of your laptop, you will be celebrating 2030 with it for sure. 32 GB of RAM is very useful if you are doing orchestral music or working with a lot of sample-based instruments and material. The 8 core processor is quite uncommon in a laptop, but it will guarantee the lowest latency even when working with 192 kHz sample rates that truly capture your outboard gear and hardware synthesizers.

The processor is top notch with a whopping set of 8 cores. You can take this baby out and record a full orchestral performance of more than 100 different instruments all at once, it will take them. If you want to use it for electronic music, it will handle all VST Synths with ease, no matter how many voices of polyphony use want to use. Some synths allow up to 128 voices, and the results are VERY interesting, if your processor allows it of course. You insist to work with VST processing set to High Quality or Oversampling? No problemo, go ahead, this laptop can simply do everything and all at once.

The build quality is truly unique. There is no other product that looks and feels so good, while on the other hand can take a beating on tour and still look and work great. No wonder all travelling musicians and DJs travel with a MacBook Pro. I’ve never ever seen one with a broken hinge, with cracks in the case (which is smooth aluminium) or manifesting discolouration due to the sun like the plastic devices do.

The screen is the best in its class, not only due to the very high resolution but also due to it’s natural color reproduction. Yes it creates a lot of glare and is prone to fingerprints, indeed all MacBooks are like this, but this is only because there is a layer of very resistant glass on top, and resistant glass always does that.

Oh.. Apple, the company we love to hate. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, stability is preferred instead of innovation. Yes, connectivity is (at first glance) rather limited. But we still buy it because it is by far the best operating system, which has excellent drivers and compatibility for your gear. You buy a MacBook Pro if you need very low audio latency, excellent MIDI and Audio Routing, better than average battery life and stellar build quality.

This Apple device has two native Thunderbolt 3, and we recommend you use them both, one for your native Thunderbolt 3 sound card (or other sound card with an adapter) and one for a Thunderbolt 3 Dongle.

For connectivity we recommend this Thunderbolt dongle, so you can have a single connection from gear to laptop, including power:

Never connect your sound card to the music production laptop via Dongle because it will impact your latency no matter what specs your laptop are. Always go for a direct connection.

Best Value Music Production Laptop: ASUS ZenBook Pro UX534FTC review

ASUS ZenBook Pro UX534FTC 2019

Price Range: 1500-2000 USD
Portability: Good
Processor Core Count: 4 Core Processor
RAM: 16 GB
Storage Size: 1TB
Connectivity: Good
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

ASUS is a well-known company and when you are looking into their laptop you simply have to have high expectation. Needless to say, this particular model effortlessly meets those high expectations.

We want to point out now that Value does not mean the cheapest, which this laptop is not. Value means how much laptop and how many features you get for the money invested.

ZenBook is probably the ultimate solution for those of you who are looking for an excellent and highly portable laptop for music production as well as DJing. This ASUS ZenBook comes with a very nice 4K display and the CPU is a quad-core i7-10510U.

When it comes to RAM, you have 16 GB of RAM at your disposal. This laptop also features an SSD and all of these components make it an ideal machine for music production.

The secondary display is just astonishing and can be very well used for music production as well as DJing and live performances.

The laptop has a powerful GTX 1050 graphics card that is able to run some of the latest popular video games, making it ideal for gaming as well.

ASUS laptops are known for their build quality and reliability, and this model is no exception.

As you know, one of the most important factors you need to take into consideration when purchasing a music production laptop is that it doesn’t freeze or crash while you work.

Well, with the ZenBook’s CPU power and RAM, you have more than enough for any production task.

In order to make this machine crash, you would need to load 40+ effects and VSTS into one single project. This is an absurd amount of VSTS and effects and no one does that.

Best Budget Music Production Laptop: HP Envy X360 2 in 1 review

Being on a strict budget in 2023 seems like fun. It is totally not like it was back in the day when you had to sacrifice everything but the bare minimum. Right now, technology has gone so far that even the entry level offering is compelling in some way. Here is the winner, 2023’s best budget music production laptop:

HP Envy X360 2in1

Price Range: 500-1000 USD
Portability: Great
Processor Core Count: 8 Core Processor
RAM: 16 GB
Storage Size: 512GB
Connectivity: Good
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

To be honest, recommending a convertible laptop in 2023 seems right. Not to mention that the processor is not Intel, but AMD.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, AMD have come a very very long way and have eaten quite a big share of Intel’s market share. This is only because their new processor line, Ryzen, now reaching it’s fourth iteration, works very well.

