Music production instruments design

What Instruments Do Music Producers Use? (Easy Explained)

For many people, the music industry is a mystery.

What goes on behind the scenes? What instruments do music producers use?

At Sound Kickers, we’re shedding light on the world of music production and giving you an insider’s look at what it takes to make great music.

Join us as we explore the tools and instruments that music producers use to create their masterpieces.

You might be surprised at what you find!

Let’s get to it.

Key Takeaways:

  • DAWs are essential tools for music production, offering a range of features to create complex sounds and arrangements.
  • Virtual instruments (VSTs) are computer-based emulations of traditional musical instruments that can be seamlessly integrated into workflows.
  • MIDI Controllers and Keyboards allow producers to play, record, sequence, and manipulate sounds with greater control. Consider budget, style preference, and compatibility before choosing one.

What Instruments Do Music Producers Use?

What Instruments Do Music Producers Use

Music producers use various instruments and tools to create their music.

Countless options are available, from synthesizers and drum machines to samplers and virtual instruments.

Let’s look at the different options and start with the DAW.

Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)

Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) are the go-to software for music production.

Choosing the right DAW for your needs can be a challenging task.

Popular DAWs include Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, FL Studio, Cubase, and Pro Tools.

Each program offers a range of features. These can help producers create professional-sounding music quickly and easily.

The benefits of using a DAW are numerous.

They allow users to record audio and manipulate sound waves in real time easily.

You can mix tracks together with precision and even add effects like reverb or delay.

Some DAWs feature integrated virtual instruments, like synths and samplers.

All this makes them invaluable tools for musicians looking to improve.

Ultimately, it’s up to you; to experiment until the perfect one for your tastes is found.

Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) are powerful tools for music production. With DAWs, producers can create complex sounds and arrangements fast.

With that knowledge, let’s move on to working with Virtual Instruments and explore all the possibilities.

Working with Virtual Instruments

Virtual instruments, or software instruments, are computer-based emulations of traditional musical instruments.

They are used extensively by music producers for several reasons:

  • Experience a sound world without the hassle of owning or renting virtual instruments.
  • Take complete control of your music with virtual instruments, adjusting pitch, volume, and timbre easily.
  • Create music on your computer with stunning realism using virtual instruments of high quality.
  • Explore various musical styles with virtual instruments, from traditional to modern electronic ones.
  • Seamlessly integrate virtual instruments into your workflow with popular digital audio workstations (DAWs) and unleash your creativity.

Exploring virtual instruments (VSTs) can be an excellent way to stimulate creativity and broaden your music-making horizons.

Virtual instruments can create realistic-sounding samples or be manipulated into something entirely new.

Understanding the basics of virtual instruments’ work is important before diving in and creating your own sounds.

Virtual Instruments are composed of sound sources, either samples or generated waveforms programmed into the instrument.

Pre-recorded audio files could include drums, guitars, pianos, strings, brass, and other acoustic instruments, while synthesized waveforms could include sine, sawtooth, and square waves.

Knowing what type of sound source you’re working with will help you decide how best to use it in your track.

MIDI Controllers and Keyboards

MIDI Controllers and Keyboards are an essential part of any music production setup.

They allow producers to play, record, sequence, and manipulate sounds with greater control. MIDI controllers are available in different types.

They go from small keyboards to larger ones with many features. You can find different types of keyboards, like acoustic pianos and digital synthesizers.

Types of MIDI Controllers and Keyboards:

MIDI controllers can be divided into two main categories:

  • Those that generate sound directly (synthesizers) and
  • Those that don’t ( drum machines).

Synthesizers use a variety of oscillators and filters to generate sound. They can then be altered through the controller’s knobs or sliders.

Drum machines use pre-recorded sounds stored on chips. You can play them by pressing buttons or keys on the controller.

Drum Machine midi controller for music production.
Drum Machine midi controller

Electric pianos have heavy keys to feel more like real pianos.

Benefits of Using MIDI Controllers and Keyboards

One major benefit of using MIDI controllers is their portability.

They’re lightweight enough to take you anywhere without sacrificing features or functionality.

Most modern DAWs support plug-ins that allow users to add additional effects. This includes reverb or delays within the software interface and no need for external hardware.

Having many layers or tracks makes it easier to create complicated songs.

Producers will still maintain high-quality control over each element in their mixdown process.

Ultimately, the best choice is yours; explore various options before settling on one.

Consider factors such as:

  • Your budget
  • Decide on your type/style preference (synthesizer vs. piano)
  • Think about the number/size/weight requirements (portability)
  • Consider the features you need (knobs/sliders, etc.)
  • Ensure the equipment is compatible with your existing software programs and other equipment.

How Do Music Producers learn Instruments?

If you want to improve your music quality, learning instruments is something you have to do.

You can do it in real life with a tutor. Or you can take some online courses.

These can teach you to play real instruments such as piano, guitar, drum, bass, and more. If you’re taking the online route, it will be self-study, so you must keep on track to learn.

Find the weak areas on your skillset that need improvement and double down on them. Do you prefer virtual instruments over traditional instruments? Then dive deep into your VST and improve your sound.

Always be open to new methods and tools to stay updated

The music production world is always improving, and so should your skills.


Ultimately, a music producer needs an extensive toolbox of knowledge to make great tracks.

You can gain real creative control while producing music by understanding the fundamentals.

Explore more sound design possibilities by mastering DAWs and MIDI controllers.

A successful track often comes down to the creative vision and knowledge of the composer.

This is why it’s crucial to keep expanding your skillset to level up.

The world of music production is ever-evolving – making it essential for modern producers to stay current with today’s trends.

Musical creativity knows no bounds when armed with the right mix of knowledge and tools.

Don’t hesitate to dive into your production journey today!


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