With Chromebooks rising in popularity, you may be wondering if you can use a chromebook for music production. So in this article, we’ll be covering all the different aspects of producing music on a Chromebook.
USB Microphone Chromebook
USB Microphones are an essential tool for music production on a laptop, they give you the ability to record high quality sound on a laptop with very little work required to set them up.
So, if you are going to be producing music on a Chromebook, you will definitely want to be able to use a USB Microphone with it. Fortunately most USB Microphones are compatible with Chromebooks and connecting them is fairly straightforward.
When purchasing a USB Microphone to use with your Chromebook, just make sure that it says something like “plug and play” or “no additional drivers required”, if it does require additional software, it won’t work on a Chromebook because Chrome OS can’t run it.
It is a good idea to purchase one from amazon.com as they have a great return policy in case it doesn’t work with your chromebook.
How to Connect a USB Microphone to a Chromebook
To connect a USB Microphone to your Chromebook, plug it into the USB port (If your Chromebook doesn’t have one you can use a USB-C Hub).
Then click in the bottom right corner of the screen to bring up the menu.
Then click on the audio button as shown below.
Then under audio in, choose the USB Microphone as shown below.
Now, assuming your USB Microphone is compatible with Chrome Os, your Chromebook should be working with your USB Microphone.
Music Software For Chromebook
Hands down, the most important thing you need for music production is a DAW software (digital audio workstation).
This may be one of the trickiest aspects of recording music on a Chromebook, because Chromebooks don’t run traditional software like Windows or Mac OS computers do.
Fortunately, there are some web based options that run in Google Chrome, or (if your Chromebook supports it) Android Apps.
Music Production Web Apps For Chromebook
Web apps are like using software on your computer, except they run in your web browser. There’s no need to download or install extra software, you just visit a website and it all runs in the browser.
Below is a list of good Music Recording Software that runs in your web browser, some offer free plans and some have a small monthly fee.
Music Production Apps For Chromebook
Android apps are quite different to web apps, Android apps are predominantly intended for use on Android Smartphones and Tablets, but a few years ago, Chromebooks gained the ability to run Android apps.
Most Chromebooks these days can run Android apps, but if yours is more than a few years old, there’s a chance it might not. Not all Android apps work on Chromebooks yet, and some of the ones that do aren’t fully optimized to be used with a keyboard and mouse, but there are some android apps available that work very well for music production on a laptop.
Probably the biggest benefit of using Android apps instead of web apps, is that Android apps can be used without an internet connection which can be very handy if you want to be able to work on your tracks while offline.
Below is a list of good music recording apps that work well on a Chromebook, some have free versions, but most require a small one time fee.
Chromebook MIDI Keyboard
A MIDI controller is not really necessary for music production, but it does make it so much easier and more enjoyable.
In short, a MIDI Controller looks like a keyboard and it can act like a keyboard. MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface – this is music industry terminology that has been around for over 20 years.
With the use of your DAW, you can simulate different sounds and control certain parts of the DAW software.
If you want to use a MIDI Controller with your Chromebook, it is possible, but there are some things you should consider.
- You’ll want to make sure you get a MIDI Controller that connects via USB so that you can easily plug it into your Chromebook.
- You’ll also need to make sure the music recording software you choose works with MIDI Controllers because not all web based and Android apps do.
Chromebook Web Apps That Work With MIDI Controllers
MIDI Controllers will work with all the web apps we listed above, just plug the controller into a USB port of your Chromebook, and configure it in the web app of your choice.
Keep in mind that Soundation only supports MIDI Controllers in the paid version, so if you don’t want to be paying an ongoing subscription, Soundation might not be your best option.
Android Apps That Work With MIDI Controllers
Using MIDI Controllers with Android Apps on a Chromebook is a bit more complicated, most music recording Android apps do support MIDI Controllers, but unfortunately, at the time of writing this article, all of the fully fledged music recording apps don’t support MIDI controllers in Chrome OS.
MIDI Controllers do work with some Android apps on Chrome OS such as Perfect Piano, so hopefully in the future we could see some music recording apps that work with it but unfortunately at the time of writing, your only options for using MIDI Controllers will be the web apps listed above.
So there you have it, all the different aspects of recording music on a Chromebook. There are a few drawbacks, but on the whole, recording music on a Chromebook is very much possible and can certainly be an excellent option if you’re on a tight budget.