We can clearly say that for muticore tasks (all current DAW versions have adequate multicore support) AMD is at least on par with Intel.

What is very very good about AMD is the price point, because as you can see, only the top choice of this article (a laptop that is 3x more expensive that this HP) has an eight core processor. Sure, the single-core performance is not the same, but for regular 12-15 track projects you are better of with a cheap cpu that has as many cores as possible. We can say for sure is that you don’t necessarily need an Intel CPU for your machine to be one of the best music production laptops.

The 2-in-1 aspect is by no means a gimmick. Modern musicians love to work on the road, in the train or airplane so having a very comfortable and, should we say inspiring mobile setup can be important.

This laptop has a touch screen which, being released in 2020, is of course multi touch. Multi touch is a very important thing, because with a mouse you will never be able to control more than one parameter/knob. But now with multitouch, you can actually use both hands to control two parameters. So don’t consider yourself poor, consider yourself lucky!

Best “Portable” Music production laptop: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 review

Sure, all laptops are portable. But some laptops are more portable than others. Microsoft have had a good run with their Surface devices. As portability dictates, this machine is one of the best music production laptops. Surface devices are premium devices. Unfortunately you have to sacrifice connectivity and raw processing power to get portable but still, if this is your thing, we have a recommendation for you.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Price Range: 500-1000 USD
Portability: Excellent
Processor Core Count: 4 Core Processor
RAM: 8 GB
Storage Size: 128GB
Connectivity: Good
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

We cannot hide this from you, you are sacrificing performance. You are sacrificing storage space. You are sacrificing battery life. But you get a very thin and light laptop that you don’t really feel in your bag or luggage. If you are using it mostly to store hardware presets (thinking of digital front of house mixers) or to use digital interfaces to hardware (DANTE/MADI soundcards with 96 channels) then you really don’t need the performance. If you mostly record on the road or if you just want a portable studio and are ready to take the hit, go for this music production laptop.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is indeed pretty, sure, it looks a lot like the MacBook. The build quality is very good.

The downsides, and there are many, yes, are in performance. The processor is still four core so good, but lower in performance compared to the i7s. Ram is somewhat limited to 8GB, so you will not be able to do everything you want with samples on this machine. But the worst limitation, in our oppinion, is the connectivity and the storage. At 128GB, you will have less than 100GB realistically for all your files.

Unortunately, there is a no SD card slot so you have to rely on an external SSD drive for your studio media, sample library and such.

We recommend this external SSD. Don’t go for an old-school mechanical hard drive because it is much slower than the USB port and will bottleneck your setup.

ASUS ROG GU502GW-AH76 Music Production Laptop Review

The ASUS ROG (Republic Of Gamers) product line is simply amazing and this particular model is one of our all-time favorite laptops. It blows away all of our expectations when it comes to performance, build quality and design. The design is out of this world and it’s probably one of the most well made laptops currently on the market.

If we have to put our finger on one thing we like the most it would be the amazing desktop-like configuration. Of course this is expected because ROG stands for Republic of Gamers, and gamers demand performance. The laptop features an overclocked Intel i7-9750H CPU, RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics card, 512GB SSD, and an amazing 17” screen.

When it comes to battery life, the ASUS ROG GU502GW-AH76 is an under performer, lasting only 6 hours, according to the manufacturer. I guess there is no such thing as a free lunch in the world of laptop music production and at this price and with these specs, you can hardly expect the battery to last 10+ hours

As you can see, this is one of the best music production laptops and it can mirror a performance of the high-end desktop gaming computers. You could argue that the Intel i7-9750H CPU is a bit of overkill for music production, but is there really such a thing as too much CPU? You will never get any CPU spikes, crashes, or lags while working on your music production tasks, that we can guarantee.


Yes, this laptop is labeled as a gaming laptop, but it can handle any music production task you throw at it. This machine is made to do anything from 4k gaming to graphic design and intense music production. If your budget is high enough, you will absolutely love this laptop.

To put things in perspective, the company behind FL studio states that any machine that scores above 9000 in the cpubenchmark.net is a strong machine. Well, this laptop scores 11774. With this configuration, you can be sure that it will run smoothly and quietly. It’s made for serious gaming so the music production is nothing for this beast. You can push it to the limit and it will never struggle.


This flawless performance is attributed to its powerful CPU and the 16 GB of RAM and the 512 GB SSD are there just to seal the deal and make this machine one of the fastest and smoothest laptops on the market.

