What Gear Do I Need to Produce Techno Music?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Techno music is a type of electronic dance music that became popular in the 1980s. It is characterized by a repetitive beat and often has a dark, industrial sound. If you’re interested in producing techno music, you’ll need some specific gear. In this blog post, we’ll go over what you need to get started.


Techno is a genre of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) that first emerged in the late 1980s in Detroit, Michigan. Techno is known for its hypnotic, repetitive style and its use of technology to create futuristic soundscapes.

If you’re interested in producing techno music, you’ll need some specific gear to get started. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the essential equipment you’ll need to produce techno tracks.

The Basic Tools

The first thing you need is a computer. You can produce techno music on a PC or a Mac, but a Mac is recommended because it is less prone to technical issues. Your computer will need a sound card with at least 16-bit stereo sound and 44.1kHz sample rate. You will also need a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) to create and edit your music.

A Computer

Techno music production is largely done using computers. There are a variety of different software programs that can be used, but the two most popular ones are Logic Pro and Ableton Live. If you’re just getting started, you might want to try a free program like Garageband or Audacity.

In addition to a computer, you’ll need a MIDI controller. This is a device that allows you to control the various elements of your software program. The most popular MIDI controllers on the market are the Akai MPK mini and the Native Instruments Maschine mk3.

You’ll also need some speakers or headphones so that you can hear your music as you’re creating it. Depending on the type of techno music you’re making, you might want to consider investing in a subwoofer so that you can really feel the bass.

Music Production Software

In order to create techno music, you will need a music production software. This will be your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), where you will compose, record, and edit your music. There are many different DAWs available on the market, so it is important to do some research to find the one that is best suited for your needs and abilities. Some popular music production software used by techno producers include Ableton Live, FL Studio, Logic Pro, and Reason.


Techno music is primarily electronic, so you’ll need some type of synthesizer to produce it. There are many different types of synthesizers available on the market, from simple plug-in devices to more complex stand-alone units. It’s important to choose a synth that produces the type of sounds you want for your music.

Some of the most popular synths used in techno include the following:

– Roland TB-303: This classic synth is responsible for the signature ‘acid’ sound of techno. It’s a simple monophonic bass synth, but it’s capable of producing a wide range of sounds, from squelchy acid to deep, growling basslines.

– Roland TR-808: Another classic machine, the TR-808 is a drum machine that was originally designed for use in dance music. Its signature sound is the ‘808 kick’, a deep, thumping bass drum that has become synonymous with techno.

– Korg MS-20: The MS-20 is a versatile analog synth that’s capable of producing all kinds of sounds, from percussive stabs to eerie pads. It’s often used as a lead synth in techno tracks.

Drum Machines

No matter what style of techno you’re making, a drum machine is going to be a central piece of your setup. Drum machines give you total control over the sound and feel of your drums, and they offer a wide range of possibilities for creating new and unique beats.

There are a few different types of drum machines on the market, and the one you choose will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Analog drum machines are great for creating warm, organic-sounding drums, while digital drum machines offer more flexibility and precision. Sampling drum machines are perfect for those who want to create custom beats by sampling sounds from other sources.

No matter which type of drum machine you choose, make sure it offers a wide range of controls so you can tweak the sound to perfection. Look for features like velocity-sensitive pads, pitch and mod wheels, step sequencers, and more.


In its simplest form, a sampler is a device that allows you to record and then play back sounds. Samplers come in all shapes and sizes, from standalone units to software that can be run on a computer.

One of the most popular samplers in the world of techno is the Akai MPC, which has been used by everyone from A-Trak to Zomby. The MPC is a drum machine and sampler combo that allows you to create your own beats, record samples, and playback both digital and analog sounds.

If you’re just getting started in the world of techno production, you may not need a standalone sampler. Many computer-based DAWs (digital audio workstations) come with basic sampler functionality built-in. Ableton Live, for example, has a powerful sampler called Simpler that can be used to create anything from simple drum loops to complex melodies.

MIDI Controllers

MIDI controllers come in all shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same basic purpose: to send MIDI signals to your computer (or other MIDI-compatible devices) so that you can control your music software.

There are a few different types of MIDI controllers, but the most popular type is the keyboard controller. Keyboard controllers come in all different sizes, from 25 keys up to 88 keys. They typically have a few knobs and/or faders as well, which can be used to control various parameters in your music software.

Another type of MIDI controller is the pad controller. Pad controllers usually have a grid of pads that can be used to play drums or trigger samples. Some pad controllers also have knobs and faders, which can be used to control various parameters in your music software.

There are also a few other types of MIDI controllers that are less common, such as wind controllers and guitar controllers.

Optional Tools

Techno music is usually produced with a drum machine, a synthesizer, and a sequencer. However, there are other optional tools that you may want to consider if you want to produce techno music. These optional tools include a sampler, a MIDI controller, and a sound module.


Microphones come in all shapes and sizes, and each one offers its own unique capabilities. For techno music production, you’ll want to focus on two main types of microphones: condenser microphones and dynamic microphones.

Condenser microphones are great for capturing subtle details and nuances in your music. They tend to be more expensive than dynamic microphones, but they’re worth the investment if you’re serious about making high-quality techno music.

Dynamic microphones are more rugged and durable than condenser microphones, making them ideal for live performances. They’re also less sensitive than condenser microphones, so they won’t pick up as much background noise.


In order to mix multiple audio sources together, you will need a mixer. The number of channels on the mixer corresponds to the number of audio sources that can be connected at one time. For example, a four-channel mixer would allow you to connect four different audio sources and mix them together.

Mixers also have a variety of controls that allow you to manipulate the audio, such as EQ (equalization) knobs, which allow you to adjust the frequency of the sound; gain knobs, which control the volume of the signal being sent to the mixer; and faders, which are used to mix different audio signals together.

If you plan on doing a lot of recording, you may want to consider investing in a digital audio interface, which is a device that allows you to connect your computer to your mixer. This way, you can record all of the audio from your mixer directly into your computer.


While you can technically produce techno music without turntables, they are such an iconic part of the genre that it would be a shame not to use them. Turntables allow you to scratch and mix records, which can add a lot of energy and excitement to your tracks. If you’re serious about producing techno music, turntables are a must-have piece of equipment.


To produce techno music, you will need a computer with a powerful processor and plenty of RAM, a good quality sound card, an audio interface, headphones, studio monitors, and a MIDI keyboard. You will also need a copy of a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) such as Ableton Live or Logic Pro. With these tools, you will be able to create professional sounding techno tracks.

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