I don’t have a band, and I don’t have time to put together a band, but it sure would be nice to create my own music using chord sequences that I know and with supporting background instruments to enhance the music. Searching through the web for an online or offline app, I found that many of the music generators are boring and outdata MIDI apps that emit old 1980′s style computer sounds.
I did see Angelina’s awesome post with two very cool music mixing apps for DJ’s – but for music creation it didn’t quite do what I wanted. Finally, I came across a very cool “music factory” called JamStudio – and now I can’t stop making music.
Making Your Own Music Tracks With JamStudio
The first thing you’ll notice when you visit JamStudio is that it isn’t some cheap, thrown-together online app. The design is well thought out, the colors and background imagery is awesome and the functionality is very cool, even if you only sign up for a free account.
Creating a track is just a three step process, but each step goes a long way toward defining all of the nuances that will make your music unique. Of course, the first step is to define the chord sequence for each 3 or 4 beat of the sequence (you set the rhythm and the tempo in the left menu bar). To define each chord, you just point and click to one of the chords on the upper right pane.
You’ll notice at the bottom there’s a field for “Play Page Order:” – this lets you create multiple pages for the song, and you can rotate through those pages in whatever sequence you like. This is an easy way to create a song with a repeated chorus that you only have to write on one or two pages.
In the lower left pane is where the magic happens. This is where you put together your band. Highlight the “speaker” icon next to the instrument that you want to play, and then select the style of play for that instrument from the lower right pane. Style can be any variety of rock, country, pop, folk, blues and much more. The variety that’s available in this app just blew my mind, and the mix of songs you can create really are practically unlimited. When you’re ready, just press play under the chord pane and your track will start playing.
Saving Your Music & Exploring Other Tracks
A paid account allows you to actually download an MP3 of your track. The free version, once you register with your email account, at least lets you save the track in your account – and you can share it with the rest of the community if you feel so inclined.
You can add notes to your track so that you can remember what the track included and why you created it in the first place.
Next time you log into your account and click “Open,” you’ll see a list of your songs, or you can browse through the tracks that you’ve shared with the public. If you really want an audio file on your local PC with your track, you always have the option to play it and record it straight off of your sound card, using an application like Audacity or any other free audio recording app that lets you record streaming music.
Aside from creating my own tracks of music, I was intrigued by the idea of a community of creative folks sharing their own tracks with the world, so I entered the forum and went to the “Show Us Your Stuff!” section – and was just blown away by the awesome tracks that I discovered there. I would put these on the level of some of the best easily-listening instrumentals that you’d even find on iTunes or Amazon.
People share out their song links, and you can visit their link and listen to the track as the JamStudio online app visually steps through the chord sequence so you can follow along. I liked one that I found called “Extra Terrestrial” so much that I actually put it in the background and let it play while I worked. The quality of the instrumentals is that realistic – you’re sure to find music (or create music) that you love.
For music lovers and new or experienced music composers, this online app may not be the most cutting edge music mixer in the world, but it is good enough to create some of your own music – and impress yourself with your musical talent!
Have you ever used Jam Studio to create your own tracks? Do you have some other favorite free track creator? Share your insight in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Ignat Chakarov
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