Making music online is easier than ever, and here’s where you can get started.
As our computers get more powerful, now you don’t even need to download anything to start making music. Instead simply visit these sites listed below and get the musical creativity flowing straight away using only your browser, and your imagination of course.
CLIP specialise in working with young people, and we’re aware of the requirements this brings. As such, all of the sites listed below require no signup/login process or even software downloading – they’re simply browser based tools that are free to use.
1. Splice Beatmaker
A brand new sequencer tool that lets anyone create and share beats using some of the most popular samples on Splice Sounds.
Quick and easy to get immediate results, rewarding for complete beginners to make something “musical” straight away. The developer, Splice, are a subscription based sample library, so this free online beat maker is part of their marketing ploy to get you to signup for the service.
108 is a minimal beat machine in the browser, featuring 5 classic samples that can be arranged on a 16 step loop running 108 bpm.
A playful approach to the online drum machine where you place beats by typing. The circular interface is really satisfying, however the small sample bank and set tempo (108bpm) make it limited.
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Interactive music-making. Build synths & sounds all in the browser, and share your creations.
Blokdust is an interactive environment where you use bloks to generate tones and pass them through effects, creating melodies, beats and soundscapes. As well as controlling the interface from your keyboard, you can also hook up a midi controller to perform your system of bloks. You can even use generative bloks to create self-playing systems. It also has a fantastic share feature giving you a unique URL which you can use to share your musical creation with others.
Explore the new album from ambient/electronica artist Helios in this beautiful interactive website.
Drag floating mountains to fade in and out drums, or rotate futuristic structures to EQ and ambient synthesiser pad. The beautifully minimalist landscape you explore through the site allows you remix songs from Helios’ album with interactive web elements. Albeit a rather ‘on rails’ music creation experience, the way it encourages you to interact is really curious and uses a playful approach to web design.
Music production made easy. Create beats in your browser.
Sampulator offers a simple way to both perform and sequence beats by typing. The stock sounds are mostly suited to R&B tracks with a solid selection of vocal hits, 808 beats and clean guitar twangs.
6. Song Maker
Grids like this one are a common interface for creating melodies. Time moves left to right and pitch goes up to down. Tap to add notes, then use the buttons on the bottom to play and change your melody.
A simple and intuitive way of writing melodies in a bright colourful interface. For beginners it’ll turn quick scribbles on the screen into intricate melodies, but for the more experienced it allows you to program intricate polyphonic harmonies.
Part of the Music Lab Chrome Experiments, which is full of other musical web tools too.
7. Beep Box
BeepBox is an online tool for sketching and sharing instrumental melodies.
Whilst not as pretty as the other online sequences, Beep Box is certainly the most feature rich, with a wide selection of instrument sounds of pick from. Some really powerful features including WAV and MIDI export allowing you to take rhythmic creations into other music software. It also generates a unique URL for your creation, making it easy to share.
Type Drummer is an instrument for making ascii beats.
Build detailed rhythms from sentences, a beautiful way of combing creative writing and music making. It can also create a unique URL for your beat making it possible to share your beat. Whilst this site only does one thing, it does it really really well.
9. Add Texture
Design ambience, crunchiness and atmosphere for synth music and sonic inspiration for soundtracking
HONOURABLE MENTION: Add Texture is a wonderful site for sound design, encouraging you think about the blurry line between sound and music. It can also create a unique URL for your beat making it possible to share your beat. Whilst this site only does one thing, it does it really really well.
If you can tap, type or swipe then you can play music!
These sites are great starting points for music creation using digital tools, regardless of experience.