An Inexpensive, Easy to Use, Professional Sounding Home Studio?

Affordable, easy, and good.  The general rule of thumb is “Pick 2.”  If you want something cheap and easy, it won’t be good.  If you want it affordable and good, it’s not going to be easy.  If you want something easy to use and of high quality, it won’t come cheap.  This is definitely true when it comes to building a home studio.

Well, it WAS true.

With Hal Leonard’s Studio-In-A-Box Artist Edition, you’ll be able to make your own studio quality multi-track recordings with ease.  And with a street price of well under $250, you won’t break the bank in the process.

The kit comes with (almost) everything you need; the M-Audio Fast Track interface, a USB cable, an M-Audio SoundCheck microphone, a mic clip, a mic cable, Yamaha headphones, a startup guide by Bill Gibson, and recording software.  But not just any software…ProTools, the recording industry standard!

I know a lot of people may have reservations about recording with their computer.  They may think they don’t have enough memory, or enough hard drive space, or a powerful enough CPU.  I had the same concerns, but went ahead and began the installation anyway.  Now, keep in mind, I have a 4 year old Dell laptop LOADED with other software like Photoshop CS3 and CS5, Lightroom 3, Adobe Illustrator, firewalls, antivirus software, a bunch of MP3’s, plus all of the other stuff I can’t even remember right now.

In under an hour I was up and recording my first tracks.

Everything included in this pack is extremely easy to use. For the more complex components, like the software, never fear, because there is an EXTENSIVE tutorial on nearly every aspect of the program.  Add this to the  invaluable information included in Bill Gibson’s Step-By-Step Setup Guide, you’ll be wondering why you waited so long to start down the path of home recording.

So, what have we got here? We’ve got:

  • Everything you need to start recording your music
  • Reliable, quality components
  • More affordable and easier than anyone could imagine

But it’s not perfect.  Then again, what is?  I do have a few gripes, though some are nobody’s fault but my own:

  • Occasional playback glitches
  • Limited to 16 tracks
  • No microphone stand included

A newer, more robust computer would probably eliminate the glitches I would occasionally encounter during playback.  The good news: I would simply save then restart the session, and all my work was still there, and most importantly, working just fine.

The 16 track limit will only become a problem if your imagination lends itself to incredibly complex arrangements.  Out of the gate, this probably won’t affect too many people. As your needs grow, you may need to consider an upgrade.  More good news: you only need to upgrade your software, not every other component of your studio.

A mic stand is essential unless all you’re going to do is hold the microphone and sing each of your tracks.  For you A Cappella artists out there, that’s not a problem, but if you want to record an instrument by yourself, you’re going to need that stand.

This package isn’t just about its pluses and minuses, it’s about you. You’re a music fanatic and have been for as long as you can remember.  Whether banging on pots and pans or playing air guitar with the broom when you were younger, you listened to your favorite songs over and over.  You dreamed of one day being on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans playing YOUR #1 hit. The creation of that hit has to start somewhere, and the Hal Leonard Studio-In-A-Box Artist Edition is a fantastic option.  Affordable, easy and good; now you really can have it all.

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