Using a Laptop for Music Production

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Up until the last couple years I was strongly against using laptops for music production. They just weren’t reliable enough. I know some of the nicer laptops match the specs of some great desktops, but I have run into far more issues with laptops.

With that said, the laptops that are coming out now are not only powerful, but seem to be more reliable as well.

They have the computing power you need, the ability to run your favorite DAW’s, and can even be used when you are out of the studio. (For when you’re inspired on a plane or something)

This article will discuss the pros and cons of using a laptop for music production as well as which ones we recommend.

laptop

The New Macbook Pro is Amazing

Can you Produce Music on Your Laptop?

The short answer is yes. Laptops today have the resources to handle all the computations made by your audio software.

The Pros:

  • Whisper quiet (Mainly Apple’s)
  • Can be great for some live events
  • Excellent for spur of the moment inspiration
  • It’s mobile! Making it easy to collaborate with others
  • Mobile storage. You can store are your loops and samples
  • You can show off your creations on the fly

The Cons:

  • You need laptop friendly Audio Interface’s
  • Minimal audio connections
  • Inability to easily upgrade
  • Less stable than desktop
  • Less power potential than desktops
  • You can easily damge or lose it!

Cons of Producing on a Laptop

Now for the downsides. First and foremost, what are the odds you leave your desktop in the library, a plane, or a hotel? Minimal.
However there is a very real chance you could lose your laptop, just because it’s so small. At the very least, the odds of you dropping your laptop are greater than your desktop.

Most laptops are not designed for the advanced audio recording, which means very few models come with the audio connections you need.

On top of that, it’s next to impossible to add those connections. Even if your laptop could, it will be expensive and a pain to make those changes.

One of my favorite things about desktops is how easy it is to swap out old parts for new, upgraded ones. It literally takes me minutes to upgrade my RAM or power supply on my desktop. I don’t even know how to do that on a laptop. (Everything I’ve read says it’s unwise to do so)

The Verdict: Should You Produce on a Laptop?

At this point in technology my ideal situation would be to use a high powered desktop for my main setup and have a personal laptop for everyday inspiration or collaborations.

Now, this isn’t cheap and I wasn’t able to afford this when I started. So, if you’re just starting out, choose either a desktop or laptop, but be thinking of having one of each in the future.

It’s also a good idea to invest in a portable or cloud storage service. This way you always have access to your loop stems, samples, and plugins wherever you are.

Which Laptops Should I Get?

Below is a chart of some great laptops you can use to record/produce on.

ImageNamePriceSystemRatingLink
Apple MacBook Pro$1,129.98Mac4.5 StarsAmazon

Apple MacBook Air$1,111.78Mac4.5 StarsAmazon

ASUS K55A$568.00Windows4 starsAmazon

ASUS N56VJ$905.72Windows4 starsAmazon

ASUS G75VX$1,319.97Windows4.5 StarsAmazon