Rocky Recording Equipment

How to get started

Rocky, please help. I am just starting out to record my music. What equipment do you recommend I use?

Answer: There are so many equipment combos available that it is impossible to recommend one over the other. So I will tell you what I use and how I have set it up. Even if you choose a completely different system the basic idea will be very similar.

Rocky Recording Equipment

Rocky Barcoo creates songs using a very simple system: An Audiobox USB, a PreSonus PS-49 keyboard, and the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) Studio One. The beauty of this system for budding music producers, or just for the home recording enthusiast is that you can buy all this kit as a complete system in a box.

AudioBox USB audio/MIDI interface

  • Bus-powered USB audio and MIDI interface
  • 24-bit resolution, 44.1 and 48 kHz sampling rate
  • 2 combo mic/instrument inputs with Class A mic preamps
  • Works with any audio software that supports ASIO or Core Audio
  • 48V phantom power for condenser microphones
  • Zero-latency monitoring via internal mixer
  • 6-foot (1.8 meter) USB cable included
  • 1/3U rack-mountable
srocky AudioBox_USB-02
Click on the image to visit the AudioBox USB website for more information

While the AudioBox USB works with virtually all Mac and Windows audio-recording software, it comes with a free license for PreSonus’ Studio One® Artist DAW, giving you a complete recording solution.

The AudioBox USB connects to your computer. It has two input ports on the front; those two black plugs on the left. And very simple control knobs to control volume and balance.

The little black button at the top of the box between the input ports and the silver knobs is your microphone on/off switch.

Once you connect it to your computer the next step is to connect your keyboard.

PS-49 USB 2.0 MIDI keyboard

Using the keyboard with your Studio One 3 software, you can create an amazing array of sounds and instruments.

The kit includes:

  • 49-key, unweighted, velocity-sensitive keyboard
  • Assignable controllers: pitch and modulation wheels, volume slider, and four knobs
  • Sustain-pedal jack (pedal not included)
  • Octave Shift button (+4 / -3 octaves)
  • Send Program Change commands
  • USB cable
srocky music_creation_suite_500
Click on the image to visit the website to learn more or to order your kit

M7 studio condenser microphone

  • Large-diaphragm design
  • Mic-stand adapter
  • 9′ / 3 m cable and cloth carry bag included

HD-3 studio monitoring headphones

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Comfortable design for extended use in class or at home
  • Adjustable size fits students and adults
  • Extended frequency response

USB 2.0 hub

  • AC powered
  • Four ports—connect AudioBox USB, PS-49, and two more devices

U.S. map/street price is expected to be $399.95. Custom site licenses for multiple units can be generated when the products are registered.

PreSonus’ new Music Creation Suite is a complete, integrated music-creation solution that’s ideal for educators, students, and entry-level home enthusiasts. PreSonus will offer lesson plans and instructional videos to help music educators get the most from the new hardware/software recording and composition kit.

For more information, visit

Finally, the software that gives you the the power to create any music you want!

Studio One

Instantly familiar—yet nothing feels like it. Studio One® contains everything you’d expect from a modern digital audio powerhouse. Once you touch its fast, flow-oriented, drag-and-drop interface, you’ll realize Studio One® was built by creative people for creative music production.

At every step of the musical process, you’ll spend your time creating music instead of fighting a bloated interface. And the sound quality? Well, simply put, it’s unparalleled. In fact, the most common comments from musicians, producers and engineers who have switched to Studio One are “I can just get things done faster” and “Studio One just sounds better.”

Let’s find out why.

This is where your musical journey starts

srocky studio_one-start_page

The Start page is your home base, where you access recent Songs and Projects or start new ones, adjust hardware settings, check in on your online progress, stay in touch with the latest Studio One news, and develop new skills through demos and tutorials.

Bringing it all together.

The Song page is where the magic happens. Everything you need is dynamically laid when and where you need it, without juggling multiple windows. Here you’ll find your Arrange view, video track, track Inspectors, edit view, mix view, and browser.

srocky tudio_one-song_page

Studio One offers so many creative opportunities you’ll want to keep on creating day in, day out. It’s addictive and fun!

You can drag and drop samples, loops, and even create your own, save them and then use them whenever you want them.

Create your own scratch pads as you design your arrangements. Vary the pitch, note length, and even view your individual instrument notes to synchronise them with the beat perfectly.

The various instrument packs give you access to a universe of sounds you can mix into your creations.

It’s easy to see your arrangements, control the volume, isolate one track as you work on it, and then open all the tracks to see how it sounds.

Studio One Professional is the DAW that pioneered integration of the Technical Grammy-winning Melodyne 4 Essential (a $99 value) for precise polyphonic pitch and time manipulation, correction, and creative editing. More than just a plug-in, Melodyne is actually integrated into every track, allowing faster access and more efficient performance, thanks to our ARA technology that we co-developed with Celemony.

You won’t need to pay for a professional producer to create a perfect finished song ready to market and sell. Studio One 3 gives you the power to control your entire recording and make it the best it can possibly be.

Rocky Barcoo has created all the songs featured on this website using the setup described above. For example, when creating the song Will You Stay True? Rocky laid down the beat first, and then added the instruments and voice using only the DAW and the PS-43 keyboard. The live violin and guitar you hear on Hurt and other songs were plugged into the AudioBox USB when he recorded them, and then Rocky controlled the sound in the Studio One DAW.

Give it a try yourself. It’s easy! It’s fun!

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