Thirty years ago, you would have had to have a million dollars to make the same quality of recording that you can make on basic digital audio workstations today. Because audio creation software is so affordable and fun, I encourage kids and parents to think about buying audio creation programs for the home computer.
At the Kimberly Steele Studio, the last thing we are is protectionists. We encourage everyone to try home recording on a computer. I usually recommend a Blue Snowball USB microphone to all vocal students, which works very well with any PC and with a small adapter can work with an iPad. The Blue Snowball has always priced out under $100.
As far as home-recording software, I feel Garageband, a program that comes standard on almost all Mac computing products, is top-notch at a very low price. Garageband is effectively the “junior” version of Logic Pro, which is the software we run at the KS Studio. Logic Express is also great. As far as PC recording, ProTools is the best I have encountered as far as ease-of-use, however, there are many options to explore.
is an open source (free) recording software for Mac or PC. Audacity is very easy to use and is a great introduction to digital audio recording.
FreeSound is a super fun place to begin your first audio project. Take sounds samples of everything from birds chirping to techno loops to distorted pianos to the sounds of a Japanese street festival and mess around.
Music creation programs are great fun on their own, but you might want to do cool stuff like record yourself singing or playing guitar. To record yourself singing, you will need a USB microphone. To record other instruments that plug in via MIDI or quarter inch jacks, for instance an electric guitar, you will need a little box called an audio-digital interface. These are available at Guitar Center and places where computers are sold.