7 Free Online Tools for Making Music

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You've checked your social media feeds, email and the news—now what? If your everyday browsing has grown a little stale, we've got you covered. Thanks to Web Audio API, you can easily load up a drum machine, synth or sampler in a new tab and start making music. 

We’ve put together seven fun and highly addictive online instruments for you to jam with. These are helpful tools for quickly sketching out ideas, but also unabashed time-killers for music-makers of all skill levels.

Quick tip: make sure you have an up-to-date Internet browser (we recommend Chrome) before diving in!

 

iO-808 by Vincent Reimer

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What better way to start this list than with an emulation of everyone’s favourite drum machine—Roland’s
TR-808. The iO-808 doesn’t use samples from the TR but the sounds have enough punch and snap to get you grooving in your office chair. The design and typeface are almost identical to the original machine and Reimer was kind enough to provide an in-depth tutorial on how to use it.

Try it out here

 

Sampulator by Steve Spaced

The Sampulator turns your keyboard into an MPC-like sampler—already loaded and sliced sounds are mapped out to individual keyboard keys, so you can get started making beats right away. Record anything from two to 16 bars between 70 and 150 BPM. You can save your creations too. Includes drums, percussion, guitar, pads and vocal samples.

Try it out here

 

Tone Matrix by Andre Michelle

This one's been around for several years, but it’s beautiful sound and interface make it worthy of a mention on this list. The Tone matrix’s 16-step sequencer triggers both a bell-like tone and flicker of light. It’s a charming little instrument that doesn't require any musical know-how to get started. Expect a sound somewhere between early Four Tet and Philip Glass' minimalism.

Try it out here.

 

Drumbit by João Santos

Drumbit is an online drum machine that comes with 14 different genre and groove-based kits, each with eight individual percussive sounds. You can easily click in drums and alter their pitch, add effects and even apply swing and some mild EQ. It’s a limited app, but nonetheless a fun way to arrange drums without committing to a full-on project.

Try it out here.

 

Websynths by Unknown

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Microtonal meets MIDI. You can play individual notes on this synth with your trackpad or plug in a MIDI device for more playing options. Choose from more than 135 presets, ranging from blissed out pads to quirky digital modulation and synth-based drum hits. Presets are broken down by instrument category too. Each of the synth’s three oscillators have seven different ‘shape’ options, and a wide range of filters and effects that can be applied to make some weird and wonderful sounds. A surprisingly capable synth that you will totally get lost in—you’ve been warned!

Try it out here.

 

Patchwork by Peter van der Noord

This may be the only one on the list that requires some prior technical savvy—it could be a bit of a struggle for those without any analog synth building experience, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring this ‘modular’ monster. Configure and combine the different modular elements as you wish—using the menu bar you can add filters, controls and effects, then route them with connecting wires. It’s not that far off from what producers would have had to do before the days of MIDI and computers. For a sound source, you can work with their sample preset or load up your own.

Try it out here.

Acid Machine 2 by Errozero

The Acid Machine 2 is based on Roland’s TB-303 bassline module. You can start with a randomized acid pattern or build your own in it's sequencer, then tweak it on the fly with tuning, cutoff and resonance knobs to bring out the iconic squelch effect. Also included are simplified TR-808, TR-909 and Yamaha DD8 drum machines, making the Acid Machine 2 among the more versatile online instruments out there. If you’re really feeling your jam, you can bounce it to .wav too!

Try it out here.

Daniel Dixon

Daniel is a music producer with a love for breakbeats and basslines. Content writer at Outro.
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