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Google launched a simple browser-based sequencer for making music

Google launched a simple browser-based sequencer for making music


Meet Song Maker

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Chrome Music Lab Song Maker
Image: Google

Chrome Music Lab has launched a new music creation tool called Song Maker. A browser-based experience, Song Maker is a sequencer that allows you to program loops for two different instruments of your choosing, then save it or send to someone else for collaboration.

Google Creative Lab launched Chrome Music Lab in 2016. A series of web-based experiments, each Chrome Music Lab installment let you play around with music and sound in a different way. This includes Oscillators, which has you squish and stretch a cute character to learn about frequency values, and Sound Waves, which shows a visual representation of how sound vibrations travel through the air.

Song Maker is a tad more complex, but is still very straightforward and foolproof. It has a sequencer format divided into two sections: a main portion for melody and a smaller bar at the bottom for rhythm. You can choose between several musical options for each section, then draw your notes in using your mouse, keyboard, or finger, depending on your device. (The notes don’t have to be individually clicked in either; you can drag across and paint in swaths of notes.)

If you don’t have any music-making background, don’t worry. It appears that Song Maker restricts what notes are available based on the scale you choose. So, no matter what you do, it will be in key (and not sound horrible). You can also hook it up to a MIDI keyboard or enable the mic button to sing into Song Maker; a hovering icon will appear on the left-hand side to show what note you’re hitting.

Beyond the main interface, there’s a bunch of options available to further customize your song. You can adjust the tempo with a sliding bar, set an octave range, the length of your loop, how many beats you want per bar, and more. Overall, it’s a neat little experience that’s fun to casually play around with.

Chrome Music Lab’s Song Maker is one of many browser-based music-making tools that can be played around with for free. For example, PIXELSYNTH lets you draw sketches and then turns those images into music as it scrolls across, and Novation made a browser version of its Launchpad hardware called Arcade that has you tap sample pads to program loops.