Electronic Music Producers: What Tools Do You Need?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


You need more than just a laptop to produce professional sounding electronic music. Here is a list of essential tools that every electronic music producer needs.


If you’re new to the world of electronic music production, the array of software tools and hardware devices available can be daunting. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the essential equipment that every producer needs to create great sounding tracks.

First, let’s start with the basics: a computer and a digital audio workstation (DAW). A DAW is the software that you’ll use to record, edit, and mix your music. There are a variety of popular DAWs available on the market, so do some research and find one that works best for you. Once you’ve got your DAW set up, you’ll need a few other essential pieces of hardware:

-A MIDI keyboard or controller: This will allow you to input melodies and chords into your DAW.
-A digital audio interface (DAI): This helps improve the sound quality of your recordings by providing better conversion of digital audio signals.
-Studio monitors or headphones: These are important for being able to hear what you’re working on clearly.
-Microphones: You’ll need at least one microphone for recording vocals or instruments.

In addition to these hardware essentials, there are also a few software tools that every producer should have in their arsenal:

-Sample packs: These collections of sounds can be used in your productions to add more sonic variety.
-Synthesizers: Software synthesizers can be used to create new sounds or process existing audio signals.
-Drum machines: These are great for creating drum tracks or programming beats.

With these basic tools in place, you’ll be well on your way to making great sounding electronic music!

Basic Tools

As an electronic music producer, you will need a few basic tools to get started. These include a computer, a DAW (digital audio workstation), music software, and a MIDI controller. In this article, we will discuss each of these tools in detail and give you a better understanding of what you will need to get started in the world of electronic music production.

A laptop or computer

If you want to produce music electronically, you’re going to need a laptop or a computer. It’s that simple. You can produce music on a tablet, but it’s not going to be nearly as easy or as practical. You might be able to get away with using just your phone, but it’s going to be even harder. So, for the sake of this article, we’re assuming you’re going to use a laptop or a computer.

The next question is: what kind of computer do you need? The short answer is: any kind will do. The long answer is: it depends on what kind of music you want to make and how much money you want to spend.

If you want to make simple music, like dance or pop music, then you don’t need a very powerful computer. In fact, an entry-level laptop will be more than enough. If you want to make more complex music, like hip-hop or EDM, then you’ll need a mid-range or high-end laptop. And if you want to make really complex music, like orchestral arrangements or film soundtracks, then you’ll need a powerful desktop computer.

Of course, the more powerful your computer is, the more money it’s going to cost. So, if you’re on a budget, you might want to start with an entry-level laptop and upgrade later when (and if) your needs change.

Music production software

In order to create and produce your own music, you will need music production software. This is the digital audio workstation (DAW) that you will use to record, edit, and mix your music. There are many different DAWs available on the market, so it is important to do your research and find one that best suits your needs. Some of the most popular DAWs include Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, and Reaper.

The type of music you want to produce will also dictate the type of software you need. For example, if you want to create electronic dance music (EDM), you will need a DAW that offers a wide range of synth plugins and sound effects. If you want to produce hip hop or R&B, you will need a DAW with a solid drum sampler and a good selection of bass guitar sounds.

Once you have selected a DAW, it is important to spend time learning how to use it effectively. There are many tutorials available online and in books that can help you get started. You should also consider taking a music production course so that you can learn from an experienced producer.

A MIDI keyboard

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. MIDI controllers come in all shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose: to send control signals to electronic music software programs (like Ableton Live, Logic Pro, FL Studio, etc.) in order to play or trigger sounds.

A MIDI keyboard is one of the most basic and essential pieces of equipment for any producer. Unlike a traditional piano keyboard, a MIDI keyboard does not produce any sound on its own – it is simply a controller that sends MIDI information to your computer or other device. This allows you to use the keyboard to play virtual instruments, trigger samples, record melodies, create beats, and more.

There are many different types of MIDI keyboards available on the market, from simple 25-key “mini” keyboards to 88-key professional models. The type of keyboard you choose will depends on your budget and musical needs. If you’re just starting out, a small 25-key keyboard will be sufficient for most basic tasks. As your skills and needs grow, you may want to consider upgrading to a larger model with more keys and features.

Optional Tools

While not everyone needs every tool listed, these are some of the commonly used tools by electronic music producers.

A digital audio interface

Digital audio interfaces (“DAIs”) are devices used to get sound in and out of a computer. They come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny ones that fit in your pocket to big ones with multiple inputs and outputs. The one you need depends on what kind of music you want to make and how you want to make it.

If you’re just getting started, a simple 2-channel interface like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 will be enough. If you’re looking to record a full band, you’ll need something with more inputs, like the Presonus Studio 1810c. And if you’re planning on doing a lot of live performances, you’ll need an interface that can run on batteries, like the ROLI Seaboard Block.

DAIs typically have either USB or Thunderbolt connectivity, so make sure your computer has the right kind of port before you buy one.


Headphones are an essential piece of equipment for any musician, but especially for electronic music producers. There are a wide variety of headphones on the market, from super cheap to super expensive, and it can be hard to know which ones are worth your money.

There are a few things to consider when purchasing headphones: comfort, sound quality, and price. Comfort is important because you will be wearing them for long periods of time, and you don’t want them to hurt your ears. Sound quality is important because you need to be able to hear the details in your music. And price is important because you don’t want to spend more than you have to.

Some good headphone options for electronic music producers are the Sony MDR-7506, the Sennheiser HD 25-1 II, and the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro.

External hard drives

Most people start out with just a laptop, but as you start to accumulate more and more music files, you’ll quickly realize that you need an external hard drive (or two). External hard drives are relatively inexpensive these days, and they give you a lot of extra storage space. I recommend getting at least one large external hard drive (1 TB or more) for storing your music files. You can also use external hard drives for backing up your computer files (more on that below).


As an aspiring electronic music producer, it is important to know what tools you need in order to create the music that you want. While there are many different ways to produce electronic music, these are the essential tools that you will need in order to get started. With these tools, you will be able to create professional sounding music that will sound great on any system.

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