Apple 15” MacBook Pro Music Production Laptop Review


This is one of the older Apple Macbook offerings, older than our all-round winner (the 16″ MacBook Pro). Still this one packs a punch, with an 2.9GHz quad-core Intel i7, that can be turbo-boosted up to 3.9GHz. This is more than enough CPU power for almost any music production task.

When it comes to RAM, you can freely say that 16 GB of 2133 MHz RAM is quite enough. With this amount of RAM at your disposal, you will have almost zero crashes even if you use a lot of effects and VSTS.

To be completely honest, Apple products are usually more expensive than its Windows-counterparts and this particular laptop is not an exception. With that being said, we simply must admit that the MacBooks are made to be perfect.

It features a 512 GB Solid State Drive that enables the smoothest and most reliable working experience when you work in your DAW. Almost every producer can tell you the same story about one time he produced an awesome track and he didn’t save it and then his DAW crashed unexpectedly. Well, it’s a slim chance that this will ever happen with a MacBook Pro.

The SSD instead of a normal hard drive was most definitely a good decision. The Solid State Drives are the fastest units you can find today and are way faster than a normal hard drive. The high-quality SSD in this laptop means it boots way faster than other laptops.This also means that your laptop will run much smoother and if you store your VSTS and samples on your SSD, they will load very fast, which is very helpful for music production.

The graphics card in this machine is the Radeon HD 560, which means that this laptop can also be used for some serious gaming or graphics editing. And with its nice 15 inch retina display, you can enjoy a high-end viewing experience and you can fit a few DAWs on your display at the same time.

Overall, this MacBook pro is one of the best music production laptops with a sleek design and it’s the perfect solution for music producers who work with Mac compatible software.

Dell XPS 13 7390 Music Production Laptop Review

Finally, we arrive at the Dell XPS 13.

Priced at arround 100$, this can be an entry level laptop. When it comes to performance, it ranks among the very best laptops for music production. It comes with an Intel i7-10710u which can be clocked to 4. 6 GHz which gets an 9980 score from cpubenchmarks. One of the main highlights of the XPS 13 is its battery life. According to pcmag, it can last almost 12 hours, taking the number 1 spot for batteries in this list.

When it comes to graphics, this model uses Intel UHD Graphics with Shared Graphics memory. It delivers fairly good graphics though some other models in this list will perform better in this department.

All in all, this laptop presents a great price/quality ratio. It’s one of the cheapest in the list and has the best battery and a great core processor.

Final Thoughts

The models we described above are the absolutely the best music production laptops for music production you can find. All of these offer a great power and reliability and are capable to handle any music production project.

Which one will you choose depends solely on your personal preferences as well as your budget. It mostly comes to what you actually want, because at the end of the day there is really no all-rounder laptop for both performance and portability, not to mention price.

Evolution of movie soundtrack composition

A brilliant video on movie soundtracks composition. Raising questions of soundtrack music originality and showing how it is evolved from recording back-tracks with orchestra to the complete digital studios.

We definitely don’t see soundtracks like Ennio Morricone expcept in Quentin Tarantino’s movies. But just to remind you – in 70s and 80 soundtrack could sound like this:

And the evolution of music technology, electronic music genres that are focused on sound and rhythm rather than melody changed soundtrack purpose into textures and rhythms that support picture (which is not a bad thing of course).

NI Updates Maschine software to 2.5

Maschine 2.5

The following improvements are included in Maschine 2.5.0:

  • Support for MASCHINE JAM and it’s associated features
  • Perform FX effects
  • Maschine Factory Library update (available in Native Access)
  • Fixed Velocity is now unified between Pad and Step entry modes
  • A detailed list of missing plug-ins is now presented when trying to load content which requires plug-ins that MASCHINE cannot find.

Fixed Issues:

  • REPLIKA is embedded correctly in MASCHINE’s plugin strip
  • Improved Loop behaviour when deleting and moving scenes
  • Numerous bug fixes

Perform FX description

PERFORM FX

Enliven your sounds with MASCHINE 2.5 software’s advanced Perform FX. Designed for spontaneous, tactile control in recording or live performance, these eight complex multi-effects alter motion, space, dynamics, and more for added expression.

FILTER
An analog-modeled High, Low, and Band-pass filter capable of yielding raw, natural-sounding results using saturation and resonance. Roll off the highs for a thick, murky veil, or use the resonance to create sounds that float into self-oscillation infinity.

