Soundation is an application that lets you create music on the web. There is no software to download or hardware to install. All you need a browser with Flash support and you can start making music immediately. The Soundation online sequencer provides 11 real-time effects, 3 synthesizers, and a drum machine. There is an introductory library of over 400 sounds, samples, and loops to create your projects with. If this isn’t enough to satisfy your creativity, Soundation provides an integrated Sound Shop where you can buy more sounds.
Getting started with Soundation is simple. You don’t even need an account. Simply fire up The Studio and you’re good to go. The interface is similar to other audio programs you may have come across, with a list of audio channels on the left, menu at the top, and transport controls at the bottom. To add audio to your project, browse through the library to find what you need and drag it to an audio channel. Samples are organized by tempo and genre.
The waveform for the selected loop is now displayed on the track. You can extend the loop by dragging the top-right corner to fill out your track. This doesn’t stretch the loop, but duplicates it to fill the space. This makes sure your project stays on beat. If you want to actually stretch the loop and change it’s tempo, drag from the bottom-right corner.
You can drag clips around between channels and within the same channel. There is a snap-to-grid feature that helps make sure everything lines up. Delete a clip by selecting at and pressing Del or Backspace on your keyboard. There is also an Undo feature accessible from the Edit menu or by pressing Ctrl-Z.
Each audio channel can have multiple effects added to it. This makes it easy to add compression to your drums for more punch or reverb to a melody to give it some depth. Just click the FX button (next to Solo and Mute), click the ‘+’ symbol, and choose the effect your wish to add. This will pop up another window which lets you optionally tweak the effect to your liking. Click the FX button again to hide the list of existing effects, tweak your existing effects, or add more effects.
Adding Channels and Instruments
Add additional audio channels by clicking the ‘+’ symbol at the bottom left of the studio. The button just to the right here adds an instrument channel. This allows you to add a few instruments, including a drum machine, to your project. While you can add instruments to your project and play them using the virtual keyboard, it doesn’t seem that you can record yet. Keep in mind that you can only play the drums by clicking on the first set of keys on the virtual keyboard, the corresponding keys on your keyboard don’t work. Other instruments work fine in this respect.
Saving Your Work
Once you’ve got a hot beat going, you have a few ways to keep it. The down-arrow symbol on the bottom right of the studio will let you mixdown and download your project as a WAV file. More interesting is the ability to publish your project to the web. This gives you a link that you can share so that others can hear what you have done. Publishing to the web also provides you with an embed code to share on other websites. The last option is to save the project on your local hard drive in Soundation’s native format. This is best if you plan to change things later.
Soundation is obviously a work in progress, but you can still use it in it’s current form to create some advanced music. It’s easy to use even for amateurs. As long as you understand the basics of music and know how to drag and drop, you will be fine. You could use Soundation to easily create original music for all types of projects. Once you get tired of the 400 available sounds, go ahead and buy more.
Here is a sample project I threw together real quick. What do you think about Soundation?Category: How-To | Tags: music, soundation