Music Equipment & Musical Instruments

This article covers the basic music equipment we think you need to get started with making music.

Music Equipment Overview

Popular Music Equipment

Your music equipment will be the foundation of your music-making process.

In the beginning, we all want to be like the big music producers we see online with the room full of music equipment, but you don’t need all that when you are getting started, and here is why:

  1. Budget – Music equipment is expensive. Many new music producers are on a budget, so limit your spending to the basic equipment at first, and then buy more advanced gear later when you know you need it.
  2. Time & Learning – The more equipment you buy, the more equipment you have to learn, and less time is spent on perfecting your craft. You want to spend more time on actually creating music and less time on acquiring new gear.

Remember this:

It’s not about the music equipment or software you are using, but about the person using the equipment. Your ear for music, skill, and talent matters more than the equipment you are using.

Dr. Dre’s music equipment didn’t make him the big music producer he is today. His ear and talent for music did. So don’t think you need a big studio to make good music.

Basic Music Equipment

Here are the very basics of what you need to make music.

1. Computer

A computer is a must to run music software.

Music Computer - Music Equipment

2. MIDI Keyboard

Making beats is much easier and creative when you have a keyboard. Midi Keyboards

Midi Keyboard - Music Equipment

3. Studio Monitors

Studio monitors are great for listening to your beats.

studio monitors

4. Music Software

Music software is essential for making beats, to mixing down audio.

Music production Equipment and software

5. Headphones

Headphones will let you hear all the subtle elements when making music.

Music Headphones

6. External Hard Drive

Hard Drives are important for backing up your work and they provide additional storage space.

external hard drive

Common Questions:

I don’t have money for music equipment, what can I do?

If you have a computer you can use any of these free music production software programs to your computer and make music for free.

We highly recommend you get a MIDI keyboard, which you can get for as low as $50.

Leave a comment if you have suggestions on picking music equipment for new music producers.

This article is a part of How to Make Beats series.

What is your favorite pieces of music equipment?

Describe your music setup.

Related: 15 Best Music Studio Desks For Musicians

Mark V. at Hip Hop Makers

Written By Mark V.

Hip Hop Makers is a music production website that launched in 2008 to teach music lovers how to make music, sell beats, and make money from music.

46 Comments Leave a Reply
  1. Man, my set up has changed so much.. I was rockin the Fantom G8 with Logic Pro, Pro Tools, and Maschine.. I learned after spending all that money, that its about keeping it simple and just improving my workflow.. SO now.. I have Mac Pro tower, M-Audio keystation 88 midi, Reason 5, Logic pro/ pro tools, with Akai MPD 32 and a bunch of kits, and vst’s. I sold the fantom, because it’s more for stage performances, even though i miss the weighted keys.

  2. Oh, forgot,, Rockit 8’s monitors and sold the M-Audio Project Mix I/O ( bad faders, and drivers) went back to the M-Audio fast track pro.. I do want that Apogee Ensemble. Great mic pre’s and coverters and overall sonic quality.

  3. Mac Pro, midi keyboad and mic. i setup where ever the money

  4. KRK Rokit G2’s, HP Elitebook, Studio One Pro, Reason 5, Maschine, Behringer umx610, Korg MicroKey, Saffire 6 usb, audio technica lp120, and a ton of vst’s

  5. My Set Up Is Cubase4, Reason5, Fl Studio, Some Vsts & A Yamaha psr-e 413 as midi keyboard

  6. Akai MPC 5000, Korg Triton Studio, Korg D1600, Mackie HR824’s, & tall rack of old school preamps & channel strips.

  7. My setup is base around powerbook G4 laptop
    with Protools 7.4 Reason 4.0 emu proteus 2000 motif rack ,radium 49 key controller,
    Ibanez guitar for jazz funk and rock style playing & a old beat up acoustic guitar for slide playing. but all that doesn’t matter its how create with what you have.

  8. Macbook pro
    Logic pro 9
    Akai MPK49
    Focusrite saffire 6
    Studio-Projects C1
    M-Audio Bx5 D2

  9. At work: ProTools 8 HD. Mostly use MIDI (with a Roland keyboard controller). I also use a Motif Rack.

    At home or on the go: ProTools LE, Motif 7, Garageband, and a bunch of iPhone apps (Groovemaker, Nanostudio, iDrum, Beatmaker, Sampletank, Maschine, etc.).

    If I get inspired, I just use what I have on hand to get some ideas out and try to flesh it out when I get back to the studio…

  10. Well……..Just my PC, it doesn’t work that fast but it can get the Job Done.
    -God Bless everyone-

  11. By the way I use my both hands, that grey Mush inside my head, FL 10 and Reason 5 for the moment.

  12. iMac 27″ QC
    Logic Studio 9
    Protools 9
    NA Komplete 7
    M-Audio Keystation
    Stanton Turntable (for sampling)
    Event TR8 monitors

  13. Im just gettin my studio started so only maschine and a keyboard… Any tips of where i should go next?

  14. Macbook, MPC1000, M-Audio KeyStudio 49i, Logic Pro 9

  15. Macbook pro, Pro tools 9, Reason 5, Garageband, Maschine, Vst’s, Axiom 61 2nd gen, Bx5, Rode mic, akai mini controller and a leather massage chair 4 comfort.