FLANGER
A comb filter effect with more than a few tricks up its sleeve. Get performance-ready flanger or phaser effects, or expose its wild side – setting higher decay and frequency values unleashes ping-pong delay-like flutter effects.

BURST ECHO
A warm, versatile echo with plenty of character, designed for spontaneous splashes of echo. Strong, responsive attacks that taper off into hazy trails are perfect for dub and can also be tweaked for more extreme sound design.

RESO ECHO
A complex resonant echo with advanced feedback and saturation that verge on psychedelic tendencies. Echoes range from a tight, punchy resonant hum to ambiguous howling sounds from another dimension.

RING
Built on a carefully selected bank of ring modulators, Ring adds a bell-like quality to melodic sound sources. Using the additional plate reverb, tweak a knob or Smart Strip to hand-pick individual notes and keep them ringing into the stratosphere.

STUTTER
Turn the intensity up, and down again with Stutter. This beat-mangling effect adds creative dynamics like glitches, fills, and expressive pitch-bending crescendos to drum patterns and more.

TREMOLO
A no-frills tremolo and vibrato effect that’s perfect for creating motion and wobble on the fly. Instantly add expression with multiple modes, Rate, and Depth ranges, and use the Stereo knob to create auto-pan motion effects.

SCRATCHER
Scratcher warps your sounds with turntable motion effects that can get other-worldly. Apply a ‘brake’ to a sound, then scratch with it – just like on vinyl. Or use the pitch shifter delay to thicken the sound and create alien-sounding sweeps.

 

Maschine 2.5 Factory Library Update Overview

Cubasis updated to 2.0 with time-stretch, pitch shift, new FX and more

Steinberg has updated Cubasis to 2.0 bringing lots of new features for both professional musicians and beginners.

First of all time-stretch – long waited feature requested by many users. There’s manual and auto mode.

Pitch shift is another requested feature.

New channel strip makes Cubasis more suitable for professional use. Great to have saturator on each channel.

Though it is great update and great intro price for new users there are still some important features missing: Ableton Link support and 12″ iPad Pro interface – it is still scaled version of 9″ ipad.

Cubasis 2 special price valid from September 22 to October 06, 2016: € ($) 24.99 (regular price: € ($) 49.99).
Special price for FX Pack 1 and FX Pack 2 (exclusively available through in-app purchase) valid until October 06, 2016: € ($) 3.99 (regular price: € ($) 6.99).

[appstore id=583976519]

What’s new in Cubasis 2

• A Refreshed User Interface – Enjoy profound usability by straightforward workflows
• Real-time Time-Stretch – Tempo match audio loops to your song’s tempo in a snap
• Pitch shift with formant correction – Easily change keys of any tracks and tune them to perfection
• A studio-grade channel strip – Reach true sound perfection for all channels
• Spin FX – Tweak and mash-up your tracks with DJ-like breaks, stops and stutters
• MicroSonic TAPE instruments – Perfectly recreate trademark sounds from the ’60s era
• 76 new Micrologue presets – Lay down your tracks with cutting-edge modern synth sounds
• Factory loops tempo match – Enjoy the freedom to use included audio loops at any tempo
• MIDI Auto Quantize – Sync MIDI tracks with the beat while recording
• Ready for iOS 10 – Cubasis 2.0 is fully tested and proven iOS 10 compatible

