With so much access to information floating all around the internet,
anyone can start making music or pursue any obsession with ease.
Making music has become so easy to create with all the technology that we
have around us and it makes it a cool hobby and a great stream of income.
One of the frequently asked questions I get from most newbie producers is
“Is it possible to make music with just a laptop?”
Laptops nowadays have all the functionality you need to fully make music on them. So the short answer is Yes, you can make music with just a laptop. However, to make music professionally, you need other music production equipment.
This post will take you through a deeper understanding.
What is involved in making music?
Before we can understand just how far we can go with music production with just a laptop,
we have to establish the processes involved in making music.
The very initial step in music production is composing which involves creating melodies,
song writing and composition.
In this step the artist will usually have a song written and the music producer
will have to make the music to accompany the song, this process we all know
as beat making.
This is a crucial step because it will basically determine the entire direction of
The music producer will employ software and instruments (in some cases) to make a composition,
it is very common in this day and age for producers to only rely on virtual
instruments and not use any live instruments at all.
With virtual instruments it is much easier to make beats on a laptop because
the digital audio workstation will have all the tools you will need.
The second step that will be involved in making music is recording vocals and
instruments (in some cases) in order to have a track laid out.
This step will have the artist perform their composition which the recording
engineer will record using a microphone in order to be able to prepare the
record for other processes to follow.
A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) will be the platform that will be used to
capture the vocals.
A good recording microphone should be able to deliver quality audio into the
DAW with a few errors that can solved with some mixing.
This is the process that will naturally come after the recording process.
The music producer or sound engineer will mix the vocals and any other
recorded material, processing will also be carried out in a digital audio workstation.
Different plugins and effects will be used in order to process the vocals and
have them ready for the last stage of the song creation process which is called, Mastering.
Mixing will take care of any errors and will fix any audio discrepancies that
may make it difficult to listen to the song.
Mastering is the last step in making music.
The simple goal here is to perform the final tweaks in order to have the song
ready for release.
A number of plugins and effects will be used during this stage and a digital
audio workstation will be utilized.
The music producer will have to do tweaks and test the song on various
devices in order to make sure that it is well balanced to produce the possible
output quality on every system.
Good mastering will have song sounding good and ready to be consumed by
What can you do with a laptop?
Making music on a laptop alone is possible but there are some things that
will be impossible to carry out because some key equipment will be required.
The easiest task that can be done with just a laptop is beat making.
With beat making you really do not need anything more than a laptop,
All that will be required is a digital audio workstation, some plugins and beat
You can easily get started with only your laptop and some speakers or
With recording, it will be impossible to carry it out without recording
equipment, namely a recording microphone.
You will be able to carry out mixing and mastering even without any other equipment beside a laptop,
so you can easily record from a recording facility and be able to do mixing
and mastering on your laptop.
The above are the possibilities that come with making music on a laptop alone.
What you need?
There are some remedies just in case you are running on a tight budget or wish to make your music with just few equipment:
Get a recording microphone
With a recording microphone you eliminate the problem of only being able to
make beats, mix and master. You will be able to completely start a song and
be able to finish it on your own.
A recording microphone is one of the most important equipment as far as making music goes.
Headphones and speakers will be essential in this case because you’ll need
an output device to play the audio through.
This will be important for you recording and mixing and mastering.
Therefore get a pair of quality headphones and get some good speakers to match,
preferably monitor speakers because they are optimized for music studio application.
In conclusion, it can be easily deduced that making music on a laptop alone is
definitely possible but comes with limitations because you’ll need some other
equipment to help you achieve music production goals like recording.
You will be able to compose and make beats within a digital audio
workstation with only a laptop, but you’ll need some headphones or
speakers to have some good output to work with.