Studio Tools and Software Recommendations which are easy to use and affordable
FEBRUARY 12TH, 2020
Especially since Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell have won five Grammys with songs that have been produced in their bedroom, we know it’s tempting to take a shot on making music on your own. Thanks to social media and the uprising of affordable music production tools, it has never been so easy to become a Bedroom Producer! It’s hard to get into actually making music at the same time, since there are so many options available on the market these days, so we figured it’s time for the Ultimate Bedroom Producer Guide.
Hardware must not be too expensive!
We’re not saying you can start making music without investing anything (be it time or money) so please be aware of the fact that it may cost a little bit of money to get started. But the most important is to get started! This guide aims to recommend products that are high in quality, while being affordable at the same time.
Which Device is best for Bedroom Producing?
The best choice is getting a laptop rather than a desktop computer. Obviously you need a computer in the first place, and if you’re on-the-go or want to take your tracks to different places to get inspired, a portable device is the option to go for. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Macbook or any kind of PC, most DAWs (read more below) and virtual instruments / effects are available for both systems, so go with the flow and get a computer that fits your needs. Keep in mind that your computer is your main working device, so make sure that it comes with at least 4GB RAM and 250GB Disk Space. You can always expand your Disk Space by getting an external SSD, but it’s hard to expand your RAM – make sure to get a computer with the biggest memory you can afford. If your on-the-go or want to capture ideas wherever inspiration strikes, we recommend to try pocket music studios like Reason Compact or Cubasis by Steinberg. Start you’re beats or melodies on your iPad and take them to another level in your home studio.
What is Essential Hardware for my Bedroom Studio?
An essential hardware item to produce at home on a professional level is an external MIDI device. Most DAWs come with a built-in piano roll that makes it easy to pencil notes into your track, but your money is well spent if you decide to get a keyboard. There are many options available on the market that cost you less than $100, for example the Akai MPK Mini MK2 or the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32. Music is to be heard, that’s why you should consider getting a pair of studio monitors or studio headphones. The California based company KRK Systems is known for building affordable, yet good sounding studio monitors. Their ROKIT series offers good products to get started in music production. Apart from them, you should check out ADAM AUDIO T5V, it’s the successor of the popular entry-level F5 series. If you’ve got neighbours or a flat mate that likes it quiet, consider getting studio headphones: The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro or the Sennheiser HD series are decent products that get the job done! If none of the recommendations fit your needs, you should visit a local dealer to find the best products for your home studio. There are plenty of other fish in the sea, we just picked some products we like.
Do I need an Audio Interface as a Bedroom Producer?
You’ll basically need an audio interface if you want to record to your computer software using microphones, guitar, piano or any other physical instrument. You’ll also need an audio interface if you want to connect your computer to your studio monitor speakers. Our partner PreSonus offers a great deal, we recommend getting one of their audio interfaces listed. With the purchase of one of these audio interfaces, you’ll get a copy of Virtual Drummer PHAT 2 (among other products) for free.
What is Music Production Software?
To be able to record, produce, compose, mix and master your music, you’ll need a DAW (short for Digital Audio Workstation). It is the central part of your quest to make your own music as a Bedroom Producer. There are many brands out there that have been on the market for quite some time, choose wisely, it is easy to change your DAW, but some producers keep working in their preferred environment for years. FL Studio is probably the most popular DAW among Bedroom Producers, it is easy to get started with and has an interesting gamification approach of making music. Ableton Live has been famous for its way of handling Loops, but has grown over the past few years. It has become the go-to DAW for many professional and hobby producers alike. If you’ve decided to get a Macbook instead of a PC, an obvious choice would be Logic Pro X or Garageband which is free for Apple users. It is available only for macOS and has won a big fan base among Apple users. There are many other options available like Reason by Reason Studios, Studio One by PreSonus or Pro Tools by AVID. Ask for help in one of many music production forums or download a free trial of one or more DAWs to find out what fits your workflow.
Where can I get Instruments, Effects and More?
After all the above mentioned decisions have been made, it is finally time to make some music! As you know, ujam creates virtual instruments that aim to make music production so much easier. One of our approaches is to give you access to well-made, professional performances. You don’t have to study the drums or guitar, you won’t even need to understand how the real instruments work exactly. Load up one of our plug-ins, hit a key and listen to the patterns we created. There’s a lot of stuff going on under the hood, including the played phrases / patterns and added effects. Check out the presets we deliver with every plug-in, take them as a starting point for your next track and then tweak to your liking. You can make every performance your own for example by changing the style of it, customising it’s groove or adding some effects. Our shop offers five different series of products so far, including guitars, basses, drums, drum machines and effects. Discover our Virtual Bassists or Beatmakers and download them for free. We’re offering a full 30 day trial for every product, we want you to make sure our instruments or effects fit your workflow and help you make music! Obviously there are other plug-in options available on the market as well, head over to Plugin Boutique for the best deals or just browse through their vast collection of instruments and effects. If you tend to spice up your tracks with Loops, bigfishaudio or Loopmasters are the one-stop-shops you should check out.
How do I get started?
Now is the time to hit the studio (your bedroom, living room or wherever you want to get creative) and make some music. Have you already got a genre in mind? Don’t worry if not, our instruments let you choose from a wide range of options to get you inspired. Set up an Instagram profile and a Soundcloud account which is entirely free and share your first steps in music. It is so much fun to get feedback from a dedicated crowd and can sometimes create happy accidents or give you inspiration for your next track. We’d love to see and hear your music out there, share your tracks with us or tag us in your Stories or posts using our Instagram handle @ujaminstruments. Get in touch with our support team if you need any help, we are a diverse team of creators ourselves and are happy to help you on any questions. Good luck on your quest to become a bedroom producer!