Cubasis 2 Improvements & Fixes
CB-335 Zooming behaviour in arrange window and editors has been reworked to provide enhanced precision and accuracy.
CB-3282 Response time has drastically been improved for menu bar and tool bar buttons.
CB-3081 Record mode tools have been added to tempo pop-up for improved usability.
CB-3145 Factory audio loop library has been converted to lossless FLAC format for improved quality.
CB-3273 Background color option has been added to the setup for the Arrange window.
CB-3209 Order of fixed insert slots can be swapped via corresponding icon.
CB-3289 Improves the cosmetic issue of iOS keyboard and text pop-ups overlapping.
CB-392 Overlapping events no longer flicker when zooming or scrolling.
CB-2947 Loading audio unit instances during playback no longer results in muted audio playback.
CB-3298 Releasing the pitch-bend wheel now correctly resets its value.
CB-3314 Fixes the graphical issue of overlaying event names and event lengths.
CB-3321 Fixes the problem of unreliable rendering of Cubasis when transferring a file via Air Drop.
CB-3341 Fixes the problem of unreliable rendering of Cubasis when deleting user files via WiFi.
CB-3063 Fixes a rare phenomenon where audio files can get lost after recording, renaming and reloading a project.
CB-3028 Solves a rare problem where undoing a track recording could lead to losing corresponding I/O track settings.
CB-3045 Fixes a rare issue where undoing a recording can lead to renaming of the corresponding track.
CB-3129 Fixes a problem where the user interface of Blamsoft Viking appears broken after being assigned as AU instrument.
CB-3127 Freezing an AU track that contains Moog Model 15 now leads to expected results.
CB-2919 Fixes a problem where loading a project that contains a NS1 AU instrument instance could lead to unreliable behaviour of Cubasis.
CB-2205 Swing quantize settings are now properly saved with the project.
CB-3046 Fixes a problem where activating cycle mode during pre-count can lead to loosing recordings.
CB-3062 Activating cycle mode during count-in no longer leads to unwanted results.
CB-3110 Fixes defective samples of Microsonic’s Mellow EP instrument.
CB-3159 Type parameter of filter effect plug-in can now be automated as expected.
CB-3145 Importing loops from the factory library no longer results in wrong audio event lengths.
CB-3170 Return to stop in record mode now works as expected when having roll/count enabled.
CB-3175 Solves a problem where importing 96 kHz samples could lead to broken MiniSampler instruments.
CB-3210 Deleting an effect no longer interacts with other effect or track automations.
CB-3162 Fixes a graphical issue where importing .wav files could lead to overlapping between waveform and event size.

The Legend: Synapse brings MiniMoog to Propellerhead Reason

Synapse (developers of Dune and Antidote synths) has released new Rack Extension for Propellerhead Reason: The Legend.
The Legend is modeled after legendary Moog’s MiniMoog synth with several additions not found in the orginial synth.
“Every component, ranging from the voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs), voltage-controlled filter (VCF) and voltage-controlled amplifier (VCA), have been modeled to an accuracy never seen before in software. Furthermore the snappy filter and amplifier envelopes have been meticulously modeled, as well as the massive bottom end – even the most marginal effects like temperature drift or effects originating from the power supply have been taken into account.”
Anybody who have seen Minimoog or any plugin that recreates it (Arturia, NI Monark) will find familiar interface – three Oscillators with Moog-style controls, Mixer session with Noise and Feedback, Two Envelopes – One for filter and another for VCA. But also there are couple of new things…
First addition comparing to the original is Poly-mode. Second – it has Unison. At the back-side of the synth you can also find Reverb and Delay section.
What would be cool is to have Envelope CV outs (I hope Synapse add it in the future releases) – but except that it is perfect virtual analog synth that sounds fat and really analog. I would say it has the most analog sound comparing to any other RE-synth. And also from the design point of view – it is one most beautifully designed rack extensions. It looks great with a new Reason 9 black theme.
The Legend is available in Rack Extensions Store for $99 – which is great price tag for one of the best sounding Rack Extensions.

NI to update Maschine adding major Sequencer improvements

Native Instruments has posted on their forum announcement of new functionality they are adding to Maschine.

As for today most of Maschine users creating track sketches in Maschine and exporting stems/audio/midi into other DAW for further arrangement/processing.

Maschine sequencer – from capturing ideas to the full track

One of the mid-term goals for Native Instruments is to “support the full workflow from capturing first ideas to sketching a song arrangement”.

In v.2.4.6 Maschine Sequencer was updated to support Scene Length (independently from the Clip Length – before that Scene length was equal to longest clip in the scene).

The next improvement to be added is called Linked Scenes.

“This will allow Scenes to be inserted into the arrangement multiple times, and changes in one of the linked Scenes (or instances of the Scene, if you like) will be mirrored in the other linked Scenes. With one press of a button, a linked Scene can be turned into a “unique” Scene, i.e. new Patterns are generated on all Groups and the Scene is unlinked, but contains exactly the events of the linked Scene – and can be edited on its own from then on. We are implementing this feature in a way that it is unobtrusive to existing workflows of Scene duplication etc.”

Song Layer and Song Clips

The next step will be adding Song Layer – a new layer on top of the Scene arranger where Song clips can be placed independent from the Scene boundaries. So Scenes would contain patterns. And Song contains Song Clips. Pattern can be turned into Song Clip.

As mentioned on the forum – all these new adjustments are being tested by small group of beta testers. I expect new Song Layer to be available in next major Maschine update 2.5. And maybe NI finally introduce new hardware – to respond Ableton Push 2 and MPC Touch.