Over the last few decades, the internet has transformed the way music is made. Gone are the days when music could only be made using physical instruments and music equipment. The introduction of online MIDI sequencers gave artists access to a range of electronic instruments and musical effects. Programmers and developers have spent many hours creating sleek and easy-to-use web-based music programs that can do everything from composing to mastering. In this article, we will take a look at what online sequencers are, and provide our top picks for the best ones!
An online sequencer is a piece of software or an application that allows artists and musicians to perform a range of music production tasks, such as recording and editing music. Music sequencers perform these tasks by processing notes and other types of music data usually through MIDI. Sequencers firstly came out as standalone pieces of equipment such as a MIDI keyboard or MIDI drum machine that recorded the events related to a musical performance. Sequencers used for sound recording or DAWs were then introduced into the musical field. Today, making music is now easier as possible, as there are many sequencer tools and packages available online. Many sequencers that exist via the web are completely free to use!
See below for our list of some of the best apps and online MIDI sequencers available:
Developed in Germany, AudioTool is a website that specialises in music production, and gives the musician that feel of being in a real studio. AudioTool is another online sequencer that pays homage to iconic drum machines such as the 808. However, this online sequencer includes lots more features and effects including dynamic range compression, parametric EQ, and distortion. AudioTool also has a similar layout to many renowned digital audio workstations, so if you are just getting into music production, add this online music sequencer to your browser to learn the basics.
Cost: This version is free but there is a newer version with more features that costs £4.
As the name suggests, Acid Machine is great for artists who love an acid bassline. If you are looking for the right online sequencer for producing acid house music, complete with the right drum machine toolkit for the perfect acid bassline, this sequencer is the perfect choice for you! For obvious reasons, the Acid Machine online sequencer is a favourite for many house and jungle artists.
This set of experimental-style sequencers are more for beginners who are new to the world of music and music production. Accessible through Chrome, many teachers use the Chrome Music Lab as it is straightforward and easy to use, making learning music production a whole lot of fun. This sequencer also works seamlessly on all devices, so you can be creative just about anywhere. Simply download the Chrome Music Lab on your phone or tablet.
Cost: 7-day free trial. After this, it is $7.99 (monthly).
There are thousands of beatmaker sequencers online, however, Splice’s Beat Maker includes millions of samples and loops that Splice has become famous for. This online MIDI sequencer also includes a range of demos and popular songs to inspire creativity. You can even upload your own audio files, edit them, and then download your masterpieces as MIDI or Toraiz SP-16 files.
A slightly different addition to the list, the BeepBox online sequencer is more for sketching and sharing instrumental melodies. It works by adding in notes to create chiptune patterns, which can then be modified in a number of ways. BeepBox can play several rows of patterns simultaneously, and each row has its own set of patterns. Most rows can play melodies or harmonies, but the bottom row is for drums. You can even download an offline version of BeepBox to use when you don’t have access to the internet.
This online programme gives artists a complete toolkit for testing audio. A range of tests are made available through this online service, such as stereo imaging tests, dynamic range tests, and frequency response tests. If you are in the process of setting up a home studio and want to check the quality of your microphone, acoustics in the room, your speakers or even your ears, Audio Tests is the perfect tool for this.
This online platform and instrument powered by Lullatone will turn any letter into musical art! One of the most popular text-to-tone converters around, Typatone turns sentences into symphonies, as each note you type corresponds with another specific note. Simply type away or copy and paste a sentence and you’re off!
Created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmiit, Oblique Strategies is a card-based method that helps to promote creativity and ideas. Each card contains a gnomic suggestion or remark which can be used to break a deadlock or dilemma situation. Although it is aimed at musicians with writers block, this platform has been used by people in a range of professions from writing to marketing.
Cost: Free (installed only through the Apple App Store)
When it comes to online tools, Autochords is a platform that will help with writers’ block. This web app suggests chord progressions according to the key, genre, and mood you choose. From choosing between piano or guitar and inputting your musical style, Autochords shows you what to play for your Main Progression.
Sampulator is an online GarageBand-style sequencer. It includes a selection of HTML5 browser instruments, and makes music production easier and more accessible. This MIDI sequencer is great for Hip-Hop and R&B artists, as it largely consists of palettes influenced by these genres. Sampulator even comes with a sample of the famed music producer and artist DJ Khaled. Downloading this sequencer could just lead you to make a smash hit like Mr. Khaled himself!
No need to splash out on a drum machine with this app! Another online sequencer made with HTML5, this web-based app is one of the best free MIDI drum machines out there. Compatible with most modern browsers, Drumbit gives you a range of kits to make music for many genres. This sequencer is widely used in the techno and house scene, and allows you to apply filters, effects, change individual volume, edit the pitch of samples and more.
If you want to share your work with others and gain more inspiration, you can share your patterns with other users on drumbit Club.
Cost: Free or upgrade to £6.99 monthly subscription to gain access to extra features like recording live audio, parametric EQ, and a variety of included soundsets.
Many new producers turn to Soundation Studio for their online MIDI sequencer because it is easy to access, simple to use, and affordable. This web-based music production software comes complete with professional, high-quality studio loops, effects, and virtual instruments – basically everything you need to get started on making your own music and sharing it with the world. Soundation Studio also has a social feature that allows users to share their creations with others.
Want all the features of a DAW but don’t want to splash out on the latest package? AudioSauna is a full-featured audio workstation with a simple and straightforward user interface. It enables artists to use several advanced polyphonic synthesisers, samplers, and live effects in real-time in the browser. This online programme developed by Naive Solutions is available on all leading operating systems.
This is more than an online sequencer – the beautiful layout of YUME lets you create music from dragging floating mountains and kites. The simple landscape you discover through the site allows you to remix songs from Helios’ album with collaborative web elements. The greatest thing about YUME is that it is completely unpredictable. Each element is a new sound or rhythm and by simply moving objects you can create an entirely new track!
Hopefully, by now you have noted which online sequencers you want to trying out. Maybe you have already added in a few browser extensions. Whether you are an artist who writes lyrics or a seasoned music producer, there is an online music sequencer out there to suit your needs. Certain apps aim to help you in specific areas, i.e. AudioTest helps you to determine the sound quality of your musical equipment, whereas Oblique Strategies helps when you can’t find the right words for your song.
However, using multiple online sequencers could slow down your computer and hinder the process. There is nothing worse than an unresponsive computer when you have musical ideas in your head. Decide on a few online sequencers that are right for your music. If you are new to the music, trying out a few online sequencers is a great way to get immersed in the music-making process.
Many programmes have a similar layout to world-leading DAWs and physical sequencers. Online sequencers also help you to do things you would do in the recording studio. So, if you are thinking of setting up a home studio but have a limited budget or aren’t sure if it’s the right move, online sequencers are the way to go. Most of them cost absolutely nothing at all – so why not give them a try?
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