Making It: Breaking Out of the ‘Hood with a Portable Recording Studio
MAKER: Brandyn Armstrong
BUSINESS: Studio Stick
OVERCOMING A TOUGH START: Brandyn Armstrong’s father was killed at the age of 19, when Armstrong was only four. He was raised in East Cleveland, moving between the houses of his two grandmothers. He now lives in Cleveland.
WHERE’D YOU GET THE IDEA? The 25-year-old says he’s been making music since he was five. “I actually started recording in professional studios at the age of 13,” he adds. “And I always had the same problems: not having money to go to a recording studio, not having the transportation to go there, and not being able to capture my creative ideas the moment I was inspired. And the Studio Stick is the solution to all those problems.”
HOW DOES IT WORK? A collapsible stand unfolds from a 20-inch container, which also contains a sound-absorbing foam wall, microphone, and a smart phone holder. The user loads a proprietary app on the phone which allows for recording and mixing.
BUILDING MOMENTUM: Brandyn Armstrong first pitched his portable recording studio in 2015 at a Cleveland State University business competition. He won $1,500 and met two engineers who helped him develop the concept. Further development is taking place at the office he won at the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET). He got additional counseling from the venture development organization JumpStart as part of their Core City: Cleveland program. Earlier this year, Studio Stick got a big national boost on the ABC-TV program Steve Harvey’s Funderdome”, where Armstrong won $50,000.
WHERE CAN I BUY ONE OF THESE? “Right now, we only have the prototype,” he says. “We have manufacturers lined up, and we’re in talks with investors. I’m still hustling to get to where I need to be. A lot of people consider me successful, but I really don’t think I’m anywhere near success, because I want to see my product in stores all around the world.”
WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE? “My plan is to put on for my neighborhood. Once I get successful, I want to come back and put in different organizations and different ways that I can help the people in my neighborhood to make it out. I’m just showing them that the dream is really possible. And you can live the dream in a positive way.”