  16. I use Reaper, MPC 4000, Keystation 61 midi keyboard, records, and mad vsts. I love Reaper’s time-stretching and I love its sequencer. Reaper is the most underrated DAW out there. It’s much better than Pro Tools and Cubase. Can’t speak for Logic though because I’ve never used it.

  17. Keyboard and mouse :)



  20. MacBook Pro
    Ableton 8 Suite
    Motu Machfive 2
    NI Kontakt 4
    NI Maschine
    Novation Remote Zero SL
    Focusrite Liquidmix 16
    Fantom X6
    Presonus FP10
    Yamaha HS50M’s
    M-Audio BX5a’s
    Lexicon MX300
    and a couple other racks (eq, comp, tupe preamp, line mixer, etc.)

  21. I love my setup that I have but I have to trim down and I can’t choose. Between the MPC or Maschine
    PC,Yamaha 01x & i88x, Motif Rack es,MPC 2500
    NI Maschine,Genelec 1029A monitors & 7050B Sub with
    Cubase 5,FL Studio 10,Komplete 7 & A few VSTi’s 

  22. In The Lab:
    Dell dual core tower
    80gb hdd
    1TB external hdd
    Mpc 1000
    Lexicon lambda interface
    Rokit G2-5in monitors
    Shure headphones
    Axiom 49
    Korg PadKontrol
    Stack of records
    Gauge mic
    2 19in flat panel monitors
    Reason 5
    Reaper 4
    NI Komplete Essentials

  23. Software

    Logic Pro 9
    Protools 8 M-powered
    Reason 5
    Flstudio10 (Ported myself using Wine)
    NI Battery 3


    IMac 3.6Ghz Daul Core 4G Ram
    M-Audio Fasttrack Pro
    Krk Rokits 6’s 3rd Gen Pair
    M-Audio Axiom 49
    samson co1 mic (use for talkback)
    SE 2000
    E-Mu 5000 Ultra sampler
    Senhiser HD 280 Pros
    External Firewire case with a sata 1200rpm 1TB harddrive

  24. Imac , Logic Pro , Reason 4 , VST’s , M-Audio Keys , Mashine , Squire Guitar ,

  25. My MPD18 at the moment. It adds another feeling to producing. Samples and drums just don’t feel right being triggered by keyboard/midi keyboard anymore.

  26. MY Ibanez AS 120 Guitar & Zt lunchBox
    Amp… listen to Wah Wah waston ,Curtis mayfield and Muddy Waters man the put
    the funk in the sh*t thats why i like
    my Guitar….

  27. Aside from ears and hands, iPhone, Mac, brain, ProTools, Garageband, Motif. LOL…


  29. I love my (NI Maschine) the work flow is so smooth

  30. I would have to say my MPK


  32. My music collection… I love having hours of listening and sampling!

  33. Maschine

  34. Reason 6 because I know it better than anything else out there. I also have a love for the Ensoniq EPS classic

  35. Aside from the soul. That axiom 61 midi is gold for the upcoming man.

  36. Although I love the seamless workflow of my Maschine, I can’t deny or let go of my love for the gritty rawness of my MPC’s. Draw.

  37. MPC 4000 & Reaper right here

  38. mpc 2kxl, motif xs rack, pro tools, and a whole bunch of mpc sounds loops and samples. hardware for me!.. I still can’t get the feel for software beat-making. don’t get me wrong, some of yall are making some bangin’ a** beat from software, but I still can’t get the groove of putting a beat together with only software. if you know of any software that is really similar to sequencing like an mpc? let your boy know… maybe a midi keyboard with pads and sequencer and it all tracks out into pro tools one channel at a time…

  39. My MPC 2000xl. Over time I’ve put a CF card reader in it, upgraded the pads, bought black pads for it and most recently the 8 outs option. I’ll never sell it. The drums are just so much crunchier and more punchy than with software (for me.)

  40. MPD 32 is my baby..I had it modded and completely mapped to make it do whatever I want/need it to.

  41. FL10
    Cubase 5
    M-Audio BX8 D2
    M-Audio Oxygen 61
    RODE NT-1A
    Lexicon Omega

  42. Macbook pro 5,5
    Presonus firestudio Mobile
    Korg microstation

    Logic pro 9.1.8

  43. Macbook Pro
    M Audio Oxygen 49
    Novation Launchpad Mini
    Logic pro
    Abletion Lite
    Pro Tools 10
    Roland Cakewalk AI
    M Audio Nova Mic
    Yamaha HS8
    Ibanez GSR200 L
    Stranger 100 W amp
    iMac core duo 2007 model
    Sennheiser HD215
    Behringer Overdrive
    Sans amp
    Boss Analog comp/limiter
    Boss chromatic tuner stomp box

  44. i’m a beginner and i need how to make a beat

  45. im new to the music
    and i want to download a free program

  46. hello pls I want to buy a used sound monitor can any one help me with that

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