Sometimes our kids have interests in things that are outside of our knowledge base. That’s what is happening with our daughter. For 2 years she has been asking for the equipment so she can record music. Since this is something I know nothing about, we did some research and figured out how to set up a basic recording studio for our young musician.
How to set up a Music Studio for Your Teen
Ask for Advice
Before we made any purchase, I called multiple music stores and asked for recommendations. I was very clear that I was new and found some great advice. I asked them for brand suggestions, price options, and best equipment for beginners.
I then took their recommendations and did my own research online to compare the various options and look for the best place to make my purchase.
Things you Need for a Basic Recording Studio
To do any sort of recording, we knew we must be able to connect to a computer. We have an extra computer that the kids use for school work, so this one would work perfect.
When we purchased our equipment, we chose one that had the recording software included. Some equipment has software that you simply download with your purchase, others may have an actual CD that contains the information.
In our bundle we purchased, we received Studio One. The program has many more layers than we have explored with the capabilities of recording over 200 tracks. So far, we’re up to 2 or 3 tracks max. But this program gives us plenty of room to grow and learn.
You must have some sort of audiobox to take your voice to the computer. We settled on the PreSonus AudioBox Studiosince it already contained the cables we would need to get started. The AudioBox allows you to connect a microphone, guitar or headphones so you can record.
Some of the people I spoke with suggested that the microphone is one of the most important parts and directly impacts the quality of any recording. The package we purchased had the microphone included.
Something we have discovered is that we really need a microphone stand. It’s really tough for Natalie to play the keyboard while holding the microphone. Guess that is going on the list to buy as we upgrade.
MIDI Keyboard Controller
Many keyboards have a MIDI output. But the one we had did not. That meant we had to purchase a keyboard so she can play into the recording program. Something I learned is that not all keyboards give sound. Some of the MIDI keyboards are simply controllers. We chose to buy a smaller MIDI controller that allows Natalie to play the notes on the keyboard and then manipulate them in the software program. The Axiom Air Mini 32 is small enough to fit on our desk beside the computer but still gives her the options she needs to play the full octaves needed.
Things we have learned
- Don’t be afraid to call for help. We had issues getting the playback volume to work right. Turns out we had not installed the speaker driver that was needed. After trying to figure it out on our own, a simple call to the help line the next day gave us the answer we needed!
- It takes time to learn the program. Natalie has been working with this recording equipment for several weeks. It’s so rewarding to hear her in the other room working when she figures out something new. There is so much to learn about the recording software and equipment. Don’t think you will learn it all in one week.
- One thing we know for certain is that we are just barely scratching the surface. I can’t wait to look back in a few months and years to see how much she has grown .
Tip: We chose to purchase a bundle pack that included the microphone, cords, audiobox, headphones and software. The PreSonus AudioBox Studio with Headphones, Microphone, Mic Cable, USB Cable, and StudioOne Artist Software (Download) has everything we needed except the keyboard. This allowed us to open the box and get started.
Are you ahead of us in our journey toward figuring out how to record music, lay down tracks and add instrumentation? We would love to have you share from your experience. Leave us a comment and tell us something you have learned or a tip to make our recording a better experience.