Make Your Own Music with JamStudio

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guitar2   Make Your Own Music with JamStudioOnce I started learning how to play the guitar, my interest in music – and more specifically music composition – started to grow. I like the concept of matching beat and tempo between instruments to create a soundtrack that’s coordinated and a pleasure to listen to. So, after learning a majority of the chords and getting a good list of songs under my belt, I started thinking about how to combine my own music with a cool background track with other instruments.

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.

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jam1   Make Your Own Music with JamStudio

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.

jam2   Make Your Own Music with JamStudio

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.

jam3   Make Your Own Music with JamStudio

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.

jam5   Make Your Own Music with JamStudio

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.

jam6   Make Your Own Music with JamStudio

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.

jam7   Make Your Own Music with JamStudio

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.

jam8   Make Your Own Music with JamStudio

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.

jam9   Make Your Own Music with JamStudio

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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10 Comments - Write a Comment

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Jamie White

It’s so strange, I’ve been scouring (and I mean that when I say it) the internet for applications that annotate and playback music and I’ve also been working on finding online alternatives for any software you’d ever want to install on a PC, so to get both in one is quite something.
Unfortunately, one of my stipulations is that you get all the features up front and for free. So, whilst this is something I am definitely going to try, it wont be my first choice.
Even though it breaks my rules (up front and free) Guitar Pro, is my first choice and go-to for multi-instrument tablature based playback (and effectual soundtrack creator), anyway a torrent can fix anything that the wallet wont.
The problem is aforementioned; I don’t want flashbacks to my Commodore-64 days whilst I’m trying to pretend I’m Hans Zimmer. The RSE ,Realistic Sound Engine, goes a long way to remedying that but it’s not free.
My advice; you want a standard-bearer to compare others to?
Guitar Pro 6 is not only is good but the dark user interface itself is inspiring.
Other than that I’m trying other avenues.
I’m testing a trial of Finale – http://www.finalemusic.com/
And some free alternatives:
Linux Multimedia Studio – http://lmms.sourceforge.net/
And MuseScore – http://musescore.org/

Hope I can help someone else’s search :)

Aibek

Thanks for the input. Please share your opinion once you have tried the apps you have mentioned.

Ryan Dube

Thanks Jamie – that’s a helpful list, I can’t wait to try out a few of those!

Angela Alcorn

Musescore is fabulous BTW. Very easy to start using and gets easier as you get the hang of the shortcuts.

Reply

Jamie White

It’s so strange, I’ve been scouring (and I mean that when I say it) the internet for applications that annotate and playback music and I’ve also been working on finding online alternatives for any software you’d ever want to install on a PC, so to get both in one is quite something.
Unfortunately, one of my stipulations is that you get all the features up front and for free. So, whilst this is something I am definitely going to try, it wont be my first choice.
Even though it breaks my rules (up front and free) Guitar Pro, is my first choice and go-to for multi-instrument tablature based playback (and effectual soundtrack creator), anyway a torrent can fix anything that the wallet wont.
The problem is aforementioned; I don’t want flashbacks to my Commodore-64 days whilst I’m trying to pretend I’m Hans Zimmer. The RSE ,Realistic Sound Engine, goes a long way to remedying that but it’s not free.
My advice; you want a standard-bearer to compare others to?
Guitar Pro 6 is not only is good but the dark user interface itself is inspiring.
Other than that I’m trying other avenues.
I’m testing a trial of Finale – http://www.finalemusic.com/
And some free alternatives:
Linux Multimedia Studio – http://lmms.sourceforge.net/
And MuseScore – http://musescore.org/

Hope I can help someone else’s search :)

Reply

Guest

Aviary has a free tool like this exept it is free to download mp3s

Reply

Fas

ehh that sucks you should use aviarys audio editor really coool!!!!!!!

Reply

Fas

ohh i’m sory here´s the link

Link: http://aviary.com/tools/audio-editor

sory for my bad english!!

Reply

Jamie White

Well I have to say Linux Multimedia Studio and MuseScore were tough to look at even and very cumbersome to use. Whereas, the new guitar pro is amazing and only gets better.
This is definitely an untapped market. Like I said if you want to be a stay-at-home-Hans Zimmer and have a way to annotate your tablature music digitally it’s not easy and generally not free, but there are those few programs that do it. Sure it won’t sound like the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and might be a bit robust if you only play one instrument, but these are invaluable tools to any music creator. Lets hope with all these new films that have a focus on the score/soundtrack, and the popularity of independent film, will create a wider need for the tools and a better play toy for “bedroom-composers”.

Reply

Jamie White

Well I have to say Linux Multimedia Studio and MuseScore were tough to look at even and very cumbersome to use. Whereas, the new guitar pro is amazing and only gets better.
This is definitely an untapped market. Like I said if you want to be a stay-at-home-Hans Zimmer and have a way to annotate your tablature music digitally it’s not easy and generally not free, but there are those few programs that do it. Sure it won’t sound like the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and might be a bit robust if you only play one instrument, but these are invaluable tools to any music creator. Lets hope with all these new films that have a focus on the score/soundtrack, and the popularity of independent film, will create a wider need for the tools and a better play toy for “bedroom-composers”.

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