Did you know you can just have a Chromebook and start producing music just with that? Chromebook is a great option to record your music without having expensive setups. If you have a microphone and your Chromebook with you, that's all you need for recording music.
Why would you want that? Well, one is that you can simply save money from expensive setups. And the other factor is portability. You can record your music just about anywhere, even when you are traveling.
So, let's get ahead and see the process of recording music on Chromebook.
Can you make music on Chromebook?
To be very honest, yes, you can record music on Chromebook, but it's not the best for quality. You will have to compromise on the quality of the recording when you opt for this option. Having said that, it's probably one of the best options when you have to record and produce music on the go.
If you are planning to go professional with just Chromebook recording, then that won't work out for you. It's only viable when you are recording music casually while traveling or on the move. The reason for all these is the fact that Chromebook tends to have limited functionalities.
It doesn't have an application like Mac or Windows as it uses a Chrome OS. This is essentially an upgraded version of Linux. This is an excellent option because of its stability and safety. But if you are looking for compatibility with different applications and functions, then this isn't the pick for you.
Having said that, it's a low-cost solution that you can try out for various kinds of features and functionalities. Recording music is one of the things that you can do pretty well with the Chromebook. If you are a professional, you can still use it as your backup method for recording music.
Methods of making music on Chromebook
There are several ways that you can use to record your music on Chromebook. I won't go through all the hardware specifications or requirements here. You will, of course, need a microphone and may need some other equipment based on your setup.
Using DAW on your Chromebook
Well, if you have looked into music production or recording, I guess you already know what a DAW is. It's a digital audio workstation where you can record your music, edit them, mix them and master them. It's the fundamental tool for creating music, regardless of your setup.
Using apps from the app store
Now, when it comes to these workstations, you can't run most of the professional ones on a Chromebook. Most of these DAW's usually work great on Mac and Windows. But for the Chrome OS, they aren't that suitable. Some of them are Logic Pro, Cubase, Sonar, Audacity, and so forth. These usually require a Windows or a Mac pc to work.
So, the question is, what can you use? Well, you can use any digital audio workstation that you find on the Google play store or your Web store. There are several mobile apps like FL Studio mobile, Song Maker, BandLab, JAMBL, etc.
Using web-based software
Now, if you don't find any apps there that suit your needs, don't get disappointed. There are some other options available for you as well. You can simply use cloud-based DAW software that doesn't require you to have a specific hardware configuration.
There is plenty of web-based software that you can find. For example, you can try out Soundtrap, Soundation, AudioTool, etc. Here, I will take you through a bit about Soundtrap and its potential.
You can also use other web-based software aside from the ones I discussed here. They all work quite well when considering making music on your Chromebook.
Related: Record Singing With Background Music
Which one works better, apps or web-based software
Well, when it's about making music on your Chromebook, usually working with web-based software will give you better results compared to applications. They have quite a lot of advantages of applications.
First of all, web-based software works purely based on the cloud. So, you can access them from wherever and whenever you want, just with an active internet connection.
Secondly, these save up a lot of space in your system since it's all in the cloud. You won't have to download or install anything to work on web-based software. Also, the files you create get directly stored in the cloud.
This brings us to another benefit: working on multiple devices for your music production. With the cloud-based software, you can access all your work using a browser from another device without any issues at all. This gives you the freedom to work with any device according to your liking on the same project repeatedly.
The only advantage android apps have over web-based software is the fact that you can use them without any active internet connection. It works out well when you want to make music somewhere that doesn't have an internet connection or doesn't have any network at all.
So, if you are someone who is constantly on the move and stay in places where you lack internet connectivity, using the apps from the app store will be the best option. Other than that, cloud-based DAW's work perfectly for making music in your Chromebook.
Using the Soundtrap software for Chromebook
Among many different web-based DAWs, I have to say the Soundtrap works the best. It's a great option that allows you to have plenty of features in terms of making music. Let's check out the different things you can do using this software.
- The major part of this software is the fact that you can do multi-track recording on this one. This feature allows you to have multiple tracks in the same file and works out best when you want to harmonize those vocals. Or you may want to record your instruments and your vocals separately.
- You can also try out MIDI editing if you want to add in some instruments from the DAW. Or, if you already have a MIDI pattern setup, you can edit that according to your needs with this software. It's a good feature when you want to produce a complete track with different instruments in the mix.
- There are features of automation and auto-tune as well. You can use these if you want to make your recordings sound a bit professional. While they won't work the same way as a professional DAW, it's still pretty decent.
- The software is compatible with almost any kind of operating system. So, you can even use this for cross-platform usage.
- There is an on-screen keyboard feature that you can use for playing and creating melodies in the software. It's a great way to add a new flavor to your recordings and songs.
- This one also features a production process where you can collaborate with someone else. It's a great feature when you are working on a project with multiple people. The whole thing becomes much easier and hassle-free when both people use this same software.
As you can see, there are plenty of advantages that you can get using this software. It's, without any questions, one of the best software to try out for music production in Chromebook. It's paid software which is something you have to consider. Yes, you get a trial and a free version, too, but those have very limited functions and features.
If you are serious about music production and want to get into it, I highly recommend using the paid version. The price isn't that high, so you won't have to worry too much if music production will be a regular thing for you.
Is making music worth it on Chromebook?
Now, the thing is, Chromebook will never be the first choice for your music production journey. The reason is simple; it doesn't have all the features or functionalities that you can get from a professional setup. You can't get the studio or professional quality from a Chromebook.
It's a great thing when you are looking for an affordable setup and ready to compromise the sound quality. But if you want quality and compatibility with different setups, it's not the best.
Another purpose of using Chromebook for music recording can be the factor of portability. You can record your music almost wherever you go with just an active internet connection for the most part.
However, the best way to use Chromebook for music production is to use the device as a backup. Whenever you are outside and have to work on your music, you can record and store them. Then, later on, you can simply use your complete setup to refine the music further.
All in all, recording music on Chromebook can be something to try out for sure. Especially if you already have a Chromebook and a microphone. Aside from that, if you are short on budget or beginning with your music production journey, this can be an affordable way to do that.
But to make it professional, you will surely need to go beyond this and upgrade your setup at some point. There is no way around that at all.
Graduated with a Bachelor of Audio Engineering and Sound Production. He has worked with a number of studios as a Recording Engineer, with over 10 years of servicing experience in both re-recording mixing and sound editing.