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Is 8GB RAM Enough For Music Production? Read This First

Last Updated Sep 24, 2022
music production

If you are looking for a computer to help you with your music production, you might be wondering how much RAM you need to be able to store all your music and applications. The amount of RAM you have will also affect the music performance, so you need to make sure you have the correct amount for your applications and tracks. 

8GB of RAM is enough for starting music producers who only make small projects. However, 16GB is better for larger products and can handle more than one music application at one time. 

You might be wondering how much RAM you need for the music applications that you use.  Don’t worry, we will go over who can get by with 8GB RAM and who needs to have 16GB or more. We will also discuss how RAM affects overall performance. 

How Much RAM Is Needed for Music Production? 

This really depends on how much music you produce and whether you plan to produce more in the future. Here are some details about the workload of each amount of RAM. 

Beginner Music Producers 

If you are just getting started with music production or you plan to make it just a small hobby, you can easily work with 8GB RAM. Ideally, you also need a dual-core intel i5 processor with 2.2GHz or above. 

Even if you have enough RAM, if you are running on a low processor, you will find that your music applications lag. 

8GB RAM can easily handle 5-30 audio tracks. Some can be MIDI, but not all. If there are too many MIDI tracks, your applications might be slower and crash more often. 

8GB Ram is perfect for:

  • Recording instruments 
  • Mastering 
  • Light plugin use 
  • Light mixing 
  • Entry level producers
  • Audio edits 
  • All small projects 
  • Short podcasts 

You might have read the above and realized you need more than 8GB RAM. If so, you might be a more experienced producer. 

Experienced Music Producers 

For more experienced producers making large projects, you will need 16GB RAM and 512 GB fusion/SSD. You will also need an i7 processor operating at 2.6GHz or above. 

With 16GB RAM, you can make 30-60 audio tracks with most being MIDI. 

16GB RAM is best for:

  • Bands
  • Composers
  • Sound engineers 
  • Musicians 
  • Recording multiple instruments 
  • Overdubs 
  • Mixing 
  • Moderate plugin use
  • Mastering 
  • Orchestral compositions 
  • Medium library use 

16GB is often more than enough for most people. If you are just starting with the music business and plan to grow and build a company, you might want to go ahead and get 16GB RAM since it can do more. 

Advanced producers will need even more than 16GB though. 

Advanced Music producers 

If you’re an advanced music producer, you will need 64GB RAM with 1Tb SSD. You will need an eight-core Xeon E5 processing system with 3.0GHz or above. 

64GB RAM can handle more than 100 tracks with audio and all of them can be MIDI. 

Consider getting 64GB RAM for the following:

  • Orchestral compositions 
  • Multiple instrument recording 
  • Heavy plugin use 
  • Large library use 
  • Heavy composition template use 
  • Multiple large sessions 

Now, let’s see if 8GB is enough for your projects.

Is 8GB Enough For My Projects? 

This really depends on the projects you make. 

If you use tons of plugins or many sample libraries, 8GB might not be enough to make your projects. If you are able to make them, you will spend much more time than necessary since the computer will stall. 

Should I Upgrade to 16GB? 

If you already have the budget for 16GB, you should get 16GB RAM from the start so that you don’t need to upgrade or get a new device later. If you plan to grow as a musician or producer, you can also benefit from 16GB RAM. 

If you notice your applications lagging or crashing often, then it might be time to upgrade to 16GB RAM or more. 

Having extra RAM will allow you to use multiple plugins and applications at one time which can make your work much easier. You will also be able to finish projects faster and be able to grow your business or hobby more efficiently. 

Does CPU Matter? 

Yes, CPU matters just as much as RAM. The internal processor of your computer plays a major role in how efficiently your device can produce music. 

A higher CPU also means you have a device that can handle more plugins and more MIDI. The minimum processor you need for music production is a dual-core i5 processor that operates at 2.2 GHz or above. If you can afford a higher one though, you should go for it. 

Final Thoughts 

8GB RAM is enough for entry-level producers and for those who only make a few tracks. 16GB RAM or 64GB RAM is better for advanced users that run multiple applications at one time. If you plan to try and grow as a music producer, you want to make sure you have more than 8GB of RAM. 

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