DAW software is becoming increasingly popular and progressively easier to use, bringing the dream of becoming a bedroom recording artist closer to home. However, if you’re on a student budget plugin suites and programs like Logic Pro X or Ableton Live may not always be the most accessible. Ani Zulawnik had a look at a few free options worth playing with.
Thankfully, muso tech savvy sorts have taken it upon themselves to create some pretty awesome free, online alternatives to these songwriting and recording tools.
Jam Studio was created by Dave Edwards who is both a musician and software architect, he created this website with the intention of proving that everyone has the potential to make music.
Jam Studio consists of 4 essential windows including a sequencer, chord and key list, basic mixer and instrument selector.
The easy workflow of this site allows you to create demos in seconds without disrupting your ideas or creativity- like some more complicated programs can. Granted, it does have it’s limitations in comparison to most desktop DAWs, but it’s a perfect tool for getting out of writer’s-block or more importantly bringing your musical idea to life- fast!
Pulse Boy was created by Roger Hicks (also known as artist Rekcahdam) and Matt White. It is a online 8-bit musical sequencer, reminiscent of your old Gameboy or Sega console – both sonically and visually.
Pulse Boy consists of just one window which encompasses the sequencer, note input and mixing controls.
Once you get your head around the structure, you can very easily start to create some sweet video game-esque symphonies and beats.
This tool definitely presents a plethora of unique composing possibilities, as you’re encouraged to work in a refreshingly different environment than usual, with all kinds of funky retro sounds that are difficult to find elsewhere.
No-Lick is an online multiplayer synth made by a creative collective based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
It is still in it’s ‘beta phase’ at the moment, however, it already provides (non) musicians with an easy to use, sleek beat making machine.
On visiting the website you are essentially given just a drum machine looper, and two separate instrument sequencers – but you have a whole range of synths to choose from, as well as countless punchy, dance drum beats.
All you have to do is pick a beat you like, write in some notes into the sequencer, and you’re pretty much done!
Although it may be still simple in its development phase, this system makes it really easy to use and allows you to, quite literally, create fresh dance tracks or looming rap beats in an instant.